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judy
29th June 2006, 10:24 PM
all of a sudden, yesterday, zack has started acting not like his usual self. the first thing i noticed when i got home from work, he had chewed a paper cup, i leave them around all the time and he never touches them, but no big deal. but then i noticed he was chewing his back foot. the foot was wet. he chewed the foot and the lower leg. i told him to stop and he did. I didn't know if he would stop just because i told him but he did. then, off and on the rest of the night, and seeming to get more as the night went on, he was digging in the pillows and bedding really hard, rubbing his head and body into the floor and sofa, making a lot of noise, he was doing some scratching but not a lot. i could not see any fleas or flea bites on him. I looked in his ears and they are not red and don't have any odor, and look clean. I'm not sure i know what to look for in the ears.

a couple of weeks ago, i saw a couple of fleas on him. This is the time of year, as the weather gets warmer, that i get fleas at my house for 2 or 3 months. In the past, i've just given Fluffy the cat Program for one or two months and i don't see fleas and she doesn't scratch.

This year, i've been reading up more and i decided i would try to avoid giving zack, and Fluffy, Program, or any of the other pesticide things like Frontline or Advantage. So, a couple of weeks ago, i started giving them chewable brewers yeast and garlic tablets that are made for pets, which i got at the health store, having read that this can cause fleas to leave the animal alone. I started taking vitamin B complex for myself too. i stopped seeing any fleas on Zack, but the weather cooled off too, so i don't know. since then, i've seen one every now and then, not in a few days.

i wanted to be proactive so i got diatomaceous earth and put it in Zack's bedding. that was a mistake. I only put a tiny bit but it caused a lot of dust and he woke up the next day coughing and choking. :( I had taken it outside to beat it and get all the excess off, and i wore a mask, but apparently there was still too much in the bedding, which i have since replaced. I beat it again before i threw it away, didn't think it had much in it so didn't wear a mask, and i got major respiratory irritation from just breathing it for about 15 seconds. :( we both coughed for days, him only in the mornings, me all day.

so much for the diatomaceous earth. i got flea killing nematodes for the backyard but haven't put them out yet. i'm going to look into using IGR too, outside.

Zack started having heavier and smelly discharge from his eyes so i guessed it was the brewers yeast causing yeast overgrowth in the eyes, so i stopped giving the brewers yeast and garlic tablets and started giving powdered probiotics to him once or twice a day for several days, to get the yeast in check. the eyes have since stopped having the smelly discharge so i think the probiotics worked. It's probiotics marketed as being for babies and children under 4.

I also put Neem oil on him one day, with spritzer that i bought online. It's supposed to be for pets, for fleas. He acted weird when i put it on, pretty much the same way he acts after a bath. Maybe it made his skin feel cool. i read as much as i could about it before getting it and couldn't find any dangers.

the neem oil was probably 5 or 6 days ago. he hasn't had brewers yeast and garlic in several days. He had probiotics last night.

I don't know if any of these things could cause how he's acting. Not only is he digging into pillows and bedding. He also wants to be in my lap all the time, which isn't normal. And today when i got up from the chair, he stayed in the chair, he's never done that before, he always has to get down and come with me. when i got home from work to check on him just now, he was laying on a couch that he's not allowed on and never goes on, and he wouldn't get off when i told him, not normal for him at all. Usually he would be up wagging his tail and stuff. He is way not active in his usual way.

He's not listless and lethargic the way he was when he had the gastrointestinal symptoms. It's different inactivity from that. He seems on the tense side. His appetite seems normal.

I called the vet this morning and was told he would call me back and talk about it and decide whether there was something i could do at home or if i should bring him in.

I am wondering if it can be fleas even though i can't see any fleas and even though he's not scratching. He is scratching a little once in a while, but in my past experience when dogs have fleas they scratch in a more determined and persistent way.

could he have a flea inside his ear? or a flea bite in his ear?

one other thing, last night i was looking at his eyes and seeing that the discharge wasn't there, and his eyes looked like the right color, not red, but then i pulled back the lid and his eye was very red under the lid. He's not really rubbing his eyes, but maybe he is when he rubs his head. It's hard to read because he rubs his whole body. maybe i was imagining it, i looked under his eyelid just now and it looks ok, not bright red.

i'm worried and sorry for him, something isn't right. i'm going to call the vet again, maybe i should just put Frontline on him...i'm home from work and have to go back to the office. wish i knew how to help him. i need to call the vet again, it's been hours and no return call.

Nicki
29th June 2006, 10:32 PM
Judy, I wouldn't put Frontline or anything else on him until he's seen the vet.

I wonder if he has an eye infection if his eye is red like that?

If you go through his coat, can you see any small dark bits? If you find any, put them on damp tissue, you will see reddish brown around them if they are flea droppings.

I really hope he is ok.

judy
29th June 2006, 10:48 PM
thanks nicki, i'll try that with a wet paper towel. i've seen one or two tiny black things here and there, not like when it builds up, very minimal, thanks for the tip of how to tell if it's flea droppings. i checked his eye again and it's not bright red now, maybe i was imagining it. i havn't checked the other eye though, he's sleeping in my lap, it's just so unusual for him to be doing this.

i wasn't planning to put the frontline on him myself, i was going to have them do it at the vet because i'm not used to it and i'm kind of grossed out by pesticides. i agree with you on not adding anything new at this point unless advised by the vet too, not sure i want to put frontline on him until he's ok...do you use frontline?

Moviedust
29th June 2006, 11:22 PM
Hi, Judy. Poor guy. I hope he's just adjusting too all the new stuff. It could be he has allergies completely unrelated to all the other stuff. If he hasnt improved in a day or so, the vet sounds like the next step.

As far as frontline goes, I use Frontline plus. It's really very simple to apply. I'm not sure why you find it gross. It's less gross than putting bug spray on, in my opinion. The meds come in a little vile. You just empty the contents of the vile to one spot between the dog's shoulders. It's a clear liquid, and once it is applied, you can tell the fur is damp, but that's it.

rory
29th June 2006, 11:51 PM
What is neem oil? Where did you get it? I would bathe him to get that off, and clean the bedding, too, in case it's on there as well. I don't know what neem oil is, but it could be causing some of the problems.

Unfortunately when owners try to avoid the ffrontline, advantage, etc by using "herbal" or "natural" remedies, they can end up doing even more harm. We saw a case study on a dog whose owners had put a whole vial of pennyroyal oil on her dog for fleas and the dog died. :(

judy
30th June 2006, 02:06 AM
What is neem oil? Where did you get it? I would bathe him to get that off, and clean the bedding, too, in case it's on there as well. I don't know what neem oil is, but it could be causing some of the problems.

Unfortunately when owners try to avoid the ffrontline, advantage, etc by using "herbal" or "natural" remedies, they can end up doing even more harm. We saw a case study on a dog whose owners had put a whole vial of pennyroyal oil on her dog for fleas and the dog died. :(

neem oil is from a tree in india called the neem tree, i think. i got it from this website
http://www.botanicaldog.com/products.php?cat=7
It's the one on the bottom of the page, on the bottle it says it can be used daily. i just used it once, about a week ago.

here's a site i found about neem oil when i was trying to find out about it
http://www.theneemteam.co.uk/acatalog/What_s_your_problem_.html
http://www.neemfoundation.org/home%20uses.htm
http://homeharvest.com/insectspraysneembased.htm

i'll give him a bath tonight.

I've heard of pennyroyal being something to avoid.

neem oil, and most other essential oils, i think, are not to be used on cats.

the vet hasn't called me back yet. I called a second time and she said he's the only one there today and probably hadn't gotten to his phone messages yet. The vet that i like there is just in on Friday through Monday. I made an appointment to take him to see her tomorrow evening after work.

this started so suddenly. he's licking his feet right now, back and front, on his left front foot between two of his toes, it looks red. no way of knowing whether it's red from him licking it or if it's red from whatever's wrong with him, but it's his back right foot that he's paying more attention to, no redness on it. when i touch the red spot he doesn't pull his foot away, it's not sensitive.

since it started so suddenly, i'm wondering if that plastic disposable cup he was chewing could've hurt him. i don't know. i wish the vet would call. i wish there was something i could do for him. I will give him a bath, i hope that will help. he hasn't had anything like neem oil or DE or herbs or brewers yeast in a week. i got him a brand new snoozy and threw the other one away for fear the DE won't all come out in the wash.

as for Frontline or Advantage, i'm sure it's probably fine, just the idea of pesticides bothers me, i avoid them, i buy organic food as much as possible, and putting it on their fur, on the back of their neck, it bothers me, even though it's probably fine. but animals are having a lot of health problems as time goes on, over the years, that they didn't used to have, and no one really knows what's causing it, no one can say if it's from vaccinations or drugs. if it were possible to safely avoid them, i would want to, but i totally agree, various herbs and things can be harmful too, and are not well researched. and medications are often a lesser of evils and they do good things. including flea control and all the problems that come from uncontrolled fleas.

I'm not really a purist about avoiding Advantage and Frontline, i had it put on zack the first month i had him because he was scratching so much, i thought it was fleas, i did see a flea on him at the place where i got him. she had been using advantage. I didn't want to do it but i thought it was better than him constantly having to stop and scratch, he was so playful but he couldn't just have fun, he kept needing to scratch. the Advantage didn't help, apparently the scratching was related to his digestive problems related to worms or parasites or something like that, it went away along wiht the diarrhea and vomiting. And that was the kind of scratching im used to seeing. What he's doing now is different, hard to explain. it's like he doesn't know where to scratch.

amjon
30th June 2006, 02:54 AM
It sounds like it could be a food allergy. I would put him on a restricted diet to rule out allergies (lamb and rice--if you haven't used or something like duck and potato). If that doesn't work, I would see the vet.

judy
30th June 2006, 03:05 AM
It sounds like it could be a food allergy. I would put him on a restricted diet to rule out allergies (lamb and rice--if you haven't used or something like duck and potato). If that doesn't work, I would see the vet.

thanks. he's had lamb and rice (yesterday or the day before) and has had duck and potato but not in a while. i could give him that tonight. or maybe chicken and rice kibble, he hasn't had that in a really long time. I don't have any chicken breast thawed, maybe i'll pick on up while i'm out getting the benadryl.

i called the vet a third time and reached him, and he said it sounded like an allergic reaction. He said it could be something like getting a spider bite in the back yard. He said to give him 25mg of benadryl. i'm going to go to the drug store and get childrens liquid benadryl. he said that should take care of it, otherwise, he should come in to be seen.

rory
30th June 2006, 03:13 AM
i don't want to freak you out judy, but what you're describing does sound like SM symptoms. Have you checked out Karlin's site on SM? See if it sounds like what you're observing. I know that on top of the scratching at the head/neck, he also chews on his feet rather obsessively occasionally. Whipping around at his back feet like something bit him. It tends to go in spells. He'll be kinda of freaked out on his feet (i describe it as the monsters attacking his feet... :( )
If you haven't already, check out this site for more info: http://sm.cavaliertalk.com/

judy
30th June 2006, 03:13 AM
As far as frontline goes, I use Frontline plus. It's really very simple to apply. I'm not sure why you find it gross. It's less gross than putting bug spray on, in my opinion. The meds come in a little vile. You just empty the contents of the vile to one spot between the dog's shoulders. It's a clear liquid, and once it is applied, you can tell the fur is damp, but that's it.

thanks for explaining how to put it on. maybe when he's over this, i'll put some on rather than pay to have the vet do it. I dont' think he needs frontline plus, just the regular frontline, because there aren't any ticks here. isn't that what frontline plus is for, fleas and ticks both? what grosses me out is just the idea of it being a poison and being absorbed into their skin. but i know that dogs get it all the time and are ok. anyway, i'm sure it's better than fleas. i was just hoping to find something else.

after you put the frontline on, how long before, if you pet their fur on the back of their neck, how long before it won't come off on your hand?

Moviedust
30th June 2006, 03:40 AM
[quote=Moviedust]
after you put the frontline on, how long before, if you pet their fur on the back of their neck, how long before it won't come off on your hand?

It has to dry, so it depends on the humidity. A few hours, generally. After a few hours, the treatment is waterproof, so the dog can go swimming, have a bath, etc., and he's still protected.

The difference between Frontline and Frontline plus has more to do with the flea life cycle, I think. Frontline Plus also kills flea larva and eggs, whereas Frontline doesnt.

You can check out more information about Frontline products at their website. Just like you would for homeopathic meds, you can research these products and find out all the details before you use them.

Here you go: http://frontline.us.merial.com/home/index.asp

There are is also a lot of information online that isnt from the company. A quick search will give you a lot. You might want to even look for old threads on these discussion boards.

Cathy Moon
30th June 2006, 03:45 AM
I feel for you and Zack. It's good that you have a vet appointment.

I would give him a bath and use a gentle puppy shampoo, rinse his feet extra well, then wipe his eyes with a cotton ball soaked in water or preservative free saline solution (spray can in contact lense section of store.) I'd also vacuum, wash, and rinse the floors. Then wash his bedding in Dreft (for washing baby clothes.) And only feed him a food he has been fine with. Do you use California Natural?

I read somewhere on this website that garlic is bad for dogs, so please check that out. (I was surprised that right after I read that about garlic, there was also a dog biscuit recipe with garlic in it.) I'm sure that I also read in Dog Fancy magazine recently that garlic is bad for dogs!

I too hate pesticides and will not use chemicals on my lawn and garden, nor will I walk my dogs in my neighborhood this time of year when everyone is using fertilizers and pesticides, but I do use Frontline Plus on them because fleas, ticks, mites, lice, and mange are worse!!!

I hope you and Zack feel better soon :flwr:

Moviedust
30th June 2006, 03:49 AM
I agree with Cathy. While the symptoms COULD be SM, the SM symptoms are hard to diagnose because they are often issues related to other issues (including regular dog behavior!). I'd start with the precautions for an allergy. This time of year, there are allll sorts of things that could have bitten him or that could be in the air.

I hate it when I know something's up with Cedar but I dont know exactly what it is. It is way worse than knowing it is something bad! At least then you know what's going on.

Hopefully, this litle guy will be back to his old self in a day or so.

judy
30th June 2006, 10:10 AM
i don't want to freak you out judy, but what you're describing does sound like SM symptoms. Have you checked out Karlin's site on SM? See if it sounds like what you're observing. I know that on top of the scratching at the head/neck, he also chews on his feet rather obsessively occasionally. Whipping around at his back feet like something bit him. It tends to go in spells. He'll be kinda of freaked out on his feet (i describe it as the monsters attacking his feet... :( )
If you haven't already, check out this site for more info: http://sm.cavaliertalk.com/

i did think of SM but i figured it had been going on less than one day. But I am definitely worried, he's not acting right. he was fine, then it started so suddenly.

i visited some SM pages back during the first month i had zack, i really thought he had SM because he was scratching a lot for no apparent reason. at first, i just thought it was a scary possibility, but then one day when he went to scratch, he started shrieking, i've never heard a dog do that while scratching, he continued shrieking after he stopped scratching and ran into the house still shrieking. i got a dull ache inside of knowing he had SM. :( he only shrieked that one time. but i know the symptoms can wax and wane. but his scratching did abruptly stop after the worming.

whether this is SM or ends up being explained by something else, SM always hangs over the cavalier. as long as he's not having symptoms, i dont' think about it, but if he has any unexplained weird thing, i do think of it.

i gave him about 1 1/2 tsp of benadryl and soon he was snoring. before he crashed out, i sprayed Bitter Yuk on his paws, the two he's been licking and biting. the vet had said 25mg benadryl, but on the bottle it said children under six, consult physician, and over six, they got two tsp which is 25mg. I felt reluctant to give him more that the recommendation for a six year old child. so i gave him a little less than 25mg.

how do you protect rory's paws from too much biting? does it become a problem?

judy
30th June 2006, 10:20 AM
I feel for you and Zack. It's good that you have a vet appointment.

I would give him a bath and use a gentle puppy shampoo, rinse his feet extra well, then wipe his eyes with a cotton ball soaked in water or preservative free saline solution (spray can in contact lense section of store.) I'd also vacuum, wash, and rinse the floors. Then wash his bedding in Dreft (for washing baby clothes.) And only feed him a food he has been fine with. Do you use California Natural?

I read somewhere on this website that garlic is bad for dogs, so please check that out. (I was surprised that right after I read that about garlic, there was also a dog biscuit recipe with garlic in it.) I'm sure that I also read in Dog Fancy magazine recently that garlic is bad for dogs!


cathy, thanks for the guidance on the bathing. yes, i do have California Natural chicken and rice, among other brands.

no more garlic! thanks for telling me. In Dr Pitcairn's book, i think he recommends garlic. or he lists it as somethnig people try, and he says that research has not shown that it works but that people can try it and see if it works for them with their pet. he doesn't say anything negative.

but now that you mention it, i think i've heard that before too, and that dogs should never have onion.

joanna
30th June 2006, 12:43 PM
I hope Zack is feeling better soon Judy :flwr:

Maxxs_Mummy
30th June 2006, 01:50 PM
Oh poor {{{{{{{{Zack}}}}}}}} and poor you too, Judy. I must admit that Zack's symptoms do sound suspiciously like SM to me too. Maxx has SM and he too will suddenly start obsessively biting his paws for no reason.

The one thing to remember is that if he does have SM (and really, to diagnose it properly, he'd need an MRI scan) is that, if he should get anything else wrong with him that causes pain or distress then this could actually trigger an SM 'attack'. I found this out last Friday when Maxx suddenly went from being a happy little boy into one that was extremely distressed and could hardly stand up for scratching and biting :(

A trip to the Vets and a few doses of medication later he was once more a happy little boy again :)

It's awful to see our babies in distress, Judy and I know how worrying it is for you. If I were you, I'd pop Zack in to see the Vets anyway & if he keeps getting the scratching and other symptoms then get him referred for an MRI. It's the only way you are going to be 100% certain that he has or hasn't got SM.

Even if he does have SM, it's not the end of the world, it's very upsetting and distressing but it usually can be controlled. There are plenty of us around who have SM dogs to support you too.

Big hugs for you and Zack xxxxx

Kingofthehouse86
30th June 2006, 05:39 PM
aww poor Zack, and poor u Judy..u seem more stress and freaked out then Zack...but it could b seasonal or an allergic reaction to something... i remember when King was a puppy he had a very high fever that when i brought him to the vet he gave give a shot (of something i can't remember) that King had an allergic reaction to and the majority of his hair fell out...so he went from a lil fluffy puppy, to a skinny lil rat thing... :lol: (but its noted in his medical file never to give him that kind of shot again) so i could b a number of things...also the only time King will lick his legs/paws is after chewing on a bully stick, chicken filet, or booda bone...i guess the smell is still there so he wants to lick his feet cuz they smell...but its only 4 a few minutes and usually he stops if i tell him to...

rory
30th June 2006, 06:46 PM
how do you protect rory's paws from too much biting? does it become a problem?


He doesn't bother them too much. he was just licking them right now and has been doing that on and off the last few days, but generally doesn't bother them much. But he is on medicine for the pain, which certainly helps.

judy
30th June 2006, 07:58 PM
the vet appointment got moved up from 6:30pm til 2pm today--i could've waited til tomorrow but zack is suffering. He just lays around. It seems worse each day. he sleeps in the kitchen and this morning he didn't get up when i came in. i took him outside to pee but he just stood there waiting for me to let him go back inside. i think it looks like his back legs might be stiff or weak, maybe i'm imagining things, don't know. he just stays in his crate which he never does, except when he was first recovering from neutering.
he still licks his paws. it seems like he keeps trying to get comfortable and can't.

what shall i try to accomplish with the vet? if SM is suspected, there'll have to be a neuro consult, but is there something i can aske for as far as medication goes so he won't be suffering? I'm going to print up all the info to take to the vet. Can she give him an injection?

me and zack had plans tomorrow to go to my friend's house and play with him and his two dogs. Is there any way he could be OK by tomorrow? I already told my friend it doesn't look good for tomorrow.
but people here are saying that a dog can snap out of the pain quickly so i'm wondering.

Moviedust
30th June 2006, 08:59 PM
:( I'm sorry Zach isnt feeling better. Poor guy. He always seems to have a rough time of things.

I'll be thinking of the two of you!!

judy
30th June 2006, 09:07 PM
:( I'm at work, the vet office called and said my appointment for 6:30pm had to be cancelled. So i made one for 2pm. i just emailed the links to karlin's site to the vet. i'm bummed because i need to take off in the middle of the day and go pick up zack in the opposite direction from the vet and then take him home and then come back, this is not a day when i can take off. I'm off all week next week and need to tie up loose ends and stuff. but if the vet can just do something to make zacky feel better, i'll be happy.

Maxxs_Mummy
30th June 2006, 11:11 PM
Judy,

I don't know what time it is over there with you but I hope things went OK. Before Maxx was formally diagnosed as having SM by an MRI scan, my Vet put him on Prednisone, Frusamide and Rimadyl. This won't affect the scan results but may possibly help to relieve Zack's symptoms if he does have SM.

Let us know how you get on. Big hugs to you both

XXXXX

judy
1st July 2006, 04:23 AM
thanks for the good wishes.
zack is still in bad shape. all he can do is lay down, he won't go out to pee, it seems like something is wrong with his legs, weakness maybe because he's not showing pain signs or sensitivity. Like, when i take him outside, he takes a few steps and then lies down. when i got his harness and leash to take him to the vet, usually, he's very eager to go out, but he just laid down at my feet when i had to stop and pick up something. i carried him down the stairs.

he's very affectionate, wants to kiss all the time. he's normally affectionate but this is more. he wants to lay on me. he likes to be stroked.

when we got to the vet he really perked up because he knows other dogs might be there. there was another little dog there and zack was very excited, tail wagging like crazy, straining toward the other dog, but not as strong as his usual pull on the leash.

the vet couldn't find anything wrong with him, unsurprisingly. She hadn't seen my email. i told her i sent the links to the SM stuff, and she expressed appreciation for that, and listened to what i said about people saying it sounds like SM, she was well aware of the frequency of it in this breed and she took the possibility seriously. she was already feeling his backbone before i brought up SM. she felt him all over and said he didn't seem to have any pain. yet while we were talking he started wimpering. she said 'is this what he's been doing,' and i said 'no, he's just doing it right now.' it was a different kind of whimper from what i've heard before.

i told her about the brewers yeast, garlic, diatomaceous earth, and the neem oil. She said maybe the combination of all those things threw him off. She gave him subcutaneous fluids, she said maybe it would wash him out, he had a big bulge on his neck from the injected water after but now it's gone.

She said she could do a blood panel but thought it would probably not show anything, and he just had one when he was neutered. but he didn't have these symptoms when he was neutered, so i asked her to go ahead and do it. it was my call. at the time of the neuter, it was expensive, $110, so i figured i could deal with that. But when i got the bill from the visit today, the total was $320 :( $180 of it was the blood panel. geez. I asked the guy about it, after it cost $110 at the time of the neuter and he said "The prices just went up a couple of weeks ago." wow.

i'll be making an insurance claim. i wonder if they will pay a claim without any diagnosis.

the other things i paid for were, she expressed his anal glands, her idea, i asked them to clip his toenails, and the cost of the exam, and the subcutaneous water. She also washed out his ears, but there was no charge for that.

so...he's the same. He hasn't been out to pee since this morning and he had all that water. He declined my invitation to go out when i got home. The door is open if he wants to go. At least if he peed in the house whle i was gone, i haven't seen it. I had to take him home and go back to the office for almost 4 hours. He still doesn't want to walk or stand up, he still is licking his paws a little. the vet didn't find any sign of any illness on him.

something is really wrong with him. he's not acting in pain, but just very lacking in any desire to walk or play, which is so abnormal.

Since i got home, he has a weird odor, i dont' know how to describe it. I wonder if it could be from the subcutaneous fluids.

the vet said if he didn't improve in the next day or two, she would do acupuncture on him.

i hope she will read the stuff i sent about SM.

judy
1st July 2006, 04:47 AM
i just looked up garlic--in Wikipedia it says onion and to a lesser extent garlic, has theosulfate which can cause hemolytic anemia in dogs and cats.
:(

i'm glad i had the blood panel done.

She said his heart was clear.

Cathy T
1st July 2006, 05:18 AM
Gosh Judy. Sorry you're having such a rough time. It's so distressing when they don't feel right and no one can figure out what was going on. One night Jake really through me for a loop. He was very lethargic. I ended up sleeping in the spare bedroom with both of them (so I didn't wake up hubby). Jake was extremely clingy...had to be touching me all of the time. Then when I put him down on the floor he wouldn't move. He yelped when I touched him. Just really odd behavior. Of course I rushed him to the vet as soon as they opened. You know what...he had gas!! The reason for him twisting up funny and yelping was intestinal distress. The next day he was back his normal self. You never know. Keep us posted on his condition.

judy
1st July 2006, 06:10 AM
cathy, thank goodness it was gas--poor baby. i can picture you sleeping with them--not knowing what it was, or what might happen. It's like they come to us, thinking we can fix it. that's hard, to not be able to help.

i sure hope whatever it is with zack will pass and he will come through it and be his usual self again. something is really really wrong. I think he is worse each day. the first day, he was still running around and playing, and was just acting abnormally off and on. By yesterday, the second day, he was laying around all day. I got him two new toys, haven't got him new toys in a long time. he played with them for a minute and then laid down. He did go pee in the morning right away, but unusually, he peed on the patio instead of in the grass. In retrospect, i think he didn't want to walk a little farther to make it to the grass. today, he didn't want to go out at all, though he still showed a little interest in the possibility of a squirrel in the tree, he looked up. i was afraid he wouldn't go before i had to go to work, but then i asked him to go out again and he did, and he peed, but very little. i hope his kidneys are ok. he hasn't been drinking but his appetite is really strong, not for his kibble, he isn't eating that at all, but yesterday and today i gave him a small can of Canadae and he really wolfed it down, and he wanted more when he was done. i wasn't sure whether to let him eat all he wants. i am in unknown territory.

he isn't licking his feet or rubbing his head and body much anymore, it seemsl like he doesn't have the energy. He just lays and sleeps. i'm so worried about him.

rory
1st July 2006, 07:11 AM
Gosh, judy -- He does NOT sound good... :( I don't know what it is, but he is obviously not well. That's disappointing that the vet couldn't find anything wrong. Hope the bloodwork shows up something. The smell you are smelling is probably from the anal glands or the ear cleaning. The anal glands smell "fishy". Very distinct odor.

If he gets worse, I would take him in to the emergency hospital for fluids and observations. It could be anything. Is he still eating? Drinking?

Cathy Moon
1st July 2006, 07:23 AM
I hope Zack is feeling better soon. So many times I wish our pups could tell us what is wrong. Its good that he perked up at the vets and that he wants to eat.

Has Zack been pooping normally even though he doesn't want to pee?

You said he was chewing on a cup, was it paper or plastic? Could he have swallowed something that will not pass out of his system?

India sometimes behaves like you are describing, wanting to lay down and not wanting to pee, and in her case it always seems to be related to her urinary tract. We have to monitor her for pH, crystals, UTIs.

Also, a she had a tummy ache once that made her want to lay down a lot.

Please keep us updated on how he's doing.

judy
1st July 2006, 07:40 AM
Gosh, judy -- He does NOT sound good... :( I don't know what it is, but he is obviously not well. That's disappointing that the vet couldn't find anything wrong. Hope the bloodwork shows up something. The smell you are smelling is probably from the anal glands or the ear cleaning. The anal glands smell "fishy". Very distinct odor.

If he gets worse, I would take him in to the emergency hospital for fluids and observations. It could be anything. Is he still eating? Drinking?

thank you for clearing up the smell--it must be the anal glands because it's fishy. hopefully it goes away eventually?

about eating, normally if i open the cabinet door where his food is, he is all over the door and trying to get into the cabinet. Today, he just lays there and looks at me. but when i took the can in to where he's laying on the sofa and held it in front of his face and asked if he wanted some, he got up and got down on the floor--slowly, gingerly, and came into the kitchen. When i put the food down for him, he wolfed it, he ate it eagerly, very eagerly. When he was done he wanted more but i'm going to wait til the morning because he is not really eliminating. No poops since day before yesterday i think. All he ate yesterday was one small sized can of canadae food, not much quantity-wise. but he only had one poop yesterday and none today. Usually he was having about three a day.

at least while i've been home, he hasn't drank any water. He had an injection of fluids at the vet's office. She is in all day tomorrow and Sunday and Monday, so from the way it looks right now, we'll be going back to see her soon.

Cathy Moon
1st July 2006, 07:55 AM
If he's not pooping he should see the vet again. He should be checked for a blockage - maybe they could take an xray. I would not tempt him to eat with tasty morsels if he isn't getting up to eat.

judy
1st July 2006, 08:18 AM
...Has Zack been pooping normally even though he doesn't want to pee?

not exactly. there was one poop day before yesterday morning that was there from the night before, and no other poop yesterday. Today no poop until just now, 11pm. Usually there are about 3 per day. but he hasn't had as much to eat as normal. it doesn't seem to me that he's not pooping and peeing because he can't, but because he doesn't want to stand up. I took him outside just now and after some hesitation, he peed and pooped. what a relief for me. whew.


You said he was chewing on a cup, was it paper or plastic? Could he have swallowed something that will not pass out of his system?

That's a good guess--there's a possibility. I had thought of that the first day but kind of forgot about it because he doesn't seem to have any abdominal pain, certainly not any nausea, he eats hungrily. i was more thinking about the neurological symptoms. I'm not sure if it's paper or plastic or both. I'll check and see if they say what it's made of on the wrapper. It reminds me of plastic because it's shiny.


India sometimes behaves like you are describing, wanting to lay down and not wanting to pee, and in her case it always seems to be related to her urinary tract. We have to monitor her for pH, crystals, UTIs.

poor girl. That's hard to stay on top of, it's a silent kind of thing. I'll ask the vet about that tomorrow.

judy
1st July 2006, 08:45 AM
If he's not pooping he should see the vet again. He should be checked for a blockage - maybe they could take an xray. I would not tempt him to eat with tasty morsels if he isn't getting up to eat.

OK. i was really not sure about how to handle eating. intuitively, i would think he shouldn't be eating because he's inactive, totally inactive. but on the other hand, i thought he should have some kind of nutrients. but it's not like he's burning up calories. i'll talk to the vet tomorrow about the possibility of a blockage, and an xray. thank goodness he did poop tonight, a normal looking one pretty much, the usual size.

judy
1st July 2006, 09:23 AM
after the trip outside to the backyard, zack hopped up in my lap and eventually he started playing, a little low intensity play biting. i was happy to see him wanting to play. so while i was playing with him, i was thinking his nose, the end of his muzzle, upper lips and chin, looks pinker than usual. I wasn't sure, i don't usually look that closely. but i was looking closely at it, and i was feeling his muzzle all over while he was biting my hand, and i noticed a hardened lump or bump on the top of his muzzle just above his nose. and then i found a couple more crusty hard bumps around his mouth, one on his upper lip and one on his chin, and another between his chin and his throat. and then i found one on his chest. when i touch these bumps it seems to bother him. they're pink and crusty on the top and fairly hard. kind of scabby. there may be more, i didn't do an exhaustive search.

does this sound like a symptom of allergy? or a symptom of anything? they don't seem to be in areas that he could've caused by licking or scratching, though i suppose it's possible. i'm certainly no expert. they're very hard to see. they're not bleeding or draining, they're dry and hard.

i wonder if it would hurt to give him benadryl again.

Maxxs_Mummy
1st July 2006, 12:52 PM
Judy I wonder if he could have been bitten by something that has caused him to feel ill. How big are the bumps? It could be an allergy but usually with urticaria the bumps don't go scabby and they are quite prolific and cover most of the body.

Do you have any ants that bite where you live? It sounds like a large blood sucking insect or similar might have bitten him. I think I would call the Vet back again and see what they say. I do know that bites can be pretty painful and can sometimes make even humans feel quite ill :(

Again, with anal gland problems it can make the dogs constipated and quite poorly too - last week, Maxx had a case of impacted & infected anal glands and he was in so much distress it was unbelieveable, he was also very lethargic and grizzly :( My Vet gave me some antibiotics and painkillers for him and now he is fully recovered.

It is so worrying when our babies are poorly and it's at times like these we really wish that they could talk! I hope he recovers soon Judy. Give him hugs and kisses from me xxxxx

Mary
1st July 2006, 01:54 PM
Oh I so hope Zack is feeling better soon. His weakness could be dehydration...so I am glad he got some fluids. So hard when they can't tell us what is bothering them. Will be thinking of you and Zack. Keep us posted.

Karlin
1st July 2006, 02:08 PM
Judy I would really get him in to the vet if he isn't eliminating. A blockage can be lethal. he really needs to be under supervision I think rather than us guessing what might be the problem. You are describing what could be a potentially serious and/or painful problem and he needs to have that checked.

For SM you will need him to be checked by a neurologist. Usually there are other signs of SM than just not using his hind legs. It sounds like he is in a lot of pain and it is uncomfortable to walk. Given that he has had a shrieking episide, you may be seeing SM. Also some SM dogs have a difficult time pooping because the straining causes severe pain (same as in humans with SM).

I would try and find a vet that is open and take him there; not wait. Given the whole set of things together, I think indicate some sort of pain you would want addressed. He needs to be eliminating. Also they need to check him for pain and try to treat that.

Cathy Moon
1st July 2006, 02:22 PM
Judy, I'm glad to hear he pooped and peed. I would put a bowl with kibble down for him and let him eat some if he feels like it, but would not offer him any tasty treats. If he doesn't want to eat kibble, then he probaby is better off not eating until he is seen by a vet.

After you noticed and wrote about the bumps and crusts, I found a link that might be helpful. http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?cls=2&cat=1593&articleid=424

Sounds like an allergic or drug reaction. It might be the neem oil or one of the other things you mentioned. Or has he been on an antibiotic within the past 2 weeks?

Cathy Moon
1st July 2006, 02:39 PM
Oh one more thing I just thought of. Those bumps could actually be between his toes, if this is an allergic or irritant contact reaction. That may account for him not wanting to walk.

The diatomaceous earth is very sharp and could be irritating between his toes if it didn't come out in his bath.

Hope he feels better soon, and you too!

Karlin
1st July 2006, 02:43 PM
Sorry I missed the fact that he pooped, in that long sequence of messages.

If he was bitten by something that could explain some of these symptoms. An allergy would not explain the fact that he is finding it hard to walk or eliminate.

SM could explain all the things you were seeing but so could other things. Given the high incidence in the breed, an MRI is almost certainly going to show SM in probably a minimum of half of all cavaliers anyway, and the malformation that causes it in about 90%, as now two studies and numerous screening programmes are consistently showing. So the issue is probably not whether he has conditions that are part of SM or the causes of SM, but whether these things in particular are clinical signs rather than something else as clearly, a lot of dogs have SM without showing clinical signs or showing only very mild signs.

It is a very complex area with no easy answers or solutions.

judy
1st July 2006, 09:48 PM
...Do you have any ants that bite where you live? It sounds like a large blood sucking insect or similar might have bitten him. I think I would call the Vet back again and see what they say. I do know that bites can be pretty painful and can sometimes make even humans feel quite ill :(

I don't think we have big aunts. My backyard has ivy and some tall grass, and zack goes into the ivy behind the big palm tree. There are spiders, though not as much as some years when it rains more in the winter. I've been seeing small black aunts in the garden but i don't think they bite mammals. I've seen a mosquito or two around in the past couple of weeks.

I'm preparing to treat the yard with IGR and nematodes, and maybe DE if there's a safe way to do it. that should get rid of any crawling insects. i hope to do that this weekend, now that ive cancelled our social plans due to Zack being sick.

The lesions are around his lips, at the border of his little black nose, on top of his nose, a bit back from the border, under his lower jaw, one on his chest, and i found another one on the back of his neck which i can't see because the skin is black. Even the ones on white are hard to see, but easy to feel. They're firm and hard and have a rough center, they don't see edematous or swollen, but are not small or subtle to the touch.

I wonder if they were there all along--i think the vet would've noticed them yesterday? would they have popped up later last night? she might've missed them since you can't really see them until you know they're there from touching them. maybe she felt them and didn't thnk they were important?

the ones around his mouth make it seem like he was into something, eating something, but then, that wouldn't explain the one on the back of his neck or on his chest.

I called the vet and left a message for her to call. I know she is the only vet there toda and tomorrow and i tried to make an appointment but was told she's booked til Wednesday, so i might take him to see one of his other vets, if she doesn't call by noon, or after lunch. I'm so lucky to live in an area where there are several who are open on Sundays and are open fairly late. There's one I've not been to before that's open until 9pm M-F, and til 4pm on Sat and Sun. Business must be booming.


Again, with anal gland problems it can make the dogs constipated and quite poorly too - last week, Maxx had a case of impacted & infected anal glands and he was in so much distress it was unbelieveable, he was also very lethargic and grizzly :( My Vet gave me some antibiotics and painkillers for him and now he is fully recovered.

gosh, i'm glad he's ok, poor boy.
it sure makes a difference when they have something treatable, doesn't it?. the first month i had Zack, he was really sick and the worst part was, the vets didn't have any idea what it was or how to treat him--until i found Dr Shane, and then it changed from an untreatable mystery to a simple easily treated worm infestation. What a difference, what a relief!

zack very rarely did any scooting, and definitely wasn't constipated, having about 3 large easily passed stools a day. the vet asked if he scoots and i said he does sometimes when he either has to go, or right after. so she did it.

Are there any after effects of anal gland expression? I mean, like is there soreness or discharge?

There was an odor which now i don't smell, but apparently they put some kind of perfume on him to disguise the odor, or maybe they washed him, because that smell has been there too and is still there, a perfume smell.

judy
1st July 2006, 09:51 PM
Oh I so hope Zack is feeling better soon. His weakness could be dehydration...so I am glad he got some fluids. So hard when they can't tell us what is bothering them. Will be thinking of you and Zack. Keep us posted.

i think his not eating and drinking has more to do with whatever is hurting his body rather than him not being able to eat or drink the way it is with nausea, because he eats so hungrily when he eats. so, i think it should be ok for me to give him water with a syringe. Before these symptoms started, i was giving him probiotics mixed in water in syringe and he liked it, he drank it right from the syringe, he didn't try to resist.

Maxwell&me
1st July 2006, 10:22 PM
Hi~

I have to be honest with you, after reading this whole strain....Id go see another vet or your vet again as soon as possible~ I can tell your scared and that you love your dog, but it just sounds like this might be something serious and I personally wouldnt take any chances. I dont know much when it comes to sick dogs, but if hes acting so out of charactor...id just bring him in again.

Charleen
1st July 2006, 11:32 PM
Judy - I am really concerned for your baby. You need to raise holy heck and get in to see the vet immediately. If your normal vet clinic doesn't think it is serious, then you have to go elsewhere and fast. With all the symptoms you mention, it sounds like your like guy is really suffering. I am glad to hear there are vets open on Sunday too. You must be exhausted and so full of anxiety.

It does sound like an allergic reaction, with the bumps and all. I know nothing about SM, so I can't offer an opinion there. You mentioned going to get children's benedryl, but I don't recall reading whether that helped?

judy
2nd July 2006, 01:10 AM
he wasn't any better after the benadryl.

i spoke to the vet, she said the blood tests weren't back yet, hopefully this afternoon, not much to do until the results are available.
he's not worse today. i thought he might be a little better, he ate a little kibble which he hadn't done the past two days, only canned. he did not want to go outside but i tempted him with a toy and then he peed a decent amount of pee and had a normal looking stool.

but otherwise he is just laying around and sleeping today. He's not scratching or digging into the pillows much or licking his paws, but right now i'm watching hin, he's taking his front paw and rubbing it on his nose, right in the places where those bumps are. so that seems to be a good possible explanation of the scratching, including an explanation for why he seemed to want to scratch in many differnet places, including the back of his neck and chest where he also has lesions. He probably has others too, they're not easy to see. But the vet looked carefully between his toes and didn't see anything so it wouldn't explain that, unless he's doing it reflexively.

on the phone, i asked the vet about the lesions, she didn't see them yesterday, said probably allergy, probably not related to the other stuff. i can't help thinking it's in some way related, but she mainly wanted to see the blood results before saying much more about it. I brought up the thing about garlic and hemolytic anemia and she acknowledged that possibility, just need to see the blood results. I sure hope she calls back about it today, i will call before they close. if his bumps are itching, maybe he should have some more benadryl.

I tried to get in to another vet but it was too late. I made an appointment for tomorrow.

i want to do everything possible for him. At the same time, i don't want to do stuff that's unnecessary. She was trying to influence me against getting the bloodwork yesterday, said he just recently had had bloodwork and it probably wouldn't show anything. I'm glad i told her to do it anyway, even if it doesn't show anything.

judy
2nd July 2006, 01:17 AM
If he was bitten by something that could explain some of these symptoms. An allergy would not explain the fact that he is finding it hard to walk or eliminate.

SM could explain all the things you were seeing but so could other things. Given the high incidence in the breed, an MRI is almost certainly going to show SM in probably a minimum of half of all cavaliers anyway, and the malformation that causes it in about 90%, as now two studies and numerous screening programmes are consistently showing. So the issue is probably not whether he has conditions that are part of SM or the causes of SM, but whether these things in particular are clinical signs rather than something else as clearly, a lot of dogs have SM without showing clinical signs or showing only very mild signs.

It is a very complex area with no easy answers or solutions.

Indeed. It reminds me of what i encountered in researching back pain after i got hit by a car as a pedestrian last year. You can get an MRI and it may show what will be called a ruptured disk, but research has shown that a large proportion of people with ruptured disk on MRI are asymptomatic--they have no pain. So getting an MRI doesn't necessarily answer the question of what's causing the pain. You can have an MRI that shows a ruptured disk, but it doesn't necessarily mean the ruptured disk is causing the pain. It might be a muscle spasm. It's frustrating because there's no way to know whether disk surgery will really correct the pain. sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn't. pretty invasive procedure for trial and error.

the more i think about it, the location of the bumps would really explain the ways he's been rubbing his head and face, and the way he's been scratching.

Hey! i think he's getting better! He had been laying and sleeping in the same place all day when a few minutes ago a squirrel showed up in the backyard and the cat went running to the door, and zack slowly got up and joined her. he went out the door and then did one of his normal leaps straight up against the fence, trying to get to the squirrel up in the tree. His running looked normal, his leap sure looked normal, didn't seem to hurt him, although dogs don't show pain that much when something is wrong, but what seemed improved was, he continued to be interested in the squirrel, and then after it left, he played fetch with me until i got tired of it, he was pulling strongly on the toy for tug o war, he was doing his play growl. He hasn't done this in over two days.

well, i sure am encouraged by that.

I just found another lesion, above his eyebrow about an inch. These are definitely the places he's been rubbing and scratching.

Kingofthehouse86
2nd July 2006, 02:16 AM
Judy i hope Zack feels better...They only time King went a whole day w/o eliminating was the time King spent the weekend @ a friend's while the family and i went on vacation...but vet said it was prob cuz he was stressed not that he wan't feelin good....just 1 ques the fluid they injected him wit was it subQ meanin did they inject under the skin most likely @ his shoulders....cuz my bosses dog needed that when he was a pup cuz he went hypoglycemic and needed fluids

Cathy Moon
2nd July 2006, 06:37 AM
I'm glad to hear he's getting better, and will see the vet tomorrow. :xfngr: We're keeping our fingers crossed that he will continue to improve and that he has a good appointment. :flwr:

judy
2nd July 2006, 06:47 AM
:) zack is definitely improving now. He is not 100% but definitelly better, more energy, still resting and sleeping a lot, didn't get excited or want to come with me when i went out, even though i picked up his harness from the table, which normally gets him to come over to have it put on him.

i ran into a couple of old friends i haven't seen in years when i was out and they told me about a lady at a pet store in the neighborhood, they said she was a healer. I went over there and talked to her. She asked if i could bring zack for her to see (she said she is not a healer, she just knows some things), so i went back and got zack and she said it looked like ant bites. I do have little black ants in the backyard, i didnt' know they were a biting threat, in my whole life i've never been bitten by one, though they are common. i bought some stuff from her to spray on the lesions, it's called PetSolution RX and it's just water, it says it's electrolized oxidizing water, no other ingredients. She said it would relieve itching. She said she uses it on herself too.

then we went to the pet supply store for stuff and he acted normally there, maybe a bit quieter than usual but he seemed to enjoy himself. his energy is increasing clearly.

when we got home he went and emptied his bowl of kibble that was sitting there, there wasn't that much. The lady at the pet store had given me a sample of Innova Evo to try so i gave him that and he at a lot of it. I gave him some canned food, canadae, mixed with a little of the Evo kibble. he ate it all.

He's been taking it easy but definitely is better than he was for the last couple of day. whew.

The lesions on his face are changing color, becoming more pink and the skin around them is more pink than yesterday, not just the bumps but all around his lips. When i first saw them around his mouth last night, i wasn't even sure if anything was abnormal, it was just faint pink. It looks like he got into something and was eating something that was an irritant of some kind. But there are other bumps away from his mouth, over his eyebrow, on the back of his neck, on his chest, under his jaw. I sprayed the stuff on them and he seemed to like that. He hasn't scratched or rubbed since. It bothers him to have the bumps touched. I think they are related to the other symptoms he's been having. i sure hope he's going to be ok now.

The vet never called back with the blood panel results. i'll call tomorrow. I have an appointment with a different vet tomorrow to get the lesions looked at.

i can't thank everybody who responded enough for your caring words and for letting me talk about this ordeal.

judy
2nd July 2006, 08:42 PM
today zack's energy level and personality seem pretty much normal, whew, yay. he's still rubbing his face a little, licking paws and scratching, sleeping, but back to normal playful and social behavior, and his usual interests.

the lesions on the skin have begun to shrink and the dark pinkness is fading. still kind of crusty. I've been spraying the stuff i got on them, seems to soothe him, the lady said that complete healing would result in two days.

I have a vet appointment at 2pm just to have the lesions looked at. the other vet didn't call today with the lab results so i called and was told the lab hasn't entered them on the website yet. I said the other vet i was seeing at 2pm had asked the results be faxed to them so she called the lab and said they would send everything except a thyroid test that takes 24 to 48 hours that they don't have. sounds like they didn't get around to this test until yesterday, i was told it's the holiday weekend, they're probably short staffed. I don't care, i wish the doctor had written STAT on it but i doubt she did, she generally advised against getting the blood panel, said it was unlikely to show anything. i'm not pleased that it wasn't treated as urgent, for $180 freaking dollars, and my dog not eating or drinking and unwilling or unable to stand up.

i'm just glad zack seems to be recovering.

If the second vet says it looks like insect bites, i'm going to ask the first vet to document that for when i file an insurance claim. not looking forward to that ordeal.

i am worried about zack getting bitten by the same kind of insects again. I need to figure out how to prevent that.

I am wondering if what he has had would be considered an allergic reaction to bites, or if it would be considered a nonallergic toxic condition, a poisoning--if there's a difference between the two. My reading on the web has left me confused about it. If it was allergic, then would it be wise to have him get some kind of desensitization treatment? i'll ask the vet today.

although i'm not thinking that the neem oil or garlic caused what he's been going through now, after his lesions heal, i'm going to get advantage or frontline plus for fleas for him, if the fleas become a problem, which, knock on wood, they haven't yet.

Kingofthehouse86
3rd July 2006, 03:46 AM
Judy that PetSolution RX really works great doesn't it...i kinda 4got bout it cuz i have it 4 King...i use it anytime he feels a lil itchy or scratches sometimes....This woman ur talking bout kinda sounds like my boss....cuz she says she uses the PetSolution RX on herself too...i would not try it myself...but thats just me....if they r ant or someother insect bites, mayb u might wanna think about spraying ur backyard so he doesn't get bitten again.....but so glad to hear Zack is feelin better :D yay!!!