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1st post dane is in the hospital. =(

November 26th, 2007, 09:42 PM
Hello all.
I hate for my first post to be this one...but honestly, I guess its why I registered here.

I have an almost 3 year old mantle great dane who suddenly became quite sick over Thanksgiving weekend.
She began refusing food and water on Friday night, was lethargic and slept all day Saturday and threw up and had diarrhea around 5am Sunday. The lethargy continued all day yesterday and she began vomitig green bile last night. I was up with her all night with the vomiting.

We went to the vet this morning, and he gave her a bunch of shots and did some bloodwork and sent us off to the hospital for xrays and an IV. She is still there.

She is severly dehydrated (which I suspected) and her lab work came back and the results could be because of the dehydration, but the vet also said that the results are also typical of Addison's Disease. He said he is not going to diagnose her with addison's just yet, because of the possibility that the results are due to the dehydration. Other possibilities were virus, infection, gastroenteritis.

I looked at a few websites that deal with Addison's disease and she had every symptom listed. :cry: She has also lost 11 pounds in a month (I think most of it was this long weekend. She was 99 pounds and is down to 88).

I am wondering if anyone else here has experience with Addison's and the treatment for it and anything else, like how it affects their health and anything like that, and does their diet have to change, etc. Also, would it be ureasonable to seek a second opinion?

Appreciate your replies.

Jim Hall
November 26th, 2007, 09:59 PM
my sympathies to you

Once she is stable your vet should be able to diagnose her pretty easiliy

ANd a second opinion is sometimes good to have.

November 26th, 2007, 10:11 PM
Did she eat anything poisonous to dogs like onions? You shouldn't focus all your attention on the possiblilty of Addisons yet, to the point of ruling out other possiblilties. I seem to recall someone once mentioning symptoms can be very similar :confused: :shrug: I'll look into it & get back to you :goodvibes:

November 26th, 2007, 10:36 PM
Your vet should also look into the possibility of the parasite Whipworm, infestations also have similiar symptoms :shrug:

from Veterinary Partner (
Clinical Signs - Patients are usually young (age 4-5 years) female dogs. (This disease occurs in cats but is very rare.) Predisposed breeds include: the Great Dane, the West Highland White terrier, all sizes of poodles, and Portuguese water dogs. At first signs are very vague - listlessness, possibly some vomiting or diarrhea. Ultimately, the disease results in a phenomenon known as the "Addisonian crisis." The animal collapses in shock due to its inability to adapt to the caloric and circulatory requirements in stress. Blood sugar may drop dangerously low. Potassium levels soar and disrupt the heart rhythm because there is not
enough conserved sodium to exchange for potassium. Heart rate slows, and arrhythmias result.

These symptoms can also be in relation to many other problems including toxic substances

Here is some info on the test you will need to have a proper diagnosis of Addisons

from Veterinary Partner (
Because of the numerous symptoms Addison's disease can be present with, Addison's disease has earned the medical nickname "the Great Imitator." The only definitive test for Addison's disease is the ACTH stimulation test. The patient receives a dose of ACTH, the pituitary hormone responsible for the release of corticosteroids in times of stress. A normal animal will show an elevation in cortisol in response to ACTH while an Addisonian has no corticosteroids to respond with. This lack of response is diagnostic for Addison's disease; however, a false positive may be obtained if corticosteroids have been used in the treatment of the crisis prior to the test. Only dexamethasone does not interfere with the assay for cortisol; if any other steroid has been used, the test will not be valid for at least a couple of days.

:fingerscr hope you get a definative answer soon so you can start proper treatment :goodvibes:

and Welcome to - we would love to see pics of your Dane - many Great Dane lovers here :)

November 27th, 2007, 10:09 AM
I don't know if this will help you, but when we have a sick pet, anthing is worth investigating. My 25lb cat had the same symptons about 6 months ago. We took her to the vet, he said Cooper had a "blockage" and tried to release some of it out his rear. Got a little, but we were back the next day. Ended up that the "blockage" was more sevear then the vet originally thought and because of the toxins in his system, he had partial liver failure. Our vet was very commited to getting our cat back to us healthy. After four days in the hospital Cooper came back home and now is the same cat that rules our house. So, the end result was a blockage to his rear and the toxins had started to effect his liver. He had lost about 5 lbs, fur looked really rough and had an unusal smell about him. Also, my cat is not a "hisser" but he would hiss at anyone walking bye.

November 27th, 2007, 02:33 PM
thank you for the replies, and especially the info, growler.
i know the vet did a fecal test for worms and it was negative. they also did xrays of the abdominal cavity which were clear.

i spoke to the vet this morning and at that time he was sticking with the gastroenteritis suspicion...they did more bloodwork at 3pm and because of some of the results (i wish i could remember all that he said, but its a blur now) he is a bit more suspicious about it being addison's. he is going to start her on the pills tonight with a script that will need to be filled (she is coming home at dinner time from the hospital (thankfully! since this is costing us about a thousand dollars before the meds and we're close to tapped out! ugh!).
he is erring on the side of caution with the meds bc it won't hurt her to take them if she doesn't have the disorder but it would not be good for her NOT to take them if she does.

He will be doing the ACTH test next week, and within a few days of that we should have the answer.

of course, now that i was happy about it being a hugely expensive bout of gastro, now i am worried about triggers and stressers and stuff like that again if its addison's.

oh well, at least she is coming home soon!

November 27th, 2007, 02:34 PM
will try to post pictures if i can.
i am not really great at knowing how to do that and thusfar on other boards have not figured it out yet, but if i can, i will definitely put some up.

November 27th, 2007, 09:05 PM
she is home. been sleeping alot and is so skinny from being so sick over the weekend.
i did get her up earlier and tried to get her to drink some water (not interested), she went outside to pee, and then came in and gobbled upthe white rice my daughter made her, along with a half a can of chicken (had none in the house so i used this, but was careful not to give her too much just in case the 'spices' on the label include garlic or onions). she has had it before w/no ill effects, but now i feel super careful about everything.

she is sleeping again on our bed (her favorite place).
i'm not sure how far i should push her to move around and stuff...i think i'll be quite gentle the rest of the night and see what she can tolerate tomorrow.

i'd like to find ways to bulk her back up (haha. she is a very lean dane. kind of whippet the 11 pounds she lost is REALLY showing on her). i am not sure if i should stick with homemade food for now (at the risk of her teeth not getting the benefit of kibble) or put her back on her normal diet. i think the vet said normal diet is fine...but i don't want to take any chances!

November 27th, 2007, 09:24 PM
i'd like to find ways to bulk her back up

Satin balls ! This is Nelly , my "long term" foster. She was only 72 lbs when she got to my place : 2 first pics , third one at 92 lbs , was after a couple of months on good kibble and satin balls.

I'm sorry to hear about your girl , maybe it's not Addison's disease :fingerscr please keep us posted (and pictures ! ) and if you need the recipe for satin balls , just ask. What's her name by the way ?

November 28th, 2007, 11:27 PM
what a beauty she is! i esp like the one w/ her laying on the deck. gorgeous.

mine is Dakota (we call her Kota for short).

and yes, I would love to know what satin balls are...they sound like something you put in your lingerie drawer to keep it smelling pretty. :crazy:

November 28th, 2007, 11:30 PM
she is doing much better today. eating okay, still not drinking much, though...i had my dd make her some white rice and add extra water to it so she got something from that, i hope. i'd hate to have her get dehydrated an end up in the hospital again. we can't afford it!

she was also playing quite a bit today. still not 100% but much better than when she was at death's door on sunday and monday!

November 29th, 2007, 11:26 AM
what a beauty she is! i esp like the one w/ her laying on the deck. gorgeous.

Yes , the 2 first ones was when she got to my place , she was very skinny. For the satin balls , I wouldn't put them with lingerie :laughing: we all have our own recipes of satin balls , here's mine :

cooked ground beef
slightly overcooked rice
cottage cheese
raw eggs
canned pumpkin (the puree , not the pie filling)
bread crums to make everything stick

I make mine baseball size. I keep them frozen , unfreeze one at the time. Nelly loves them ! :thumbs up

Can't wait to see pictures of Dakota !

November 29th, 2007, 02:53 PM
do you cook them again once they're mixed up?
is it one egg or more?
i bet she'll love them.

are these fed as treats?

how many per day?

do tell!

November 29th, 2007, 08:23 PM
do you cook them again once they're mixed up?
is it one egg or more?
i bet she'll love them.

are these fed as treats?

how many per day?

do tell!

Nope , I don't cook them , with about 2 lbs of cooked ground beef , I put 5-6 eggs.

For a dog that needs to gain weight , yes I do fed them as treats , they need all the proteins they can get. I used to give Nelly one (baseball size) per day.

And yes , dogs love them :D

November 29th, 2007, 08:28 PM
Great idea :thumbs up

November 30th, 2007, 01:09 PM
I'll be mixing some of this up ASAP.
Dakota went to the vet today (see my other post about disagreement w/vet for the poop on that) for the ACTH test and she was down to 84.5 pounds, another 4 pounds since Monday! My guess is she lost that in the hospital, bu the nurses notes we have put her weight at every vitals check at 89 thought is that they just carried the weight over, rather than rechcking it every time.
if not, then she is losing weight even though her appetite is back and she's eating.
The vet had me give he some prednisone (prednisolone) when we got home, he said it would help with the shaking and with her appetite, so we shall see...

November 30th, 2007, 02:17 PM
Steroids do give you more of an appetite, so it could help for sure! Poor Dakota! Danes are such majestuous dogs! So elegant. And yes, do get a picture of her for us!

Frenchy, picture 3 ... I want her!!!! Pity we're limited to 2 dogs according to the local by-laws (sniffles) and there wouldn't be room for her in the car with the other two in there already! She looks just like my "Moonshine" (Shine for short) that I had in 1980 ...

November 30th, 2007, 08:21 PM
Frenchy, picture 3 ... I want her!!!!

:offtopic: :sorry: Only the foster goldens are up for adoption :D

November 30th, 2007, 08:50 PM
Glad to hear Dakota is home now!:) I think someone earlier had suggested a 2nd opinion, sounds like that may be a good idea if you are disagreeing with what the vet says. Go with your gut instincts and you will never be wrong.
Frenchy, those "Satin Balls" sound great, I think I will make some for Haley (my golden) as a treat.

November 30th, 2007, 08:58 PM
Frenchy, those "Satin Balls" sound great, I think I will make some for Haley (my golden) as a treat.

I'm sure he's going to love them , but be careful , they're full of proteins so if he doesn't need to gain weight , make them a bit smaller. Or you can make him salmon treats too , less fattening. I got the recipe here from Rainbow ;

1 large can of salmon (15 1/2 oz)
1 teaspoon baking powder
3-4 tablespoon flour

bake at 350* for 45 minutes.

December 1st, 2007, 12:11 AM
I'm sure he's going to love them , but be careful , they're full of proteins so if he doesn't need to gain weight , make them a bit smaller.

i will be feeding these things to Dakota morning, noon and night until she gains that 15 pounds back.

I just can't believe she lost that in such a short time!!

And to add to that, she evidently has a cyst on/in her pupil (we noticed it at the hospital when we'd gone to visit her).

:sick:my poor baby.

Right now she's sleeping between dh and me, wrapped up in her blankets. She can't afford to shiver any more weight off!!

December 1st, 2007, 12:13 AM
Steroids do give you more of an appetite, so it could help for sure! Poor Dakota! Danes are such majestuous dogs! So elegant. And yes, do get a picture of her for us!

I hope it does!

December 6th, 2007, 06:32 PM
It has been a few days, how is Dakota doing? Has she gained weight?

December 7th, 2007, 12:29 AM
Yes we need an update :goodvibes: :fingerscr