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Australian Shepherd with hind leg weakness and progressive loss of coordination

Hi there, and thank you in advance for taking a look at my post. I have an amazing Australian Shepherd named Zippo. He is a rescue, and is estimated to be about 7-8 years old. Zippo first came into my life about 8 months ago ... I adopted him from a family that previously rescued him from an abusive environment. Around mid July this past summer, Zippo began to have trouble slipping on hardwood floors. The problem wasn't significant at the time, and only manifested as a slip here or there and trouble jumping onto the couch. About a month ago, he started having more difficulty to the point where his hind legs would give out behind him whenever he tried walking on hardwood floors. I took him to the vet, and had x-rays completed for both his spine and hips, which were unremarkable and looked quite healthy. The vet said his difficulty moving was perhaps behavioral, or more likely a strain of his hip adductor muscles. I am not a vet ... But I am a physical therapist, and know enough to recognize a symptomatic muscle strain. I proceeded to seek a second opinion with another vet. Zippo's new vet thinks his symptoms are likely neurological, and I agree. She initially suspected Myasthenia Gravis ... Chest x-rays were taken, which indicated megoesophagus (a finding often associated with MG). A second chest x-ray with barium contrast was taken (which is used to rule in megoesophagus), but this was unremarkable. We had additional, more specific testing completed for MG, and this was normal. Meanwhile, Zippo's symptoms are only progressing. Previously he ran, jumped, played, was able to go up and down stairs, get in/out of my car, etc. He can no longer run (tries, but is unable), cannot jump onto furniture or into my care, cannot go up stairs, and has great difficulty on hardwood floors. His hind legs can give out even on carpet. He has grown progressively less coordinated, and appears to be having difficulty sufficiently lifting his leg when urinating. This has all happened quite rapidly over the course of about a month. Possible diagnoses Zip's vet has suggested include Wobbler's Syndrome, Neospora Infection, Cerebellar Injury/Disease, Myopathies, Neuropathies, and Disc Degeneration. We have discussed Degenerative Myelopathy as a possibility, but Zip's vet doesn't feel he demonstrates the expected proprioceptive deficits. We are scheduled to see an internal medicine specialist in 2 days. I anticipate an MRI will need to be conducted, in addition to other further testing ... possibly antibodies, muscle biopsy, EMG, etc. I am concerned, because he is rapidly declining, and I am afraid, if and when a diagnosis is reached, these symptoms may not be reversible/treatable. I am DESPERATE. Has anyone experienced similar situations with their four legged best friends? Please, any insight, suggestions, etc. is welcome. Thank you.
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Avatar universal
What happened with your dog? I see the same with our dog, Layla, who is 7.
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Avatar universal
A friend with a Collie is going through this. Could it be the same. This is the info sheet that helped them

http://www.gavetrehab.com/files/GVR-Degenerative-Myelopathy-Fact-Sheet.pdf
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