yesterday my almost 10 yo boxer was fine when he went out to potty yesterday and then about 10 minutes later, he started vomiting stumbling and peeing on himself. Within 30 minutes he couldn’t walk at all on any of his legs. His head was straight up, couldn’t lay down stand or anything, head pressed against the car seat on way to the vet. We get there they did a heart and spine ex ray couldn’t find anything. Sent us 45 minutes away to CSU vet hospital. By the time we reached the hospital his symptoms had worsened. He was flopping around all over the place. Head rolling, incoherent and his eyes bulged out is his head

After being there almost 6 hours. All they could say was it was something neurological in nature. He didn’t appear to be in any pain. But was completely unable to function at ALL. Panting really hard, etc. they told us it could be a brain tumor or something very bad that was localized in the base of the brain near the neck. They told me unless I paid them 4000 for an mri they couldn’t diagnose any further. He was looked at my vet, their vet and their nuerologist vet. Since we didn’t have the money to do the mri and pay them up front they couldn’t help further. They brought him out after 6 hours of observation because I was going I take him home and hope he would snap out of it. But he was worse. He was not able to function at all, head rolling, eyes bulging, not able to lay down or use any of his body parts. Not coherent or anything. I made the choice to euthanize him. But I’m having a hard time with it. Because what if it wasn’t something serious. Or what was it and I just put him down. I just want to know what could have caused this all of a sudden, why it progressed so quickly. It was obviously very serious. Because it went from stumbling, vomiting and peeing on himself to within 8 hours of panting uncontrollable and not being able to function at all. I don’t even think he knew who I was. But want peace of mind from someone else that this could have been ongoing and his body was just done. In June he had a mild stumbling spell that lasted 5 minutes but never nothing else again until last night. This dog was healthy all his life and had tons of energy even for a 10 year old. Until the first stumbling spell in June and then the massive vomiting, progressed in to parlyzation and complete incoherentcy after 8 hours with progressing symptoms until we decided to euthanize after 9 hours because he could even hold his head up.

Answered question

I’m very sorry to hear about the loss of your companion.  This is a very difficult thing to go through and it sounds like your boxer was lucky to have such a caring owner.

There are a number of things that could cause these symtpoms you describe and without seeing the patient it is impossible to say for certain. However, the number one thing that would match the symptoms given the age and presentation based on the description would be either a tumor or an intracranial cardiovascular event or combination of both (ie something inside the brain). Head pressing is a typical symptom of this. An MRI would help give a diagnosis, but even this test is not 100% conclusive. There are many cases that get everything done and still are not be able to diagnose or resolve the issue. It sounds like you made the right choice in not having your companion continue to suffer and you have no reason to feel guilty about your decision.

I hope you are able to find someone to talk to about this, but if you are alone and have nobody to talk with, I would encourage you to try reaching out to the Pet Loss Hotline:  http://www.vetmed.wsu.edu/outreach/pet-loss-hotline

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