Somewhat Sr. dog has something going on

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Performancemini

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My little 10-ish year old Shipperke (he's from an animal sanctuary) seems to have issues. He has a large lump on his rump the vet checked twice in the past (drew out "stuff") and said it seemed to be just a fatty cyst. Then about two years ago he got this pea size growth on the inside of his front leg. It's kind of soft and moveable. It hasn't grown though. Then last year I found a soft puffy area in the sternum area underneath. Wondered if it was a hernia. Vet didn't seem to think so. Thought they were just cysts that were not a problem. He does have a problem with a back leg sometimes. The joint above the hock in front pops out of "gear" and the leg is held up until he can get it back in motion..it hasn't really happened in the last year though. He is starting to have some age problems, cataracts developing, having trouble getting up on the bed (double pillow top, so it's high) that's at night in the dark or with only a night light on. In daylight he hops right up usually. But he is really touchy about his one side. Tonight he was laying by me on the couch (so it was sagging my direction) and he went to get up. He was able to push up into a sitting position but seemed to be unsure about getting the rest of the way up. I reached around and had just barely placed my fingertips along his side and he's kind of screamed and snapped at me and jumped off the couch. He acted like he was hurt and wasn't moving right. Kind of curved and hunched. The leg looked OK. I am thinking he may have something going on inside and am afraid it could be like cancer. I will get him to the vet; but wondered if anyone of you that have had year's of dog experience have some thoughts too.
 

JAX

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I don't have a clue but I hope he is ok. My Boxer recently died of brain cancer/tumor but this does not sound the same at all.
 

Mona

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The cysts do sound like they are being taken care of properly, and the back leg thing is a luxating patella, which is sadly, VERY common in toy breeds. I had to have surgery done on a couple of our small dogs in the past for this very thing. The eyes, and getting on the bed, you can help him by getting (or making) some doggy steps that will allow him easier access to the bed. We have a child's foam block chair sitting at the foot end of our bed so that Monkey can get up and down easier. The jumping on and off of high furniture can also contribute to your dog's bad knee condition, and can also cause spinal damage, so making it easier for him may help. When he yelped and snapped at you, maybe because he was sound asleep, and going blind, you startled him and he did it as a reflex action because he did not see you before you did it. Our old Whippet we had started acting similar to that when she got old and her sight was diminishing. Finally, ask your vet to run a full senior blood panel on him. That will tell you how all his organs are functioning, and how his blood is. If he has cancer, it will likely show up in there in some way. Good Luck.
 
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Performancemini

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Thanks Mona. I think the vet wanted to run the Senior blood panel last year. I am just going to have to find a way to have it done. (wish my ankle would heal so I could get back to work). He was awake when I started to touch him, BUT I did reach over and around the top of his back. So it most likely did catch him off guard. I am sure his more limited sight is causing the nipping and trying to bite that he has started to do. I am sure he is protecting himself since he is unsure of exactly what he is actually seeing.

I will have to get him steps or a little chair like yours. We have tried crating him at night, but he just won't have it and can go on for hours and hours whimpering and whining. He will crate OK when we have people over, though he isn't real happy. Skip's are such stubborn characters!
 

shorthorsemom

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I sometimes put my senior dogs on yucca when they are having issues. for my smaller dogs I open the capsule and sprinkle a portion of the capsule on their food. For my bigger guys I give a whole capsule morning and evening. I get it from the vitamin shoppe amazon 450mg I think.

My collie we are pretty sure has a brain tumor. She started having episodes and some moody changes and started eliminating in the house over a year ago.. My vet and I tried different medications, pain medication, anti seizure medication...anti inflammatory medications, and nothing worked and some treatments made her worse. She got bad enough that I considered putting her to sleep

While I was crying my eyes out talking to my vet I remembered another dog I had many years ago that somebody told me to try yucca for, so I took my girl home and I put her on yucca. Amazingly she started getting better. My vet kind of rolls her eyes when I tell her I put my girl on yucca and it made her feel better... Then Gabrielle got happy again and all symptoms went away. I thought, "this can't all be from the yucca" so I quit giving it. Within one week Gabrielle got a head tilt, she looked disoriented, and quickly started to have trouble with her hind end, showed pain and the CNS signs returned. I put my girl back on the yucca and again all symptoms went away again. I don't know how, but it is working for my girl. I don't know how long we have, but for now we are enjoying the time.

As far as the diagnostics. I always think of the song by Garth Brooks..."I'm glad I didn't know, the way it all would end" I figure if I find out for sure she has cancer in her brain, it isn't going to change the outcome or the treatment.

The first dog I ever treated with yucca was a Doberman I had many years ago. I took him to a neurologist, we ran bloodwork on him, spent a small fortune and all I left the specialist office with was some prednisolone tablets in high dose. The medication made my guy drink a lot and pee in the house a lot. He had nerve issues and his hind feet dragged a bit. He had a head tilt and he really wasn't always sure where his hind feet were. He was 9 years old. somebody told me to try yucca... I did. We dropped the prednisolone, and he got yucca caps twice a day. His symptoms went away. He got happy again. Every time I ran out of the yucca, his symptoms returned... took about 3 weeks to see a difference on the yucca. My boys name was Max. He was born on Christmas day. He lived until 2 weeks before his 16th birthday with good quality of life and he outlived two younger dogs I had gotten when I thought he was running out of quality time. Whether or not the yucca was the reason he lived so long I will never know, but I did have good luck with it with him and now with my collie gabrielle.

Oh... and my Doberman had big lumpy bumpys all over him that were fatty tumors, we opted not to operate on any of them. None were attached and we thought surgery was too risky on my boy..

I also gave some yucca to my puppy when her patella was slipping and her stifle was locking and she was lame. My vet had me walk her in sand... I put her on yucca and she quit limping and locking....

I have a houseful of old dogs. Two are 10, two are 12 and two are 14 years old. My vet and I are great friends and work closely together to keep my old guys with high quality of life. MY two oldest guys have visited a cardiologist. That was well worth the money as a diagnostic. My boy was touchy on his side and crabby when picked up. His heart was painful and enlarged. The heart medications have made him dance like a puppy again.

sorry this turned into a book, I am not a good writer... I do want to tell you that I always tell my vet when I am going to try something on my own (yucca), for my dog she told me it wouldn't hurt but she didn't think it would do anything. I tried it anyway. I had good results.

I love skips, they are quite independent and cute as the dickens. They love their people.

best wishes for your dog.. It is so hard watching them get old. My 6 old guys are why I got a puppy last year. Funny thing is that they all love the puppy and they all look so amused by her. I think she makes them feel young again. I am glad they enjoy her, not always a good choice getting a puppy with old dogs, but for some reason my puppy fits in and lights up the house. hugs.

ps.. for my boy with heart issues that I took to a cardiologist... He was 7 when diagnosed and put on heart medications. We discovered at that visit that his heart was so enlarged it was the size of a peach. He is now one of the 14 year old dogs I have. He dances circles around the house.
 
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Performancemini

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Shorthorsemom: You said pull the capsule apart and sprinkle on food. How much of the capsule would you suggest for a 15 Lb. Skip? From your testimonies it is definitely worth a try!!!
 

shorthorsemom

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I always start at just a pinch regardless of dog size . Most I ever gave my 15 lb dog was about 1/4 capsule.. but to start I barely gave a dash and then built up.

Do check with your vet first. My vet always says something like... "I don't think it will do anything, but if you want to try it, it won't hurt your dog"....

I would never want to try something that was more experimental in nature until I was at the last of my rope and out of options.

I never tried the yucca until I had exhausted all vet possibilities and was contemplating putting the dog down when quality of life was poor. Yucca has an effect like a steroid which is why I start very slow. I never saw results until the 3 week mark. I am positive it helped my collie. I have no idea why or how it works though.
 
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