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Old May 15th, 2010, 02:16 PM
twomutts twomutts is offline
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mysterious problem

Hi, I am new here and really hope I'm posting appropriately. I'm looking for some insight into this problem. My wonderful 12 year old border collie/Australian cattle dog mix, Blue, began vomiting in the early morning, Thursday. (First some solid stuff; food and grass, then mostly clear, frothy mucosy liquid.) He strained to move his bowels but produced only tiny yellowish blobs. He was obviously uncomfortable, panting and restless. He refused food, even the scrambled egg I made him. (He loves them.)
I feared a blockage and made a vet app't.
Friday morning, (yesterday) I took him to the vet who palpated his abdomen thoroughly and said he didn't think it was a blockage. (Blue was "empty") He suspected colitis and wanted to do bloodwork to check liver and kidney function, before medicating. This revealed normal function, with only one type of white blood cell elevation that he suspected was from the stress of the situation. There was no fever. However, he said Blue's prostate was huge. Blue was neutered in his first year, so I am puzzled by this. He prescribed metronizadole (aka flagyl) and a bland diet and told me to call him Monday.
Well, it's now Saturday afternoon and nothing has changed. He is still unable to defecate (although he refuses food, so is still empty) but he strains trying and his back legs tremble from the effort. He is drinking water but occasionally vomits it up. I don't think the meds are improving him and I would think they would have by now, if it was simply colitis. Also, I don't understand why his prostate would be enlarged in the absence of testosterone. He is definitely sick, lethargic and uncomfortable. I am sick with worry. Could a simple enlarged prostate cause these symptoms, or are we talking about cancer here? Would the prostate cause him to keep trying to poop, or is he possibly blocked in the small intestine? I've done some reading but I still feel mystified.
Thanks in advance for your thoughts.
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Old May 15th, 2010, 02:29 PM
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14+kitties 14+kitties is offline
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I will PM Dr Lee for you and see if he can think of something. He is our "resident" vet and is very good.
Meanwhile, I would be thinking of a second opinion. JMO
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Old May 15th, 2010, 03:12 PM
twomutts twomutts is offline
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Thank you, JMO, that is what I am thinking of. I am unfortunately unemployed but will figure something out. Hate that I have to wait for Monday but the 'emergency service' is twice or thrice the cost.
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Old May 15th, 2010, 04:40 PM
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kathryn kathryn is offline
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Hi twomutts, as far as the prostate goes, most hormone related problems don't happen in sterilized dogs, but that's not to say it CAN'T happen. He is an older dog, so prostate problems aren't totally unusual.

Metronidazole is a great drug to treat stomach problems, so I would stick with it for now.

But I understand what you are saying, and I believe you are on the right track with thinking an enlarged prostate could possibly block the bowel and cause him to have to strain to go poo. I am not 100% familiar with where the prostate is located on a male dog, but your idea makes total sense to me.


I would do some research into seeing if there are medications to reduce the size of a dogs prostate, as I know they make them for humans (thanks to lovely prescription commercials! ). In all honesty you probably are going to have to do further testing anyways, probably an ultrasound, to see if there is a tumor or some other form of prostate cancer. I'm sure that's not what you would want to hear, but considering his age it is something you need to check for.
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Old May 15th, 2010, 05:49 PM
twomutts twomutts is offline
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Thanks for your thoughts, Kathryn. I agree that more testing needs to be done. But, in the moment, does anyone know how quickly metronidazole works? I think it is supposed to be very fast-acting and I don't want to force it on him if it is not helping, especially since I think it hurts his stomach. (My sister had to take it once and it hurt her stomach.) He's so miserable it's just breaking my heart.
(FYI, Kathryn, the dogs prostate gland can be palpated via the rectum and the vet agreed that it might be triggering his urge to go.) But why would it be enlarged? He also said that it felt "healthy" for what that's worth.
Again, my thanks.
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Old May 15th, 2010, 06:12 PM
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Hi there 2mutts! welcome to the site. When was the last time your dog had something to eat? its seems weird that he would be straining if he has nothing in him? can you entice him with some boiled beef and rice or potatos and maybe a bit of yogurt? I am afraid I know nothing about prostate?? sorry

The metronidazole is for an upset tummy and an anti inflammatory I think. My dog is just finishing up the same meds but his problem was diarrea.

Does his bum look sore to you? You can also try to give him some pumpkin if you can get him to eat. It works wonders in dogs for both firming up the stool or loosening it! It has to be pure pumpkin not the pie filling.l

How does he seem to you? lethargic? able to walk properly? the meds he is on should not make him sick really?
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