Young dog lying down on walks

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from ISchmidlapp. Show ISchmidlapp's posts

    Young dog lying down on walks

    My 2-year-old Labrador retriever has exhibited lack of stamina since she was a puppy.  At first, I thought it might be heat-related, but it's been happening for the past month as well, and it's DEFINITELY not hot outside.  We'll take a walk, and after we get to a mile (sometimes sooner), she'll just lie down.  Not collapse, just lie down.  People laugh when they pass, but it's not funny.  She can get up.  Her vet, who is wonderful, has tested her for all the usual suspects:  myasthenia gravis, Cushing's, hypothyroidism.  She has no heart murmurs.  She is at her ideal weight and is fed premium food.  Based on my reading, I contacted her breeder to find out whether the parents carry the gene for EIC (exercise-induced collapse), which is a genetic Lab disorder.  Breeder said that the dad had tested positive but the mom did not, so my dog could be a carrier but could not have EIC herself.  My vet hypothesizes that even if she were just a carrier, she might exhibit some low level of symptoms.  Or she could just be a low-energy dog.  It is very disconcerting (to say the least) to take a walk and have your young dog simply lie down on the path 4 - 6x during the walk.  I trust my vet and think he's thorough,  so I'm just looking for a second opinion, wondering if there's anything else it could be.  Should I be concerned?  My previous dogs (not Labs) did not exhibit this behavior. Do not simply say - as so many of these Angell responses do - "see a specialist."  For what?

     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from GoneToTheDogs39. Show GoneToTheDogs39's posts

    Re: Young dog lying down on walks

    While you are waiting for Angell vet to respond, I just wanted to add my 2 cents.

    I have had dogs of the same breed (not labs) that are totally different.

    Some like to walk, some don't.

    I found that they would get very excited whenever I put them in the car and took them to the park for a 3 mile walk,  they seemed stimulated by the environment and scents and would keep moving the whole time. 

    That all came to a grinding halt when one of them came down with Lyme disease (not just a positive test, horrible symptoms).

     

    PS: I have nothing to do with the woods/tall grass tick infested areas anymore.

    Sidewalks, pavement and well mowed lawns only!

     I assume your vet checked her for Lyme,  lameness is one of the first signs...

     

     

     

     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from ISchmidlapp. Show ISchmidlapp's posts

    Re: Young dog lying down on walks

    It isn't Lyme.  My last dog had it (twice) and there's no similarity - this has been going on since puppyhood.  My current dog isn't lame, just seems exhausted after a short time.  When my last dog had Lyme, she couldn't even stand up (the first time) and the second time she limped.  Also, this one is never off-leash because we've moved to an urban area, and we don't walk in tall grass.  But thanks for the suggestion.

     

    In response to Robin39's comment:

    While you are waiting for Angell vet to respond, I just wanted to add my 2 cents.

    I have had dogs of the same breed that are totally different.

    Some like to walk, some don't.

    I found that they would get very excited whenever I put them in the car and took them to the park for a 3 mile walk,  they seemed stimulated by the environment and scents and would keep moving the whole time. 

    That all came to a grinding halt when one of them came down with Lyme disease (not just a positive test, horrible symptoms).

     

    PS: I have nothing to do with the woods/tall grass tick infested areas anymore.

    Sidewalks, pavement and well mowed lawns only!

     I assume your vet checked her for Lyme,  lameness is one of the first signs...

     

     

     




     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from AskAnAngellVet. Show AskAnAngellVet's posts

    Re: Young dog lying down on walks

    I am sorry you are experiencing a health concern with your dog. The causes of exercise intolerance can be many. If her baseline physical examination is normal, your veterinarian should systematically evaluate her to rule out metabolic, respiratory, and cardiac causes of exercise intolerance before considering muscular, neuromuscular, and neurologic disorders that require specialized testing. Ideally your veterinarian should examine her before and during these symptomatic episodes. If that is impossible, please provide him with high quality video footage to review in case his trained eye detects something diagnostically useful when she is symptomatic.  Based on the history you have provided here, there are a few specific things I want to mention. Confirm your vet has tested her for Addison's disease (the "opposite" of Cushing's disease.)  Addison's disease is more common in young to middle aged females, Labs may be predisposed (although it is more prevalent is some other breeds), and symptoms can be vague and limited to exercise intolerance or muscle weakness. "Atypical Addison's" may not be detected in some dogs because initial labwork is typically normal, and it can only be diagnosed with a specific test called an ACTH stimulation test. Other things I think should be on your "must do" list are a thorough orthopedic examination, neurologic examination, and chest x-rays. A congenital orthopedic condition (more prevalent in Labs and other larger breed dogs) may only show up as a vague unwillingness to exercise or play. Another sometimes underdiagnosed condition is polyarthritis (inflammation affecting multiple joints). Dogs may have vague signs of exercise intolerance, no abnormalities on physical exam, but markedly abnormal joint fluid when such a test is performed. I would also consider this a condition more commonly diagnosed in dogs her age and a bit younger.

    Lastly, I would agree with you that I do often refer pet owners to specialists. I think general practitioners and specialists can have a seamless and mutually beneficial partnership with the goal of optimizing their mutual clients' pet health care experience. From my own personal experience I have found that most of my family and friends did not even know veterinary specialists existed! Referral to a specialist should be considered whenever: the animal's disease is uncommon, complicated, or undiagnosed after standard testing; pet owners would like an informed, neutral second opinion on their animal's condition; the outcomes of the current treatments are not going well or as expected; the animal requires a sophisticated procedure that is offered by a specialty hospital; and/or the animal can benefit from 24-hour monitoring provided by a referral hospital. These guidelines are straight from my specialty college (American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine), so yes, I am biased, but I do believe this is the standard that should be offered to my clients.

    I would trust your instincts if you think your Lab isn't performing to the standard you would expect for this breed, her age and apparent general health and condition. Best of luck to the both of you. As a fellow Lab owner and admirer, I certainly sympathize with your situation.


    Dr. Susan O'Bell, Angell Animal Medical Center

     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Young dog lying down on walks

    Oh, goodness, I hope it gets figured out and fixed soon.  Our Lab would actually prefer a walk to FOOD, and for a Flabrador that's saying something.  If we start heading home too soon for her liking, she plants her butt down and digs in...well, she used to when she was a puppy and didn't realize when I said we had to go home that was that, but she never just lays (or laid) down like she didn't have the gumption to go.  For a Lab, it's very unusual behavior.

     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from ISchmidlapp. Show ISchmidlapp's posts

    Re: Young dog lying down on walks

    Thank you VERY much for your additional suggestions.  I will ask my vet about additional testing for some of the possibilities you mentioned.  It's just too weird that it once took me nearly an hour to go 1/2 mile to get home due to all the "lie-downs"  - and that was when she was only 1-1/2. 

     

     

    In response to AskAnAngellVet's comment:

     

    I am sorry you are experiencing a health concern with your dog. The causes of exercise intolerance can be many. If her baseline physical examination is normal, your veterinarian should systematically evaluate her to rule out metabolic, respiratory, and cardiac causes of exercise intolerance before considering muscular, neuromuscular, and neurologic disorders that require specialized testing. Ideally your veterinarian should examine her before and during these symptomatic episodes. If that is impossible, please provide him with high quality video footage to review in case his trained eye detects something diagnostically useful when she is symptomatic.  Based on the history you have provided here, there are a few specific things I want to mention. Confirm your vet has tested her for Addison's disease (the "opposite" of Cushing's disease.)  Addison's disease is more common in young to middle aged females, Labs may be predisposed (although it is more prevalent is some other breeds), and symptoms can be vague and limited to exercise intolerance or muscle weakness. "Atypical Addison's" may not be detected in some dogs because initial labwork is typically normal, and it can only be diagnosed with a specific test called an ACTH stimulation test. Other things I think should be on your "must do" list are a thorough orthopedic examination, neurologic examination, and chest x-rays. A congenital orthopedic condition (more prevalent in Labs and other larger breed dogs) may only show up as a vague unwillingness to exercise or play. Another sometimes underdiagnosed condition is polyarthritis (inflammation affecting multiple joints). Dogs may have vague signs of exercise intolerance, no abnormalities on physical exam, but markedly abnormal joint fluid when such a test is performed. I would also consider this a condition more commonly diagnosed in dogs her age and a bit younger.

    Lastly, I would agree with you that I do often refer pet owners to specialists. I think general practitioners and specialists can have a seamless and mutually beneficial partnership with the goal of optimizing their mutual clients' pet health care experience. From my own personal experience I have found that most of my family and friends did not even know veterinary specialists existed! Referral to a specialist should be considered whenever: the animal's disease is uncommon, complicated, or undiagnosed after standard testing; pet owners would like an informed, neutral second opinion on their animal's condition; the outcomes of the current treatments are not going well or as expected; the animal requires a sophisticated procedure that is offered by a specialty hospital; and/or the animal can benefit from 24-hour monitoring provided by a referral hospital. These guidelines are straight from my specialty college (American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine), so yes, I am biased, but I do believe this is the standard that should be offered to my clients.

    I would trust your instincts if you think your Lab isn't performing to the standard you would expect for this breed, her age and apparent general health and condition. Best of luck to the both of you. As a fellow Lab owner and admirer, I certainly sympathize with your situation.


    Dr. Susan O'Bell, Angell Animal Medical Center




     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Young dog lying down on walks

    To rule out it being completely behavioral, have you tried walking with treats?  When she lies down, offer a freeze dried liver cube (Gracie's favorite) and see if she gets up to walk, again.  If she's physically unable, of course, she won't.  If she CAN but just decided she doesn't care for walking she'll get up for the treat.  And, walk a little ways with the treat in front of her nose - see if she walks for it.

     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from GoneToTheDogs39. Show GoneToTheDogs39's posts

    Re: Young dog lying down on walks

    Thank you, Dr O'Bell, for a very informative post.

     @ the OP,  the specialists at Angell are superb!

     I highly recommend Dr Klaus Loft,  dermatology/allergies.

     

     

     

     

Share