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?