Large dog- wont lift head up when walking & paces. Seizure? Stiff neck? Arthritis?

My 4 y/o 154Ibs Bull Mastiff is going thru his 2nd spell of NOT lifting his head up when he walks,bloodshot eyes, laying on his dog bed & sleeping ALL day. He won't get up to greet anyone. When anyone gets home (and if he's laying with his back towards the door) he will just wag his tail like crazy and doesnt want to move/turn his neck/head to see who's at the door. It's like he is completely stiff. Then at night he would pace the hallway & didnt sleep hardly at all.He did this 1 1/2 months ago & got better in 3 days. His hips have been makn popping sounds due to lack of exercise &keeps his back legs close together when standing. During the 1st spell, he went unconscious/stopped breathing and we did CPR by blowing into his nose. I took him to the VET the next day & they ran $250 worth of tests & all were negative. They gave him thyroid meds anyway-dont think they played a part in him getting better.I dont have $250 to be spending every month to just go to the vet & get no answers. (?)

User Comments

  1. Poor dog! Doesn't sound like anything related to the thyroid to me.

    Did they do spinal x-rays or an MRI? He could have a pinched nerve in his neck that could make movement very painful and difficult. That can also cause paralysis that could make him stop breathing. If you can afford it, take him to a neurologist - they have much more expertise than the average vet.

    If there isn't one near you, check out the website at the Cornell Vet school & good luck with the poor dog...

    Another person on here recently found that their dog had tetanus - very weird symptoms and hard to diagnose. See if the excerpt from this website sounds like his problem, but I don't really think so:

    "At first glance, one might think this dog couldn't stop smiling. In fact, the dog's facial muscles were contracted, thus pulling the lips back into what looks like a "sardonic grin." Excess salivation was caused by the dog's difficulty in swallowing. Note that the dog's ears are pulled back; this too is due to a spasm-like contraction of voluntary muscles. The muscle contraction is apparent along the dog's neck and back, and also in the straddle-like stance of its front and back legs, which it develops to keep from toppling over. The dog's eyes are somewhat sunken, with a result that the third eye-lid has begun to prolapse, or extend visibly over the eye."

    Dog with tetanus
  2. some times it takes money to get to the bottom of these kinds of problems. unfortunately dogs can't tell us what hurts or how they feel so we have to start ruling things out each test takes time and money. I have been a vet tech for many many years and if this was my dog I would have my Dr. refer my dog to a specialist living in Houston I would take my dog to the vet school at Texas A&M.yes its going to cost a fortune and I still might not get the answers I want but at least I tried. my very best to you and your dog good luck.
  3. When he goes through these spells he doesnt eat as much dry food as he usually does. However, if someone is eating a hamburger he will beg. He will drink more than usual. I also have to put his bowls on the ground b/c of his neck problem.
  4. It definetly sounds like he's sick, although it's not a seizure. It sounds like it's something to do with his bones, possibly arthritis, and large dogs are known to have hip problems. I really don't have a solution, except to try a different vet. it sounds like he needs to be taken in, but if your last vet didn't find anything, I would suggest trying a new one. Sometimes a simple call to a vet and explaining the situation can help, and they can give you advice. Good luck, and I hope he gets better!
  5. I agree. Get to another vet. At first I thought you were describing a neck injury. Then you followed with the other details. I would ask for a referral to a specialist.

    Good luck!
    Dr. Daniel Scorgie*
    10819 Bramalea Rd
    Brampton, ON L6T 3S1
    Phone: (905) 799-0901
  7. I agree that is a lot of money to have the dog still sick.This still is not good at all for this sweet dog I will speak to my neighbor who has two of them he may have suggestions, I will be back
    *I would definitely get a second opinion
    My neighbor told us the blood shot eyes are normal for the breed I am going to get an email for you to contact a clinic to ask questions. The man next door uses them for his mastiffs. It does not matter where you live first find out the info then see another vet with information you gleam.
    I am still trying to find an email for you if you can call then here is the number Tell them Ron with the two American mastiffs told you to call. I am wondering if he didn't slip a disk out of alignment but they must have checked for that already hopefully. The dog next door cracked a front leg bone playing at the dog park. The vet said that is quite normal for this feisty rambunctious breed.
    Mention what bear2zealand found online. Never heard of that certainly something to mention to vet. I will keep checking back let us know what happens please O_O Take care ~A~
  8. He will also lift his head up and act completely normal for a brief period of time when someone has a treat for him or sometimes when I get home and he hasnt seen me all day. When we went to the vet about this during his first spell, he acted completely normal when we walked in the office. After about 10 mins when we got home he started acting weird again.
  9. It could be some weird kind of epilepsy. My dog has it, but her seizures don't last all day. However, if he had one while you were away, he might be really worn out from it. Is he drinking enough, eathing enough?
  10. maybe you could swap vets. that is terrible. all I can do is hope he gets better.
    also, you could take a few notes of how he behaves in detail. and call the vet and tell them. or tell them next visit.
  11. Sounds like it could be wobblers. Ask the vet about this, it can be very expensive to treat. He should be tried on a trial of steriods to see if it helps. Mastiffs can get this, normally heard of in Dobermans. Look at this site.
  12. Also my dog has been completely healthy his entire life. The vet just says he's 8 pounds overweight which is not a huge deal.