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Old 07-31-2014, 12:11 AM
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Default Juno slowing down...

So this has been weighing on my mind a lot today. I posted this in the musing thread yesterday:

Quote:
Juno is sooooo slow on walks lately. Like, she's as far behind me as the leash allows, and I feel like I'm dragging her along. I can't do bike rides with her anymore because she doesn't even keep up the pace if I'm just coasting. She's normal in all other aspects and when she's off leash, seems to run and play just fine. I mean, we just finished a lure coursing class and that didn't seem to be physically taxing on her. So my brain can't decide if I should be worried that something is going on, or if she's just choosing to be a slowpoke and is fine. But my paranoia kicks in because my brother's boxer has a heart condition, and after she collapsed the first time, the only symptom he could recall in hindsight was that she was starting to lag on walks.
This is something I first noticed maybe a couple months ago? It was shortly after we got Cajun, so at first I tried to write it off like, maybe she just doesn't like going for walks with Cajun (no, doesn't matter). I had bought her a new harness, so I thought, maybe she doesn't like the harness? (No, doesn't matter).

When I bring her to the park and let her off leash she runs like usual BUT she is likely to lay down and rest after a little bit. Up until a couple months ago I have NEVER had her lay down in the midst of playing. Yes she's getting "older" but it's not like 5 is ancient so I don't want to make the mistake of shrugging it off as "normal aging." It's like she just doesn't have the stamina anymore for things.

It's bothering me enough that I want a vet to look at her. But I KNOW a plain old physical exam is going to be unremarkable. How much do you pursue further diagnostics in a situation like this, where there aren't really symptoms but something just feels "not right" and you're paranoid?

Obviously this is something I can talk with my vet about but sometimes I just feel crazy. And the vets I work with kind of agree that I'm crazy I don't want to go chasing something that isn't there, but this is just so out of character for her.
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Old 07-31-2014, 12:56 AM
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I'd do an exam and blood work then go from there. 5 isn't old, even for a medium/large breed, and such a significant change in a relatively short time would worry me.
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Old 07-31-2014, 07:36 AM
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It would worry me enough to at least get some bloodwork

What about Lyme? Watson was slowing down a bit last year and he ended up having Lyme.
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Old 07-31-2014, 08:57 AM
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I'd definitely take her in and start with blood work. I'd also be pushing pretty hard to figure out why this suddenly changed.

Though for the record, I'd be doing blood work and pushing on a senior dog too.
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Old 07-31-2014, 09:18 AM
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Exam, comprehensive blood work, and potentially radiographs if you can swing it. Then, at the very least, you'll know for sure that everything is alright, or find the beginning of something not right, that you can catch early.

Chloe is 7 now and when I see her I can tell she has *really* aged. She's no where near as bouncy and active as she was just two years ago. Her blood work earlier in the year was unremarkable except for a slightly elevated ALT, and when I had the vet examine her bum hind leg under sedation she said there was nothing that felt wrong save for some mild arthritis. Whereas Cynder, whose 8.5, hasn't really slow down at all. Some dogs do just age at different paces, and some changes are just due to aging. But that doesn't mean it isn't a good thing to do a comprehensive exam and diagnostics to let you see what's going on internally.
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Old 07-31-2014, 09:29 AM
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If you're specifically worried about heart issues given her breed, it's probably going to take a cardiology consult to either put your mind at ease or identify a problem. So, you have to weigh the cost/benefit of that.

A thyroid panel would be a good idea, too.
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Old 07-31-2014, 10:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sassafras View Post
If you're specifically worried about heart issues given her breed, it's probably going to take a cardiology consult to either put your mind at ease or identify a problem. So, you have to weigh the cost/benefit of that.

A thyroid panel would be a good idea, too.
That's where I get reaaalllyyy conflicted. I can't decide if there's any justification for doing all the cardio stuff. I am a fan of having baselines so I guess at the very least, if everything were normal, I could breathe a sigh of relief and have something to reference in the future if needed... but perhaps it is excessive for just some paranoia lol.

She had bloodwork done in December but things can definitely change in 7-8 months. We did some thyroid bloodwork in April I think it was? I didn't spring for a full panel, just a T4, Free T4 and TSH but my vet is pretty sure those showed no indication of there being a thyroid issue (that's where the belief that I'm crazy comes in). I've never tested her for any tick diseases.... I've also only ever found 1 tick on her, and that was 4 years ago. Not saying it's impossible though so if I do bloodwork I could definitely throw that in there.

Ugh. This dog. I like her too much.
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Old 07-31-2014, 10:42 AM
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I'm sorry, I know it sucks when you can just tell something is "off" but there's really no real reason to worry. I do worry about Boxers with all their heart issues, so I'd probably be more proactive than not.

But Jackson slowed down a lot with certain activities with age (he's also 5 1/2 now) and it wasn't really a health issue. He used to love the dog park and run around with other dogs for hours. Around 3yrs old, he started becoming uninterested. It wasn't like a fast change but a slow progression. But at home, he will still run for a while, play fetch, swim/dive in the pool, etc, so I just assumed it was him maturing and still assume that.

But I know how it feels when you have a 'feeling' so I would listen to your gut.
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Old 07-31-2014, 11:29 AM
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In no particular order, I'd probably do:

a) cardiologist
b) full thyroid panel
c) 4DX

And maybe you'll find nothing?!
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Old 07-31-2014, 11:48 AM
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I would take her in. That was one of the first things that alerted me to Mia's issues.
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