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Discussion Starter #1
Hi folks,

My in laws are very distressed as their senior chihuahua is having an issue today and her normal vet is not open until tomorrow morning.

What happened this afternoon is her chi got up out of her bed and suddenly froze in a contorted position while her eyes glazed over and her tongue turned black. This lasted for no more than two minutes and she unfroze, her tongue is back to normal color, her eyes are normal again, and she is responding to my in-laws.

Does anyone know that these symptoms might be or what could be going on? Does this sound like a medical emergency or is it something that can wait until her normal vet opens tomorrow morning?

For what it's worth, they told me that she has not been eating much lately (which is normal for her) and that she has been drinking a lot more water lately. She's 10 yrs old (I think) and about 2 lbs over weight, weighing 6 lbs when she should weigh 4 lbs and she has acute stage 4 luxating patella in both knees.

If anyone can offer any advice it would be much appreciated, they are very upset right now. :(
 

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It could be a seizure, but with the overweight and the water drinking I would be looking at diabetes as well. If she was my dog, and if there is not an emergency vet handy, I would get her to her regular vet ASAP (like, show up on their doorstep in the morning when they open) and do a complete geriatric blood panel for starters. I can understand how upset they must be - very scary stuff! Good luck to them and their good old girl.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
They currently plan to bring her into the vet first thing tomorrow for an exam and to have bloodwork done. They live in Orlando so I am sure there is an emergency vet available to them if they need to seek one out.
 

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Sounds to me like she threw a clot. It cut off the blood supply for a short time (hence the tongue turning black) and caused her to space out for awhile. Sort of like a TIA in humans (transient ischemic attack) which can preclude strokes. That's what I'd guess from the symptoms you described. Let us know what the vet thinks!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you both for the ideas. We're all anxious to hear what the vet thinks...I hate this waiting and wondering, even if it's not one of my own dogs. :(
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Just a real quick, little update.

After the awful situation with her normal vet today she is going to a different vet that I recommended to her. This vet she will be going to tomorrow is a fantastic holistic vet that I actually used to take my dogs to back when I lived in FL.

Long story short, she called her vet this morning to let them know she'd be coming in with her dog. They said it was okay. She arrives after driving across town for them to tell her it won't be possible to see her dog, but maybe if she wants to come back in the afternoon after 2 pm they might have an opening even though they were booked for the afternoon. Any other day she would have gone back and waited but she had her own doctors appt to catch this afternoon so she could not sit at the vets office hoping to be seen. She was very upset and more so by how rude they were to her (so she says).

So she took my advice and called my previous holistic vet who I highly recommended. They said it would be fine to wait an extra day so she has an appt for tomorrow morning. I took my dogs to this holistic vet for 2 years and she really knows her stuff and is by far the best vet I have EVER been to. My mother-in-law will be in good hands tomorrow, of that I am positive.
 

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Let us know how her visit goes tomorrow. Her old vet, if he were mine, would have lost my business forever!
 

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Sounds to me like she threw a clot. It cut off the blood supply for a short time (hence the tongue turning black) and caused her to space out for awhile. Sort of like a TIA in humans (transient ischemic attack) which can preclude strokes. That's what I'd guess from the symptoms you described. Let us know what the vet thinks!
That was my EXACT thought, minus your genius medical jargon in the 2nd half ;)

I probably would freak out and get my dog to the e-vet. But I would guess if it were an emergency, they would know by now. Especially if $ is tight waiting until tomorrow morning won't be the end of the world I don't think.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
My MIL makes me sooo angry sometimes! :foxes15:

So she didn't bother to let me know what went on at the vet this morning. I had to call my husband at work and ask him if he'd heard anything. Sure enough, his mom called him and told him what was going on and didn't bother to fill me in. After talking to my husband, I'm pretty sure I know why.

First off my MIL didn't tell him if the vet commented on what the episode could possibly have been. Second, she complained about all the things the vet pointed out that need to be addressed. And third she complained about the cost and mentioned she doesn't think she wants to go back to the holistic vet I recommended.

My pet peeve with all this is she's being cheap and more importantly, she doesn't want to go to a vet who will give it to her straight and will tell her what she doesn't want to hear.

This holistic vet may cost a few dollars more than others but she is also so much more knowledgeable, constantly educating herself and staying abreast of new research/technology/treatment/etc, she practices acupuncture and has done a ton of studying on animal nutrition. She sells Orijen and frozen raw food at her office! Back when I fed Evo she strongly encouraged me to switch to raw. Not only that but she does the most thorough physical evals I've EVER seen any vet do and she has time and again picked up on little things that other vets miss. She is literally the best vet I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.

The vet advised my MIL on feeding which my MIL didn't want to hear...told her the same thing I've been telling her for years but she just doesn't listen (my MIL thinks she knows best and no one will convince her otherwise). The vet found a cyst that she said needed to be removed, my MIL didn't want to hear it nor does she want to pay for the surgery to remove it. The vet advised her to get the luxating patella corrected surgically, again my MIL especially did not want to hear that...nor does she intend to pay for that surgery. So because she went to an excellent vet who is calling it like she sees it and pointing out all the issues going on not including what their visit was for, she doesn't want to go there anymore...and it all boils down to $$$. And I KNOW they can afford it, they choose not to.

The whole situation just makes me feel sick.

Enough of my ranting, they did draw blood and sent it off for testing. I did not hear when the results would be in but I know from experience with that vet that they normally have results the next day. And I'm pretty sure she refused to call me with the news because she did not want to complain about the vet that I recommended she go to or tell me that she doesn't want to go there again.

I'm about to just shut down and stop helping her with ANY pet related advice. She is ALWAYS asking for my help and advice and never takes it or when she does take my advice she does it halfway (which won't get the desired results) and then continues complaining about her plight. I wish I could just say I can't help her anymore...problem is she's my mother-in-law. :mad:
 

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My MIL makes me sooo angry sometimes! :foxes15:

So she didn't bother to let me know what went on at the vet this morning. I had to call my husband at work and ask him if he'd heard anything. Sure enough, his mom called him and told him what was going on and didn't bother to fill me in. After talking to my husband, I'm pretty sure I know why.

First off my MIL didn't tell him if the vet commented on what the episode could possibly have been. Second, she complained about all the things the vet pointed out that need to be addressed. And third she complained about the cost and mentioned she doesn't think she wants to go back to the holistic vet I recommended.

My pet peeve with all this is she's being cheap and more importantly, she doesn't want to go to a vet who will give it to her straight and will tell her what she doesn't want to hear.

This holistic vet may cost a few dollars more than others but she is also so much more knowledgeable, constantly educating herself and staying abreast of new research/technology/treatment/etc, she practices acupuncture and has done a ton of studying on animal nutrition. She sells Orijen and frozen raw food at her office! Back when I fed Evo she strongly encouraged me to switch to raw. Not only that but she does the most thorough physical evals I've EVER seen any vet do and she has time and again picked up on little things that other vets miss. She is literally the best vet I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.

The vet advised my MIL on feeding which my MIL didn't want to hear...told her the same thing I've been telling her for years but she just doesn't listen (my MIL thinks she knows best and no one will convince her otherwise). The vet found a cyst that she said needed to be removed, my MIL didn't want to hear it nor does she want to pay for the surgery to remove it. The vet advised her to get the luxating patella corrected surgically, again my MIL especially did not want to hear that...nor does she intend to pay for that surgery. So because she went to an excellent vet who is calling it like she sees it and pointing out all the issues going on not including what their visit was for, she doesn't want to go there anymore...and it all boils down to $$$. And I KNOW they can afford it, they choose not to.

The whole situation just makes me feel sick.

Enough of my ranting, they did draw blood and sent it off for testing. I did not hear when the results would be in but I know from experience with that vet that they normally have results the next day. And I'm pretty sure she refused to call me with the news because she did not want to complain about the vet that I recommended she go to or tell me that she doesn't want to go there again.

I'm about to just shut down and stop helping her with ANY pet related advice. She is ALWAYS asking for my help and advice and never takes it or when she does take my advice she does it halfway (which won't get the desired results) and then continues complaining about her plight. I wish I could just say I can't help her anymore...problem is she's my mother-in-law. :mad:
I can feel how darn frustrated you are girl!! I can't even imagine! While I do have to say I personally would never do LP surgery on a 10 year old chi, I do think the vets other advice was sound. Even just getting her on the slim side would help :-/

I would keep my mouth shut too :( Some people just don't know HOW to hear what they need to hear.
 

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Sorry to hear that Val. Perhaps the bloodwork will show something easy to correct, like thyroid, etc. Sometimes you just have to distance yourself from situations like that. If she doesn't want to invest the time/effort/money to get her dog healthy - then there's nothing you can do but stand by. I know - it's a horrible position to be in. :(
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks ladies, it is tough to have to stand back. I almost wish I could take her dogs away so that they could be treated properly. *sigh* For now I have to stand back and let her do what she wants. I will continue to update when I hear anything. It's very unfortunate hearing that she intends to go back to her horrible old vet. :(
 

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Val you did your best to try to help. I am sorry, it must be frustrating......
Keep us posted.
 

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Thanks Kay. :)

Update:
My MIL actually called me to update after leaving the vets office this afternoon. She stopped by to pick up the bloodwork results and got some "medication" for her dogs liver.

Turns out there was a lack of communication. Her affected chi has a cyst on the abdomen AND a tumor in her mouth near her teeth that needs to be surgically removed. My MIL indicated that she will have the tumor in the dogs mouth surgically removed when the vet feels that it would be safe to do so. Thank goodness! *sigh of relief*

She is going to scan and email me the bloodwork results so that I can see them myself. But the major thing that was pointed out was that the dogs liver enzymes were high and the vet sent her home with Rx Vitamins Liquid Hepato for her liver. The vet wants her on that for a while and then wants to test her again in several weeks I believe to see if the Hepato is having an effect.

Now I'm just waiting for the email with information from her. She said she's going to send it to me tonight.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Okay I received a copy of the bloodwork results. Tracy, you were so helpful in deciphering my own dogs' bloodwork results, any chance you can help us read these? No pressure though. Sometimes I wish they would put these things in laymans terms. Can anyone help us figure out what these results mean or could indicate?

Results:



 

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She also wanted me to ask if her giving Advantage flea treatment to her dog on Friday, April 1st, could have any effect on the results or her liver enzymes. I wouldn't think so but just wanted to verify.
 

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Val, I really wouldn't doubt it! Topical flea meds are neurotoxins. It certainly could have spurred on that incident and I wouldn't doubt it at all if it elevated liver enzymes as well. :(
 

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Ok, just saw the lab work ......

Increased platelets - platelets are responsible for adequate blood clotting. If they are high, it can mean dehydration or stress. I wouldn't be super worried about this value.

High Monocytes - this is another stress response. Monocytes are a type of white blood cell. Again, I wouldn't be super concerned about it.

Urinalysis is normal.

ALT is high - however, it says the specimen was hemolyzed (partially clotted) and this elevates this enzyme. So I would have liver enzymes retested in a month or so to see if it is still elevated.

GGT - another liver enzyme. In conjunction with the elevated ALT, I can see why the vet was concerned. I would say this value should be 'watched' but it is not anywhere near panic mode.

The liver support med she prescribed is a supplement. It likely contains milk thistle which is great for helping support and deal with liver damage, especially helpful in mild cases (which is what I think is present here). Yep, just looked it up and milk thistle is the primary ingredient.

Liquid Hepato Veterinary Information from Drugs.com

I think this vet is treating conservatively and I agree with her. I don't think these lab values are anything to get super worried about. I would do the hepato supplement for a month or so and then re-test.

I hope this helps Val! :)
 

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Thanks a ton Tracy, you are a gem!

By the way, I just found out that she gave all three of her dogs Advantage recently twice, spaced two weeks apart. That can't possibly be good. :confused:
 
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