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9 yo German shepherd/ Akita problems

r0bb53
October 2nd, 2011, 12:29 PM
hey guys im new to this site. my name is Rob and i have a 9 year old German Shepherd/Akita named Timber. About a week ago after we came back from our house in the country he started doing a slight dry heaving and we thought nothing of it as he does tend to eat grass and throw up from it. as days have went on it got worse and he was now retching and throwing up white foam. we took him to the vet and all tests came back negative. the symptoms continued and his mood started to change where he would not greet us at the door anymore, he sleeps a lot more and not sure if this is related but he poops in the house small amounts and it is soft (never poops in house) and it seems to us he doesnt realize he is doing it. he eats very little but seems to be drinking water regularly. we took him to a veterinary hospital in new york city, he stayed over night and still all tests came back negative as well as xrays. we are at a loss here and have no idea how to help him. any suggestions? and he is up to date on all of his shots.

Winston
October 2nd, 2011, 03:22 PM
Is he still eating? can you try giving him some plain rice and boiled hamberger? keep it bland. Maybe try some yogurt to ease his tummy? Did the vet prescribe anything?

r0bb53
October 2nd, 2011, 04:19 PM
he eats very little all day long and now whatever he drinks he throws right up.

Rgeurts
October 2nd, 2011, 04:21 PM
hey guys im new to this site. my name is Rob and i have a 9 year old German Shepherd/Akita named Timber. About a week ago after we came back from our house in the country he started doing a slight dry heaving and we thought nothing of it as he does tend to eat grass and throw up from it. as days have went on it got worse and he was now retching and throwing up white foam. we took him to the vet and all tests came back negative. the symptoms continued and his mood started to change where he would not greet us at the door anymore, he sleeps a lot more and not sure if this is related but he poops in the house small amounts and it is soft (never poops in house) and it seems to us he doesnt realize he is doing it. he eats very little but seems to be drinking water regularly. we took him to a veterinary hospital in new york city, he stayed over night and still all tests came back negative as well as xrays. we are at a loss here and have no idea how to help him. any suggestions? and he is up to date on all of his shots.

Welcome to the board Rob :)
I'm sorry you are going though this with your sweet boy. Has he had an abdominal ultrasound or CT scan? I have no use for x-rays when it comes to tummy issues. The reason is that we have a Malamute that has Pica. Our vets thought he had a blockage (on more than one occasion) and we went through several sets of x-rays all showing absolutely nothing. This went on for about 3 weeks. He had a lot of similar symptoms to your boy, except ours was bloated as well (looked like a little cow some days), but he was also on Prednisone which makes them bloated. Anyway, they finally decided to to a Barium swallow and Ultrasound. At the end of the day, when we picked him up, they said it looked like there "might" be something in his stomach, but nothing they would "hang their hat on". So we left, frustrated, again. Later that night I took him out for a potty and he started to poop. I'll spare you all the disgusting details, but what came out was a shock! He had swallowed, and pooped out, a whole rope chew toy... knots, tassels and all, about 10 inches long :eek: :eek:
The next night he pooped out a sock. 2 days later he pooped out another sock! Then a stuffed toy he had eaten at daycare a couple weeks before. He had all that in his little tummy and the x-rays (about 4 different sets) didn't see any of it!

Our other boy gets similar symptoms as well. He had been through many tests. All blood tests normal etc. So we just lived with it for years and chalked it up to a sick tummy. 2 yrs ago he got really sick again. We took him to a different vet and they diagnosed him with Colitis. Maybe ask your vet about that as well. It won't show up in any blood test they do. Good luck and please let us know how he is doing. I would love to see a pic of him :)

r0bb53
October 2nd, 2011, 05:17 PM
this is what my poor dog is on:

PRILOSEC 20 MG
1 1X
ANTACID
PEPCID 10MG
1 1X
ANTACID
MOUTHWASH
5-10ML 3X
ANTACID - 1 HOUR FROM OTHER MEDS
CARAFATE (SUCRALFATE) 1 GRAM
1 3X
COATS STOMACH - 1 HOUR FROM OTHER MEDS
METRONIDAZOLE 250 MG
1 2X
ANTIBIOTIC
CERENIA 16MG
2 1X
NAUSEA - GIVE FOR 4 DAYS IN A ROW THEN STOP FOR 2 DAYS - FRI, SAT, SUN & MON - THEN STOP FOR 2 DAYS
MIRTAZIPINE 15MG
1 1X
APPETITE STIMULANT
ZOFRAN (ONDANSETRON) 4MG
2 1X
NAUSEA
REGLAN (METOCLOPRAMIDE) 10MG
1.5 2X
NAUSEA FOR 10 DAYS

r0bb53
October 2nd, 2011, 05:24 PM
he isnt bloated, has had ultrasounds, xrays and had endoscope of upper and colon. all this just doesnt make sense.:(

r0bb53
October 2nd, 2011, 06:44 PM
my girlfriend who used to work at a veterinary hospital thinks it may be leptospirosis and the antibiotic he is on will not work against it. has anyone has experience with this?

Winston
October 2nd, 2011, 06:59 PM
Robb there are a couple of members here who I am 100% sure have experience with that. They will likely be on a bit later if you check in again.

I hope you can get some answers soon..:thumbs up

breeze
October 2nd, 2011, 07:03 PM
this is what I found when I did a search on pets

click on the link

http://www.pets.ca/dogs/articles/canine-leptospirosis/

if this is the case couldn't you call your vet or go see your vet and ask for them to do test for this on Timber??

r0bb53
October 2nd, 2011, 08:29 PM
this is what I found when I did a search on pets

click on the link

http://www.pets.ca/dogs/articles/canine-leptospirosis/

if this is the case couldn't you call your vet or go see your vet and ask for them to do test for this on Timber??
thank you, any info on it will greatly help. and yes we are in contact with the hospital right now and it is very possible we will take him back asap. he still refuses food and throws up any water he drinks almost immediately after swallowing.

breeze
October 2nd, 2011, 08:33 PM
thank you, any info on it will greatly help. and yes we are in contact with the hospital right now and it is very possible we will take him back asap. he still refuses food and throws up any water he drinks almost immediately after swallowing.


can you try low sodium chicken broth?? he might be able to tolerate it better than water..
and maybe raise the dish as this might help

ask your vet first if this is ok to try (I don't want to cause any more discomfort or do anything to make things worst)

hazelrunpack
October 2nd, 2011, 08:39 PM
They can run titers to see if there is lepto exposure, r0bb53. It appears to be endemic in our area and we get recurring cases, but all have been mild. We notice the symptoms and treat it early.

We've never had lepto manifest with the symptoms your dog is having, but that might be just because we've been fortunate to catch it quickly.

It sounds more to me like a blockage of some sort--and as Rgeurts says, xrays can be pretty useless for blockages or partial blockages.

If he's not keeping water down, he's likely going to need fluids for dehydration, so I'm glad you're keeping in touch with the vet hospital. I hope you get some answers about Timber's condition soon! :goodvibes:

Rgeurts
October 2nd, 2011, 09:59 PM
When he does throw up, is it always just the white foam? Or does he occasionaly throw up food as well? And if so, is the vomit in a puddle or a "tube" shape?

MaxaLisa
October 3rd, 2011, 12:12 AM
Lepto, tick disease, infection....are all blood counts, platelets, red blood cells absolutely well within normal?

r0bb53
October 3rd, 2011, 10:29 AM
here is timbers discharge papers with the doctors findings :

breeze
October 3rd, 2011, 10:47 AM
is timber doing any better today??

:fingerscr:goodvibes:

r0bb53
October 3rd, 2011, 11:28 AM
timber was brought back to the hospital this morning. no signs of improvement. we needed to get him hydrated and he wasnt drinking on his own. they put him on prednisone with an IV in him. still waiting for biopsy. although his mood did seem to improve slightly. he was excited when his leash was put on him and seemed to have maybe a bit more energy

breeze
October 3rd, 2011, 11:34 AM
I hope they get to the bottom of Timbers problem!!

:fingerscr:fingerscr

r0bb53
October 3rd, 2011, 11:59 AM
thank you! we do too. i will try and get a picture of him up today

r0bb53
October 3rd, 2011, 12:09 PM
http://i1016.photobucket.com/albums/af284/rayjayscaddu/IMG_0275.jpg

hazelrunpack
October 3rd, 2011, 02:04 PM
He's a handsome boy, r0bb! I hope they can get to the bottom of this! :goodvibes:

breeze
October 3rd, 2011, 03:13 PM
good looking boy Robb

:eek: and look at that snow!! :eek: it's almost that time of year again isn't it :D

MaxaLisa
October 3rd, 2011, 03:56 PM
Maybe look to a systemic infection that attacks the nervous system?

I was just reading about this over the weekend - weird things can happen:

http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=0+1275+2025&aid=3366
http://www.cvm.missouri.edu/neurology/dysauton/dyshome.htm

I think my boy has some weird, mild version of this...I found references to it near Montana too, and I'm sure that it's not isolated.

I hope it's not this....but I would be looking at combination antibiotics and other things.

:grouphug:

Rgeurts
October 3rd, 2011, 05:59 PM
MaxaLisa, what a scary (and heartbreaking) disease :(
The second link with the story of the little boy brought tears to my eyes.
You think your dog may have this??

r0bb53
October 3rd, 2011, 07:18 PM
MaxaLisa, what a scary (and heartbreaking) disease :(
The second link with the story of the little boy brought tears to my eyes.
You think your dog may have this??

just spoke to vet and yes unfortunately they do think he has dysautonomia ... we are beside ourselves. he was perfectly fine 2 weeks ago.

Winston
October 3rd, 2011, 07:26 PM
Robb I am so sorry to hear this. Is there a prognosis? course of treatment? its so hard when these things happen. Please know we are here for you!

hazelrunpack
October 3rd, 2011, 08:40 PM
I'm sorry you didn't get better news, r0bb :grouphug: Is your vet going to refer you to a specialist?

r0bb53
October 3rd, 2011, 09:15 PM
When he does throw up, is it always just the white foam? Or does he occasionaly throw up food as well? And if so, is the vomit in a puddle or a "tube" shape?

when he vomits it is a clear liquid with thick white foam in the center. the 2 look almost separated like oil and water would together.

MaxaLisa
October 4th, 2011, 12:15 AM
just spoke to vet and yes unfortunately they do think he has dysautonomia ... we are beside ourselves. he was perfectly fine 2 weeks ago.

Crap, this is just terrible. I am so very sorry. I couldn't find any treatments in any of the material I read. I hope that your vets are hooked into something creative, or have some ideas. There were a couple of links that commented on weird bacterias triggering this - I don't think that metro will be enough.

MaxaLisa
October 4th, 2011, 12:37 AM
MaxaLisa, what a scary (and heartbreaking) disease :(
The second link with the story of the little boy brought tears to my eyes.
You think your dog may have this??

I think that Max has a very mild version of this.

According to the internal medicine specialist, he thinks that Max probably has a systemic infection of probably a pathogenic form of e. coli. It has caused systemic inflammation.

His heart has become undersized because it is not getting enough blood to it, thought to be because his veins are too dilated from the inflammation - some weird combination of the bacteria and the endotoxins that are being emitted. There are other changes in his pulmonary vasculature.

His digestive process had almost stopped....stomach very inflamed, very few bowel movements, no bowel sounds, funny noises in his esophagus. He has gone from always urinating, to almost never urinating.

His hormonal system and neurotransmitters are all out of wack.

Max has been on antibiotics that I have had him on for quite some time (long history there, starting with a perianal fistula). I've been playing with the abx myself, since the vets kept telling me it was all autoimmune. FINALLY, when I hooked up with the internal medicine guy, he was the one that put all the weird test results together. We don't have a definitive positive on infection though. Unfortunately, I didn't have him on the right antibitiocs for whatever this bug is, or I haven't fought the endotoxins, or something.

Currently we've had Max on cipro, doxycycline, and amoxicillin. He's been getting vitamin C infusions for the last couple of months. I grind his food, and have him on a variety of herbal supports. The digestive stuff was helped with the grinding of the food, digestive enzymes, probiotics, chlorophyll, coconut oil, zantac, and carafate. I recently added some Honest Kitchen's Perfect Form, and that really does help, except the ingredients are diuretics, which aren't good for his veins. I just ordered a motility drug that they use overseas, through an overseas pharmacy - haven't decided if I will try it, but I might need to. I think when the digestive system gets backed up, the problem is even worse and becomes a downward spiral.

That's just a snapshot of some of the support I'm giving him, but I fear that we are on our last hurrah here, though I'm hoping I am wrong. If he makes it, it's only because he's been on abx for years for something somewhat unrelated.


Rob,

About a year ago (1 year and 1 day to be exact), my girl died of some mystery disease induced by infection, in a rather tragic way. It's so very difficult, and so very unfair.

I will be hoping that Timber beats this, he is such a handsome boy.

:pray:

MaxaLisa
October 4th, 2011, 12:49 AM
timber was brought back to the hospital this morning. no signs of improvement. we needed to get him hydrated and he wasnt drinking on his own. they put him on prednisone with an IV in him. still waiting for biopsy. although his mood did seem to improve slightly. he was excited when his leash was put on him and seemed to have maybe a bit more energy

Any update? What did they biopsy?

I forgot to add, that pred is part of Max's treatment, partly because he has low resting cortisol. If there is infection, with Max, I really worry about the pred. Because I am also using the antibiotic doxycycline (which has anti-inflammatory action), I have been able to keep the pred low, at most 10 mg per day, now at 5 mg per day, and I hope to wean him down further to help fight the infection and toxins. It's very difficult to balance infection and inflammation. I'm currently experimenting with Yucca, it's supposed to help with colitis, and also help with endotoxins. I have some reading to do on the endotoxins to put a plan together for that.

eta: As a note, I noticed in some of the readings they look to make sure that all the things that block acetylcholine are not causing this. Unfortunately, both cipro and doxy inhibit acetylcholine. I haven't figured out where this fits in, or if it does. Tough balancing the good things these drugs can do, with the bad :(

Rgeurts
October 4th, 2011, 01:04 AM
r0bb53, I'm so very sorry to see the diagnosis they have given him :(
The reason I asked about the vomit is because our youngest does the same. He has been sick since we got him at 7.5 weeks and he's now a year and a half. A lot of the symptoms you describe are very similar to our Nookie Monsters. They thought at one point he had Megaesophagus, but his vomit was foamy and not tube shaped. Thank goodness it wasn't ME. I hope they are wrong and you can figure out what's going on so your boy can make a full recovery. You will be in my thoughts and prayers.:pray: :grouphug:

MaxaLisa, I'm so sorry about Max as well. I didn't know you were going through so much with him. If he does have the mild form, can it be chronic like that? Everything I read said it usually runs it's course in a matter of days up to a few weeks? If it's possible that it can last years, I would be tempted to have Nookie tested. It sounds SO familiar, but to a lesser degree of the symptoms. I hope you get things figured out with Max as well :pray: :grouphug:

MaxaLisa
October 4th, 2011, 01:26 AM
Thank you Rgeurts! I had thought that it was some weird chronic tick disease, but he has declined so much this year, that I spent my summer vacation testing him and trying to get this figured out. He would just get winded walking from one room to the next.

It is sounding like these things are triggered by chronic infection that is somewhat subclinical, slowly doing damage in the body. In the form that Timber might have, this is an acute and aggressive attack :(

Our internal medicine vet even said that SIBO can cause this, when it escapes from the gut and travels through the veins.

I think, depending on the bug and the individual, maybe there could be a chronic form, but, at least in Max's case, it's just been a long, slow decline. He is also low IgA, IgG, and IgM, so he doesn't really have many defenses against these things.

For Max, I found many of these symptoms matched: http://www.dinet.org/symptoms.htm and started reading the forums there, which more closely match what Max is going through perhaps. From that site, I found the canine sites on this.

The world of infections, terribly scary the more I learn about them.

breeze
October 4th, 2011, 08:59 AM
I'm so sorry robb

I hope the vet can do something for your boy :fingerscr
:goodvibes::goodvibes:

MaxaLisa
October 6th, 2011, 04:17 AM
I've been thinking of Timber, worried that no update means not good news :(