Asking for any advice or information about veterenary in France. Difficult case. Looking for a miracle

I have two dogs, both Labrador crosses, who were till recent the happiest dogs in the world. Mutley ad Schulz. They always been vaccinated and had protection from ticks up to date. Couple of months ago the youngest, Schulz, developed some blue-reddish spots all over his belly, they did not seem to disturb him, but when I noticed that they turn into little scabs we went to a vet. The vet said “its nothing, probably an allergy”, so we changed the diet, applied some cream on those spots and they ve gone away, as the should when disease transforms into the second stage. And the second stage does not have any symptoms. But the the fatal stage comes. He was coming back from walk when suddenly he collapsed in a terrible fit, his eye were popping out of the orbits, no more details… it was awful. My husband drove like crazy to a vet and carried him into, ad then fell with him down on the floor trying to hold his body, which was shaking in convulsions. The dog was unconscious, temperature 42, he was actually dying. At the beginning the vets could not understand whats was going on with him, they ve suspected poisoning, but after two days - meningitis. But it was not, he had Ehrlichia Cannis, which is tick born infection, a bit similar to a Lyme disease. after few days on intravenous profusions Schulz lifted his head. He started to recover, he is on strongest possible antibiotics, and steroids. It is one month now, he started to be able to stand and to walk a bit. I sleep next to him, after crying hard praying he wont die, I started to battle his illness with all possible care and information from the internet. But unfortunately the infection and that crisis provoked the damage to his central nervous system, and he developed an ataxia. Cerebellar ataxia is a form of [ataxia] originating in the [cerebellum]. Cerebellar ataxia can occur as a result of many diseases and may present with symptoms of an inability to coordinate balance, gait, extremity and eye movements. His mental abilities were not affected, but when he tries to move, his little body become unable to do it, he cannot put his paws naturally, he falls in the most abnormal ways, he hurts himself, his paws bleed, I have to hold his had while he is eating. His back part behaves on his own, and he learned not to try to move without me holding his harness for security. When he lies down ad looks at me, he looks absolutely normal, just his eyes changed, he does not know what happened but he cannot do almost anything he loved to do, like chasing a deer, or playing with neighbor’s dog. But I am writing all this not to break your hearts, those things can affect many, I know. Our hearts of course are broken, and we have to hide our tears from them, dogs. Meanwhile , just at the same time, our older dog, getting paralyzed on the back, his tail was amputated, vets dont know if it is a tumor, or just arthritis caused by a Lyme disease. So he lost ability to use his hind legs, also he cannot defecate and urinates non stop. I take fecal manually from his colon, he is on steroids and antibiotics, and in a weather like today , it is hard to keep changing his bedding.
Hard, yes. We don’t know yet whats in nearest future, and can we help or not. But my question is actually about the vets. We have changed the vet, because I cannot forget that the doctor missed Schulz’s first stage of disease, and this caused him all the sufferings and broken life. New vet is a lovely man, but i the area which is knowingly the worst in France for ticks, they know very little about those diseases. Most of things I did he approved, and few things I asked about - he honestly said he did not know. Does anyone know if we can be referred to a specialist, like neurologist, but for the dogs. Because I still hope we can help Schulz and bring his symptoms down. He is only three years old, and may be something can be done.
I called our vet back in the UK and she told me there is no point treating them in Britain as we don have this disease enough to know about it. And she suggested we should be referred to a specialist. If anybody can give any advice or share their knowledge, would be highly appreciated. Cheers.

I’m very sorry to hear about your dogs and the suffering you are all going through. I’m not a vet but someone who cares.

My attitude towards sick pet animals in my life is to do everything I can to give them the best possible chance of life, which seems to be what you are doing.

Animals are very stoical and carry on living the best way they can despite all - unlike us. Do you feel in your heart that your dogs are truly suffering?

From the limited bit of research I’ve just done there doesn’t seem to be a ‘cure’ for Cerebellar Ataxia but Schulz’s instability could be managed - see

As far as your older dog is concerned could you not ask for an MRI or something like that to thoroughly examine his spine?

You could consider - Noel Fitzptrick will probably know more about veterinary science than any other vet in the UK.

I think Noel Fitzpatrick is your best bet but your vet in France must refer your dogs to his practise for treatment. You cannot. Have a thorough read of his website. He really cares!


I am so so sorry to hear about your dogs. It is heartbreaking. I lost my beloved lurcher Archie to cancer in November and I know how brutal it is.

We were referred to Only Vet which is in Saint Priest near Lyon by our local vet. They did a CT scan. It is a referral only clinic and they have a neurologist there. I am sure there will be similar clinics elsewhere.

Fyi the scan cost 480 euros. It would have been more like 600 but they were unable to draw any spinal fluid due to Archie’s arthritis. That is expensive but a lot cheaper than getting the same done in the UK and less stress/travel for the dog.

Sending you lots of strength.

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We had the MRI for the both, and a scan of Schulz’s head. Today I wrote to one neurological clinic, I am awaiting an answer back. The MRI is not showing what is the nature of the swelling, and other vet cannot read the scan properly either. At least he is honest about it. Mutley is suffering from not being able to do the toilet, he licks my hands when I take it out of him or do an enema for him. He drags his back legs, and when I put him in the car he pees all over me. But today I had to go to the post offic, and I could not lift him, because after all this days my disc herlia inflamed, so I cannot either sit, or lie down, only stand like a horse).And he was sulking, and generally was upset…The this is I have polyneuropathy, which I successfully treated this summer with the help of drugs and electric stimulation. When I googled some foreign veterinary sources, they use exactly what I was having myself. Few of them are banned in Europe, they are produced in Germany and Austria. They are nootropics, which help nervous cells to regenerate, so called neuropeptides, or symply speaking stem cells extracted for the blood of the pigs . They are used to treat autism, celebrate palsy and other conditions cause by a damage of the brain. Also there is a drug which is enormously helpful for the nerves and all kid of arthritis - millgamma. This is basically cocktail of different vitamins B, but for inter-muscular injection. I ve ordered those drugs after I found the dosage for dogs. Because when I bought here available B12 for injections, both dogs reacted amasingly well on it, and then I stopped because I ve ordered the proper one from the abroad. But ones the customs did not let the parcel out, now I I am tracking the second one, should be here very soon. They have different vitamins separately, including Omega and D3. I wrap the tablets in the minced meat. They think it is fun. But it is a bit doom and gloom, and I cannot do anything, just washing the wet duvets and trying to dry them fast enough in the cellar. If the weather changes a bbit, they can be in the garden, just Schulz cannot be left unguarded, as he is a bit a danger to himself. But thank you for support, I ll read that link now.

Poor Archie, and you. How old he was? This is the same with Mutley, they are unable to draw the spinal fluid due to his arthritis.

Wow, in that link you gave the woman also mentions stem cell therapy! so glad you gave that link. and we were going to buy set of wheels for Mutley, but I did not think about doing the same for Schulc. And then we ll be broke and suicide all together) happy end. Those walking wheels are very good, but very pricey for big dogs.

Archie was 12. How old is Mutley?

I do think you are in a crisis situation. The Blue Cross have a helpline you can call. It is for bereavement but I think they may also help you in your situation as you are in such a difficult place with both pets being so ill.

Mutley is 10 and half. He was so so active dog, we went beating with him, took him to the sea, he adored to go on a bicycle ride. Actually dogs are everything to us, we have cats as well, and we had lost three pets in the last 7 years. So I fear this so much as you understand. We moved to France just two years ago, and still dont have normal windows and central heating in the house. Still a lot to do to make house comfy,er. but with all this happening I ve started to lose my mind. Constant struggle, and I dont care about house, myself, just wish they would get better. And honestly, talking to you here made a difference. I am crying, but feel very good being understood. Are you going to have another dog or it is never again ? Are you a bit better now…I feel for you with all my heart.

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I still miss Archie every day. We do have a new puppy. She is adorable and naughty as puppies are so is keeping me very busy.

You do need to look after yourself. I really feel for you as you are in such a tough place. Take care. Best wishes Marijke


You do not say where you live, Anna, but there is a fantastic multi-discipline group of referral specialists in Bordeaux - the Clinique Vétèrinaire Aquivet. Their website is at
You can go direct to them; or you can get your vet to refer you to the appropriate specialist.
You have a really tragic story - we also experienced the problem an infected tick bite can cause some years back: but our vet recognised the problem instantly, and confirmed her diagnosis by a simple microscopic examination of a blood sample. Following an immediate injection our beautiful girl recovered in 48 hours.
Big hugs to you & yours.

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Whilst he has a neurological clinic, he is also extremely expensive.

Cheers Michael. So lucky you ve got a competent vet. We live in the middle of nowhere, in Limousine, about 40 km from Limoges. I did contact the clinic in Brive-de Gallard, which is about 100 km from us, so not so bad. But then I realized - because I want to use a stem cell therapy, I wont be able to get it here, and this is so good for all central nervous system, neurons regeneration and has no side effects!, was used for humans and animals for decades already, So I played my “place of origin” card)), Found neurologist in Moscow, sent her tests results and MRI, and payed for a consultation online. We had good talk, and she prescribed and calculated the dosages. Interesting, she just got Mutley’s blood test, and immediately mentioned hepatitis. Yes, he does. Goes unnoticed here. Some of her recommendations were not hard to bring to life, like giving duphalac to the oldest one, instead of treating him with Vaseline oil, and it gives also relieve to his liver, but some were not easy. And I had a bit of good luck, my school friend goes to Paris, today, I have sent her a list of medicament we need. Took her awhile to get for both dogs nearly everything. So she can post it to me form Paris, it is not possible to send drugs by post from Russia, customs wont let it through. I used stem cell therapy myself, and if something is a miracle - then it is. Safe for even toddlers. So I hope to get it in place by Monday probably. They still need to come of prednisolone in advance. But again, one drug the vet-neurologist recommended for my half paralysed one dog was mestinon, which is used here and in the UK to help conduct the nervous impulse from head to the bum. So he might regain his peristaltic and ability to control his bladder and bum. So today we are going to a vet, and I am going to insist on prescribing that medication. Because it also can help him to rebuilt a bit of muscle, his legs dong have any meat on them at all (Miastenia gravis). It might work, it might not… So a lot to do, and weather makes thing a bit more difficult. Younger one is more cheerful, he is quite a bruit, bless him)) But the injections I do to them, the older one hates them, and turns his head away from me. I hope he does not think I am some evil scientist who tortures him for pleasure.
But I am going to write to the vet who was too confident, and drew the conclusion about allergy without excluding all possible thing by simple testing. Before we changed the vet I did ask her if they can give Schulc vitamin B complex injections, and again she said very confidently, “no need, his problem is in the brain, not peripheral nerves”. Ataxia is a neurological disorder which came from neuroinfection. So the group of vitamins B is vitally important with oll neurological problems plus it is best to improve blood circulation in the brain. I am going to write to her, not to make her feel bad, but in public interest, so in future she will not destroy another pets life and their owners, by being simply over confident vet.
Kisses to you girl, what she looks like?))

Dear Anna, never go near that caring vet called Noel, I know a number of vets who have worked with him, nobody does for long. The man will have you sell your house and pension, he is completely ruthless. Good, no doubt, but the ethics are a matter of discussion. I’m glad you are making progress, all our best wishes to you and your dogs. Very traumatizing experience you had, make sure that you actually deal with that, it can affect you years later.

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