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Shar Pei- Loss of appetite and diarrhea

Dawwns
June 23rd, 2011, 11:20 AM
We have a 9 yr old Bearcoat Shar Pei. After vaccinations Dakota suddenly got diarrhea. Took him to vet and was given antibiotics. Diarrhea continued followed by loss of appetite. Took him to another vet who did an in depth blood work up and all came back good. The vet said he was stumped. Had chart faxed back to first vet and she continued antibiotics and gave steroids. The diarrhea then went to a mashed potato consistency and he did start to eat and even put on 2 LBS. After stepping down steroids we are back to original problem. Vet is doing steroids again with continued antibiots and something to coat the stomach. Still no one has any answers. She said biopsies sent to three labs will give you three different answers and ultrasound may not tell anything, but could be possible gastric cancer, again a guess. When I say diarrhea I don't mean he is going constantly, it's when he goes it is of a diarrhea consistency. We don't want to put him down for an I don't know answer. Since this is has gone on for a few weeks now couldn't his digestive tract and intestines be so irritated that it hasn't healed. We are just grasping for answers and anything we can do to save him. Actually this is my moms dog and now I have resorted to the internet to try and find something. He has always been a healthy dog, no problems.

sugarcatmom
June 23rd, 2011, 11:44 AM
What does he eat?

Dog Dancer
June 23rd, 2011, 12:59 PM
What kind of vacs did he get? Is this a reaction to the vacs do they think? I would put him on a restricted diet to start with, boiled rice and chicken. Boil the chicken (breasts are good as they are lean if you don't use the skin - don't use the skin by the way), then drain it and chop it up with steamed rice. This may help to settle his tummy and bowel some as it's very gentle. I agree I wouldn't put him down until you have some answers. Good luck to you with this sweet pup. Please keep us posted.

hazelrunpack
June 23rd, 2011, 01:20 PM
Have you tried a probiotic? It might help along with the bland diet that Dog Dancer talks about. Run it by your vet first, though, since I'm not sure if probiotics (which are intestinal microbes) are advised after steroid use. Steroids can suppress the immune system.

If there is a veterinary hospital in your area, seeing a veterinary internist could also be helpful. We had a dog years ago with an intestinal disorder and it wasn't until we saw the internist that we finally got a diagnosis.

Good luck with your dog! I hope your sweetie is better soon! :goodvibes:

Rgeurts
June 23rd, 2011, 02:28 PM
We have a 9 yr old Bearcoat Shar Pei. After vaccinations Dakota suddenly got diarrhea. Took him to vet and was given antibiotics. Diarrhea continued followed by loss of appetite. Took him to another vet who did an in depth blood work up and all came back good. The vet said he was stumped. Had chart faxed back to first vet and she continued antibiotics and gave steroids. The diarrhea then went to a mashed potato consistency and he did start to eat and even put on 2 LBS. After stepping down steroids we are back to original problem. Vet is doing steroids again with continued antibiots and something to coat the stomach. Still no one has any answers. She said biopsies sent to three labs will give you three different answers and ultrasound may not tell anything, but could be possible gastric cancer, again a guess. When I say diarrhea I don't mean he is going constantly, it's when he goes it is of a diarrhea consistency. We don't want to put him down for an I don't know answer. Since this is has gone on for a few weeks now couldn't his digestive tract and intestines be so irritated that it hasn't healed. We are just grasping for answers and anything we can do to save him. Actually this is my moms dog and now I have resorted to the internet to try and find something. He has always been a healthy dog, no problems.

Hi :)

I definitely wouldn't put him down for diarrhea. There are several things that could be causing it. He could have had an immune response to the vaccine, it isn't uncommon at all, regardless of what most vets say. Another possibility is Colitis. We have an 11.5 yr old Mal/GSDX who has had Colitis his entire life, but was only given an actual diagnoses a little over 2 yrs ago. We also have a Mal that has an immune-mediated disorder, most likely from being vaccinated. We struggle with bad poos constantly. He will go from not pooing for 2, 3 and even 4 days, then when he does go it will be the consitency of "soft ice cream", and even sometimes full blown diarrhea with mucous/blood (in fact, we're dealing with that right now). We use Fortiflora (probiotic) and feed a home cooked diet. He was on VERY high doses of steroids for months, it almost killed him. But they did keep him on the Fortiflora throughout the use of the Prednisone. But speak with your vet first. It could be because our boy was in such bad shape that the benefits outweighed the risks. One thing you cannot use while on steroids is Pepto Bismal. It's great for the diarrhea, but has a chance to cause ulcers/bleeding ulcers if used with steroids.

Please, explore all of the options before even considering putting him down, especially if it's only the diarrhea that's a concern and he is otherwise healthy :)

Dawwns
June 23rd, 2011, 05:39 PM
Thanks everyone. All ideas and experiences with this sort of thing is greatly appreciated. He has put a couple of pounds on which is good, but getting him to eat is hard. He has never been a huge eater. We did hamburger and rice and then chicken breast and he would eat it the first time a little and then he wouldn't touch it again. Changing foods constantly will also upset things, but we are to the point that just finding something he will continually eat is a battle. I've been looking online and found Iams prebiotics and I know the yogurt has probiotics. Vets don't think the vaccinations had anything to do with it. He has never had a vaccination reaction before so I don't know. First vet did say collitis, but he said there was an underlying reason for it and that's why he took the most extensive bloodwork which like I said was good. We were already warned going to a specialist would be $5000.00 or more, but I will check and see if I can find an internist. Just so frustrated all this money and two vets just have no clue so automatically if he's not better its time to euthanize. This is my moms dog which I got him for her and they are so close. I'm thinking to make things worse we took my mom to Florida a couple of weeks ago which I'm sure put more stress on him and didn't help the problem. We haven't given up. Still hoping for a positive outcome and of course praying.

Dawwns
June 23rd, 2011, 05:44 PM
Before all of this he was on Lamb and Rice Science Diet. Because he wasn't eating we have been trying anything. He has been eating a little of the Beneful now. We have been looking and researching and just picked up a food with prebiotics in it. Seems we can't win. If he doesn't eat he's only going to get worse, but changing foods can cause diarrhea. We have tried the hamburger and chicken and rice and he ate a litte once and wouldn't touch it again. He has always been a picky one.

Rgeurts
June 23rd, 2011, 06:15 PM
One thing I would say is talk to your vet about using Sulcrate. It will help to coat his tummy and hopefully he will feel good enough to have an appetite. One of ours goes through spells where he gets really lethargic, throws up bile and won't eat, which scares the hell out of us because he LOVES food. Our vets had us start using the sulcrate when he goes through his periods of tummy troubles and it has worked wonders! You have to give it at least an hour to an hour and a half prior to any other medication or food, but after about 2 hours our boy is up, playing and has his appetite back :D

As for the vaccines, I don't think there are many vets who would agree the issues are caused by vaccines. We learned the hard way and it has cost us a lot. If this started shortly after getting the vaccine, I would be highly suspicious.

Here are a couple of links to vaccine reactions. They are becoming more and more common because the bread and butter of most clinics are the annual vaccine visits, which is resulting in over-vaccination and again, adverse reactions. Adverse reactions can happen in older dogs that have never had a reaction because they have been consistently exposed when it was not neccessary to do so. As well, some breeds are more "prone" than others. Ours happens to be one :(
Until we started going through all of the issues that started last year with our new baby, I never would have thought vaccines to be the cause of such heart breaking illnesses.

http://www.pet-informed-veterinary-advice-online.com/vaccine-side-effects.html
http://www.dogsadversereactions.com/vDrDodds.html

Please do some research on your own, don't take my word for it (or anyone elses). I'm always skeptical now when I see someone having issues shortly after a vaccination. Call me paranoid :)

It seems Shar peis are susceptible to vaccine reactions, as a breed:

http://www.kavishi.freeserve.co.uk/sharpeivaccinations.htm

There are several other links/posts/articles if you google shar pei+vaccine reactions. It seems the Lepto is the biggest threat for your breed.

hazelrunpack
June 23rd, 2011, 06:23 PM
Your dog's symptoms do sound similar to what Evan experienced, Dawwns. He ended up diagnosed with Inflammatory Bowel Syndrome. It was an expensive diagnosis, but it was nowhere near $5000! Granted that was some decades back... :o

The initial consultation should be fairly inexpensive--it's the tests that can be pricey. You can always refuse any tests they suggest, but it might still be worth going in just to hear what they have to say on initial examination.

mastifflover
June 23rd, 2011, 06:36 PM
I had a Sharpei when I was younger she never had skin problems. But diet was always an issue until I put her on a venison and rice diet. she did develop colitis as she got older it did take a while to diagnose. Have your vet check for IBS or Colitis both are treatable

Dawwns
June 26th, 2011, 12:09 PM
Thanks for everyones replies. I'm sad to say Dakota was put down on Friday. He stopped eating again and looked miserable. I am disappointed in the vets right now. I researched and looked up internists. My mom called all of them and no one could get her in until this coming Thursday. She told them it was an emergency and if any cancellations came about to call her. She then contacted the vet who called the internist and then suddenly they had an opening for this coming Monday. She asked about coming in as an emergency and they told her she could, but there would only be regular vets no internists to see her. She said Dakota gave her that look that it was time and she asked about anything she could do. His back leg was starting to swell and the vet said in her opinion it was probably a piece of cancer that broke off and was causing the swelling. After Dakota was gone a lot of blood came out of his mouth and the vet said he was a lot sicker than we even knew and her opinion was he had gastric cancer. My mom is taking it really hard. He was a very loyal and happy dog and the house is super empty without him.

Again thanks for all your replies.

Dawn

hazelrunpack
June 26th, 2011, 12:39 PM
Oh, Dawn, I'm so sorry to hear of the loss of Dakota. Hugs to you and your mom.

:candle: Dakota

doggy lover
June 26th, 2011, 08:26 PM
Sorry to hear of your loss, going through such an ordeal and then to lose Dakota:angel::rip: my thoughts are with you and your family.:grouphug:

growler~GateKeeper
June 27th, 2011, 12:31 AM
:rip: sweet :angel2: Dakota :candle: He is playing at the Rainbow Bridge (http://www.indigo.org/rainbowbridge_ver2.html) with those who've gone before :candle: :grouphug:

Dawwns
June 27th, 2011, 01:07 PM
Thanks again. We have all been there and it's hard. He had a very loving 9 years and he was happy. He is missed, but we will be with again someday and with all of our other animals. I will keep a note of some of the screen names on here. This board helped me with trying to find some answers and giving me some ideas and to be in company with people who feel the same as we do about our pets helped. I will keep in touch.

Dawn

mikischo
June 27th, 2011, 01:08 PM
I'm so sorry for your loss.:grouphug:

:candle: Run free, sweet :angel2: Dakota :dog: :candle: