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judy
2nd March 2006, 09:39 AM
I've had Zack for a month, he's 5 months old in a few days. When i brought him home, he was scratching, i thought it was fleas. I saw one on him at the place where i got him. I don't like to use topical flea killers like Advantage, but he was scratching so much, i put it on him after about the first week.

I later found out that the woman i got him from had put Frontline on him a week and a half before i got him. Yet he was scratching.

i couldn't see any fleas on him, the scratching got no better after putting Advantage on him. My cat never started scratching. I never got any bites. I've never had fleas this time of year before. Vets who saw him said he had no fleas.

He scratches all over his body, it moves from one place to another at different times, like happens with fleas--his neck, his leg, his foot, his back, his tail, his penis. i dont' think it's more on one side than the other, at least i haven't noticed that.

His skin doesn't look dry. I was worrying about SM a couple of weeks ago, depressing, but then he had another problem that became a crisis, he'd had diarrhea since the day i brought him home and had been seeing vets about it and being treated with Flagyl. Otherwise, he was normal, happy go lucky, energetic, excited playful.

Then, monday before last, he was listless and sleeping all day, didn't eat or drink, and that night, started vomiting. I took him to the emergency hospital, they said it might be a foreign body, they didn't really know, but it got my mind off of SM, trying to get him well from feeling so bad as he apparently did.

the next day a vet gave him shots of pepcid and chorpromazine and he seemed better right away for a few days, then it happened again on Saturday, two more shots at the vet, better for a day, then it came back again, vomiting, listless.

I went to a new vet who put him on I/D prescription dog food and changed his diarrhea medication. Even before that vet visit, he was acting normal again and has acted normal ever since, except for very soft stool, acting like a normal puppy for three days now, except scratching frequently, some days more than others.

But yesterday morning, he was in the backyard, just looking around, i was watching him because i wanted to see if the diarrhea had gotten better from the new medicine and i was hoping he'd go, and all of a sudden he started shrieking, and biting on his foot, he continued to shriek and cry, and ran inside the house and sat down and was licking his foot intensely. Then, it was over and he went on as normal except for occasional scratching.

Just now as i was writing this, he was sleeping on the couch, laying on his back in a relaxed position, unlike the curled up way he lays when he doesn't feel good. I heard this noise, the rhythmical sound a dog makes when it vomits, i looked at him, he was still laying on his back but making that noise, he woke up, i got up quickly and put him on the floor, and he vomited some mush of dog food he'd eaten earlier.

Does SM ever have any gastrointestinal symptoms?

Can anyone give a ballpark figure for how much MRIs cost in the US on average?

Since i got him, he's had countless vet appointments. Some days, i took him to two vets in one day. Some of the times, he didn't go, i just went to pick up a prescription or drop off a fecal sample. Trying to fit my job in some place. I wonder if him vomiting just now means he'll have another episode of listlessness and anorexia, plus more vet visits and more money, it's costing a lot. When i got him, the first day, i signed him up for health insurance, but there was a 30 day waiting period for illnesses, so none of his treatment for the diarrhea and vomiting is covered. He would have to not require any treatment for 30 days and that has not happened and doesn't seem like it's ever going to happen.

I'm feeling scared and sad and pretty helpless. :oops:

Sally
2nd March 2006, 02:31 PM
You poor thing! Poor Zack! There's others on here who can offer you better ideas on this subject, but I just wanted to let you know you have my thoughts and support.

We had a pretty rough go round with Pixie and her digestive system. She's mostly grown out of it. Zack's problem in that area could just be from the meds and new food and maybe the stress of not feeling well.

We're on the other coast, but an MRI around here runs about $1500-1800.

I'll keep good thoughts for you and Zack.

jennapea
2nd March 2006, 03:54 PM
Judy, I am so sorry to hear what is going on with Zack!!! My heart hurts for him.
I don't know anymore about SM that what I've read online and on this board.
As much as I know you are already attached to this wonderful little boy, did you get any type of health guarantee on him?
I am praying for you and him. Hoping this is something explainable and temporary.
Please keep us updated!
:cry:

judy
2nd March 2006, 04:36 PM
.....We had a pretty rough go round with Pixie and her digestive system. She's mostly grown out of it. Zack's problem in that area could just be from the meds and new food and maybe the stress of not feeling well......

I hope he will get past this. I can't see the big picture. when i first got him, i'd seen/visited him a coupld of times first, and he looked healthy and normal. but he did have diarrhea as soon as i got him home and has been having it ever since, and this nausea vomiting thing seems like it might be related to the diarrhea, but it seems like he's worsening over time. But i can't tell, my perspective is limited. Now that you mention it, although vets are denying side effects of the prescription meds he's been on, maybe those meds are giving him nausea. With Pixie, did it just gradually go away over time? If she had diarrhea and/or nausea, did anything you did seem to help?

The vet was talking about, if the most recent fecal test was negative, which it was, then the next step would be endoscopy or exploratory surgery. the other vet where i went for a second opinion said that things were not at that point. but this is all unfolding, and i'm scared. i don't have unlimited money and i have to go to work and am afraid he shouldn't always be alone so much in the day if he's sick.

thanks for the caring words. I'm glad there are people out there to listen and care.

judy
2nd March 2006, 04:52 PM
....As much as I know you are already attached to this wonderful little boy, did you get any type of health guarantee on him?
I am praying for you and him. Hoping this is something explainable and temporary.
Please keep us updated!
:cry:

thanks Kat. there is some kind of health guarantee. i was reading it but my eyes keep glazing over. I don't see any guarantee against diarrhea or SM in the first year, just heart/eye/hip dysplasia i think. I think that there's a lot of stuff in the contract saying that they can't guarantee against anything and everything, it's an inevitable risk when you get a dog that they may have health problems, and when it mentions heart and eyes, it has the word ONLY in upper case letters. i'm not sure whether the broker would take hiim back. The idea of giving him up is part of the painfulness of the situation, sometimes i think i can manage adequately and other times i dont' see how i can, my mind is on a roller coaster. But if he is sick, if he has vomiting and diarrhea during the day when i'm at work and he's in his crate, that's not acceptable, forcing him to live in that condition. I would have to give him back, if she would take him. Or if he needed care during the daytime and i can't be there. Whether she would take him back, i don't know. I would feel good that her place is comfortable and there is lots of human attention and there's other dogs to play with, i've felt bad even before his worsening illness, about not being able to provide him with contact during the day (i come home at lunch and play with him for an hour, but that doesn't seem enough), and when he tries to get my 13 year old cat to play with him like another puppy, and she gets angry, i feel sad for him....If he had been healthy, i felt that i could make up for those lacks, i want to take him places and show him the world, and make him happy, and i have a friend, a couple actually, who have been coming over each week on my longest day to take him out and go for a walk and play. but if he's sick, i'm afraid i won't be able to meet his needs. it's just hard to have a perspective on it or to know what his needs are or will be.
thanks for listening and your words.

judy
2nd March 2006, 06:04 PM
i just looked at the contract again. There is a health guarantee that says the buyer can take the puppy to a vet within 3 days of purchase (i took him within 48 hours) and if the vet does not find the puppy in good health, the buyer notifies the seller within 24 hours. I had notified her before i went to the vet, the same day i got him, or the next day, and she immediately mailed me medications for parasites, worms, and giardia in particular. I saw the vet before her mail arrived and he was put on flagyl so i didn't use the meds. But she was notified he was sick right away and she was responsive, and i have given her updates since then. it's recorded in emails. The contract says there will be no refund after the first 7 days, but the puppy will be replaced (i can't just replace him though, they aren't simply interchangeable to me). It also says if for any reason the buyer is unable to keep the puppy, to contact the seller first before doing anything else. It also says that AKC papers are only provided if the puppy is certified in good health within 3 days of adoption. I wonder if that means Zack can't be registered. That seems a trivial matter compared to him being sick, but it seems odd if he is advertized as AKC registered (i thought that meant i could have a bit more confidence in his health) but because he was sick the day i got him, he can't be registered. Maybe i'm not understanding that right.

anyway, my only responsible plan for how i could meet his medical needs when i got him was to buy health insurance, i got the maximum coverage, $6000 per incident, 100% covered after a $50 deductible, worth the price of the premium, but since he came to me sick the first day, he's not covered for that particular illness, and i don't have another plan of how to meet his medical needs. If my daughter and i had not had insurance, i wouldn't have been able to meet our needs either.

Cathy T
2nd March 2006, 06:47 PM
Yikes. You sure have your hands full. About the only thing I can tell you from experience is that Jake had awful diahrrea problems as a young pup. It took a good year to outgrow it and it was a matter of finding a food that fit his sensitive stomach (CA Natural chicken and rice). We tried all kinds of medications to keep him hydrated, tummy calm, etc. We also had occasional bouts of vomitting...and still do. I'm not as concerned now with the diahrrea because he is older and more stable. As a puppy it was scary because of the worried of dehydration and loss of nutrients.

I wish I could offer better advice. It sounds a bit more serious than what we went through because of the frequency.

Please keep us posted and hopefully someone with some more knowledge will pop up here with some advice.

Karlin
2nd March 2006, 07:08 PM
I'm going to suggest Bruce, who is a very responsible breeder, have a look at what you've written regarding your contract as he should be able to give you some perspective and perhaps some suggestions. Many states also have 'lemon laws' regarding pets and your humane society could likely advise about the situation in your part of the country.

The caveat about 'health guarantees' is just what you are discovering. Most people cannot imagine trading in a puppy they have owned for a while, even for a few days, so the guarantees are fairly meaningless in reality; the breeder's reputation and proven breeding programme are a better guarantee than any contract IMHO. Whatever the situation here, I don;t understand why the dog's registration papers would be denied based on its health in a three-day period!! That sounds really bizarre. Maybe someone who is more familiar with registration procedures has some notion of why she might be taking this approach. But surely the breeder should not be sending a dog that isn;t in good health to the best of the breeder's knowledge and why three days with the new owner should determine whether papers are sent... icon_nwunsure ... I don't get that.

More importantly: as for his health problems -- I am really sorry to hear you are going through these problems. They sound like they could be any range of things. I am not aware of GI problems being related to SM, first off; I don't think a single person has mentioned this on the symptoms sheet at http://sm.cavaliertalk.com (these are all the symptoms reported by neurologists, vets and SM dog owners that I could find).

Given that he has GI problems the scratching and so on might be allergy or GI related as well. Also has the vet checked for rabbit mites as a lot of US vets don;t seem familiar with these but they make a dog terribly itchy and can be very common on puppies (one of mine had them when he came home to me). You will really want to eliminate all other possibilities before getting really worried about SM as so many things could be causing the problems you are having right now. Also be aware that it can take days for a dog's stomach to settle when you change diet so you need to give different diets some time to work. If I were you I'd try several days on just boiled chicken (no skin and some plain rice. Then I'd look for a good non-allergenic kibble that has no grains and DOES have unusual protein sources like duck or fish, not beef or chicken.

If you see more symptoms that seem suspicious for SM then consider talking to a neurologist. Right now I'd focus on the diet and skin issues and see if you can isolate what is causing those.

I am going to duplicate this thread into the general health section too so that more people are likely to see it and respond.

A final note (and this is just a general point about a difficult situation) -- there's a balance between what a breeder should be responsible for and what can unfortunately be a bad genetic hand dealt to any living creature. A good breeder will be giving you as much support and advice as possible which may or may not include financial help. The genetic issues can be heartbreaking and are one reason it is so important to seek out responsible breeders who know how to work with pedigrees and genetic dispositions to maximise the chance of a healthy, happy puppy. But even the very best breeders cannot overrule mother nature, though they sure can guide her hand to a large degree.

JaneB
2nd March 2006, 09:05 PM
Judy,
I don't know if this will help or not but has your vet checked for Coccidiosis? Both of my puppies (from different breeders) developed it shortly after I got them. The stress caused by leaving their mom and litter mates often can "cause" the onset. It is very common but quite distressing and must be treated right away. Fauna's feces showed the parasite the first time we had it tested, but Flora was tested 3 times before it showed up. After 2 rounds of meds, both girls are doing fine. Many of the symptoms you are describing sound like what we experienced. Here are a couple of links you might want to check out. Hope you find resolution soon, I know this has to be heartbreaking for you. Hang in there, let us know how things are going for you.
JaneB

http://www.beaglesunlimited.com/beaglehealth_coccidiosis.htm

http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?cls=2&cat=1622&articleid=727

judy
3rd March 2006, 01:23 AM
...I wish I could offer better advice. It sounds a bit more serious than what we went through because of the frequency."


It's just good to hear from other people whose puppies had chronic colitis and survived and that there might be an end to it. I sure hope he'll be ok.

I called the vet this morning to tell them abou the vomiting last night. They said to come in this afternoon. I took off from work. The vet was perplexed. He looks fine really, except when he's laying around still and not moving which is when things are worst, and also when he's not interested in food, but he looks pretty normal. She mentioned his eyes dripping and i told her i thought it might be from the sulfasalazine because he didn't have drippy eyes at all before, and it started the day after he started taking that medication. So, she put some lubricant in his eyes and said to do it twice a day, and said to cut back the sulfasalazine to twice a day. She gave me Reglan to give him to ease his stomach and make the contents pass through faster, 3X a day i think. She said that if this doesn't help, he should have a barium study. $500 to $600. I'm feeling increasingly pessimistic, that no matter what i have done, they won't find out what it is and he won't get better, and i will have used up a lot of money. She said if he's not better by Monday, to bring him back then.

When i got home, i put him outside and he started having a bowl movement. It looked like it has been looking since he started the sulfasalazine, kind of normal looking, yellowish from the med, soft. The vet had asked me about that and i described it that way. But after he did that part, then he kept straining to go more, and by the time he was done, which was quite a while he kept straining, there was a large puddle of what looked like mostly blood, couldn't see much brown, it looked dark red, and there was a trail of it all over as he kept trying to eliminate it.

I called the vet and told her. She told me to start up the flagyl again and to give him both the flagyl and the sulfasalizine together. And the Reglan. She said she has never given that combination to a puppy before, but does give it to adult dogs who have really bad colitis.

I don't know what to do. I'm afraid to feed him, even if he does want to eat, because the food will cause him to bleed and feel sick. but i gave him the reglan so i'll go feed him now and give him the flagyl and sulfasalizine. I was looking up side effects of those meds and they both can cause nausea and vomiting. :? not common at the amount he's had, but not inconceivable, he could be sensitive. anyway, this sux.

judy
3rd March 2006, 02:09 AM
thanks guys for the replies, i want to respond and ask some questions later, i am very late for my night job now,( it's just one night a week). i had to leave my day job early to get zack to the vet by 3pm and am just stuffing some food in my face before leaving for my night job which i sure wish was over.

Sally
3rd March 2006, 03:47 AM
Yikes! Poor Zack. :? Pixie's troubles started with coccidiosis too. The vet gave us something for it, I can't remember what though. She got a little better, but the vet diagnosed her with mild colitis. It seemed all the medicines made things worse, so the vet and I decided on a more natural course.

No food for a day, then boiled chicken and white rice for a few days. Then gradually trying out foods for 1 that would agree with her. It was a tough time... the gradual switching over of foods (over 5 days each time) then a few days (if that) on just the new food...then back to totally runny poos. Followed by a day of no food, then back to chicken and rice for a few days...then gradually introducing another new food. We ended up with Eukanuba Natural Lamb and Rice puppy formula. Maybe not the best food, but she tolerated it fairly well until we switched to an adult food, Wellness 5 in 1 chicken, and eventually a 50/50 mix of Wellness and Evo.

Has your vet recommended a 1 day fast, then boiled chicken and white rice?

I'll continue to keep good thoughts that this can all be figured out soon.

Hugs,

Karlin
3rd March 2006, 04:03 AM
I'd sure take Sally's route first before considering barium scans and all that... We'll all be crossing fingers for you that you can get some results.

I had a cat with a LOT of digestive problems and we (me and vet) just blasted her with about three different medications at once. Sure enough after about three weeks it all stopped. She still can be a bit vomit-prone but at the time she literally leaked diarrhea all the time and it was a nightmare.

Bruce H
3rd March 2006, 04:46 AM
Oh my gosh, what an awful ordeal to be going through, Zack! Here's my (and my wife Kris' ) take on this. I notice that some of what I say will be repeating what others have said.

If this were one of our dogs:

I really don't think I'd be doing exploratory surgery just yet; maybe an x-ray or ultrasound are more in order.

Next, I would hate to see him crated and sleeping in his own mess. I would tend to put crate training on hold for a bit and put an open crate in an enclosed space like an x-pen so when he has an accident he doesn't have to sleep in it. Who knows, if he sleeps in it then licks himself, he may be re-infecting himself.

Has he been tested for parvo? Has he been vaccinated for parvo? Was he checked for mites? How much were you feeding him? 1/2 cup per day should be plenty.

What we would do is put him on neomycin for 10 days. Then feed him boiled chicken bereast (NO fat) and well cooked white rice. Give him 2 tablespoons every few hours for 2 days, then 3 tablespoons every few hours for 2 days and so on. See how he does. Then start trying other foods in small amounts.

As for the contract part of it, Kris and I know of no such AKC requirements for good health. Withholding the papers is, we believe, something the breeder has dreamed up. I just don't understand that part of it. Has the litter been registered? If you have the pedigree, you should be able to call AKC and find out if the puppy can be registered.

When it comes to the guarantee, things get a little tougher. To start with, I would see if your state has a puppy lemon law and see what it says; it may over-ride the contract language. Like Karlin said it's common for a contract to require that you give the puppy up to get a refund or a replacement; I don't happen to agree with that, but that's what a lot of breeders do. I have always hated courts and consider them to be a last resort, but maybe it's time to start thinking about small claims court if your breeder isn't willing to help with at least some of the costs.

Sorry for rambling so much, but it's getting late (for me at least). I wanted to respond as much as I could before going to bed. If I think of anything more tomorrow, I'll respond again. Give Zack a hug for me and tell him I hope he gets better.

judy
3rd March 2006, 08:25 AM
Karlin
I'm glad to hear there are other possible causes of Zack's itching/shrieking symptoms. I've never seen a dog shriek like that from itching.

Also has the vet checked for rabbit mites as a lot of US vets don;t seem familiar with these but they make a dog terribly itchy and can be very common on puppies

One of the vets i took him to, the holistic one, checked for mites. I don 't know if that includes rabbit mites. The regular vet i'm now taking him to has a speciality in skin issues. I asked her about the scratching and she said first the diarrhea thing should be dealt with before focusing on the itching. Fine with me. He's still in the 30 day waiting period before his insurance will cover illnesses so i can't have anythnig treated if i want it to be covered. I think my 30 days are over tomorrow, but it will be another 30 days until he'll qualify for the upgrade--a couple of days ago, i upgraded his insurance from $3000 per incident to $6000.

thanks for telling me about rabbit mites. I have an appointment to see the holistic vet again on Saturday and am going to ask about that. She also specializes in rabbits.

about the boiled chicken and white rice, i realize this may sound like a dumb question, but is that something i cook for him, or can i buy it already cooked some place? I'm not very experienced at preparing food, i'm embarrassed to say. Would i buy raw chicken and boil it for a period of time, and cook the rice in another pan and mix them together in a dog bowl? The I/D dog food the vet put him on has lots of pieces of white rice in it. and several other ingredients.

What's the reason for feeding kibble that has unusual protein sources? avoiding hypersensitivity?

Your point about buying from a good breeder is well taken. I don't know yet how supportive the broker i got Zack from will be. i don't even know what to ask for. but next time i get a puppy, i have a clear idea about what i want in a breeder and relationship. If i had sold a dog that was sick from day one, i would make some kind of offer to the buyer to make it right, even though it wouldn't be my fault that the dog got sick, . But for me, i would think that if someone got a puppy, it should be healthy. I haven't asked the woman i got Zack from for anything so far. She has offered to send medications, but it wouldn't surprise me if she does the right thing, whatever that is.

Claire
3rd March 2006, 11:32 AM
My heart aches for this poor little guy, such a shitty start - we all have our a fingers and paws crossed that he gets better..... Woody had terrible problems the first day we get him - is there a charity vets or anything around your area that could help????

Bruce H
3rd March 2006, 12:56 PM
Karlin

about the boiled chicken and white rice, i realize this may sound like a dumb question, but is that something i cook for him, or can i buy it already cooked some place? I'm not very experienced at preparing food, i'm embarrassed to say. Would i buy raw chicken and boil it for a period of time, and cook the rice in another pan and mix them together in a dog bowl? The I/D dog food the vet put him on has lots of pieces of white rice in it. and several other ingredients.

.

Yes, you cook it for him. Just buy regular uncooked chicken breast from the grocery store, remove all the skin and fat, and just boil it in water until its comepletely cooked. The rice should be cooked until its very soft.

BTW, there are no dumb questions. Keep asking.

Sally
3rd March 2006, 02:13 PM
Like Bruce said, remove the skin and fat....and no bones! We bought a big package of boneless, skinless breasts and froze each one individually. Put one in boiling water and let it cook until there's no pink left on the inside. It's ok to overcook it if you're boiling it. You can use plain Minute Rice (it's easy) just use more water than the box says and let it sit 10 minutes instead of 5.

And several little meals. The idea is to get the digestive system working, without overloading it.

Another thing the vet mentioned to us was for us to stay calm. For me, that was difficult. But I made sure I always used a low pitched, calm voice...and handled her slowly and gently. Even when my first instinct was to shirek "Oh, no, not again!" and rush around cleaning or racing her outside.

Keeping good thoughts.

judy
3rd March 2006, 04:34 PM
Judy,
I don't know if this will help or not but has your vet checked for Coccidiosis?

I think so. The first day i took him to the vet, two days after i got him home, i brought a stool sample. seeing blood in it was alarming. Thanks for the links. I read that this is a routine test, so i'm guessing it was done, but i'll call and ask, or check the records i have, to be sure. The problem is, and true of Giardia and probably other things too, that the result of a test may be a false negative, and several tests need to be done on several samples, according to these sources, but neither vet i saw suggested doing that, yet concluded that the results were definitive. So even if they did test for it, i don't know if it can be ruled out. I'm not sure what's meant by watery diarrhea. His is in the form of a puddle, but it's thick so i don't think of it as watery. And the amount of blood yesterday was a lot, not slight. When i went to the new vet the first time last Monday, i asked about treating with Albon because the broker had suggested it and said she might send me some. The vet gave an explanation about why it might not make sense to use it, but my brain is on overload and i don't remember what she said, but i think it related to a lack of evidence of infection with the susceptable organism.

thanks for the links! i'm so glad your kids got better. I'll pursue checking into this further, a lot of the facts fit the picture. The article says treatment is with a sulfadimethoxine or sulfadiazine. Right now he's taking something called sulfasalazine. I wonder it that's the same kind of thing.

judy
3rd March 2006, 04:43 PM
Has your vet recommended a 1 day fast, then boiled chicken and white rice?


i'm glad to hear your efforts paid off and pixie is doing ok. I need to find a vet who thinks like yours because i'm suspicious of the medications, i mean, just the effect of so many on such a little guy, along with the other stresses, and vets differ in how they see the negative effects of medications. I like my vet, she is thoughtful and not dogmatic. But she's not holistic.

I asked her yesterday if it can help to fast a dog, to let its system rest and clean out, and she said that in Zack's case, she felt he was already on the thin side. I think he's normal for a cavalier, just slender, but i don't know for sure. Another vet said he was fine but the holistic one i saw said he was too thin, yet his weight is normal. It didn't seem like most of them were very familiar with cavaliers. I wish i could find a vet who is.

She didnt' recommend boiled chicken and rice, she recommended the I/D food and seemed confident in it, that if it didn't help, then diet was not the answer. And barium would come next.

judy
3rd March 2006, 04:48 PM
I'd sure take Sally's route first before considering barium scans and all that... We'll all be crossing fingers for you that you can get some results.

I had a cat with a LOT of digestive problems and we (me and vet) just blasted her with about three different medications at once. Sure enough after about three weeks it all stopped. She still can be a bit vomit-prone but at the time she literally leaked diarrhea all the time and it was a nightmare.

Karlin, i would/do feel better, hearing that the situation is not so urgent that Sally's route could not be tried, it's the sense that something has to be done right now that makes me vulnerable to paying out a lot of money on procedures and invasive diagnostic tests.

If your cat was helped by antibiotics, it sounds like the shotgun approach was wise. I've wondered why, and asked but didn't really get an answer as to why the treatment wouldn't be continued more than 7 days, since there were two relapses after 7 days of flagyl. Why not continue for two weeks, for example?

but yesterday i was reading that flagyl toxicity affects the central nervous system and the cerebellum and i cringed. It said animals with CNS issues should not receive flagyl. Zack is on it again now, with the sulfasalazine and Reglan. what a nightmare to my chemical-phobic mind.

judy
3rd March 2006, 06:02 PM
I was just writing my last reply, then need to rush to work, late late late, and zack stepped on the keyboard and it disappeared. more questions and stuff later, thanks so much! i'm on a roller coaster depending on how zack is acting. he's his most exuberant self today, and poop is looking almost normal. yay.

Roberta
4th March 2006, 12:00 AM
Trevor (now almost 4 years old) spent his first 18 months with on and off colitis. Like you, when I started to see blood in the stool I was totally stressed out. We tried a number of different foods (Canidae, Wellness Fish and Sweet Potato, California Natural Chicken and Rice, I/D) all with repeated colitis episodes followed by feeding of boiled chicken and rice, additional prescriptions of Flagyl. repeated stool samples etc. We eventually found that a Duck and Potato diet (nothing else--no treats/chews/extras etc.) worked great for him. He is now on Natural Balance Duck and Potato kibble with a bit of canned Duck and Potato as well. He also gets the kibble for training and treats. And we haven't had any colitis since 2 days after we started it more than 2.5 years ago.

Duck and Potato might be worth a try when you slowly start to put your pup back on a regular diet.

Good luck!

Cathy T
4th March 2006, 02:20 AM
Roberta- good to see popping in! I wondered what had happend with you. I was thinking you had had some pretty difficult issues with Trevor. Hopefully your advice will help.

judy
4th March 2006, 11:33 AM
i've been so happy today because Zack has acted normal, i'm so relieved. I'm sort of not thinking about how this could change at any time. It just feels so good to see him enjoying himself, and also, relief from the threat of unrelenting money hemorrhage. if only he could go 30 days without vet treatment for this condition, the insurance would kick in.

So nice today to be able to think about other things, happier things.

about how long does it take to thoroughly cook a chicken breast by boiling?
I take it you don't add butter or margarine to the minute rice?

Zack is still on the I/D, less than a quarter can twice a day. He acts very hungry. I give him some I/D kibble too. Roberta, it seems like it was just diet that caused Trevor's colitis? Thanks for your story. It's really helpful to hear peoples' examples here of similar experiences, and the things that seemed to have helped. did Trevor have vomiting too? i will try duck and potatos, natural balance. Karlin said to try unusual meats.

after reading that fecal tests for Giardia and Coccidia can be false negatives if not done on samples taken on 3 or 4 consecutive days, i was wondering what was the point of the $200 test i had done a few days ago? I mean, what have i learned from it? it sounds like it was kind of useless, a lot of money for nothing. i'd rather pay more and have something that has a clear result.

Anyway, i'm glad it's the weekend, i will get some boneless skinless chicken breasts tomorrow. we have a holistic vet appointment at 3pm.

Right now, his system isn't sensitive, i guess meds are keeping it right, no blood in the stool, the stools are pretty normal looking, he has a strong appetite, very hungry. The Reglan makes the food move through his body quickly. Should i still give just small servings under these circumstances? Don't give him the whole chicken breast at once, right? About how many meals would one chicken breast make?

Nicki
4th March 2006, 12:19 PM
Oh Judy I'm so sorry to read about Zack. What should have been a joyous time for you has been a complete nightmare.

I was concerned when you mentioned "broker". Did this person breed and raise Zack, or did she just sell him on for someone else? DId you see his Mum and litter mates?

Did they seem healthy? I'm just wondering if they were all ill and being treated for something, and that is why she offered to send you medications. I would be wary of getting medications like that, really it's best if the vet has prescrobed something.

I would be only giving tiny amounts of food, probably about 4 times a day. Literally about 3-4 tsps each meal the first day, then increasing if his tummy stays ok.

The chicken bresat should do quite a few meals, you can keep it in the fridge for a couple of days, and just cut off small amounts. Mix it with some boiling water so it's not too cold for him - just warm.

With mine, if they have bad tummies, I give baked potatoes and live {bio} yogurt in small amounts. I know vets don't like giving dairy products but a tsp at a time would help put the "right" bacteria back.

I presume Zack's been wormed?

LauraD
4th March 2006, 06:24 PM
Judy,
My gosh you sure have been throught a lot! And poor little Zack, i really hope he is starting to take a turn for the better. Your story is just so difficult, so much the two of you have already endured. :(
I am wishing and hoping that everything turns out for the best. I don't have any experience to add, just warm thoughts and positive words to send to you. It's all i have to offer, i hope it helps a little. :)
Laura

Roberta
5th March 2006, 04:59 AM
Hi Judy,

You asked if Trevor had had problems with vomiting. He did have occasional vomiting, but colitis was the big problem. The colitis was solved by switching to the duck and potato food. In addition to digestive problems, Trevor has the Chiari malformation (also called COMS) that causes his brain to be squeezed into too small an area. This has caused other symptoms/behaviors. But I do not believe that his digestive problems were directly related to the Chiari malformation.

Hope that Zack continues to feel better and that everything gets sorted out.

Best, Roberta

Roberta
5th March 2006, 05:00 AM
Hi Judy,

You asked if Trevor had had problems with vomiting. He did have occasional vomiting, but colitis was the big problem. The colitis was solved by switching to the duck and potato food. In addition to digestive problems, Trevor has the Chiari malformation (also called COMS) that causes his brain to be squeezed into too small an area. This has caused other symptoms/behaviors. But I do not believe that his digestive problems were directly related to the Chiari malformation.

Hope that Zack continues to feel better and that everything gets sorted out.

Best, Roberta

judy
5th March 2006, 06:06 AM
I'm glad Trevor came through the colitis OK and that a simple solution like nutrition did the trick. It sure is good to hear that things like this can go on for a long time and still get better.

my roller coaster ride went down again today. zack got up this morning seeming fine, playful and energetic. I was fixing his canned food and he was jumping around impatiently. Then I got down on the floor with a spoonful of it with one of his pills in it, and he smelled the food and then walked away. He didn't want any food. Loud noises were coming from his abdomin. Gradually he got quieter and quieter, and he was just laying around, and then he vomited, just bile/foam.

The stool is soft but not diarrhea. This is a pattern that's been repeated a few times in the past 2 or 3 weeks.

i took him to a holistic vet today. She said stop giving him the reglan because it can cause diarrhea, keep giving him the flagyl and sulfasalazine til it's gone, and she gave me a prescription of pepcid AC. She also gave me deworming pills. He was dewormed before, but she wanted to make sure the worms hadn't come back. Zack's body is like a pharmacy.

He seemed hungry when we got home. I boiled chicken and made rice and gave him about a quarter to a third cup of rice mixed with maybe about a third to a half cup of chicken. Was that too much? He ate it eagerly. I boiled it for about a half hour. After 15 minutes it was still pink inside. Since eating, he has been really quiet, just laying, and i can tell he is in that condition where i won't be surprised if he vomits. I hope not. It's so nice to see him acting like he feels better and is enjoying life.
I think maybe i gave him too much chicken and rice.

The vet agreed that chicken and rice would be good, but she said i should also mix it with the I/D food he's already on. But i didn't. I just wanted to give him the chicken and rice. I didn't understand why she wanted him to have the I/D, even though i asked. I see the chicken and rice as a kind of fasting. Will he get enough nutrients with just chicken and rice?

The vet said it's also just as good to use boiled ground turkey as an alternative to boiled chicken breast. Does anyone have any thoughts on that?

I didn't realize a chicken breast was so big. I had in mind the size of piece you get when you order a breast for dinner at a restaurant, a portion size. But the breast i got was huge. So i have a lot left. I guess it will keep for 3 or 4 days? I wish i was a stay at home mom so i could feed him small portions all day.

The vet said he looked good overall and he gained weight in the past week, he was 9 pounds. Last time he was weighed on Monday, he was 8 pounds 3 oz.

i'm not that worried about the colitis because he still acts happy in spite of that, but i'm more worried about the apparent nausea and vomiting. I don't know if they're related. Surely it all must be caused by some kind of parasite or something. The vet looked at all his records and said he was definitely tested for Coccidia. She said it was unlikely that he has giardia because of all the Flagyl he's had.

I'm wondering what Bruce would use the Neomycin for. It's for bacteria, right?

The vet said that for now he doesn't need any procedures but she seemed to be saying if it goes on more than another couple of weeks, then something more would have to be done.

i sure hope boiled chicken and rice will help him.

judy
5th March 2006, 09:11 AM
after his boiled chicken and rice dinner, zack slept for a long very long time.
finally i woke him up because i wanted to go to bed, it was late. when he woke up he seemed to feel really good, he was playing and running around for a long time, and he seemed hungry. i wasnt sure if i should give him more chicken and rice, it was so late, so i didn't. i'll feed him small servings tomorrow. i'm so happy to see him happy.

Karlin
5th March 2006, 02:06 PM
Keep him on small servings as per recommendations by others. Small meals are easier for him to digest.

Bruce H
5th March 2006, 03:24 PM
I'm wondering what Bruce would use the Neomycin for. It's for bacteria, right?

.

Neomycin is a mild antibiotic, less likely to upset his tummy.

Make sure there is no pink in the chicken breast. The key is small meals, a couple tablespoons at a time and every few hours. Once he is over this, you may want to keep up with the small meals. Don't know how much you feed, but our adults get 1/2 cup per day. If you follow the feeding instructions on the bags, I would say you're probably feeding too much.

Hope this is over soon. I know how nerve-wracking it is to have a sick dog.

judy
5th March 2006, 06:09 PM
A half cup a day seems so little. I'm used to my cat, i have just left food in her bowl for her to eat when she wants. She doesn't eat too much, a bowl lasts for days. So i had started out with zack that way too--i'm talking about dry food of course. Until that day he got sick two weeks ago, he was l ike the cat, he'd nibble a little bit now and then, and after i told him no, he didn't eat the cat's food at all, which was next to his, just separated by the water bowl. In two weeks, it was only necessary to correct him a couple of times, otherwise, he just left the cat food alone. I was surprised at this compliance on his part and impressed. But after that night he got sick, when he got his appetite back 24 hours later, he was so ravenous, i didn't feel i could trust that he wouldn't eat the cat's food when his was gone, so i've kept the cat's food upstairs and have a gate that keeps him from going upstairs. Before that night he got sick, his bowl was usually not emptied, but now since then, he cleans his bowl in one or two eatings, so things have changed.

A half a cup divided into two meals seems so little, he acts so hungry--is this to be expected and is it ok to not feed him more even though he is still very hungry when he's done?

About feeding him small amounts in multiple feedings, during the week when i go to the office, i would feed him in the morning and come home 4 or a bit more hours later and feed him again, and then another 4 or 5 hours later when i get home. If it's 2 tablespoons, is that enough for him? Is that often enough?

None of the vets mentoned neomycin. Is it given orally? Can it be given by injection? Must it be gotten from a vet? Bruce, I take it you find it effective when nothing else works? Or do you use it as a first resort, at the outset of diarrhea/coliltis?

Any ideas why none of the 5 vets i've seen have suggested trying it, instead repeating flagyl which is not working? I asked one of my vets, one who keeps repeating flagyl, why they had not suggested trying the sulfasalazine that the other vet i took him to put him on, i asked if there was a problem with the medication that explained her not using it. She said there's no problem with it, it's just that it's "old timey", and they don't even carry it.

i'm really grateful to people here for sharing their experiences and for those who have given caring thoughts and words. It's very helpful.

rory
5th March 2006, 06:19 PM
When Rory was a pup, he got 1cup a day split into 2 meals. Now he gets 1/2 cup a day divided into 2 meals + wet food. Each dog is individual and you must feed them so they're not starving, but not fat either.

i'd recommend not free feeding. Cavs are very prone to getting overweight and this can compound their heart problems. (all that extra weight puts additional stress on their hearts and bodies)

I think a puppy should get more food as they are growing and need that extra energy.


Also - wet food is less energy dense than dry food. so you have to feed more if you're giving him ID or boiled chicken and rice. We switched the dogs to a hhome cooked food and Rory lost too much weight because I wasn't feeding him enough. He needed more of the wet food to get the same energy because of all the water weight in the wet food.

judy
5th March 2006, 07:38 PM
thanks for the info on rory. i guess you have to play it by ear all the time.
When i made the chicken and rice today, i saw that two tablespoons is more than i thought, I had made about 3 tablespoons so i gave him two and saved the rest. but he still is acting hungry, and a problem with that is that when he's more hungry, he is more likely to try to eat inappropriate things.

At this point, he's very slender. He doesn't seem bony but he's anything but fat. I definitely don't want him to get overweight. i guess you just have to adjust as you go along.

just to make sure i'm doing the chicken and rice correctly, is this right? he only had a small part of that huge chicken breast. I put the rest in a baggie (i need to go out and buy some food storing containers, i have some small ones but none to fit the chicken breast). I made some extra rice so i can just mix some cooked rice and cold chicken in a sauce pan with a little water and warm it up. I am thinking the cold chicken should be good for up to 4 days. After that, i'd cook a new one.

Does this system sound OK?

another problem just came up. I got a call from my 87 year old mother and she's not feeling well, aching in her head, chest and stomach, it sounds like i will have to go over and it's not near where i live, probably will have to take her to emergency hospital and they might keep us sitting there for 6 hours while they work on the people with more urgent emergencies like the last time we did that, a year or two ago. She's alone, and she has some dementia, and i believe when i call her doctor, she'll recommend taking her in to get her checked out. those kind of symptoms can be the heart.

This means leaving Zack in his crate for?????? Not feeding him??

I was so looking forward to a relaxing day today with no vet appointments, nursing Zack along, enjoying him while he feels well, before going back to work tomorrow. :cry:

i might take him with me in the crate and keep him at her house while we're at the hospital and go and feed him during the time we're there waiting to see a doctor if it takes that long, bring his chicken with me, pack it in some ice.

:(

Karlin
5th March 2006, 08:10 PM
Can you instead confine him to an exercise pen or a small rooom like a kitchen? This would be more comfortable than long-term crating. Also you need to feed amounts appropriate for your dog. When mine were pups they like Rory each got about 1 cup of food total divided into three then two meals. Now they get lesss as adults (puppies need more food). Cavs are *always* hungry BTW in my experience -- which is why they get fat so easily!

But half a cup a day is probably too little for a pup. Try 3/4ths or a cup divided into the smaller meals.

Bruce H
5th March 2006, 08:49 PM
Neomycine is given orally. We use it as a first try if a problem doesn't go away in a couple days. Having said that, if you or your vet aren't comfortable giving it, don't do it. Kris and I are not vets and we would never want you to do something your vet wouldn't want to do. Don't know if it might have a reaction with other drugs you are now giving.

At this point I would err on the side of slightly underfeeding until he is straightened out. At that point you can give him a little more food.

judy
5th March 2006, 09:35 PM
Can you instead confine him to an exercise pen or a small rooom like a kitchen? This would be more comfortable than long-term crating.

Yes, i am wanting to just put gates on the two doors to the kitchen, but i was waiting until he really got the idea about going outside to go to the bathroom, i was afraid that if i leave him free in the kitchen before he learns and commits to going outside, it will confuse him about that subject and he will think the kitchen is an ok place to use for elimination.

He is progressing well in housetraining but he's not there yet. He does ask to go outside, he never once has gone inside the crate, but he also thinks going on the wee wee pads inside is ok, though that is the exception, it's been a few days now since he's gone on a wee wee pad, and that was when it was raining. but then sporadically he will just start peeing right in front of me on the rug, as if he has no inhibition. I'd say that happens once a week or less though.

But i am unhappy with him being in the crate, it just strikes me as too confining, and i am eager to set him up in the whole kitchen. i may be forced by circumstances to do it before he learns that in is in and out is out.

i called my mom back, i had told her to take tylenol because she said her head was aching, and i called her about 45 miinutes later and she said she felt better, pain had gone away, she was watching TV, i've called her a couple more times, she sounds ok. so i'm still home, zack sleeping in my lap, i gave him that other heaping tablespoon of chicken and rice. looking forward to giving him a little more in a couple of hours.

judy
5th March 2006, 09:41 PM
Neomycine is given orally. We use it as a first try if a problem doesn't go away in a couple days. Having said that, if you or your vet aren't comfortable giving it, don't do it. Kris and I are not vets and we would never want you to do something your vet wouldn't want to do. Don't know if it might have a reaction with other drugs you are now giving.


If what he's getting isn't working, maybe neomycin kills something those other meds don't. i don't want to give him more drugs on top of what he's taking now, but i want to ask the vet about it. If it works for you and you use it rather than flagyl, it's good to know about. Your experience is important information. i understand you're not advising to do something a vet is opposed to though. thanks a lot for sharing what works for you!

Karlin
5th March 2006, 10:18 PM
If you have a rug on the kitchen floor I'd just take it up while he is being housetrained. Once they wee on something, they will keep going there because of the scent and you need to use something like Nature's Miracle to destroy it enzymatically (regular soap won;t work). I threw out a few area rugs after housetraining Jaspar and in future won;t keep them donw at all when they are young. One of the problems with wee wee pads is sometimes it gets them thinking any pad is OK; also they plain old like soft things like carpet or rugs to pee on (as do kittens) so it is better not to even give them the option if you can take it up.

Note Bruce was saying 1/2 cup for his adult cavaliers -- adults usually eat less than puppies. Again feeding amounts really depend on the size and metabolism and amount of exercise for a given dog.

Try not to get overly worried about him too -- dogs can sense your anxiety and they in turn can become anxious simply because of this, so do your best to relax and feel positive about sorting out his tummy problems. :)

judy
5th March 2006, 10:51 PM
If you have a rug on the kitchen floor I'd just take it up while he is being housetrained.....One of the problems with wee wee pads is sometimes it gets them thinking any pad is OK....

Try not to get overly worried about him too -- dogs can sense your anxiety and they in turn can become anxious simply because of this, so do your best to relax and feel positive about sorting out his tummy problems. :)

i only have one small rug in front of the sink in the kitchen which is easy to remove. but this is what i'm afraid of, he will pee in there and there will be a residual scent, and just a habit he will form, of going in there. The kitchen was the very first place he went pee when i brought him home, the first night, i was fixing dinner and my back was turned for a moment. but he hasn't done it again in over a month, and i let him run around unsupervised somewhat, i was lucky to catch him in the act and put him outside and he seems to kind of dimly 'get' the point of that ritual. i've been using natures miracle for years with my cat, it's great stuff alright.

you're right about anxiety and stress. i try not to let him know how worried i get. So far so good since last night, hoping chicken and rice will help a lot. Today we are going out later together to buy him a doggie booster seat that goes in the car, so he'll be able to see out the window when we go places. to me, this is a fun thing to do, and a sign of being carefree and, well, cavalier... :D

judy
6th March 2006, 06:55 PM
zack was sick on saturday, feeling better in the afternoon, started feeding chicken and rice, he was fine all day yesterday, sunday, and then this morning, monday, i heard his stomach making loud noises again, like it's done before when he is sick and vomits. i thought he seemed a little quiet although as normal he was excited about the cat when she came in. i was about to prepare his chicken and rice, but first, for the second time, starting last night, i cut up some tiny pieces of chicken and i used them to have him practice coming when i say 'come,' i did that 3 or 4 times, less than 5 minutes, then made his food.

Before all that, i gave him the pepcid pill from the holistic vet and i gave him the flagyl pill from the first and second vet, and then after feeding him, i was going to give him the sulfasalazine pill. i called him to come get his food, he didn't come, not a good sign that he wasn't in there helping me fix it, i went to find him and he was standing over the bits of chicken he just vomited. i guess he vomited the flagyl and pepcid too? i only have one dose of flagyl left.

The above is clearly a pattern by now. In the past two weeks, he acts fine one day or two, more like a day and a half, then he acts sick for a day or less, then fine, then sick, then fine, etc. by sick, i mean vomiting and quiet. I'm not sure how the diarrhea fits into the pattern. I think it follows the vomiting/nausea episodes by some hours, looking back, but i'm not sure it's systematic. so i am waiting to see if that happens. since starting the chicken and rice, his stools have been much smaller and less frequent, unless i'm missing some. but his pooping behavior seems different from before, it was easier to tell before when and where.

the holistic vet on saturday gave me deworming pills. worms or a worm could cause his symptoms, she said, and although he was dewormed before, it could happen again. I didn't start it yet because he's taking so many pills, and those deworming pills, even broken up, are huge. i wish they could make something suitable for a puppy. I thought i would see how he does on the new diet before adding another factor. i need to go to work now but will be able to get home early, by 2 or earlier, and can be home the rest of the day, so i can watch him. I hate to give him a big pill and leave.

He's so nice about taking the pills. i appreciate that. he doesn't fight. but they don't always go down, and sometimes i accidentally hurt him while holding his mouth closed. i wish i could get him to take it with food but unless i use that greasy mushy kind of canned food, he doesn't eat it.
i don't want to add another kind of food in.

one thing worries me. I wanted to give him just the chicken and rice and nothing else, but he has eaten little pieces off of a chew thing, i don't even know what's in it, it was from his first vet and is some kind of dental cleaning chew. and he chews on bully stix, doesn't seem to get much off of them, except yesterday at the pet store, i gave him a bully stick to occupy him while i looked at something, not realizing it was the kind with the smoked flavor. I have stayed away from those. when i got him home later, i saw that, because it's a small one, he was able to chew pieces off of it. so i threw it away and took away the other thing he was getting pieces off of.

i feel i need to let him have some of these chew things, hoping bully stix are ok, because if he doesn't have those, then he chews inappropriate things that could hurt him more, paper, cardboard, electrical wires, cloth. I keep lots and lots of toys and chews available and there isn't too much of a problem with chewing the bad things, but when he's hungry especially, there's a potential problem.

I would like to have an idea of how long he can be on just boiled chicken and rice and nothing else. Is this something that can be done for a couple of weeks, or would that be too long? Is he getting enough nutrients? at some point should i alternate chicken and rice with other foods, like that natural balance potato and duck? should i give a kibble? Are there some chews that are less of a potential digestive problem than others?

we had such a great day yesterday, especially when we went on our outing to the pet store, and he got to ride in his new booster seat on the way back and really loved seeing all the people and dogs out the window.