Jake the Lab
July 4th, 2004, 10:30 AM
I have a 4 yr. old Yellow lab. He has lost 15 pounds in last 8 weeks (103 to 88), has been to the vet 3 times, blood work, stool examination to no avail. Our vet is puzzled. Jake has high white blood count, slight fever, suddenly a picky eater, vomiting, lethargic, light pink gums and pants hard. Our vet put him on antivomiting meds and antibiotics and that didn't help. Last visit he recommended a bland diet and increase doses of antibiotics. Jake doesn't seem to be in any pain, but isn't active. Sleeps and lays down most of the time and is irratible at times. Any thoughts, suggestions?
July 4th, 2004, 01:05 PM
Here we go again with another vet suggesting antibiotics with no cause for them except high white cell count which can be more then just an infection.
I suggest you ask for a referral to a specialist, don't put it off!
July 4th, 2004, 01:26 PM
Did the vet take x-rays, or do other testing? Did he mention the possiblity of something like cancer or an intestinal blockage?
I agree. You need another vet's opinion.
Jake the Lab
July 4th, 2004, 05:45 PM
Thanks for the relies. They did take some x-rays and didn't see anything in particular, mentioned a possible intestinal problem and/or possible tumor. Said to wait and see how he was doing for a few days (day two is today) and advise them. His gums are swelling slightly today, still light pink and his eyes look vacant, but he is eating a little (I bought him some turkey and rice baby food to add to his oatmeal ). He keeps looking to his rear end as he starts to sit down, but I have rubbed. pushed and prodded without any apparent pain on his part. Stool today was a small amount (Vet said it would be because of bland diet) and a little runny, good color.
July 4th, 2004, 05:49 PM
Be careful with oatmeal, some dogs can be very allergic and thats the last thing you want to do. Turkey, chicken boiled with potato / rice is fine.
The looking at his hind quarters could be a sign of internal pain that you won't be able to 'feel' when you touch.
What did the stool look like? Hard? Grey/Black or regular brown? Any mucous on it (slimey looking)?
The vet was comfortable with just 'waiting'
Thats ridiculous, just unfortunate. How do you feel about going to another vet? Do you have a vet referall centre? If you do ask your vet to refer you to a specialist.
Jake the Lab
July 4th, 2004, 06:02 PM
Stool was a good chocolate brown, didn't notice any mucus, but there was some friday. He is currently on Metoclopramide 10 mg and Orbax 68 mg. Our vet also mentioned possibly doing a MRI or taking him to a University for another opinion.
July 4th, 2004, 06:05 PM
This really doesn't sound like a wait and see type of situation if the dog is that uncomfortable. Blood work and stool cultures can show many things.
The slime on the feces is usually from an intestinal / parasitical infection or bacteria. It can be part of the intestinal wall breaking away to shed the diseased area.
Feed small but frequent amounts, make sure he keeps hydrated.
If your dog starts to tremble or shake or gets glazed over eyes this is a sign of shock and you must get him to a vet immediately.
Jake the Lab
July 4th, 2004, 06:16 PM
I really appreciate your replies and concerns. He had a Fecal flotation on 6-15-04 and a Vettest Gen/Lytles, CBC-auto also on that date.
Then on 7-2-04 he had a CBC, Auto W/Full Diff/Platel and Radiographs survey 2 sides.
July 4th, 2004, 09:43 PM
mentioned a possible intestinal problem and/or possible tumor
If the vet suspects either of these, I really wonder what he is "waiting to see" especially after the drastic weight loss - "Wait and see if he dies"?? :confused:
I hope you can find someone who can tell you for sure what's wrong with your dog. Good luck!!!!
Jake the Lab
July 9th, 2004, 07:59 PM
Latest update on Jake. After the last visit he wasn't getting any better, only worse. Was on Orbax and an antivomit med and wouldn't eat. Wednesday I took him back into the Vet as he hadn't eaten in almost 24 hours, wouldn't come to me and would only stand with his head down panting hard. I wanted him on an IV to get nourishment but he was hydrated okay and ate a can (small can) of AD food. Fever still at 103 (almost 4 weeks now) and a rapid heart rate. My vet wants to do an endoscopy (sp) or send to Purdue University, we discussed and he agreed to refer Jake to another vet for a second opinion. There was a 4 day wait so I talked the other Vet into seeing him right away so I picked him up and brought him home for the night, he promptly vomited all food he had eaten at the vet's in the prior 24 hours and refused to eat anything else ( I had even bought some of the AD food he was eating). Went today for the second opinion and discussed all symptoms, vet agreed that it may be a blockage in his bowels or even a twisted intestine, but before doing an endoscopy suggested another blood test specific to pancreatitis, even though the original blood work ruled it out. So, Jake had blood drawn tonight and expect results next Friday. Jake is resting better, still has a fever and eats rarely. I have taken him off all medication on advise of both vets, even though the Orbax (antibiotic) wasn't done, and his heart rate is better. I appreciate all coments and suggestions and will keep you posted, hoping for a positive outcome.
July 9th, 2004, 09:26 PM
Pancreatitis was the initial thing that came to my mind or even a tumour somewhere.
I know how hard this must be on you, pls give him a big hug.
If the second vet was concerned about pancreatitis, should have kept him on IV fluid drip and not give anything by mouth for a couple days then repeat the blood work. This woulda told a LOT!
The puking up everything he eats and the lazyness, feeling unwell and so on, all points to pancreatitis to me...but again can be anything.
Discuss in further detail the pancreatitis concern with this new vet, and pls pls let us know the outcome.
Jake the Lab
July 16th, 2004, 07:30 PM
Well, here we are 6 weeks later and no closer to an accuarte diagnosis. Jake got worse over last weekend so I put him into the hospital and asked for him to be put on IVs. He has been there for the last 4 days and no improvement, nor has he gotten worse. Temperature has stayed around 103.5 degrees F with occassional spikes. They have him on IVs for nourishment and his meds (antibiotics, anti vomiting and one time anti infammatory). I discussed with both vets my thought process as the IVs would keep him stable as well as be the correct treatment for pancreatitis, they concurred and both thought we could do an ultra sound as well as do exploratory surgery for the newly (?) developed 'thickening' in his upper abdomine area. We agreed to wait for the latest blood test results, which should have been here today but weren't.
Today they got him to eat regular food (which I thought was contrary to pancreatic treatment) and results for the blood work last week are all in EXCEPT the test for pancreatitis, we did another regular blood test on wednesday and it was slightly elevated not conclusive. Both vets want to do exploratory surgery which would put his treatment bills over $2,000 to date, without any idea as to whether an accuarte diagnosis/resulution would result.
I am torn between the affection I have for Jake and the reality/commom sense approach of the situation. I have advised the vet that i need to discuss my options with the family and would discuss with him on Monday.
I guess I am still hoping for a dramatic turnaround that would back me away from this decision. Wish Jake and me good luck.
July 16th, 2004, 07:34 PM
I'm so very sorry to hear that!
I'm also wondering why it's taking so long for them to deterimine if pancreatitis is the cause.
I'd have them shave his tummy and do an ultrasound IMMEDIATELY to look for masses.
I feel for you, but pls pls do the ultrasound,....it can tell so much! Esp if there is a tumour.
July 16th, 2004, 08:01 PM
Have they ruled out Canine hyperadrenocorticism which is cushings disease?
Increased thirst, increased urination, increased appetite, panting, hair loss, darkening of the skin, thinning of the skin, abdominal enlargement, skin infections, flaky or greasy skin changes, weakness, tiredness, obesity, reproductive changes, bruising.
July 16th, 2004, 08:31 PM
I have no advice, and am not a vet so don't understand some of the tests you mentioned.
The reason I asked about cancer right away is that there seems to be a lot of it that I'm hearing about in young Labs.:( But could be coincidence.
Only you can decide what is the best path to take in this. I do wish you luck.
July 16th, 2004, 09:40 PM
I am soooo sorry for Jake and your family! It's so hard. Every pet lover just dreads being in this situation and feeling so frustrated at not being able to help him. I feel for you! :(
Jake the Lab
January 29th, 2005, 11:10 AM
Took me awhile to get back onto this site as emotionally I was hesitant to express my grief. Jake died on Monday the 19th of July from a still undiagnosed problem. We didn't ever get get the pancreatic result and the ultrasound was scheduled along with surgery, but he was too weak and failing fast so I made the decision after spending 20 tough minutes alone with Jake. He is gone, but not forgotten as my wife refuses to put any of his toys away. they are still in his toy basket by the TV. Thanks for all the support nad concerns, it really helped. Special thanks to Luba for the personal touch and follow up. Luba requested some pictures but all I have are too large for this post (limit is 100kb and mine start at 322kb) I will try and set up a link to post his pictures and advise.
January 29th, 2005, 12:24 PM
:( Sorry to hear about your loss. :grouphug:
January 29th, 2005, 04:11 PM
Jake the Lab,I remember you and Jake and your struggles and although Luba is no more on here,I will let her know what happened to poor Jake.
I am really sorry about Jake,but you loved him and certainly did everything possible for him.
It baffles and worries me how often vets cannot figure out what is wrong with animals,even though they put the animals through countless tests and medications,only to have your loved animal die in the end :sad:
January 29th, 2005, 06:26 PM
I am so sorry for your loss.
Sail on Jake.......
January 29th, 2005, 07:11 PM
:sorry: How tragic to let the dog suffer that long at least he is in peace now. I often wonder why we even take our dogs to vets. They seem not to help at all. Seems every vet gives nothing but antibiotics and more antibiotics. It is so very hard to lose a beloved pet and watch him suffer I know you did everything possible for Jake.
January 29th, 2005, 07:22 PM
I am very sorry for your loss, it's hard to lose a good friend.
It sounds like you did everything humanly possible, and did right by your dog.
Jake the Lab
January 30th, 2005, 01:31 PM
Thanks to all for the kind words and support. Here is a link to 'Jake's Home' where I attempted to post some pictures. Katherine1 has graciously offered to help reformat my pics to post here. Thanks again to all:
Here is the web address:
January 30th, 2005, 03:48 PM
It's sad to look at him,knowing what he and you had to go through and that he's no longer with us,he was a beautiful dog.Hopefully there is a wonderful place for him up there somewhere,maybe he'll meet my Sammy,Peppi and Cookie over the Rainbow-Bridge :thumbs up
Thank's for the site Katherine1!
January 30th, 2005, 04:22 PM
I am sorry to hear of Jake's passing. It is always a hard decision to make.
Jake was a very handsome lad. I suspect my Kitty-girl and Callie-pooh are flirting with him at Rainbow Bridge.
You did your best by Jake. I hope when the pain of losing him has faded and the memories of the good times is all that remains, that you will think of adopting another dog. You are a wonderful family and it would be a blessing to the life of a rescue animal to be included in your family circle. :grouphug:
January 30th, 2005, 06:26 PM
He looks like a lovely guy, I like the pic of him with the bottle of Bud! :)