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Very sick pup has vets baffled!

MalsInOz
December 6th, 2003, 02:08 AM
Re my 11 week old GSD pup.

14 days ago my pup started vomiting and stopped drinking so i took her to the vet and she was admitted and put on fluids for possible parvo.

She was released the next afternoon as she appeared to have made a remarkable recovery almost eliminating parvo as a problem.

Then 4 days ago she started vomiting and expressing almost pure water diarreah(sp), not eating or drinking either, so in she went again, this time parvo test showed slight positive (remember she has had her first shots) so she was admitted again as possible parvo case.

She was released the next afternoon as she appeared to have made such a remarkable recovery that Parvo was doubtful. She was fine for the first 12 hrs I had her home but...

Within 24hrs I had her back at the vet running a 41.5C temp, very listless and not drinking. Tiny amount of vomit and no diarreah. Her plus 40C temp continued for over 24hrs and she had to have a plasma transfusion due to low white cell count.

There has been no blood in stool and in fact today her temp is normal and she is very active but now her red cell count is dropping rather dramatically!

My vets are baffled by all this, mainly the fact that she has appeared to recover so fully and quickly, yet fallen even sicker within a short space of time.

We are waiting on further blood work but I'm desperate for any contact with someone that has seen this before and can point us in the right direction!

The symptoms match multiple diseases and infections I know, the only real standout is the rapid recovery when put on fluids the first couple of times.

Regards,

MalsInOz

mona_b
December 6th, 2003, 11:47 AM
Oh my god the poor little puppy.I too own a GSD.Where did you get her?This must be very frustrating for you.Not knowing what is going on with her.How long have you had her?

Luba
December 6th, 2003, 01:20 PM
OH dear the poor little pup

One suggestion I like to make to folks in a urgent situation like this is to take the dog to an emergeny facility that has vet referrall services. This being because they are equipped with all necessary equipment and have very very experienced staff that are specialized in specific areas of interest.

If your pup does not seem to be improving and your current vets are scratching their heads, it sounds like your dog needs to see a specialist.

Where are you located?

Luba

MalsInOz
December 6th, 2003, 10:42 PM
Thank you for your thoughts.

We live in Australia and my little girl is at a very highly regarded veterinary practice. I've actually spoken with what is considered the best vet specialist centre in our state and they've told me to have every faith in the team that have her now.

I bought her from a training friend 3 weeks ago and have waited almost 12 months for a pup from this combination so I'm really hoping she'll pull through with no ongoing problems.

Latest reports indicate a very lively little girl, eating and drinking normally with a tiny amount of diarreah. Fingers crossed her bloodwork comes back ok this time - I'm waiting on a call now.

Thanks again.

Mals

Luba
December 6th, 2003, 10:46 PM
I'm crossing my fingers and toes!

Is she on any kind of medication or antibiotics at this time and do you know if she happened to eat anything 'nasty' outside like a dead mouse or bird or something?

If she has diarrhea you can add some white rice to her food and it will help for sure. Just no butter or oil in the rice plain water and rice cooked.

Pup on dry or canned food?

Luba

mona_b
December 6th, 2003, 10:49 PM
I'm so glad to hear she is doing better.She seems to be in good hands.I'll cross my fingers too and say a little prayer for her.Please keep us posted.

Carina
December 7th, 2003, 05:23 AM
Mals, I hope she's better now...have they figured it out yet? Could it be something like giardia or some other sort of fluke...I know they can be difficult to identify. My last pup (also one I'd waited for from a specific breeding) got a case of giardia when he was about 10 weeks old. Scared me half to death - we were so worried it was parvo! Luckily not, and a quick course of Flagyl cleared him up. But it can be real scary.

Canned or cooked winter squash (like pumpkin) is also a great stool regulator.
This here is an incredibly well put together and informative site - you might find some useful info:
http://www.bowchow.com/specific.html

drdouggie
December 7th, 2003, 11:21 AM
Mals,

I've got my fingers crossed for doggy. One thing that crossed my mind when you mentioned dropping RBC counts was haemolytic anaemia. If she has been given too much of a drug or taken a bad reaction to a particular drug this could be causing the dropping blood counts. Some drugs cause a reaction in the body that causes the red blood cells to be destroyed, this is called haemolytic anaemia.

Internal bleeding somewhere can also cause the RBC count to drop.

You mentioned she had just had her shots...could it be possible that she's had a reaction to the vaccination. It's puzzling that her white blood cells decreased as after a vaccination they should have been elevated, also, the WBC go up if there is an infection present.

My gut feeling is that her ill health at the moment (not the initial sickness) is something to do with the meds she's recieved, remember she's only a little pup, and like babies, you have to be very cautious about giving drugs to young ones.

Please keep us all updated on her progress.

mona_b
December 7th, 2003, 11:27 AM
So true.Some dogs/cats have such an allergic reaction to vaccines .My vet was telling us that there are some that can't be vaccinated at all.Did she react like this to any of her other vaccines?Please let us know how she is doing.

MalsInOz
December 8th, 2003, 09:36 AM
Thank-you all for your concern and comments. I'm sorry for not responding earlier but it appears I haven't been getting alerts for replies received.

My little one appears to be doing a lot better, with everything back to normal for the past 24hrs except her WBC count which is still a little low. Her RBC count rebounded without the need for transfusion - Phew!

Pathology results were explained to me as being "nothing that we wouldn't expect from a pup recovering from Parvo", yet the vets are still hesitant to diagnose Parvo as the sole cause for her problems!?

I did find a case study in a 2001 copy of our National Veterinary Association Journal that discussed a 9 week puppy with a relatively rare concurrent Parvo/Cryptosporidium infection - the symptoms were very similar yet got a little too technical for me to fully understand so I passed a copy to my vet to decipher! The main thing that caught my attention was the very similar symptoms and the fact that Cryptosporidium didn't show up useing standard viral/bacterial tests.

So, but for her history of re-lapses (3 in total over 2 weeks) they would have let her come home today. However they're going to keep her in as a "boarder" for 7 days so they can monitor her progress.

Hopefully I'll be able to see her tomorrow as I haven't seen her now for 4 days and being a potential working dog I'm starting to get very worried about the ongoing interruptions to her psychological and physical development at such a critical age.

Heres hoping genetics can help me out a little on this one!

Regards,

Mals

MalsInOz
December 8th, 2003, 09:41 AM
Originally posted by drdouggie
Mals,

I've got my fingers crossed for doggy. One thing that crossed my mind when you mentioned dropping RBC counts was haemolytic anaemia. If she has been given too much of a drug or taken a bad reaction to a particular drug this could be causing the dropping blood counts. Some drugs cause a reaction in the body that causes the red blood cells to be destroyed, this is called haemolytic anaemia.

Internal bleeding somewhere can also cause the RBC count to drop.

You mentioned she had just had her shots...could it be possible that she's had a reaction to the vaccination. It's puzzling that her white blood cells decreased as after a vaccination they should have been elevated, also, the WBC go up if there is an infection present.

My gut feeling is that her ill health at the moment (not the initial sickness) is something to do with the meds she's recieved, remember she's only a little pup, and like babies, you have to be very cautious about giving drugs to young ones.

Please keep us all updated on her progress.

Thanks for the suggestions.

It was explained to me that a Plasma transfusion was required due to her low WBC count which would normally be caused by an aggressive viral infection..?

I'll definitely keep these things in mind, unfortunately my lack of medical knowledge of any sort make it hard to ask all the right questions at the right time.

Regards,

Mals

MalsInOz
December 8th, 2003, 09:54 AM
Originally posted by mona_b
So true.Some dogs/cats have such an allergic reaction to vaccines .My vet was telling us that there are some that can't be vaccinated at all.Did she react like this to any of her other vaccines?Please let us know how she is doing.

Myself and her breeder suspect the vaccines may have been involved in some way but it's very hard to say for certain.

I do know she was given C5 which is a combination of vaccines for the 5 common diseases.

Many people advise against these coverall combinations due to the chances of bad reactions and I guess personally I'd prefer to go with the less complicated vaccines, if at all, but then unfortunately it's always a calculated risk.

Just like the risk I take when I take my puppies out and about before their vaccine schedules are complete. I believe strongly in the importance of sensible socialisation at this critical age, so I'm prepared to take the risk. Unfortunately this time, if she has picked up Parvo, it's going to cost me a lot of money, but the life experience she had before she got sick and will get more of as soon as I can, will make her whole life a lot more enjoyable in the coming years!

Regards,

Mals.