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Johnny_Namakan

Problem with Lab puppy

11 posts in this topic

My Mom's neighbor and good friend of the family had bought a female yellow lab puppy early this Fall. She is about 3 1/2 months old now. Everything has been great up until about 3 weeks ago. About three weeks ago my Mom was watching my 2yr old lab and her neighbors puppy and they were playing together out in the yard for the day while my Mom did some yard work. Everything was fine. Then a couple days later the puppy was having a hard time walking and every once in awhile would fall down and had a hard time getting back up. It appearerd that it was one of her rear legs that was bothering her. We thought nothing of it and had figured that as the two dogs were horsing around that she may have bruised her thigh or slightly sprained her leg some how. That continued for a couple more days and our neighbor brought the dog in to a local vet (mostly a farm animal/horse vet). He said it was nothing and assumed the same thing as us that she was just sore and probably had a mild sprain or something. So a few more days go by and no improvement. Then this week she gets worse. She can't climb any stairs and falls down a lot. You pick her up and put her on her feet and will walk a bit and fall down again. Doesn't appear to be sick at all, still full of energy but just can't walk. So late last week our neighbor brought her to a larger vet and had x-rays taken. Everything appears fine, but at that time she could still walk. Now she drags herself across the floor and can't stand up. Very sad to see her like this. Brought her back to the vet today to have blood work done. Checking for limes and some other things. Vet says it could be something she was born with and has just surfaced. What could be causing this??? She's just a young little pup so the hip displasia doesn't seem to fit. Plus she was just born in August and hasn't been in the woods much at all so Lime's doesn't seem to fit. We don't have many deer ticks up here at all. I guess now the vet still has her and she is running a fever now too. Very sad to see this. Any ideas?

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Were that parents of this pup tested for Centronuclear Myopathy (CNM)?

I don't know if CNM sets in that fast....but could be one possibility to easily rule out if the parents were tested for it.

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I would have to guess that they probably weren't. We live in a small rural town in Northern MN. The litter he bought this from was at the local Feed mill. So they weren't from a breeder or anything like that. They are purebreds, but I don't believe they were a planned birth. Very good looking dog and for her age she's very well trained already. But these dogs I don't believe have hips/eye gaurantee or anything like that. All 8 of the litter did get sold to local people around town so we may want to check with others that have the pups and see if they are OK. I'm not familiar with CNM but will look into it. Thanks Hemi!

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Here is a description on CNM, you could have your vet read up on it at "labradorcnm.com". There is also a video on that site of a lab affected by CNM that is tough to watch.

Centronuclear Myopathy (CNM), formerly called Labrador Muscular Myopathy, segregates in Labrador Retrievers. The disease was first observed in the 1970's. By the 1990's, the incidence had increased significantly. This increase is globally due to famous successful Labradors who are carriers being used extensively for breeding. Please see the Clinical page for more details of the disease and a movie of an affected Labrador.

At this time, there is little on the disease in handbooks and clinical manuals typically used by veterinary clinics. This is due to the documents being published perhaps every five years, and because this myopathy is a breed-specific disease. It takes considerable time to update on current research. A scientific article on the disease and the identification of the causal mutated gene can be read by clicking here.

CNM is a disease where the muscles of the Labrador do not develop properly. The mutation is present in two copies from birth in affected pups. Affected pups have missing tendon reflexes as well as less weight gain than others by four weeks of age. Caution should be used however to not use these symptoms as a defining diagnosis for CNM, since they could be caused by other factors.

The more obvious symptoms of CNM appear when a pup is between twelve and twenty weeks of age. The pup will begin to stumble and fall when trying to walk. There are difficulties in swallowing since the muscles in the esophagus are affected. Food can then gets into lungs causing pneumonia. The symptoms are typically worse in cold weather. The symptoms remain for the entire life of the dog. Please see the section on Affected Labradors for further discussion of symptoms and care.

A number of veterinarians have not had the opportunity to see or diagnose an affected CNM pup. This is because sometimes a breeder might be not familiar with CNM. They might think it is a unique birth defect or caused by some external factor such as poison of some type. Other times breeders might not want others to know that there is CNM in their pedigrees.

There is no cure for the disease. Medications do not improve the condition since there are missing muscle fibers that will never appear.

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Get it tested for Lymes. Its fairly cheap and you can rule it out if it doesnt have it. Virginia still has plenty of ticks, was out tuesday in woods and dog had deer ticks on it. Had a dog die from tick disease because we thought it was a house dog and couldnt get it. It only takes one tick. Find a competent vet.

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The symptoms he's describing do not fit into the symptoms of Lymes. Dogs may develop a limp and have some soreness, but it doesn't go as far as the dog dragging himself around and being unable to stand, especially in such a short period of time. Most vets will screen for it when doing other blood work though just to rule it out.

I agree with the thought on it being CNM or some other nueromuscular disease.

Good Luck!

Ken

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Well the vet called yesterday, it's not Lyme's. The Vet wants to bring the pup down to the Main U but said it would cost $2000-$3000. Our friend said that most likely isn't an option for him. Then the vet mentioned he thinks it may be CNM like Hemi mentioned. I watched the video on the website that you suggested and that was not easy to watch. Very sad to see that, and the worst part is it resembles what this pup is doing. My buddy also said that the pups bark doesn't sound very strong anymore and is having difficulty with that. With CNM also affecting the respiratory system it's really looking like CNM is indeed the problem with her. Such a shame. Our buddy just bought this dog this Fall because he has a 13 yr. old Black Lab that has been retired from hunting and is now pretty much just a house dog. He bought this pup with high hopes and aspirations for next season. He takes this pup everywhere with him. When he goes to the office, she's with, when he goes to job sites, she's with, when he stops by for visits, she's with. She's been his shadow for 2 months and now it's looking like this might be the end of that. He doesn't want to rush into anything so he hasn't made the decision to put her down yet, but it's looking inevitable. The vet is sending blood work out to be tested elsewhere and hopefully something good comes back, but I really don't think it will. I really hope none of the other pups have this problem from that litter, but reading what I have so far, it sounds like there's a very good chance they will too. So far nobody else with dogs from that litter have said they have any problems, but they might show up soon. What a nasty disease and to hit at such a young age is a shame. I guess though that it would probably be easier to say goodbye to a frined that you've only had for 3 months rather than 3 years, so maybe this is a blessing in disguise. I'll let you know what comes back from the blood work being sent out.

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Sorry to hear the pup is not getting better. This is another one of those diseases that very hard to watch....but fortunately there is a test for and responsible breeders will use. This is another reason to buy a pup from a reputable breeder. (BTW.....Not knocking you (or your brother) or the situation.....it's not an easy one!)

I was just wondering if they are sending in the DNA to have the dog tested for CNM? The cost is around $70 and the instructions are right on the page I listed to submit the DNA. This could tell you for sure if your dog is "affected" and would be a quick easy thing to rule out before spending a ton of money on other tests. I would be doing this ASAP if it were my pup.

As far as the other pups in the litter...CNM is an autosomal recessive disease which means that both parents are carriers of the CNM gene if an "affected" pup is produced. If your pup is tested and shows that he is an "affected" pup it will mean that he has two copies of the mutated gene", one from each parent. The parents would then be considered "carriers" but most likely not affected since they are not showing these symptoms. With this disease if both parents are carriers a litter would be produced that would have 25% of the pups as non-carriers, 50% of the pups as carriers (but not affected and don't show any symptoms), and 25% "affected" meaning they show these symptoms. So, out of a litter of 8 you may only see 2 pups that actually show symptoms.

Also, if you do have the pup tested and it comes back as "affected", you should inform the breeder and they should not breed those dogs any more. Ultimately it will be up to them to actually do it....but they need to be notified.

Last....you can breed carriers to non-carriers and not produce any affected pups. Although the pups can then be carriers and should be tested before any other breedings are done.

Hopefully I did not confuse you.

If you want more info or to talk about it in more detail email me at zach***ej1 at hotmail . com and I can get you my number.

Remove the *** from my email address.

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Thanks Hemi. I believe that the samples have been sent out to be tested for CNM. I will look into it, and if not then I will talk with him to have the DNA sent out for testing. Like I sais, it's a friend of our family who's having this problem so I'm not directly in the loop. My mom has been passing info along to me as she gets it. I do know she said yesterday that more samples are being sent out and that the vet thinks it might be CNM, so I'm assuming thats the test they are doing now. Bad deal for everyone and the pup. The vet had to make a special harness to keep the dogs rear end up so they can take her outside to use the bathroom etc. I just hope it's not a painful thing for the dog. I know its definitely frustrating for the dog, especially those lab pups that are full of energy, but hopefully not painful. I'll give an update on Monday. I'll have a chance to see this guy over the weekend and it will be my first time to talk directly with him since this happened so I'm sure I'll get more info.

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Well, the vet will be putting the puppy down today. As of Saturday the pup couldn't even get her front legs to work or even lift her head up. Pretty bad shape. I asked my Mom if the test came back for the CNM and she said they hadn't done the test. Our friend assumed that they had ordered the kit last week, but the Vet had not done that. They looked into getting the kit and it would take 4-8 days if rushed. With how bad the pup is doing, our friend doesn't want the dog to suffer that long. Whatever it is has really taken a toll on this dog. Just to make sure they covered all their bases, the dog had been on antibiotics for over a week and the vet also gave the dog a cortizone shot in case it was due to joint inflamation. None of it worked. We are all very certain that it is indeed CNM. The breeder was called and they said that they will not breed these dogs again. I just wish they would have had their dogs checked before they decided to breed them. Thanks for all of your input everybody, especially you Hemi. It helped a lot!

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Man.....thats tough....I am very sorry to hear that. I hope all the other pups are healthy. I can't imagine having to go through that. Health issues are never easy especially when it comes to something like this.

I am glad they notified the breeder. Although I know you are not 100% on the CNM they at least know it's a good possibility and that they are not going to pair those dogs again. It would be different if they tested their dogs and then only bred after all the health clearances are there. Unfortunately some don't do this because of the cost involved.

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