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Thread: Afraid Zack has it

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  1. #1
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    Default Afraid Zack has it

    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.

  2. #2
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    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.
    ....Sally
    Mom to Pixie - DOB 5/27/04
    And rescue kitties Max and Sophie

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    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:
    Kat

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sally
    .....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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jennapea
    ....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.

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    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.

  7. #7
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    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.
    Cathy
    Loving mom to Jake, Shelby and Micah

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    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... ... 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.
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Leo Lily Tansy Libby (foster) Mindy (foster)
    In memory: Lucy
    Cavalier SM Infosite:www.smcavaliers.com

  9. #9
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    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/beag...occidiosis.htm

    http://www.peteducation.com/article....&articleid=727

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cathy T
    ...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.

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