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Dog Vomitting and not eating - vets are out of ideas

June 26th, 2005, 12:54 AM
My 4 year old basset female has been very sick for about 4 weeks now. She has lost 22 pounds. She refuses to eat anything - we have tried everything we can think of, peanut butter, ice cream, scrambled eggs, etc - all her favorites and she is not the least bit interested in food. We have been feeding her with a syringe, and keeping her crated to keep her quiet and inactive, but everything keeps coming up. We have run every test imaginable at the vet - original blood work did she slightly elevated white blood cells and low protein levels, but after multiple rounds of different antibiotics, everything is staying the same. We are waiting for new blood test results now to check levels. X-rays, upper and lower gi, barium series, and exploratory surgery have all been done, with nothing being found. The vet did take a biopsy of her pancreas as it looked a "little odd", but nothing major. The only other thing he noticed while in there was that her intestines have no "movement". She has been on an intestinal mobility drug for a week now as well as Maalox. She will eat grass and pass it, but nothing else. Also, she just wants to go outside and lay in a corner in the yard, versus on our bed where she has always slept. The only other thing out of the ordinary we have found, is what appears to be a brown recluse spider bite on the back of her neck. The vet insists this is not the cause of her problems though, as it would be much larger and deeper if it came first. He thinks, she was bt while laying out in the grass.

This is our baby. I do basset rescue, but Baylee is our bay girl. We lost our 15 year old son in a car accident last October and we can't lose Baylee. Although not comfortable while vomitting, she does not seem to be in any pain, and still wags her tail and trots along when she gets the urge. She is still drinking, but after 4 weeks, and no nutrition, and the loss of 22 pounds, she is starting to look very malnourished. Any ideas what this could be caused by? Thank you in advance for any responses.

June 26th, 2005, 12:58 AM
I have absolutely no idea, but I will keep Baylee in my thoughts. Hope that helps some.

June 26th, 2005, 01:44 AM
Have you considered acupuncture? Since, in a nutshell, it's supposed to restore energy flow, maybe it could stimulate his system to get moving again. Acupuncture for domestic animals is fairly well established but you must find a licensed practitioner. Here's a website:

June 26th, 2005, 05:10 AM
I would ask your vet about a referral to a vet teaching hospital. There could be more than just one problem your dog is dealing with. If that is a brown recluse bite, it could be part of her problem. The venom from one of those little devils can wreck havoc with your system. I came close to losing my leg to one in 1988. I know your vet is trying everything possible but sometimes fresh minds bring fresh ideas. After 4 weeks, your dog needs a team to work on her.

Lucky Rescue
June 26th, 2005, 08:57 AM
I have no clue about your dog, but just want to say I am so sorry for the loss you have suffered.:(

Karin and badger have good suggestions!

June 26th, 2005, 09:10 AM
Thank you. We are considering taking her to the vet university in Columbia (about a 6 hour drive from us), they have rec'd all of her blood work and biopsies. There also may be some place closer to us, possibly in St. Louis. Unfortunately, after our accident in October I am out of vacation days and although we all know how much family your pet really is, the government doesn't agree and FMLA leave is not included for pets! :sick: With my husbands schedule though we should be able to work something out.

We just can't figure out why food will not go through her intestines - what stops the movement? Also, I found this strange - if you force feed her something chunky - two days later it will come back up still whole. Doesn't it seem like it would have broke down and digested some in that amount of time? What in the stomach makes that happen?

June 26th, 2005, 09:26 AM
Sounds like her stomach enzymes aren't doing their work. Try really good yogurt (live culture) or probiotics in pill form (health food store), which replenish the flora in the stomach. I'm wondering about the meds as well. Too many meds for treating symptoms can make diagnosis more difficult (as with humans?).

Please let us know how everything works out. Poor puppy.

Lucky Rescue
June 26th, 2005, 09:28 AM
I believe enzymes from the pancreas and salivary glands help break down food.

Has your dog's pancreas function been tested?

Here's a page from VetInfo about all sorts of stomach problems.

June 26th, 2005, 09:55 AM
Agree with visit to Vet teaching hospital. In Ontario it is located in Guelph and is staffed with top notch neurosurgeons - on call 24 hours a day - wish I didn't know this but unfortunately I do. Wonderful surgeons. I hope your puppy is okay. I am very, very partial to hounds.

June 26th, 2005, 12:05 PM
I agree with the possiblity of this being a pancreatic prob. The vets often have a hard time with this one as even the acute probs can be episodic and the bloodwork return to normal if the animal hasn't thrown up in the last hour before the tests.

Ask your vet what they think about pancreaitis or took us 1 full year to get Jake's diagnosis, sounding similar to your poor baby, and we were at the vet non stop.

Sorry for this happening to you, you sound like you have definitely been through enough. Sorry for your loss. :grouphug:

June 26th, 2005, 12:30 PM
Yes was just going to ask if they tested pacreatic enzyme levels, done easily with blood test.

The solution to this is hospital admission NOTHING by mouth for about 4 days depending on how serious the condition, but kept on IV fluids and thats it. If it's PANCREATITIS it will or should resolve itself. This can be triggered by giving a dog fatty foods like grease or gravy, bacon or deep fried snacks and junk.

However, I ran into this same situation with my previous dog and it was all thought to be pancreatitis but a very fast and easy ultrasound showed tumours.

Ask your vet do to an abdominal ultrasound and chest xrays.

It can show a lot!! Pls let us know, I'm pulling for ya!

The reason I suggest the ultrasound and xrays is because sometimes 'other' conditions can seem like pancreatitis. My dog for instance was tumour ridden and full of cancer.

June 26th, 2005, 02:30 PM
Oops - mistake found in the first thread - it was not the pancreas that they found "odd" and took a biopsy of, it was her spleen.

They have treated her for pancreatis and gastrointeritis - we just can't keep anything down her. The biggest mystery to me is her toatl lack of interest in any food. I am starting to think that she now knows that when she eats she is going to throw up and there for doesn't want to eat. But how can she not be hungry? Is it possible to have an anorexic dog?

I will call the vet in the morning and ask about the pancreatic enzymes. They have also discussed her having a rare disorder where she is basically rejecting her own body - an auto immune disorder. Anyone ever heard of this in dogs?

June 26th, 2005, 02:39 PM
Did they ever do a chest xray and abdominal ultrasound?
That will rule out any tumours

June 26th, 2005, 02:47 PM
No ultrasounds, lots of x-rays and exploratory surgery - they looked at all of her organs and her intestines multiple times. We talked about any kind of cancer, but since her white blood cell count wasn't that high, it was ruled out.

June 26th, 2005, 10:11 PM
What about feeding her just veggies for a couple of days? Maybe just greens? If she passes grass, it might be a place to start.

Otherwise, I'm at a loss. :sorry:

June 27th, 2005, 10:21 AM
Wow, thats a real hard one poor little poochie!

I can guess maybe something neurological making the stomach sick, are their any signs of anything neurological like shaking, head tilt, walking off balance, falling down, eye shifting/bulging anything like that?

Another thought would be a very restricted and limited diet at first perhaps some baby food from a jar...only one flavour and just small amounts at a time.

Another question, when the food comes up does it look digested fully/partially or not at all?

And yet another thought, maybe adding some digestive enzymes to feedings may help. Have you considered consulting a naturopathic vet?

I know this is a lot to absorb and a lot to go through, I just wanted to give you whatever was floating around in my head.

Say, how about a picture of you Bay girl ;)

Cactus Flower
June 27th, 2005, 12:15 PM
DaniDunn, I sent you a private message. Please check your inbox.

Also, I just noticed that your baby is a girl, and I wrote "he" a lot in my message. Sorry about that.

June 27th, 2005, 12:44 PM
Dandidinn, I dont have any suggestions, but just wanted to offer my sincere condolences on your recent tragic loss :grouphug: and my best wishes that you can find some answers to help your sweet dog. Good luck to you!

June 27th, 2005, 01:50 PM
Got new blood test results back this morning - her white blood cells are over 70K - at least we know it is some kind of infection we are fighting. The vets says there are no cancerous cells. He really thinks she has an iinfection in the lining of her stomach that is embedded very deep. At this point, we are are not force feeding anything other than chicken baby food, yogurt, or cattage cheese and completely flooding her system with penicillin. She is down to 39.5 pounds (at the end of April when she had her annual exam she weighed in at 63). Thank God she i not in any pain, but she is just withering away before our eyes. I did talk to the vet about her pancreatic enzymes and he said they were fine - just a little off, but thats probably from the malnoutrition. We talked about drugs to stimulate her appetite, but he is more concerned with getting the infection down first - once she can hold food down, we will get her eating.

If you believe in prayer - please pray for my baby girl, another loss to my family right now would be beyond devasting. Positive thoughts, etc - whatever you can spare for us.

I will post a picture of my sweetheart when I get home (I'm at a work computer now)

Thanks again

June 27th, 2005, 01:56 PM
We will all be praying for you both!!!! :grouphug: At least you did get some more news :o

June 27th, 2005, 01:57 PM
Luba, I forgot to answer your questions. - Shaking has only occured when she is sleeping (more like a shivering like she is cold) and it actually hasn't happened for the last couple of days. She has had a fever off and on. And the one good thing that has changed is that instead of her wanting to be outside in a corner of the yard, yesterday she actually came back in on her own after going out to potty and slept by my feet!!!

Food does come up whole - of course, I have been putting her food in a blender and making it liquid and giving it to her with a syringe. Sometimes it comes right back up, sometimes it can stay down for a few hours and "most" of it comes back. Last week, my vet force fed her chunk can food, and two days later it came back up whole.

I did realize last night after reading some other posts on this board what a huge mistake I had been making. I have been trying so many different things to get her to eat, not even realizing that changing food so much can make her sick to her stomach as well. Duh!!!!

June 27th, 2005, 05:42 PM
I don't have any suggestions, just wanted to say that Hazel and I will pray for Baylee! :grouphug:

June 27th, 2005, 06:13 PM
If I were you I would avoid any processed dog food.

Try just some baby food, turkey or chicken puree baby food. Just that and that alone.. One tablespoon at a time. Small and frequent meals.


June 27th, 2005, 06:37 PM
I have been sending good vibes and praying with all I have...this is so tough.

Blood work rarely shows cancerous cells unless specifically tested for it and this so far has been only used in humans.
I really hate to think on these lines but it is a must. Cancerous tumors, sarcomas and blood related tumors still sink home here. The high white cell count is most likely secondary or she would have died a few weeks ago. Many tumors have a single blood supply which they outgrow & the tumor then dies slowly, becoming necrotic. Enzymes are released to starve the host, maybe it's a saving grace to spare..I wish, but it is the attempt to feed itself. This is end stage of course. With the high white count, spleen issue and pancraetic levels ....this would be my target point. I am facing the same with my girl too.
Just my 2 cents worth and please tell me if I am off base...I want to know this is not your girl going through this also.

I can never spell it right but her it goes. Hermangiosarcoma..(sp?) anyone?

Grammar & spelling police...need you help here too.

June 27th, 2005, 08:11 PM
I looked it up on Google - (your spelling was very close) - this tumor talks alot about bleeding disorders and swelling - 2 things that Baylee has none of - there is no blood in her vomit or feces (when she poops grass), and there is definately no swelling in her ab. I hope I don't sound like I am in denial, I would love to know what it is, so we can find a fix. The information I read about it though just doesn't sound like her symptoms.

I am considering taking a leave of absense from work to take her to the University in Columbia MO.

By the way, attached is a picture of my sweet girl; she is the one in front, that's Barnum in the back - he was my first ever rescue, and of course, my Angel Aaron - waiting for us at the Bridge while playing tag with all the four leggers!

June 27th, 2005, 08:28 PM
With exploratory surgery you think they would have found any tumour/cancer
I wonder if an u/s would be a good idea still .....I dunno
I really wish I had some answers for you.

With my dog he had cancer of the adrenal gland and the tumour was large and there were atleast a dozen more. By the time it was found it was too late :(

I'm really hoping here something wonderful comes of all this and there is success with diagnosing and treating whatever is the problem.


June 27th, 2005, 08:37 PM
I wish I had some ideas or advice to help you - but unfortunately I don't. :(
I do want you to know though that we're all pulling for Baylee down here. Your family is in our thoughts and prayers. :grouphug:

June 28th, 2005, 05:00 PM
UPDATE - After much research last night on the web, I am more convinced than ever that the cause of all of Baylee's problems is that nasty spider bite. There are stories out there about other dogs who have been bite by a brown recluse that suffered the same type of symptoms as Baylee and was sick for months! This is just to much of a coincidence for me!

has anyone here ever experienced a pet being bit by a poisonous spider? What worked? Any suggestions?

June 28th, 2005, 07:01 PM

So it could be some sort of viral / bacterial infection now from the spider... a reaction.

Hmmmn would you try something holistic to treat?

June 28th, 2005, 08:22 PM
UPDATE - After much research last night on the web, I am more convinced than ever that the cause of all of Baylee's problems is that nasty spider bite. There are stories out there about other dogs who have been bite by a brown recluse that suffered the same type of symptoms as Baylee and was sick for months! This is just to much of a coincidence for me!

has anyone here ever experienced a pet being bit by a poisonous spider? What worked? Any suggestions?

*waving hand in air*

I was bit, posted that earlier in this thread. I have seen animals including a horse bitten by a brown recluse. Only a few came out okay I'm sorry to say...
I almost lost my leg, I had a great emergency room doctor who immediatly got on the internet when the internet was just coming out. Most "people" who get bit are retirees. Most retirees have the least amount of symptoms due to most are already on medication for gout. Its a long name...begins with a "c"..(cochinine..???guessing
Within 3 days of taking this drug every 2 hours around the clock, I was all cleared up except for a scar. I have heard some vets use the same method with success.
Google search the brown recluse or spider bites...everybody & anybody! I recently found a website this way that details the same info...I'll try to find the site again myself, I'm not good at copying stuff so anyone else would be quicker....

June 28th, 2005, 08:59 PM
Have you tested for Addison's disease yet?

It is a fairly inexpensive test and very non-invasive.

Addison's Disease in the Great Dane

November 24, 2003 We've been discussing hypoadrenocorticism, or Addison's Disease, in the Great Dane. (See last week.) Addison's is not widely known to the general public and the condition is often misdiagnosed by veterinarians due to the fact that symptoms often mimic those of other diseases. In fact, Addison's Disease is often referred to as "The Great Pretender." While AD isn't exactly prevalent in our breed, it has a definite presence and you should know something about it because, if left undiagnosed, Addison's can kill your dog.