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Need opinions - Should I take Grace to a neurologist?

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Need opinions - Should I take Grace to a neurologist?

Post  dieselsmom on 9/30/2011, 3:53 pm

Josh and I are pretty convinced that Grace is suffering from DM, same as Kayla. She displays MANY of the same symptoms as Kayla did, including the leg spasms. Since I got home last week, she's been having the leg spasms off and on. I took her to our regular vet; he's convinced it's simply arthritis and hip displaysia and admitted he'd never seen the spasms, but felt it was a hypersenstivity sort of thing.

Anyway, Josh is irritated with our vet because Josh thinks the vet is refusing to acknowledge that Grace has the same symptoms as Kayla and most likely has DM too. DM is pretty rare and not many general practice vets are familiar with it and I don't believe my vet is very familiar at all with it. I'm ok with him not acknowledging it's likely DM because his not acknowledging it isn't causing Grace any harm. She takes Rimadyl daily, along with glucosomine.

I found out there's a neurologist about 2 hours south of us. And I'm seriously contemplating taking Grace to visit her, if for no reason other than to confirm it's most likely DM. My main concern is that Josh and I are so convinced it's DM that I fear we may not be seeing something else it could be. Unless it's an urgent or acute issue, such as a slipped disc, we most likely will not pursue an MRI, but I kind of feel like at least going for a consult with a neurologist is a good idea. I asked Josh and he really doesn't have an opinion at all, which is not helping me make the decision as to whether I should take her to the neurologist.

So, thought I'd see what you all think. Would you take her to the neurologist? Even if all they do is confirm it's nothing acute or urgent or otherwise treatable?
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Re: Need opinions - Should I take Grace to a neurologist?

Post  Pugsaunt on 9/30/2011, 4:13 pm

You know, I'd do it. Especially given what your experiences with Kayla. Everything crossed and major prayers that it is a disc that can be fixed with crate rest.
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Re: Need opinions - Should I take Grace to a neurologist?

Post  Renee on 9/30/2011, 4:15 pm

Take her.

I think it is as simple as that. You have access to a neurologist, and you have valid concerns. So, just take her and see what happens. You won't make anything worse by a second opinion. Knowledge is power.
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Re: Need opinions - Should I take Grace to a neurologist?

Post  Aussie Witch on 9/30/2011, 4:15 pm

You may be over-sensitive to the signs, but you guys know your babies best. There is no question that I'd want to know for sure. At the very least it will put your minds at ease. Hope it's not as bad as you fear.
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Re: Need opinions - Should I take Grace to a neurologist?

Post  Tyson&LuLu'sMom on 9/30/2011, 4:23 pm

I agree with everyone, I'd take her. Another opinion can't hurt, especially the opinion of a specialist.
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Re: Need opinions - Should I take Grace to a neurologist?

Post  akc0104 on 9/30/2011, 4:24 pm

As a wise friend told me when I was debating a second opinion for my child... "what do you have to lose except money?". I took him. I'd take Grace too.
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Re: Need opinions - Should I take Grace to a neurologist?

Post  TxAllieGrl on 9/30/2011, 4:24 pm

Aussie Witch wrote:You may be over-sensitive to the signs, but you guys know your babies best. There is no question that I'd want to know for sure. At the very least it will put your minds at ease. Hope it's not as bad as you fear.



I tend to agree. If you're even considering it (which you are!), just do it.

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Re: Need opinions - Should I take Grace to a neurologist?

Post  dieselsmom on 9/30/2011, 4:25 pm

Aussie Witch wrote:You may be over-sensitive to the signs, but you guys know your babies best. There is no question that I'd want to know for sure. At the very least it will put your minds at ease. Hope it's not as bad as you fear.

Well, the problem is, even seeing the neurologist won't tell us for sure whether it's DM. DM is "diagnosed" by ruling out all other possibilities, using MRI, myelogram, etc. But unless the vet feels that the symptoms point toward something treatable that would be revealed by further testing, then we won't pursue further testing.

I'm really leaning toward taking her, just to sort of put my mind at ease. I figured I'd do that but needed someone else to tell me to!
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Re: Need opinions - Should I take Grace to a neurologist?

Post  TxAllieGrl on 9/30/2011, 4:28 pm

dieselsmom wrote: But unless the vet feels that the symptoms point toward something treatable that would be revealed by further testing, then we won't pursue further testing.

I'm really leaning toward taking her, just to sort of put my mind at ease. I figured I'd do that but needed someone else to tell me to!



This is exactly why I'd take her. IF there is something else going on with a different treatment, you'd want to know. And since you haven't completely ruled everything else out (acute disc), I'd consult with the neuro and take that step.



I do tend to agree with the thought that if there was NO DIFFERENT treatment to be considered, regardless of what it is, then I probably wouldn't seek additional care/opinions. Hopefully that makes sense (it did in my head).

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Re: Need opinions - Should I take Grace to a neurologist?

Post  Saira on 9/30/2011, 5:09 pm

TxAllieGrl wrote:
dieselsmom wrote: But unless the vet feels that the symptoms point toward something treatable that would be revealed by further testing, then we won't pursue further testing.

I'm really leaning toward taking her, just to sort of put my mind at ease. I figured I'd do that but needed someone else to tell me to!



This is exactly why I'd take her. IF there is something else going on with a different treatment, you'd want to know. And since you haven't completely ruled everything else out (acute disc), I'd consult with the neuro and take that step.



I do tend to agree with the thought that if there was NO DIFFERENT treatment to be considered, regardless of what it is, then I probably wouldn't seek additional care/opinions. Hopefully that makes sense (it did in my head).

I agree with Allie, I know DM can't really be diagnosed and is more a rule everything out thing, but I think it'd be worth it for your peace of mind.
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Re: Need opinions - Should I take Grace to a neurologist?

Post  Cathy on 9/30/2011, 5:18 pm

I'm with everyone else, take her. You're considering it, otherwise you wouldn't have asked our opinions. With everything you went through with Kayla, it would at least help to put your mind somewhat at ease. After all, it's only money!
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Re: Need opinions - Should I take Grace to a neurologist?

Post  thminis on 9/30/2011, 5:47 pm

If the finances are there, I see no reason why not to take her. Plus, like the others have said, it'll be worth the peace of mind. I've always gone with the fact that money is meant to be spent somewhere, and I have no problem spending it on my pets.

Also, at the very least you'll get to talk to someone extremely educated in their field. You can ask whatever questions you'd like and add him to your list of vets who know Grace.
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Re: Need opinions - Should I take Grace to a neurologist?

Post  GingerSnap on 9/30/2011, 11:51 pm

A good second opinion can only hurt the bank account. I admit, though, that now that you're seeing some similarities with Grace, I'm a little concerned about the possibility of some type of environmental cause-- some neurotoxin or something like that.
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Re: Need opinions - Should I take Grace to a neurologist?

Post  PugMomto3 on 10/1/2011, 7:29 am

I would take her. It would definately ease your mind and get to the bottom of things. If it comes back as arthritis, so be it, but at least you know and trust the diagnosis.

Prayers and positive vibes for your baby.
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Re: Need opinions - Should I take Grace to a neurologist?

Post  Snifter&Toddy on 10/1/2011, 8:15 am

I would take her.

As things are you are not really happy with what your vet has said, and if you just go along with it I think you will constantly have nagging doubts which could sour your relationship with the vet. If you see the specialist you are more likely to get peace of mind whatever they do or don't discover.

Thinking of you.
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Re: Need opinions - Should I take Grace to a neurologist?

Post  PugLady3 on 10/1/2011, 9:26 am

I would probably take her for the consult but they're most likely going to say "it could be this or it could be that - we can't really tell without an MRI and further testing". That's what they did with both Pugsy and Yoda (and we opted not to do further testing for various reasons). Bella's starting to show back end weakness now too. It's just one of those pug things unfortunately. I've noticed that a ton of the Frenchies in rescue have it too.
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Re: Need opinions - Should I take Grace to a neurologist?

Post  dieselsmom on 10/1/2011, 11:08 am

PugLady3 wrote:I would probably take her for the consult but they're most likely going to say "it could be this or it could be that - we can't really tell without an MRI and further testing". That's what they did with both Pugsy and Yoda (and we opted not to do further testing for various reasons). Bella's starting to show back end weakness now too. It's just one of those pug things unfortunately. I've noticed that a ton of the Frenchies in rescue have it too.

I figure I'll hear that, Brenda. Unless it's something they feel is urgent or acute, then we won't do the MRI - Josh and I have already talked about that. No point in putting Grace through anesthesia for that. I figure worst case scenario, they tell us they won't know for sure without an MRI and we decide not to do it, then I'm only out the $115 exam and my gas money for driving down there.

I was fine without getting a second opinion until Josh nagged me about it and now it's been driving me nuts. So I scheduled an appointment with the neurologist on Wednesday morning. We'll see how it goes.

Ginger, I agree - the odds of us having two dogs with the same symptoms, condition are high. However, if it is DM that Kayla had and DM that Grace has, DM is a genetic condition and given the fact that both girls are soooooooo poorly bred, it doesn't surprise me that they'd both have it.
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Re: Need opinions - Should I take Grace to a neurologist?

Post  Aussie Witch on 10/1/2011, 4:26 pm

Thinking of you and Gracie and waiting anxiously for the results. Hope it's not DM.
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Re: Need opinions - Should I take Grace to a neurologist?

Post  leslyeb on 10/1/2011, 9:55 pm

Rachel,

Chyna has IVDD which is basically disc disease. Two of her disc bulge at T11/12 and T13 When I first took her to the neurologist, we did the mri but chose not to have surgery since it was degenerative and not the result of an accident. She wobbles when she walks, does not really know where her back legs are although she walks on them. At times, her legs would start to spasm where they just stuck up in the air towards her head making her not be able to stand. Rimadyl did not help her. For quite a while, she was taking 5mg of pred every day for about 6 weeks after the diagnosis, I then went to every other day. I am now down to 5mg every 3 days and acupuncture every 5-6 weeks. Only once in a blue moon do I see her legs start to spasm, then I know she has done too much such as trying to chase after Tinker or run in the yard. It probably would not hurt to see the specialist even if you don't want to have the mri. If she has had any regular xrays, you might want to take them with you incase they see something your vet missed.

Kathie Johnson who is a nipra volunteer had two boxers with DM, but they were related. I would tend to think that Grace may just have the horrible back end issues that so many pugs have, but that is only because DM is not something that is seen a lot. A second opinion never hurts!
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Re: Need opinions - Should I take Grace to a neurologist?

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