Tag Archives: dog health
Charles here. I want to talk to you about my 2 silly sisters who for some strange reason, that I cannot understand, go out in the cold air and crunch in the fall leaves. Don’t they realize that it is much better just to run out in the back for 2 seconds and pee than to go for a long walk with Mom and have to deal with coats and leashes and scary sounds, like the crunch crunch crunch of dead leaves? Sometimes I think they are just ridiculous.
Wouldn’t you rather stay in where it is warm?
And these dead leaves are making me itch! Mom has me on a tablet of allergy medicine, but I don’t think it is helping. Because I am so little, she thinks I get the worst of the dead stuff directly on my skin and up my nose. People think of dog allergies and allergic reactions mostly in the spring (I get those too) but for me, the dead leaves that are all over the ground in the fall, which get moldy and are full of dying insects as well as pollen, are making me wheeze. All these leaves are kind of hard to avoid when you are a little, but Mom gave me a bath and tries to towel me off when I come inside after my 2 seconds in the yard (to keep the stuff off my fur). Does the fall effect you?
What kind of mischief did you get into today?
We went back to visit the nice lady Veterinary specialist and she said that I am doing a lot better. She says that I have Inflammatory Bowel Disease* (IBD) of the upper and lower GI tract and Pancreatitis. Mom has been giving me B12 shots once a week for the last 6 weeks (I am not very happy about that) but they are now going to start to be once a month. They are decreasing my prednisone little by little, though I am going to be taking this for a long time. At my checkup appointment, I hid under the chair that Mom was sitting in so that the Dr would not see me (if I can’t see them, they can’t see me – right?).
Going to the Vet makes me scared and excited. I don’t like it very much. Thankfully, if I keep improving, I won’t have to go to often.
This prednisone stuff makes me super hungry. Mom finds me begging and scavenging for food, which I never did before. That was always Sofie and Charles’ deal. I have put back on some weight, which doesn’t bother me, but Mom is afraid the Dr is going to yell. And, I drink water all the time. All 3 dogs bowls and Charles’ little bowl are empty constantly. Mom is feeding me this expensive Royal Canin Hydrolyzed Protein (wet and dry), which the Dr says is the best for me, with an occasional hypoallergic dog treat. So far, it seems to be working.
I guess that is all for now. I am happy to be feeling better. Thank you all for the healing energy.
*Canine Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is a condition that results when cells involved in inflammation and immune response infiltrate the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. This makes the wall of the GI tract thick and interferes with the bowels ability to move and absorb food. The World Small Animal Veterinary Association defines IBD as an inflammatory infiltration for which no specific cause can be found. This means they try to stop the inflammation and relieve the problem without ever really knowing why it happens. Approximately 50-70% of affected dogs have good long-term outcomes from initial treatment. IBD is not curable and flare-ups can happen throughout the dog’s life. (This is just for your information. I am not a vet or any kind of doctor. I am just a DogMom.)
Louise is down with a really bad bout of pancreatitis again. It started mysteriously a few weeks ago when she would occasionally refuse to eat in the morning. I asked the vet and he really didn’t think much of it. Then she went for her Rabies shot. The following week she was pretty sick. I am wondering if it could have exacerbated her condition? (Your thoughts?) He took lots of blood work, and thought maybe Addison’s disease (which I did not) and sent us home with a probiotic and Flagyl (an antibiotic). Blood work was negative (they check Cortisol levels).
She got worse. She vomited in her sleep Thursday (she never does that). But the next morning (Friday) Sofie vomited too, so I thought maybe they both had a bug. I made my usual sick dog food for her. But that night she vomited 6 times in her sleep. Every time a changed the bed, she went again. Ok, now I was very concerned. I rushed to the vet in the morning (Saturday) (but of course my usual vet was on holiday) so I saw this nice stand-in guy. He took more blood ($$$$). He gave us more Flagyl and an anti-nausea drug called Cerenia.
By Monday she was worse. She wouldn’t eat (which meant I could not give her pills) and was lethargic. When I called the Vet they said to take her to the Emergency Vet. Thank goodness for Veterinary Emergency Clinics, they are just such a wonderful addition to pet care. They took X-rays and did a sonogram and gave her a shot of that Cerenia drug since I could not give it to her orally. While I was at Emergency the stand-in vet called with her blood work and said her pancreatic enzymes were elevated (no kidding, like I didn’t know that already). The Emergency doctor said her sonogram looked ok but things looked ‘thick.’ He and I decided to stop the Flagyl (if it hadn’t worked already it wasn’t going to).
She appeared to perk up on Tuesday but on Wednesday evening she went down hill again. I made some special boiled turkey cutlets for her for Thanksgiving and that perked her up again. I was able to get a Cerenia down her and I think that helps. I also read that probiotics may actually not be good for animals with pancreatitis. So I stopped those too.
I have started making large batches of dog food (and I am thinking I may move her and maybe all of them to my own mix). Each day is touch and go. Somedays she’s ok, others she is not. I have her wrapped in a nice warm sweater all the time (it’s 20 degrees out). She does want to go for walks most days and then I put a coat on top of her sweater. I want to keep those organs warm. When she is not sleeping she is following me around and giving me that look that says “Please help me feel better, Mom.”
One day at a time.
What kind of mischief did you get into today?
It all started 2 weeks ago Wednesday night with Louise throwing up, twice. Then the smelly gas started. It was so bad all night that I had to move her to another room. Louise rarely throws up. Her tummy was grumbling and making weird noises, which it does sometimes with her colitis. But this was different. She was refusing to eat, which she just doesn’t do. She was mopey and blue. I made her favorite chicken and rice. No luck. The other dogs were sniffing her behind a lot, which they do when her Perianal Fistula Disease is acting up.
When she refused her breakfast Saturday morning, I called my usual vet. But it was Saturday morning and he was packed, so he said to go to the emergency vet. Before doing that, I called the cats vet (it’s a long story why I have 2 different vets) and luckily they were able to fit her in.
After waiting almost 2 hours (Louise was a doll, as usual), they did blood work and gave her fluids and some other stuff. They put her on Metronidazole (Flagyl), which is really hard on the system. She was not herself.
On Tuesday the vet called (while I was in the middle of grocery shopping, so you know I only heard half of what she said). She is a new vet to the practice, I had not met her before, and she is really nice and spent a lot of time explaining her diagnosis to me (while my ice cream was melting). She ran this special blood test (SPEC cPL) that showed significant pancreatic inflammation (high normal is 200 ug/L and Louise is 1,369). All the other blood work was normal. The Vet added Clavamox (Oh My Dog that is expensive) and some Spleen Support Formula on top of the Metronidazole.
In the last 2 weeks, I have researched the heck out of Pancreatitis in dogs. High-fat diets are one of the main things that they blame pancreatitis on. Since Louise has been on Z/D ultra (19% protein/14% fat) exclusively for years and never gets table scraps or garbage, it is hard for me to believe this is diet based. Certain conditions may predispose dogs to pancreatitis and I am thinking that it is just a mix of genetics and her other health issues.
Getting 5 pills into Louise at every meal has been a challenge. When she first got sick I ground them with some white meat chicken and wet food in the blender. I usually use Peanut Butter to give the dogs pills, but that is off limits because of the fat issue. After a few meals Louise started to refuse the mash. So now I wrap each pill in some cooked chicken breast and gooble gooble gooble. She is happy to eat again. Louise loves chicken.
We go back to the vet today to redo the test, so hopefully this bout has passed.
What kind of mischief did you get into today?
Symptoms of bloat include:
- hard, swollen abdomen that may make a hollow sound if tapped
- retching that produces no vomit OR produces foamy, white vomit
- drooling/salivating excessively
- stiff-legged walk
If your dog shows signs of having bloat, call your vet IMMEDIATELY. Every second counts. Bloat is extremely painful and without quick veterinary intervention your dog will probably not survive.
Check out this video of an akita in the middle to late stages of bloat.
Check out this article on what bloat is, the varieties of bloat, its symptoms, and the typical treatment plans.
The best predictor of a dog’s chances of getting bloat are its relatives. If your dogs family has had bloat, your dog is at an increased risk. Other risk factors include:
- deep, narrow chested dogs
- feeding to soon before or after exercising
- raised feeding bowls
- gulping food/eating too quickly
- eating one or two large meals per day
- dry food diet
Just so everyone knows more about this, bloat is basically when a dog has eaten a large meal, exercises and the stomach actually flips. It is very very dangerous for your dog and can causes death in several hours. Know the signs of bloat. It could save your dogs life.
Remember last week I had the dogs nails clipped at PetSmart and they cut the quick on Louise’s back black nail and it bleed. What I did not know is they did something wrong to Sofie too and her nail became loose. It became infected and $$$ vet later, she is now in the ‘cone of shame,’ with daily antibiotics.
All because I did not want to cut them myself because I was afraid of hurting them.
Mommy is sorry, Babies!!! I thought they knew what they were doing!
This is a Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop. Thanks to BlogPaws for the hop. Head over there and see what they are blogging about.
Fall is here. The air is crisp and the days are getting shorter. The dogs love the breezes and coldness of the days. They like to sit out on the deck in the afternoon and just lie in the late day sun. That is the good part of the season. The bad part is that Sofie is suffering terribly (as am I) from fall allergies. I have never seen her have so much trouble before (well she is only going to be 2). She coughs and wheezes, like she is trying to hack up a hairball. The other night she woke in her kennel and cried and cried to go out, and then threw up for a long time, ate more grass, threw up some more. She does not want to get sick in her kennel (which is really nice of her). I went out in the field with her but she could not calm down. I was so sad for her. Finally, I got her to come in (good because it was 2AM and raining) and we went back to bed. I have her on 50 mg of Benadryl and that really seems to help. (I am taking Sudafed because Benadryl makes me fall asleep). Louise’s eyes run and are gooey, but nothing like Sofie’s problem. Poor baby!
I hate when my furries are sick. It is really hard to know the best thing to do for them. Sometimes it even takes me a day to realize what is going on with them. At times like this, with allergies, all you can do is deal with the symptoms. In many cases, animal or human, time is the best healer, but if there are things that can help make us more comfortable while we are waiting for things to pass in time (like pollen), than I am all for those too. The Allergist says to not open the windows or go outside, but that is kind of silly in my book. I am not going to run the air conditioner when it is cool outside just to clear the air of pollen which is going to come in any way. I guess if it was killing us, I would do it, but since the antihistamines seem to work, than I don’t have to. So now Sofie and Louise and I are going for a walk in the dangerous air, but if we don’t then we don’t get exercise, and then we get stiff, and then we will not feel well….. Sorry, I am rambling, I guess I get blue when my furries get green.
Do your furries have allergies? How do you deal with them? Do you have any alternative approaches to allergy therapy?