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frustrated with vet(s)... looooong.

October 30th, 2005, 07:27 AM
hi everyone. i am brand new here, and it figures my first post will be a big ol' vent.

i am so frustrated with the vets i've seen lately! my girl guinness is about 5 or 6, a rottweiler rescue saved hours from the needle by my husband 4 years ago. she's been a great friend all these years, but lately something is up. we've had her to 3 different vets with three different answers. we just don't know what to do anymore.

lately, she has been eating like there is no tomorrow. she's always been a counter surfer, we've been working on that for 4 years now! but lately, she tears into the garbage, steals the cat food, runs around like a maniac at our mealtimes sniffing the floors looking for crumbs, etc. etc. we had originally taken her to the vet to rule out some illnesses due to symptoms she's been having. she's gained a ton of weight, she is very lethargic except at mealtimes and when we come home, she barely makes it through her walks without needing to lay down. she pants all the time, but after a walk, you'd think she just ran the new york marathon. she can no longer jump up onto the bed and her legs go out spread eagle on the kitchen floor. also has trouble standing up from the laying position. she also drinks non stop, and pees huge quantities. she has been known to have random periods of incontinence. often, she will drink so much water so fast that she will throw it all up, with some mucous.

first vet diagnosed diabetes insipidus. ruled out thyroid/diabetes/cushings/addisons. her urine was fairly dilute, and came back with a few rare crystals. put her on abx, which we did the full round. urine still dilute, no crystals. said her kidney's were doing fine, and gave her special food. great. said there was no real effective treatment for DI except always having fresh water. said the meds available were spendy and didn't do all that much. not so great, but whatever. so we always have water out everywhere.

symptoms still there, took her to a new vet. this vet said it was all due to weight gain, took no blood since bloods had been drawn quite recently. put her on a different diet for weight gain, said the one she was on (from the other vet) must be too high in fat which was causing the vomiting. said there was no diabetes insipidus or any other disease process. ruled out parasites as well.

still symptomatic, so took her to a third vet, hoping a new set of eyes and a new thought process might yield something new. this vet said it was a training issue. so we got into a training class. she still doesn't listen (although she does walk better on the leash) and the symptoms have not gone anywhere.

everything is still there, and now she's started itching, licking and losing some of her hair. i don't know what to do anymore! we've taken her to three vets, nearly gone into hock, and still are no closer to making her more comfortable. i want to cry! its heartbreaking to see a proud rottie need help from my husband to get up onto the bed. its terrible to see her face after she's wet the bed in the middle of the night in her sleep. i swear she looks ashamed as she sits in the corner while we change the sheets. she's always slept with me, been my foot warmer from day one (had severe crate issues after the pound, and i don't mind sharing my bed).

does anyone have any thoughts? i am more than willing to go to a new vet, but i guess maybe i feel like i am not getting anywhere. maybe i'm not asking the right questions or something. with human doctors, i am very comfortable in my knowledge. when it comes to animal health, i feel very uneducated and tend to trust the vet's word. but now, i'm not feeling so confident in them, as i've gotten no where.

i don't want my girl to lose her dignity, and i don't want to feel like i haven't done enough for her.

sorry for the diatribe. anyone have ideas? thoughts? questions? what i should do next?


Lucky Rescue
October 30th, 2005, 07:48 AM
OMG - your dog sounds much like mine - dilute urine, excessive drinking, peeing large quantities, incontinence when sleeping/lying down.

She also had bladder crystals, then a stone which was surgically removed two weeks ago.

She is now on hormones in case she has spay in continence.

This is NOT a training issue.

It's possible the problem is kidney related, although it's not failure of any kind.

The next test she's going to have is to stay at the vet for 12 hours, and be given no water. Her urine will be analyzed every few hours, to see if it remains dilute in spite of not drinking. This will show that in fact her kidneys are producing way too much urine which passes quickly from the body. This causes dehydration, which results in the excessive thirst.

According to my vet, this is a problem that can be managed although not cured.

I have no idea about your dog's weight gain, but the panting etc could be a result of that.

its terrible to see her face after she's wet the bed in the middle of the night in her sleep. i swear she looks ashamed as she sits in the corner while we change the sheets.
I know it's heartbreaking. My dog is also confused and upset at her wet bed. What I do is get her up and outside first thing in the morning and speak to her in a happy voice and tell her what a good girl she is. But still she is very submissive and upset.

I make sure she's outside and can't see me change the blankets in her bed. and this does seem to help a bit.

You might want to consider the 12 hour vet test.

October 30th, 2005, 08:22 AM
Sounds to me like diabetes.

Drinking a lot of water is a first sign, but so can overeating. And sounds like your dog gained some weight which will make it worse.

It also sounds like your dog has a food allergy to this new food. What were you feeding before, and what are you feeding now (what brand)? That might help you figure out the allergy. The most common allergies are beef, chicken, corn, wheat, and soy, but there are others. Look at the ingedients of your old food and new food for comparison.

I know with diabetes, depending on the form, it can lead to hypoglycemia, which your dog might be exhibiting because it feels it needs to eat a lot for energy. This happens when there is so much sugar/glucose in the blood, that the insulin stops responding. As a result, you have too much sugar in the blood, but because the insulin isn't using the glucose in the blood to make usable energy, the dog is hypoglycemic (low blood sugar) and feels it needs the energy.

Depending on what you think your dog may be allergic to in the new food, I would find a new food, high quality, with a single protein and single carb, but make sure it's a complex carb so the body process's the sugar better. The higher the quality of food, the less you feed. So, even though it may be more expensive at the store, you feed less so it actually costs less to feed expensive food.

At least if you try this, it won't hurt him, and hopefully will help him.

I would suggest crating him or putting him in a separate room when you are preparing food/eating. Feed the cat in a separate room where he can't get the food. Lock the cubboard where the garbage is (use a kid proof lock type thing). And don't leave any food around. Don't feed table scraps or snacks. He would need to lose weight for this to get better.

October 30th, 2005, 09:17 AM
Is it just me or does it seem to everyone there seems to be a LOT of us with babies going through urine/kidney/DI/bladder issues? My prayers are with you, I'm going through a similar situation to yours and Lucky Rescue's. It's maddening and heartbreaking to see your pup suffering so. Go with the vet that you trust the most, from what I've been told, DI is INCREDIBLY hard to diagnose and treatment is a pain, and if that just doesn't seem right to you, then keep digging. I'm so sorry this is going on for you and Guinness, I know how tough it is. Hugs :pawprint:

October 30th, 2005, 09:45 AM
thanks everyone. this really rots. i just KNOW something is going on with her... i just don't know what. and now i am so confused, seeing as i have been given three different answers! i worry about her so much - i hate that i can't help her. :sad: the second vet went so far as to submit a thinly veiled suggestion that i may have allowed her to eat poison in my home! i am very careful with the chemicals. if it were to happen, it would have been purely by terrible accident... but he said it so meanly, like i was a bad doggy momma... i mean, i'll take blame for stuff because i'm not perfect. but don't talk to me like i'm not taking good care of my pets! but thats neither here nor there, because any chemicals are locked away from the human baby. so far, the first vet is the only one that seemed to care at all.

raingirl - is there a way i can test for diabetes at home? i know my mom has type II and has to test her blood a certain number of times a day and plot it on a graph for her doc. can i do something similar with guinness?

as for food, she was originally on canidae, but wasn't tolerating it that well. we then went to raw (prepared). she did really well on this, but the vet put her on hills prescription for kidneys. the newest food was science diet weight loss... i am NOT happy with the ingredient list here.

the first vet was so sure it was cushings... then all the blood came back ok. i read somewhere else that i should have a blood sample sent to dr. dodds, but not sure how to approach my vet on that.

blah. my poor baby. this stinks. thanks so much for the help.

October 30th, 2005, 09:48 AM
If you have a vet teaching hospital near you, I would suggest trying to get an appointment. A referral will be necessary.

October 30th, 2005, 07:43 PM
I'm sorry you're having such problems! It definitely sounds physiological and not a training issue.

I think you should get copies of the files and test results from all 3 vets and ask for a referral to an internal medicine specialist. This website can help you find one close to you. Or you can ask your first vet (who seemed more interested in doing some tests to find out what was wrong) for the one they usually refer to.
Look under "small animal internal medicine diplomates", you can search by city/state.

Good luck!