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Thread: Sick puppy, has anyone else had similar

  1. #1

    Question Sick puppy, has anyone else had similar

    We have a 9 week old border collie x blue heeler who has become progressively worse in the past 24 hours. Her hind legs sometimes collapse when she walks and she lifts the right one and occasionally will fall to the right.

    She has been in the vets overnight and they did full bloods which were fine and also an X-ray of her spine but again nothing. So now meningitis is their number one suspicion.

    However she doesn't have a temperature, has no loss of appetite, no vomitting, no head tilt or obvious neck or head pain. She does however keep constantly biting her feet and rubbing her nose with her front paws as if she is really itchy and this has also only been the past 48 hours so I can't help thinking the 2 are connected somehow.

    She's been vaccinated, wormed and had tick and flea treatment. She is now home and we are monitoring her until Monday and have to take her to a neuro specialist but in the meantime I wondered if anyone had any ideas what it could be or ever had anything similar. It's so upsetting seeing her so lethargic, sleepy and whiny and not knowing how we can help.
    Last edited by Hyacinth; 04-07-2013 at 01:44 PM. Reason: put some breaks in to make easier to read

  2. #2


    Hi 'Annie112' and to the forum !

    After reading your first post – I wish that your joining of the forum was under different circumstances - so I am very sorry to read the troubles you are having with your very special little pup.

    It is always difficult to say what could be wrong – with just a brief description posted. As your pup is under vet care - that is and always will be the best way to get the most appropriate treatment and assistance that you as the owner can possibly get.

    I am sure that you have looked on the Internet for answers - so here are a few that I have found for you:

    Disorders by Breed - Australian cattle dog - LIDA Dogs - Faculty of Veterinary Science - The University of Sydney

    Disorders by Breed - Border collie - LIDA Dogs - Faculty of Veterinary Science - The University of Sydney

    TNS (Trapped Neutrophil Syndrome)


    Meningitis in Dogs | Information on Canine Meningitis

    Before you go to the neuro-specialist - I would suggest that you set up a diary of sorts - so that the specialist will have more than enough information for your consultation. Your vet will also obviously be sending information to the specialist - but often it is the ‘nitty-gritty’ type information from the owners that give the vets and specialists the best information.

    You are living with this pup – so any changes at all – health and behavioural wise - you will notice.

    So what I am going to do now is ask you a heap of questions – the answers being relevant only for you and your vet and specialist and for your diary only – and not for this forum.

    Who is the breeder? What were the conditions like when you visited to see the pup? Did you see the sire and dam of the litter- plus the other pups or other dogs? How old was the pup when you got her? Did the breeder tell you what your pup had been treated with – regarding worming/vaccinations or anything else – before you bought her home? Have you contacted the breeder regarding your problems with your pup ? Are there any other pups from that litter having similar problems ?

    At home:
    What do you feed her with – when and how – and this also includes sneaky treats and foraging in your yard? What age was she vaccinated/wormed/tick and flea treated? Was this done under vet treatment and advice? Was she vaccinated /wormed/tick and flea treated all at the same time? If so – were the symptoms that she is showing now – did they start soon after all this treatment?

    Sorry for the long post ! I really hope with the questions that I have asked you – you can come up with some information from the entries in your diary to assist the specialist.

    Heaps of Good Luck Wishes – I really hope that you are able to find some answers as to what is wrong with your pup!

  3. #3


    Riley has beat me with the advice ( secretly I like it -saves me so much typing )
    But I will say welcome to the forum but just wish it was for something joyful. Photos are still wanted though you know
    GageDesign Pet Photography
    Site still in construction so will post link when it's finished.

  4. #4


    Guys, thanks so much for your replies. The detail and time you took overwhelmed us, we really appreciate it. Like you said we have certainly been busy browsing the Internet but other people's thoughts and opinions are so helpful. We're taking her to another vet this morning for a second opinion so will update shortly. She is still very uncomfortable and back legs collapse when she walks, but still eating and drinking so hopefully a good sign...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2012


    We will be very keen to hear how you go. I know my empathy is on overdrive it is so awful when they are sick. All the very best

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2009


    Hi Annie

    There is a BC specific nerve based problem - that causes the symptoms you describe in puppies. It's genetic and its horrible and it's terminal. I will see if I can find the thread I read on it (its on the dark side not here). If it is found to be that, you need to get your vet to supply details to the LIDA database at UNI NSW.

    The other problem it could be - is ticks. Even if you are treating for ticks, dogs can still get ticks if your dog has been in a tick area or with another dog from a tick area. And they can be really really hard to find. For a hairy dog, that sometimes means a complete shave.

    If you live in a tick area - you need to check daily for ticks - all over. Can she bark ok? That's usually one of the first symptoms of a tick. Dog can't bark properly.
    TNS - Trapped Neutrophil Syndrome (TNS) In Australia, there are DNA tests available for Trapped Neutrophil Syndrome (TNS) and CL (Ceroid Lipofuscinosis) through the University of NSW (Dr Alan Wilton) and CEA via Genetic Science Services in Melbourne (on behalf of Optigen USA).
    Last edited by Hyacinth; 04-07-2013 at 01:59 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    near Sydney NSW


    Hi Annie, so sorry to hear about your pup.
    Please keep us updated.
    Fingers and paws crossed here for you.

  8. #8


    The bad news is she deteriorated on Sunday and could not stand at all on her hind legs and had to be supported to drink, eat and toilet. We were distraught as to whether this was fair on her but saught a second opinion and are pleased we did. They did a spinal tap and confirmed the diagnosis as Angiostrongylus. Contracted by eating a slug or snail infected with rat worms. The larvae live in the spinal column and paralyse the dog. The good news is now they have it diagnosed it is treatable with cortisone injections/tablets in the majority of cases though it can take anywhere from 5 days to a couple of months depending on how much larvae was injested. So we are keeping everything crossed. Thank you for all your comments and well wishes and hopefully she will recover well and quickly. We look forward to more positive contributions to this great forum going forward.

  9. #9


    'Annie112' - I haven't been game enough to post anything - just waiting patiently for you to give us an update ! woohoo-dancing-banana-smiley-emoticon.gif - finally a diagnosis and a treatment plan ! Poor little pup !

    Will also be keeping everything crossed for a quick recovery of the precious pup !

    Please - updates and maybe some photos ?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    near Sydney NSW


    It's horrible that she is so unwell, but fantastic news that you have a diagnosis and a good prognosis
    Rat Worms .... that wasn't what I expected to hear!!

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