Golden Retriever Dog Forums banner
1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
38 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I'm new here with a problem.

One of my dogs went to the vet's last night, and when we left, the vet was seriously thinking my dog had a brain tumor. When I got home, he called and said in looking over the chart, he realized a few things (high cholesterol and trigylcerides, history of head tilt and ear infection, and weight gain) and now has ruled out the tumor in favor of hypothyroidism.

His symptoms have been (for the last six weeks or so that I've noticed): tumbling down the last few of my back stairs, (I thought he had slipped on ice) bumping into things, having significant difficulty getting off my bed (king sized and high off the floor), slipping on linoleum and tile floors, difficulty getting in and out of the car, difficulty getting onto the bed, fear of the stairs, and head tilt.

During examination the other night, the vet found a hair that looked like a whisker deep down in his ear, and he pulled it out. When we got home, my dog appeared to be MUCH better. He had suggested I get Benadryl and give him 50 mg twice a day. I gave him his first dose before we went to bed and another one this morning.

The improvement in him was remarkable. His eyes were large and clear and bright, and he went down the stairs effortlessly the next morning.

We went back last night for the thyroid blood test.

I'm worried that he might be wrong, although he's fairly certain this is what it is. I don't like the alternative at all.

Has anyone else had this problem, and how did you handle it?

He did well this morning. First time in months that he went down my back stairs in the dark without effort.

Can anyone offer any hope or positive reinforcement?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
77 Posts
Hypothyroidism is very common in golden retrievers, so make sure your vet will submit the dog to all necessary tests, as hypothyroidism can be a cause of seizures, can cause hair loss and also the blackened skin and some other problems.

If the results are positive, you should expect that your vet will need to put him on medication (one pill a day) for the rest of his life. Don't worry, it's not a problem. There are people who must give their dogs many more pills than that.

After he goes on medication, your vet will check his thyroid levels for a couple of months to make sure and verify the medication is working. After that it is only a once year visit as an ongoing checkup.

Pill is called "THYROXIN", one or two pills a day. After a months or so, all problems should be gone, although it's a lifelong commitment and if medication is stopped, problems will come back.

So good luck and I hope your golden is free of hypothyroidism and it was something minor (like the whisker hair you mentioned) causing the problem.

pepe
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
38 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Life-long medication

Thank you for your reply. Sounds like you've had first-hand experience with this. I've been doing a lot of reading over the last couple of days, and what you've said is pretty much what I've picked up on the Internet. How well does the dog respond to the medication? How long does it take for a positive response to be apparent?

I had a Dalmatian up until a couple of years ago, and the last five or six years of her life, she was on Lysodren for Cushings Disease plus prednisone for masticatory myositis. I'm not worried about the meds. I'm worried that this isn't what it now appears to be and could be, in fact, a brain tumor. I wish he hadn't been so firm in his thoughts initially. Now I can't get that out of my mind.

For all of this to be due to the hair in his ear canal would be a miracle. If the blood tests come back negative, I'm afraid the vet may go back to the brain tumor thing. He doesn't seem to think the hair could have had anything to do with the dog's problems.

That dog and I are best buds. After my husband and I split, and the Dal died, we bonded something fierce. It was just the two of us (and my two cats, but they just tolerated me and barely tolerated the dog ;)).

It would kill me if anything happened to him. He's only just seven. The other Golden is nearly three. I love him to death, too, but it's not the same. I've had the older since he was eight weeks old. :(
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
414 Posts
Hopefully you get some good news. But remember, if you doubt your Vets diagnosis, then don't be afraid to get a second opinion. I've done it before and I'm glad I did.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
38 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you for taking the time to reply. I don't doubt his opinion. I worked with him for the years I was treating my Dal, and I do trust him; however, he suggested something recently which I didn't necessarily agree with, and I did seek a second opinion. When he called me yesterday, he mentioned that I'd seen Dr. Soandso, and I said, "yes, I wanted a second opinion." I felt a little embarrassed, but then, hey. It's my dog, and my money, and I have the unequivocal right to get a second opinion.

It's just that he planted the "brain tumor" in my mind, and I can't shake that.

My dogs' names are Coffee (the elder of the two) and Brandy (the "baby"). Coffee has gone out twice now, down my back stairs without even a second thought, in the last 45 minutes since I've been home from work.

I think I can safely say it's not a brain tumor. I can't imagine his improving so much if it were. But, I'm still tentative about the whole thing.

I won't be able to relax until this entire matter is settled, thyroid problems or not. At least, if it comes out that he has a thyroid problem, I know what I'm dealing with.

I certainly do appreciate your responses.

Thanks so much for your interest and support. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
77 Posts
I know you must be all worried, but I am almost sure this is not a brain tumor, if it was a brain tumor your dog wouldn't be slipping on linoleum or having a difficulty getting in and out of the car. He would most certainly be getting seizures.
Could it be that he bumped his head somewhere or had some other head injury?
In such case he could experience such signs as you mentioned in your first post.

pepe
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,618 Posts
Hey guys, I am watching this topic from its start. I also think this is not a brain tumor, so I opened our smart book (Carying for your dog by Bruce Fogle) and this is what it says about Brain Tumors:

BRAIN TUMORS:
Brain tumors are rare, occurring in about one in 65.000 dogs.
The most common type is a meningioma, a tumor arising in the meninges (the layer tissue that covers the brain).
Meningiomas tend to be relatively slow-growing, but they can compress surrounding healthy tissue as they grow and divert local blood vessels.
Another type of tumor, called a glioma, involves the brain tissue itself.
It aggressively invades surrounding healthy tissue and can thus disrupt brain function.
Gliomas tend to be more damaging than meningiomas.
Tumors may also arise from the tissue of the pituitary gland, at the base of the brain, causing hormonal misbalance and lost of pituitary function.
The signs depends on the type of tumor and its location in the brain.
They might include behavioral changes such as repetitive circling, changes in temperament or mood, seizures, changes to movement and gait, visual disturbances, or even blindness, altered mental abilities, and lost of facial nerve control, causing twitches.

Diagnosis and treatment:
A CT or MRI scan of the brain is essential for an accurate diagnosis.
Without the scan it is difficult to differentiate damage caused by a tumor from that due to other conditions such as stroke, metabolic liver or kidney disorders, epilepsy, lead poisoning, or even distemper infection.
Treatment includes use of anticonvulsant and corticosteroidal drugs, radiation therapy, surgery or both. Most tumors however are not operable. Radiation therapy often produces dramatic improvements.


Golden Mom, I would definitely recheck with your vet. Good luck. I very much hope this is just some temporary problem which resolves itself.

Joe
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
38 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hypothyroidism vs. brain tumor

No seizures, so far. Thank God. A slight personality change, but that can come with hypothyroidism, too.

He's been in and out of my house half a dozen times so far today using the back stairs and not hesitating one second. Prior to the hair being removed and his Benadryl, he wouldn't even go out on the back porch!

Thanks for the write up about tumors. Like I said before, I just wish the vet hadn't even mentioned them, although, I can't fault him for doing that when he thought that might be the problem.

Keeping all fingers, toes, and eyes crossed until next Friday when we should have the blood test results back.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,618 Posts
You're welcome, it took me only a second to retype it from the book. That wasn't a problem, problem I worry about is Coffee and I really hope he'll be ok.
Please keep us updated.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
38 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
It's raining like the proverbial flood.

I let Coffee and Brandy out a few minutes ago, and when they came in, Coffee flew up the back stairs like Satan himself was on his tail (that's becoming quite usual lately - get by them quickly before they hurt me mentality). Once he hit the top of the stairs, he fell coming in the door. I think he slipped on the wet wood. I had just given him his Benadryl, and he doesn't seem to do as well before they start to take effect.

I don't think the Benadryl would help any if he had a brain tumor. I'm going to be a mess by the time I get those blood test results. :(
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
38 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Coffee had the blood test last Wednesday. I'm just waiting :( for the results. The more I look online for hypothyroidism, the more signs and symptoms I see he's exhibiting. I'm driving myself nuts with the wait. :eek:

He's doing relatively well in the meantime. Although, going up and down my back stairs in the dark comes and goes. He did real well for a while, and now he's back to not wanting to go down the stairs in the dark, and I have to bring him out the front and around to the fenced-in back yard.

Please, pray for my guy.

I'll keep you all posted.
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top