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judy
3rd July 2006, 06:17 AM
i took zack to the vet to have the skin lesions looked at, it was a different vet office from the one i went to on Friday because that one was booked til Wednesday. It bothers me that they wouldn't fit Zack in. anyway, i took him to another vet who treated him and saw him several times back in February. The blood work results were faxed from the Friday vet.

Zack is much improved. he was really sick for 2 1/2 days but since yesterday afternoon has been acting more and more like his usual self.

While waiting to be seen by the vet, zack was whimpering. I thought it was because of the other dogs there and wanting to be more free to socialize with them. i had given him a bath before coming and he was still a little wet in the ears, and the air conditioning was on so i took him outside to sit in the sun and let the rest of him dry, he was walking around on the retractable leash, and then i noticed liquid poop was dripping from his butt. :( he was trying to get to where the grass was so he was holding it, but it was coming out anyway. i felt like, duh. i took him to where the grass was and he had liquid diarrhea. it was all over his butt fur. i tried to wipe him up with some paper towels in the car. i was sorry to see that because he hasn't had diarrhea since he was dewormed in early March.

The blood work had some abnormalities:
Absolute reticulocytes were high, 60,760. The normal range ends at 60,000 but the vet said than normal results are much lower than that. I think that is the one she said means the immature red blood cells were too high, normally they don't circulate til they mature. she said it meant his body was fighting something. at least i think so. I forget so quickly.

Bands were high, 676, the reference range is 0-300. She said that indicates something acute.

I think she said the reticulocytes and bands could be caused by the garlic i was giving him.

His lymphs were high but she didn't say anything about that. I'm lookiing at my copy and she drew circles around three things, reticulocytes, bands and monocytes. The monocytes were high, 1014, the range was 0-840. She said that had to be something chronic.

I was worried about that and i asked if i should get a follow up blood panel in a month but she said no, she said that was a common result in healthy dogs. i'm glad she said that, otherwise i was worried. so why did she use language such as, "that has to be somethnig chronic?" i mean, i looked at one of his earlier blood panel results that i had at home, and the monos were elevated then too and i was told everything was fine and normal. but when she uses language like, "that has to be something chronic," should i not worry? but when i asked about follow up, she said it was common to healthy dogs. oh well. good.

his skin lesions were much better today, fading, but still apparent, not as big, she could see them. She said it looked like some kind of immune reaction. I don't really know what she meant, i think she said it might've been the garlic but it was all pretty vague. I asked if it was an allergy to something and she said "no, something stronger than that." some kind of immune thing. She said it could be the beginning of puppy strangles. I've heard of that before but don't know what it is.

I made some digital photos of the lesions around his mouth last night and showed them to her on my digital camera, because they were more dramatic last night, and she was interested in those.

she gave him antibiotics, clavamox. because he's improving, i asked if it would be ok to wait a couple of days and only give it to him if he doesn't keep getting better. she said that was fine. If he got better, don't give it to him but if he plateaus, then give it to him.

she wasn't concerned about the diarrhea, she said it might be stress from coming to the vet. i doubt that. zack loves to go to the vet, or anywhere there are other dogs. she recommended nonfat cottage cheese and rice or boiled chicken breast and rice, for a couple of days.

when i told her i'd be making an insurance claim, i asked what the diagnosis was and she said "allergic reaction."

she agreed that something could have bitten him.

so i don't really know what it was that was making him so sick. i just hope it doesn't happen again. gotta find out what puppy strangles is, doesn't sound good.

i just looked it up, it seems more likely in younger puppies, and seems to only have lesions around the mouth, while zack had them on his chest and back, but i don't know, that was just a quick check. ok, i checked a couple more. i dont' think it's that.

but the lesions are hard and i'm a bit worried about scarring. they're covered by fur mostly now, but im a little worried that the fur might fall out and not grow back if scars form. i'm still spraying the Pet Solution RX on him. I showed it to her. I brought all the stuff to show her, neem oil, diatomaceous earth, etc. about the PetSolution RX, she was kind enough not to openly ridicule me because it's just water. but when i spray it on, they clear up and he stops itching, maybe it's coincidence but at least i get a feeling like i can DO something. hey, it's electrolized oxidizing water, whatever that means. at least it's not harmful.

judy
3rd July 2006, 09:32 AM
here are some photos of a couple of areas where zack has lesions. this was the worst looking day of it, last night. i keep finding more. Two big ones on the upper part of his foreleg. poor little guy, he has these all over, and on wednesday it started driving him nuts, that's why he was rubbing his face and trying to scratch different places. I looked all over him that night and didn't find any bites. I was looking for flea bites. on his lips, the red areas look kind of generalized but there are actually hard lumps. on other parts of his body, the lesions are distinct loooking and isolated from each other, very sparse. the only place he has a bunch close together is on his muzzle. i don't know what the heck happened to him.

http://home.earthlink.net/~jaw/zmouth.jpg
http://home.earthlink.net/~jaw/znose2.jpg

Cathy T
3rd July 2006, 03:27 PM
Boy Judy...you're really going through a lot. I see the lesions...definitely looks like an allergic reaction to something..but what?! This is very frustrating. Poor Zack and poor you!! I don't have any insightful information but wanted to let you know I'm thinking about you. Stay strong!

judy
3rd July 2006, 07:24 PM
just thanks for listening. !
thanks that i don't feel completely alone.

i just talked to the other vet on the phone, the one from Friday who i have liked the best as for her expertise, to get her opinion. I think she's the only vet there and is very busy, the first thing she said was "I faxed the bloodwork to Dr Brooks yesterday," well, yeah..so then i said, "i just went there because you were booked, but i want to ask what you think." So she said it looks like zack has some kind of infection and she wanted to put him on antibiotics. i told her dr brooks gave him Clavamox but since he's improving so much, she said it's ok to wait and see how he does before giving it to him. She said she thought he should be treated, because of the elevation in the bands. I told her unfortunately yesterday, right after the vet i went to the pet store and left the medication in the car and it was hot in the car--i was only in there maybe 20 minutes, and then i saw the meds when i got back and put them in my backpack, but she sounded hesitant about whether they're still as potent so i'm going to go by her office and pick up some more. She said the lesions are pyoderma. She said he had an allergic reaction to something which caused him to be scratching and rubbing his body on stuff, and then the lesions of pyoderma emerged later. She said it could be bites but it doesn't have to be bites. i asked if zack should have desensitization treatments, to prevent worse reactions in the future. she said to wait and see if he has this anymore. I sure don't want him to have it again.

She said the reticulocytes was not a big deal at all. She said it wasn't true that the results are usually much lower than the upper end of the reference range. She said her concern was about how high the bands were.

she said he could've been allergic to the diatomaceous earth or something else i gave him, or a flea bite, or something else.

He is rapidly getting better, i think he's back to his normal activity level, playfulness, happiness, and everything now. the skin lesions look better. you can't see them without looking pretty closely. but you can still feel them, they are distinct.

We are going to San Diego today to visit my daughter lisa, her boyfriend joe and dog belle. How's the weather down there today Cathy?

arasara
3rd July 2006, 08:02 PM
thank God Zak is getting better. How scary for you. :( I hope you guys have fun on your trip!

Karlin
3rd July 2006, 08:28 PM
Glad he is improving. Personally I don;t think I would put a dog thru desentitising unless absolutely critical to do so. This involves years of injections and doesn't always work -- it is extremely difficult to isolate what causes allergic reactions even in people. I have done the desensitising with mixed results myself -- the same allergies come back in occasional waves over the years.

Zack sounds like a dog that you'd really not want to fuss over with lots of trial treatments, no matter how well intentioned, just to be on the safe side for him. He has had a rough early experience with dietary/gastric problems and sounds like he may be immuno-compromised in some way (this can happen when they are poorly while puppies. They often improve as they get older). Diet can sometimes be part of all this (eg cause of allergies and problems) -- I'd really try to stick with him on one good plain kibble that you know works for him, and only add in bland items like plain boiled meat or rice or plain vegetables. Avoid fatty treats or lots of varieties of treats, full stop. And try not to be anxious about him, just enjoy him.

Do his vets know about the large platelets issue in cavaliers? This is posted in the health library section. If not it could affect how they have read his bloods.

Does the vet think the fact that he couldn't defecate/urinate and the weak legs/pain are related to an allergy?

judy
3rd July 2006, 09:27 PM
Glad he is improving. Personally I don;t think I would put a dog thru desentitising unless absolutely critical to do so. This involves years of injections and doesn't always work -- it is extremely difficult to isolate what causes allergic reactions even in people. I have done the desensitising with mixed results myself -- the same allergies come back in occasional waves over the years.

thanks for the feedback on this. i just saw it mentioned on the internet but wasn't sure what it was. My mom had it, i think, but still had allergies. when i asked the vet about it today, she said he was too young and implied it wasn't anything likely to do.


Zack sounds like a dog that you'd really not want to fuss over with lots of trial treatments, no matter how well intentioned, just to be on the safe side for him. He has had a rough early experience with dietary/gastric problems and sounds like he may be immuno-compromised in some way (this can happen when they are poorly while puppies. They often improve as they get older).

he was ok before i brought him home and apparently stress lowered his resistance to worms existing in his body? which gave him the digestive issues--does that seem a plausible theory due to the symptoms immediately clearing up after worming? (like totally, overnight?) I've been thinking it wasn't food allergies but rather worms. he's been so robust since then, no symptoms from any food or food changes.

i wish i had not gotten his vaccination while he was in the middle of the worm thing though. but he had been asymptomatic so i thought he was all better.

whatever he just had in the past week was the first sign of any sickness since the worms. And without treatment, his body has fought it off. but it worries me, not really knowing what it was. but it sure could've been the combination of those flea thing i tried, the DE, neem oil and garlic/brewers yeast, because of the timing.


Diet can sometimes be part of all this (eg cause of allergies and problems) -- I'd really try to stick with him on one good plain kibble that you know works for him, and only add in bland items like plain boiled meat or rice or plain vegetables. Avoid fatty treats or lots of varieties of treats, full stop. And try not to be anxious about him, just enjoy him.

thanks for that encouragement. that's my instinct too, to continue with kibble--i'm not really worried about food as i was the first month i had him because he's been perfectly healthy since the deworming, he eats whatever, his poops are healthy, no issues. but i do avoid fatty treats anyway, just because i don't want him to develop a taste for high fat content, and he doesn't get the optimum amount of exercise.


Do his vets know about the large platelets issue in cavaliers? This is posted in the health library section. If not it could affect how they have read his bloods.

I doubt they know. I didn't know about it til you mentioned it and will read about it today. i remember hearing about it but had forgotten. thanks!!


Does the vet think the fact that he couldn't defecate/urinate and the weak legs/pain are related to an allergy?

I wouldn't say he couldn't defecate or urinate--he did urinate and defecate each day, only about once, but was not straining. What it looked like was that he didn't have the energy to get up and he does have strong bowel and bladder control, doesn't usually seem eager to pee in the morning, wants to just play, peeing is an afterthought, then he has a lot. but he had so little to eat those two days he was not going much. so i dont' think it was that he couldn't but just didn't want to walk. Im not sure that his legs were in pain. He seemed unsteady and did not want to walk, but i can't say whether it was pain or maybe weakness, maybe he was dizzy or faint. I can't say for sure his legs hurt. they looked odd to me, but couldve been just unsteadiness due to weakness or dizziness. Except on the exam table at the vets office, he never cried any throughout the thing.

She said he had an infection. So i thnk that was her theory of why he was laying down and not having energy. but karlin, i don't really know. it's confusing. and i guess the vets don't know so that's why its confusing for me. whether he had an allergic reaction and then got an infection, or the other way around, that isn't clear. i'm going to give him the clavamox.

it's interesting the way you get different info and opinions from different vets. the one vet said because i left the meds in the hot car for about 15 minutes, i should get new meds, or anyway when i asked if i should, she said yes. The other vet the one who gave me the meds, said there would be no problem with them. I asked repeatedly to be clear and was told emphatically that they were still fine. I told her it says on the package to store in a cool place, but she said there was no problem with the meds. so i'm not sure what to do, my usual approach is to get several peoples' opinions and then decide for myself, but i don't have time today.

i'm still not that sure i should give him antibiotics if his body is healing itself. He is back to his usual self. and not even knowing what he has or had...

joanna
4th July 2006, 10:10 AM
I'm glad Zack is feeling better - good luck :flwr:

Maxxs_Mummy
4th July 2006, 01:13 PM
Poor Zack and poor you :?

OK then, as to the meds.... I am a qualified Pharmacy Technician and I most certainly would not use meds that had been stored in a hot car! Most meds are even delivered to pharmacies either in a temperature controled vehicle or in temperature controlled cases - even using ice packs on lots of them as they definitely do need to be kept in a cool place.

This is why, when you return your unused medications to a pharmacy, they just get put stright into a DOOP bin for special collection and never reused - it's because the pharmacy staff don't know thw conditions taht they have been stored under.

Do you really think think that Zack was completely fine before you brought him home? I'm sorry, but I would be worrying if a newly arrived home pup suddenly started to get diarrhoea. Also, I would have thought that the breeder should have wormed him before her left there - not leave it to you!

I must admit that I do use an awful lot of homoeopathy on my boys but flea and worm treatments are the both times that I do go towards conventional treatments.

Can you get a sensitive kibble over there? Have a look at the James Wellbeloved site here www.wellbeloved.co.uk and then see if you can get anything comparable - if it's a food allergy then this should be suitable for him as it doesn't contain any of the usual culprits for causing food allergies.

In the meantime, try not to panic but just give him pure food and plenty of TLC, poor little baby xxxxx

Claire
4th July 2006, 02:47 PM
Have you any plants or flowers, etc. that he has been nosing around or in the garden..... Karlin has a thread of plants and stuff that they are allergic to. He may just be putting his nose and getting stung.

judy
5th July 2006, 09:44 AM
OK then, as to the meds.... I am a qualified Pharmacy Technician and I most certainly would not use meds that had been stored in a hot car! Most meds are even delivered to pharmacies either in a temperature controled vehicle or in temperature controlled cases - even using ice packs on lots of them as they definitely do need to be kept in a cool place.


thanks for this feedback!
i wasn't able to get the new antibiotics yesterday because they closed early. I'm going to get them tomorrow.
but i might go to a third vet, because it says on her website "specializing in diseases of the skin." I had taken zack to her when he was having colitis and vomiting in beginning, in february and liked her a lot, but she didn't figure out what the problem was and her treatments didn't help and she was recommeding barium studies, saying she was stumped, so i have continued with the vet who cured him, but i did like her and thought she seemed competent and experienced. so, since she is a skin specialist, i might, especially since the vet i usually choose won't be in til friday.

the thing is, zack seemed better, but i was still worried because he still had the lesions, though they looked better, healing, but the antibiotic issue was unresolved, and just not knowing what caused the illness, and whether it could happen again, i was feeling unsettled, not really in the right place to go on the long trip we went on yesterday and coming home today. Still zack had not scratched and acted itchy and agitated since Saturday. but all of a sudden tonight, that started again. I don't know if it was a coincidence but he went outside to bark at something (fireworks) and when he came back in maybe a minute later, he immediately started licking his paw, and then, he started rubbing his head and his body and digging in the pillows and acting agitated again.

maybe something out there is either biting him, there's very likely fleas out there, sand fleas i think, or maybe it's a plant. i don't know but i'm worried that the whole cycle will repeat where he starts acting like he's been poisoned, sleeping and laying all the time. I gave him benadryl and after that he was very relaxed and normal. at this point, i think it's pyoderma, he needs antibiotics, and something is causing the pyoderma, it's secondary to something.


Do you really think think that Zack was completely fine before you brought him home? I'm sorry, but I would be worrying if a newly arrived home pup suddenly started to get diarrhoea. Also, I would have thought that the breeder should have wormed him before her left there - not leave it to you!

He *was* dewormed, according to his medical records. What happened was bizarre. He was a happy playful little dog who i visited twice before i decided to get him. My fantasy was, i would go buy him, take him in my car, go to a pet supply place, we would have great fun. I thought all dogs love to go in the car, i even asked the woman i got him from if he had experience riding in a car and she said he was fine. I had a crate on the front seat. I put him in and started driving. almost right away, he started crying. Louder and louder. I pulled over immediately, i talked to him, i petted him, and i started driving again, and he started crying again, moaning, and loud crying. I drove a little farther, could see he was getting more and more distressed, pulled over again, got him out of the crate, held him in my arms and he cuddled into my arms and kept crying! I idn't know what was happening. It was heartbreaking. so much for my happy fantasy of him being excited to go in the car and be pals and everything. I didn't know what was wrong with him. Was he in physical pain? was it sadness or fear about leaving the home? was it somethign about the car? a noise the engine was making? but he continued to cry while i held him with the engine off, this went on for about 5 minutes or more. Finally, i had to keep going. I put him on the seat instead of in the crate so i could more easily stroke him, but he kept crying. then i held him in my lap while he cried but he didn't cry as much as long as i held him. before we got in the car, i'd visited at the home for at least an hour, he was running and playing with another puppy and with us humans, he was enjoying a bully stick, he was eating kibble, he was happy and appeared healthy, as he had on my other two visits. from the car, i called the woman and told her how he was acting. She said 'i guess you'll have to give him lots of tender loving care tonight." she was implying, i thought, that he was having an emotional reaction to leaving the people and animals he had bonded to.

When i got him home, about an hour or more later, i took him right to the backyard and he immediately had liquid diarrhea.

I contacted the woman by email the next day when the diarrhea was still there, and with blood. She said sometimes stress can lower the resistance and they can get infections, and she said she was mailing me some medications. She mailed me three medications, one of which was a worming medication, may have been panecure, i still have it. the meds got to me overnight, by tuesday, but i saw a vet on monday and had started a different treatment, flagyl, so i didn't use the meds she sent. i ended up seeing four vets, and three of them all tried things that didn't work, antibiotics, diet, homeopathy, and the fourth one tried deworming, and overnight he was fine. so, if i'd given the meds the woman mailed me, probably it would've saved him a month of illness. (he had 3 negative stool samples during that time).

the thing is, i kept thinking that it was wrong that he was sick the day i brought him home, as if she had given me a sick puppy, yet something about the whole picture, with his surprising reaction in the car on the way home, extreme distress, that gave her explanation some credibility. I looked into the puppy lemon laws, but in the end, she had provided me wiht what was probably the right medication right off the bat, and while i may have been able to win some money from her for my $1100 in vet bills, i didn't feel right about it because of the circumstances.


I must admit that I do use an awful lot of homoeopathy on my boys but flea and worm treatments are the both times that I do go towards conventional treatments.

I appreciate that--I'm ready now to give him Advantage or Frontline, if a vet says that it won't be harmful while he has these skin lesions. whenever it's safe to give it to him, im planning on it. i'm feeling better about it because of things people here have said.


Can you get a sensitive kibble over there? Have a look at the James Wellbeloved site here www.wellbeloved.co.uk and then see if you can get anything comparable - if it's a food allergy then this should be suitable for him as it doesn't contain any of the usual culprits for causing food allergies.

yes, there are several. I have the Natural Balance duck and potato. I've given him several simple ingredient kibbles at different times and he hasn't ever shown any bad reaction to any of them. I'm going to follow karlin's advice and just stick with one kind for now. I was varying the kind of kibble every couple of days for a couple of weeks. thanks for the website for wellbeloved.

judy
5th July 2006, 10:17 AM
Have you any plants or flowers, etc. that he has been nosing around or in the garden..... Karlin has a thread of plants and stuff that they are allergic to. He may just be putting his nose and getting stung.

i just did a search for 'plants' in all available forums but didn't get anything.
i tried 'plant allergies' too. was it in the health library?

Maxxs_Mummy
5th July 2006, 05:28 PM
http://cavaliertalk.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=862

bsam101
5th July 2006, 10:52 PM
Hi Judy,

I have two cavaliers that are almost 2 1/2 years old. The first year they had very loose stools. I changed their food to Natural Balance ultra and Solid Gold Bison for dogs under 20 pounds. They immediately improved. If they are stressed because of a vet visit or fireworks etc, they at times have loose bms. Sometimes a little colitis. It usually goes away when the stress goes away. They are happy go lucky pups but they are also very sensitve. Just recently I took them on a visit to a home that had many children. They were fine , but my boy had a loose bm shorly afterward.

My advice is find one food and just give him that at the same time every day. Get him into a routine. Good luck. The more stressed out you are the more Zack is going to feel. I know it is hard because I am the biggest worrier. Sometimes the vets do not take me seriously because they think I worry too much.

Take care and give him lots of kisses!!

Karlin
5th July 2006, 11:28 PM
The list is actually poisonous plants so that may be the point of confusion.

judy
6th July 2006, 03:39 AM
thanks to the link for the poisonous substance list. i bookmarked it. Unfortunately, i really have no idea at all what any of the plants in the backyard are called, except there is ivy, a lemon tree, a wisteria, a rubber tree. by coincidence, the apartment manager had a gardener come today about clearing the backyard of weeds. But i've been doing that so i don't have much. but he'll come next week and clear out more, and trim the trees.

from observing, i don't think zack is eating plants, although i can't be 100% sure. but i think that something in the backyard is either biting him, or he's rubbing against something that causes a reaction. but i don't really know of course.

Tomorrow morning i have an appointment with the vet that specializes in skin conditions. I have started him on liquid clavamox for pyoderma. I have him just eating Canidae all life stages right now, but am still looking into other kibbles. I'm spraying that water on him. if he starts scratching again, i'll give him benadryl. It seemed to help. I saw the doctor who had suggested the benadryl last week today when i picked up the antibiotic, he was walking through the reception area where i was and i asked about continuing the benadryl and he said yet, and if necessary, give it every 12 hours.

but today, no scratching, i mean not the kind that is unusual to me, that he's been having in the past week. He has had a little bit of normal type flea scratching that i'm used to seeing with dogs, and if the skin vet says it's ok, tomorrow, i'll put Advantage on him.

I am looking for something safe to treat the yard with, and considering giving him Program too. I bought program for him months ago but have hesitated, hoping to prevent fleas with garlic and stuff, but i am now going to go with the conventional stuff.

Moviedust
7th July 2006, 12:39 AM
I'm glad Zack is feeling better, even if you dont have a clear diagnosis. It will be interesting to see what the specialist says. Bless you for spending all the money to see all these different vets!!

Maxxs_Mummy
7th July 2006, 01:00 AM
I'm so glad he's feeling better. I get more worried about my furbabies when they are ill than I ever did about my human kids :lol:

We were thinking of putting a wisteria arch in our garden but I don't think it will be going out there now - not after finding it's poisonous!

I do have a holly and some daffodils but the dogs can't get to them as we have the area fenced off - we feed the wild birds there and the dogs eat the dropped seeds so we had to fence it off from them :roll: :lol: