Another day at the doggy hospital
Update: The test results came back negative for Addison's. That's good, right? But what it means overall is that we have no idea what caused his episode, when it might happen again, or if there's anything we can do to prevent it. What I do know is that I really don't want to have to carry 100 lbs of scared, collapsed Great Dane to the car again. /update
My poor puppy-boy, Payton, spent another day at the U Vet hospital yesterday. Everything seems more or less fine now, but we may be looking at atypical Addison's disease, which is not something I've spent a lot of time thinking about. I just thank Dog that we have the financial means to perform the tests required and follow through with treatment. So many dogs are surrendered or euthanized because their owners, not necessarily through any fault of their own, can't afford testing and treatment for different and unknown problems.
It started around 6:30. I was in the shower, and the hubby was feeding and outing the kids as normal. He said that when the dogs started to come inside, he noticed Payton's hindquarters veering to the right, almost like he was coming in sideways. Hubby had to help him up the 3 or so stairs leading into the kitchen, and then Payton collapsed; he lost motor control of his rear end.
When I got downstairs, Payton was lying on the 2.5 x 4 (-ish) rug we have at the base of the stairs. I could move his right leg (he was laying on his left haunch, so I couldn't access that leg), and he didn't seem to particularly be in pain, but he was definitely stressed. He was alert, and upset that he couldn't join us when we were both upstairs getting dressed (I literally got out of the shower, threw on a towel, and went downstairs). Trust me...when your dog collapses, alert is still a very good thing.
As I was talking to the emergency clinic, Payton attempted to join me in the dining room...I think he was heading toward one of the futons in the couch where he likes to relax. He struggled over to the rug, moving his front feet fine, but his hind end was very droopy and uncontrolled. When he could get both rear legs underhim, it was like he had no strength to raise his hips or really stand. He also had a lot of tremors; hubby says he was spasming all down his back initially, but I saw most of the tremors in his haunches. We had to carry him to the car, but the clinic fortunately had a cart to bring him in with.
The first diagnosis was Fibrous Cartilage Embolism (FCE), where a piece of cartilage gets into the blood stream and acts as a blood clot. Here's where the real $$ comes, because the best/only way to really determine this is through an MRI. So, we left him at the hospital again, where he was transfered to the neurology unit (Wobbler's was another possibility, but since a) this was a sudden episode and b) his symptoms in the initial exam were more localized on the right side, they ruled this out). Which meant that now the waiting started.
We finally got to bring him home around 3pm. He had actually mostly recovered by the time the neurologist saw him (in the initial exam, he recognized when his left rear foot was set the wrong way, but not the right rear foot), and was walking around, had good spatial sense, and no signs of pain. So the neurologist recommended having him sent to the cardiologist. There they determined that everything really looked pretty good, but that his heart was smaller than it should have been, which means that not enough blood was circulating which led them down the Addison's direction. Now that I've done more reading, I'm pretty comfortable with this diagnosis. If the tests come back negative for Addison's, though, we're more or less at a lack of explanations.
But, everything else considered, we're happy that he's more or less healthy, that we got a good chunk of our initial estimate downpayment back (MRIs ain't cheap and the hospital requires a deposit of 75% of the high estimate before they'll continue), and that we have the time and money to take care of our kids.