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Been to the vet, interested in your thoughts...

Amy and Fergus
July 17th, 2006, 01:47 PM

This is my first post. I've been reading through many of the archives wondering if other dogs have been in Fergus' situation. She is a 2 1/2 year-old Shih Tzu-Lhasa Apso mix, and last Saturday she was vomiting. That subsided, but Sunday she began having diarrhea, and I took her to the vet. Blood and fecal tests have come back negative. On Sunday she was prescribed Tylocin (stool hardener) and Amoxil (antibiotic) but was taken off the Amoxil on Thursday (when I had her back at the vet). The vet thought it might have been exacerbating her diarrhea. Her tylocin prescription was upped from 25mg twice a day to 100mg twice a day. She has two more tylocin pills left. She is drinking and peeing normally, and eating her usual amounts (she is a very fussy eater, and eats somewhat sporadically). I have been in contact with the vet's office with updates. It seems to be very slowly getting better, but I don't want to wait too long to see what happens.

My question is this - should I be severely concerned at the length this is taking to clear up? The vet thinks she has just gotten into something she shouldn't have. I wonder why it would take that long to get through her system. My next step is to get x-rays. How long should I "wait and see" before having this done?


Amy and Fergus

Cymba's friend
July 18th, 2006, 10:55 AM
Tylosin by the way is also an antibiotic, as is amoxil - they address different parts of the gastro-intestinal system. There are many ailments that require treatment by one or both, and apparently in summer when it is hot, dogs who have certain weaknessness are prone to get diahrea etc.
Cymba (my dog) unfortunately has inflammatory gastritis (which I am not saying your dog has), it is a non-curable disease, and it is being kept under control through tylosin and amoxil. As an example for illustration only, we have just reduced the tylosin and will eliminate it, and keep the amoxil until the heat is over and then gradually reduce it. We had tried the reverse first, but in his particular case the area of the gastro-intestinal system which seemd the weakest did not react well to eliminating the amoxil.
My vet says that some dogs she treats require amoxil or tylosin each summer when it is super hot as they get diahrea etc. Some dogs get tylosin instead, again depending on which area of their system is the most affected. My vet explained it to me, they are sort of complementary, covering different areas of the gastro-intestinal system. From what I understood, tylosin is preferable for longer term use than amoxil (Cymba unfortunately needs the amoxil as in his case a reduction of amoxil resulted in a return of the diahrea).

This whole area is sometimes very hard to diagnose, and often vets go by elimination (the easiest causes and treatments first). In Cymba's case unfortunately we had to go to Alta Vista to see specialists and do an endoscopy and gastroscopy, so now we know what he has, and it is for life (special diet, off and on medication etc). Other dogs may just have infections from eating things outside that are more loaded with bacteria in the summer and maybe their immune system is not strong enough to resist. I would recommend that after several months of treatment by your vet, if it still returns and is on-going, you may wish to have your vet refer you to an internal specialist to do further tests.

Good luck!

Amy and Fergus
July 18th, 2006, 11:53 AM
Hi there!

Thank you so much for your reply! I have spoken to a few other people who also think it might have to do with the heat. Fortunately, Fergus is litter box trained and I don't have to take her outside in the extreme heat or cold. (She gets her exercise indoors playing "run around the table" and other fun things!)Hopefully this will sort itself out. She takes her last tylosin today, so we'll see what happens once she's off that for a bit.

Just for an update - it's been about 24 hours since she last eliminated solids, but she has been eliminating liquids. Just this morning, her tummy has started to make gurrgly noises, so I hope something will stir and she will be more comfortable.

I'm sorry your Cymba becomes ill in the summer, but I am glad he is diagnosed and you are able to treat him. Big hugs for Cymba!

Thanks again,

Amy and Fergus

July 18th, 2006, 04:19 PM
Gurgly noises from the tummy are a good sign that things will soon be back to normal. :fingerscr

July 18th, 2006, 04:48 PM
As long as there isn't any pain, the doggy isn't lethargic and keeps "going" regularly, I wouldn't suspect a blockage. One thing I would worry about if it doesn't clear up soon is that whatever is making her sick is still around somewhere.

My dogs get a bit of diarrhea from the extreme heat, but never vomiting (so far).

Also, while she's on antibiotics, so many things can be messed up... You might want to try probiotics. You can get them in capsule form at health food stores (make sure to buy the ones that are kept in the fridge to be sure they're alive). The main GI ones are Lactobacillus and Acidophilus (just so you know what to look for- but the capsules can have more types in them too, as long as those two are there too).:)

Amy and Fergus
July 18th, 2006, 06:44 PM
Thanks for your replies!

I'm glad that gurgly noises are a good sign. Her tummy was making them all day. A few hours ago she eliminated a half-normal-half-soft bowel movement (I'm sorry for the graphic description!), and her tummy kept gurgling. Then about an hour and a half after that, she had another small bit of diarrhea. She's just been playing and had a bit of dinner and some water, so I'll see what happens. Her tylocin prescription is up, so I may have to go to the vet again. I will ask about the probiotics.

If this is caused by the heat, is there anything I can do to prevent her from getting this again, once we get this bout cleared up?

Thanks again!

Amy and Fergus

July 18th, 2006, 06:48 PM
I don't know of any vets who sell probiotics... You'd have to get them elsewhere.:) Usually people suggest plain yogurt, but the bacteria content in yogurt isn't as high as in capsules and getting a dog to digest a strange thing in the middle of being ill is a little risky, IMO.

Cymba's friend
July 18th, 2006, 08:29 PM
Other than on the internet, you can get Probiotics in nature food stores either in capsules or in concentrated refrigerated little yogurt like looking plastic containers. I have also seen them at Loblaws in the Naturapathic section (if they have one).

If your dog has diahrea consistently, I would still be careful before eliminating the antibiotic and replacing by probiotic alone, as the level of bacterial infection may be too high. If your vet agrees (as it also depends what your dog has), you can also give him probiotics at the same time and after finishing with the antibiotic. If your dog's cause is something more serious and chronic as inflammatory bowel disease, inflammatory gastritis etc that is all year round for the rest of his life (versus only the summer), then dietary decisions should be discussed with your vet, as some of these diseases create allergic reactions that will then trigger all the symptoms again. Just a word of caution...

July 18th, 2006, 08:31 PM
No- I didn't mean to stop one for the other (sorry). Don't stop the antibiotic unless your vet says so. The probiotics can be given at the same time as the antibiotic. They replenish the good bacteria that the antibiotic kills unavoidably along with the bad...

July 18th, 2006, 10:06 PM
If you decide to try probiotics, I suggest you wait 1-2 hours after giving the antibiotics to give the probiotics. I don't start probiotics until the last few days of the antibiotic prescription since the antibiotic will generally negate the probiotics.

Amy and Fergus
July 21st, 2006, 10:29 AM
I just wanted to update you on Fergus. Yesterday she had a regular bowel movement! She is eating and drinking normally.

Thank you to everyone for your help and advice!

Amy and Fergus

July 21st, 2006, 10:34 AM
We're all happy to hear about normal poops, hope she continues to feel better :)

July 21st, 2006, 02:15 PM
Yey! Good luck for a speedy recovery!:fingerscr

July 21st, 2006, 02:57 PM
Glad to hear Fergus is back to normal. :highfive: