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#6767512 - 05/18/17 07:27 AM Dog issues
stinkbelly Online   content
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 09/07/04
Posts: 7028
Loc: Parker County, Tx
Deuce, my 11 year old Deutsch Drahthaar rescue is starting to have issues. It could be due to his age, but it all started on one particular dove hunt in 2016.

During this dove hunt, I was hunting the lease in an area of waist high weeds. I am not sure what kind, but they looked like big plants with tunnels all around them. It wasn't too difficult for the dogs to get around, but there also wasn't any air flow down in there. I was walking the field on and off to keep the birds in the air for my son. Both DDs were hunting with me. It was probably near 100°F, we took plenty of breaks, and there was a pond to swim in where we were sitting. After a little while, I noticed Deuce started to slow down. He wasn't staying up with me or Izzy(dog). We took a few breaks, but as the hunt went on it got worse so I left him with my son while I walked. By the end of the day he started walking and sitting, walking and sitting. He looked like he wanted to go, but his back end just wouldn't follow. When he walked he was half squatting like he was about to go to the bathroom. His back legs were spread out and his lower part of the leg was almost parallel to the ground. It reminded me of a baby walking with a full diaper. So I got the truck and picked him up in the field. He was done.

I took him on all my hunts during the year. I had to carry him out once in Kansas and twice while quail hunting. I noticed that he was perfect if it was below about 50°F. Above that, he would have issues. When he had issues, I could rest him for 10 minutes and he was good for a while. If he couldn't walk, I would rest him for a minute or two and he usually could walk back to the truck. In the past week or so I noticed he seems to have weakness in his back end. He has trouble with stairs and he has fallen a couple of times on the hard slick floors.

Over the past 9 months I have had him looked at by 3 different vets. They have run him, x-rayed, poked, etc. Overall they don't know what is wrong with him. One said it could have been heat exhaustion. The vet said he was slightly favoring one leg right after the first incident. The x-rays didn't show anything. Actually the vet said she was very surprised because he is a big working dog and his spine and hips are excellent. She expected some wear and tear. They thought it could be an electrolyte or potassium issue where they weren't getting to the back end.

He doesn't appear to be in any pain, his back end just stops working.

I want to take him back to the vet, but I don't know what to ask for. Obviously something happened during that dove hunt and heat causes it to reoccur.

He is an inside dog that gets a lot of outside time if that matters.

Any ideas where to go from here?
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#6767521 - 05/18/17 07:34 AM Re: Dog issues [Re: stinkbelly]
scalebuster Offline
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 11/25/10
Posts: 2352
He's old. They can't hunt forever.

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#6767525 - 05/18/17 07:40 AM Re: Dog issues [Re: stinkbelly]
catslayer Offline
Tracker

Registered: 12/11/12
Posts: 989
Loc: Straight out of Johnson County
Ok... so i was a vet tech through highschool & college not a vet... but it sounds neurological to me. Maybe a clot thats caught and only an issue when blood pressure is changeing from heat or something. I know id watch hir like a hawk at home this summer.
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#6767526 - 05/18/17 07:41 AM Re: Dog issues [Re: scalebuster]
catslayer Offline
Tracker

Registered: 12/11/12
Posts: 989
Loc: Straight out of Johnson County
Originally Posted By: scalebuster
He's old. They can't hunt forever.


Dont tell that to the dog!

Even if that is part of it...


Edited by catslayer (05/18/17 07:42 AM)
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#6767544 - 05/18/17 07:52 AM Re: Dog issues [Re: scalebuster]
stinkbelly Online   content
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 09/07/04
Posts: 7028
Loc: Parker County, Tx
Originally Posted By: scalebuster
He's old. They can't hunt forever.


I know he is old, but it hit him during one hunt and it only affects him if it is warm. He could barely jog around the yard yesterday. I am scared what the summer may do to him.
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#6767615 - 05/18/17 09:17 AM Re: Dog issues [Re: stinkbelly]
bobcat1 Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 07/22/07
Posts: 1989
Loc: Sanger, Texas
Sounds like he had a heat stroke to me and I am not a vet but I think if it happens once they become more susceptible to a re-occurrence and given his age he may not ever recover. Sorry for you and him.
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Bobby Barnett


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#6767628 - 05/18/17 09:28 AM Re: Dog issues [Re: stinkbelly]
Barny Topwater Online   content
red bone Bob

Registered: 11/22/09
Posts: 2816
Loc: New Braunfels TX USA
Sent you a PM, hope it's not retirement time
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There is time, and you must take it, to lay your hand on your dog's head as you walk past him lying on the floor or on his settle, time to talk with him, to remember with him, time to please him, time you can't buy back once he's gone" GBE

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#6767816 - 05/18/17 12:29 PM Re: Dog issues [Re: stinkbelly]
Chet Offline
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 09/07/05
Posts: 2301
Loc: Benbrook
A dog can get too hot on a 75 degree day if the cover is heavy. An 11 yr old dog can for sure. I'm 70 and all systems don't work like they did when I was 50. I wouldn't run the old boy unless things are ideal certainly not on a 100 degree day. If he has trouble on cool days maybe it's time to retire him.
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#6767840 - 05/18/17 01:00 PM Re: Dog issues [Re: bobcat1]
Nogalus Prairie Online   content
THF Celebrity

Registered: 11/22/10
Posts: 21616
Loc: Corsicana
Originally Posted By: bobcat1
Sounds like he had a heat stroke to me and I am not a vet but I think if it happens once they become more susceptible to a re-occurrence and given his age he may not ever recover. Sorry for you and him.
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Originally Posted By: REALKILLER
That's the way I hunt don't know many that do. If a deer gets buy me I will try to run him down. Ive killed a bunch that way.



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#6779957 - 05/31/17 02:12 PM Re: Dog issues [Re: stinkbelly]
Exbellicus Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 01/24/08
Posts: 1406
Loc: DFW
One thing you could do to check if it's heat related is check his temperature before and during exercise. You can just get a normal thermometer and use it rectally. But if I understand correctly it's happening on stairs and slick floors under room temperatures now? As for ruling out an electrolyte imbalance, you'd be in for more bloodwork. The symptoms don't sound like heat cramping to me though if it's occurring in the house.

When these episodes occur, does he get any of the other heat-related symptoms? Rapid breathing, excessive panting, confusion...if so I'll have to agree with the others that he suffered a significant overheating event. Regardless, if it was me and I wanted to keep my house dog I'd have to formally admit him to retirement and vote him in to the hall of fame. If not, he may not survive the next heat event.

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#6780005 - 05/31/17 02:40 PM Re: Dog issues [Re: stinkbelly]
Mud Shark Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
Posts: 1327
Loc: Fate, TX
As mentioned, he's old.
Even dogs in their prime and in supreme working condition can have heat related issues. It's pretty common actually. Which is one reason I'm not big on taking my dogs dove hunting, particularly in the afternoon.

As dogs get older, and dogs that have heat related issues before, they become more sensitive to it.

If I were a gambling man, which I am, I'd bet that the combination of age and heat are making him more vulnerable, susceptible and sensitive to the weather.

If he were mine, he'd be retired. Maybe go out for a duck hunt and pick up a bird or two, but that's it.
Their hearts want to keep going, but their bodies won't let them. That's the hard part about being a human...we have to make tough decision for the dogs we love.
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Mud Shark


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#6780497 - 05/31/17 10:54 PM Re: Dog issues [Re: stinkbelly]
Cow_doc.308 Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 02/15/12
Posts: 1800
Loc: Ellis Co.
I can't tell you whats going on with your old guy, but if you want a referral to a neurologist, there is a good group of them in DFW. You could potentially chase this a long way with CT, MRI, etc and there's a chance you might not get it diagnosed.

I don't always check this forum so if you'd be interested, shoot me a pm and I'll look up the info on the clinic I'm thinking of.
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#6780603 - 06/01/17 07:04 AM Re: Dog issues [Re: stinkbelly]
stinkbelly Online   content
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 09/07/04
Posts: 7028
Loc: Parker County, Tx
The stairs and slick floor issues just started. That part looks like hip dysplasia to me, but I am no expert and the vet didn't see it with x-ray.

As it has been warming up lately, he has been panting a lot for no reason. He walks around the house and starts panting.


As for taking his temperature, what am I looking for?
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#6781251 - 06/01/17 05:29 PM Re: Dog issues [Re: stinkbelly]
kindall Offline


Registered: 08/01/09
Posts: 3871
Loc: Spring, Tx
Even without hip dysplasia, some older dogs start getting weaker in the hips. It shows when they walk across slick floors. Maybe some area rugs would help.
I had a older foster at the house. She was fine everywhere except the tiled bathrooms.

101-102.5 is a normal temperature.
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Shopping with your husband is like hunting with the game warden.
Experience is what you get, when you didn't get what you wanted.



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#6782740 - 06/03/17 01:54 PM Re: Dog issues [Re: stinkbelly]
Mundo Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 02/03/15
Posts: 190
Almost every dog I ever owned that made it past 12 had some of these symptoms. Aging dogs loose hind quarter muscle tissue and it becomes a stability issue.
While it is possibly due to heat stroke it is just as likely that he tires faster in the heat and and his hindquarters start to give.
What I'd do is: get a young dog. Only hunt the old guy first thing in the morning, then work with the younger dog. At 11 with hind quarter issues he isn't going to be able to do any serious hunting for much longer. If you want to extend his hunting life, you need to shorten the amount of time he works and watch the conditions he works in. Getting a second dog will give him a break. Make sure he always has plenty of water and give him a small snack before and after he hunts. (soft food or several sardines or bacon.) I know a lot of people don't feed while they work dogs, but half a handful of something with a little oil in it and high protein won't hurt and will help stave off hypoglycemic issues(http://www.petwave.com/Dogs/Health/Hypoglycemia/Symptoms.aspx) Hypoglycemia could be the issue but it also could be just simple aging. However, due to the dog's age and similarity to hypoglycemic symptoms, I would keep the snack handy when he hunts. There is little you can do about aging and muscle loss issue other than regular exercise (not to much, but enough to keep working all the joints.) I did use adequan on one dog and it seemed to help but it is expensive and didn't seem to make enough difference to make it worthwhile. I've had several wirehairs, it is hard to find one that can handle the heat in S. Texas during bird season. If you want to stay with this breed, I would look in the northwest where they run all breed trials--wirehaired's up there are more likely to be able to run with shorthairs and pointers down here. If the dog comes to Texas as a pup it is more likely to get acclimated to higher temperatures here but remember heat is ALWAYS an issue here during quail and dove seasons and a longhair breed is more susceptible .


Edited by Mundo (06/03/17 01:56 PM)

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