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  #241  
Old March 21st, 2011, 12:06 PM
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I agree completely with MaxaLisa. Timber has been through way too much, there is no need to put undue stress on her immune system. I, for one, will be getting titers for Nookie and will avoid the rabies vaccine (and any others we can) at all costs. We're quite sure that is what has sparked his terrible immune related disorders and have no plans to put his life at risk for something he may not need. Their lives are well worth the cost of the titers.

I'm so glad to see Timber is doing well!! Big hugs to you both
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  #242  
Old March 21st, 2011, 01:58 PM
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Originally Posted by MaxaLisa View Post
And I certainly wouldn't base these decisions on the experience of one dog, when, on the health forums, we haven't seen such a trend. I would like to see some substantiation that these diseases are making a comback.
The info is from my vet, who attends conferences. Somewhere out there be the paperwork, may or may not be published publicly on the internet.
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  #243  
Old March 21st, 2011, 02:07 PM
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I, for one, will be getting titers for Nookie and will avoid the rabies vaccine (and any others we can) at all costs. We're quite sure that is what has sparked his terrible immune related disorders and have no plans to put his life at risk for something he may not need. Their lives are well worth the cost of the titers.

I got titers this year for my two "old" girls. Was very nervous as last time (~3 years ago) both tested as inadequate, but due to their age it was time to try again. Very pleased that both came back as good.
Hopefully you get good news when Nookie's are done, so there will be no worry of putting him through vaccines, and no worry of being susceptible to the illnesses, either.
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  #244  
Old March 21st, 2011, 02:47 PM
MaxaLisa MaxaLisa is offline
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**The info is from my vet, who attends conferences. Somewhere out there be the paperwork, may or may not be published publicly on the internet.**


Vets say a lot of things, often they say incorrect things too. Been there.


Remember, the only way to determine immunity is through challenge - titers only measure circulating antibodies, which may be low in spite of the dog being protected. We have no way to actually measure if the dog is protected except by exposing them to the disease. Titers are the next best thing, but still inadequate. In dogs that are not around other dogs or dog events, I actually would expect titers to be low.


Keeping the dog's immune system up and primed for certain diseases (like parvo, not life threatening in adult dogs), can prevent it from serveilling for other diseases, like cancer or tick disease. In my mind, those are bigger risks in our senior dogs which may or may not be exposed to these other diseases and most like have the memory cells to protect them.


But owners will make the decisions that they re comfortable with, these can be very individual decisions.

Sorry SW, didn't mean to hijack!
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  #245  
Old March 21st, 2011, 05:10 PM
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  #246  
Old March 21st, 2011, 06:16 PM
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100% agree - These types of exchanges wreck threads needlessly, please take them to PM and let's get the thread back on course civilly.

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  #247  
Old March 21st, 2011, 11:24 PM
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I so agree, so sorry!

SW, don't know if I mentioned it before, but thyroid disease is common in tick diseases, and some dogs respond to low thyroid not only with coat issues, but some dogs will get a droppy eye, or even get shaky or stumbly. I agree that a thyroid check would be a good thing.
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  #248  
Old March 22nd, 2011, 10:16 AM
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Thanks everyone!

No worries about the posts -- I'm the one that asked about vaccines and titers. Thanks for all the advice!

I am certainly very protective now over her health and well being so don't feel comfortable with vaccines this year with everything that has happened and with their ages as well.

A thyroid check will be included for sure.

Everything is still going well. The dandruff is subsiding and her bald patches have now grown in about an inch but her coat still looks a little dull. I'm anxious to get test results since it has been almost two months -- the longest we've ever gone without testing but she really has continued to improve so I'm hoping everything is normal.
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  #249  
Old March 22nd, 2011, 12:47 PM
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Glad to hear her coat is filling in some! Might just take her a little longer to get good coat condition back after being ill for so long!

Good luck with the tests!
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  #250  
Old March 22nd, 2011, 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by SuperWanda View Post
Thanks everyone!
No worries about the posts -- I'm the one that asked about vaccines and titers. Thanks for all the advice!
I am certainly very protective now over her health and well being so don't feel comfortable with vaccines this year with everything that has happened and with their ages as well.
A thyroid check will be included for sure.
Thanks for saying so SuperWanda. I hope your titers and thyroid tests all come back with good news.
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  #251  
Old March 22nd, 2011, 01:13 PM
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SW, I'm so happy to hear that Timber is still doing well and glad to hear that you are going to get the thyroid test done.

I don't vaccinate my dogs anymore ...one is just over 6 yr old and the other will be 6 yr in July. I don't even titer them ....as MaxaLisa said, and my vet told me as well, those tests are inadequate.

Good luck with Timber's tests and looking forward to your update.
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  #252  
Old March 22nd, 2011, 05:10 PM
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SW, you should see Nookies coat now... he looks like a different dog! The dullness, the brittleness and the hair loss have all subsided. He has been on the Thyroid meds for about 2 months now and has a THICK plush coat. I just love to pet him now lol (not like I didn't before, but he's SO soft now!). All the shaved spots have grown back including the large patch on the bottom half of his back where he had the spinal tap. It was bald for months!! I hope the thyroid test comes back showing an issue. It's such an easy fix
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  #253  
Old March 23rd, 2011, 05:43 PM
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Thank you everyone. I will post an update when we get our next apt. and have tests results -- probably beginning of April.

Rgeurts -- I'm so happy to hear that Nookie is doing well and that his coat is looking so good! I hope he is also getting over his limp -- Timber only limps now if we overdo it with too long a walk but she is almost back to our usual amount of exercise so things have really improved!
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  #254  
Old March 23rd, 2011, 06:09 PM
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Originally Posted by SuperWanda View Post
Thank you everyone. I will post an update when we get our next apt. and have tests results -- probably beginning of April.

Rgeurts -- I'm so happy to hear that Nookie is doing well and that his coat is looking so good! I hope he is also getting over his limp -- Timber only limps now if we overdo it with too long a walk but she is almost back to our usual amount of exercise so things have really improved!
I'm so glad to see she is still improving
Nookie no longer has a limp at all! The holistic vet has had him on several herbs and the Recovery SA. He actually has a little muscle definition in his hind legs now, which is something he has never had. He still has a lot of issues, but overall he is doing much better

Did you try the Recovery SA?
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  #255  
Old March 23rd, 2011, 06:37 PM
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I'll also be waiting to hear the update from the blood tests. I so understand being nervous between tests!
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  #256  
Old March 24th, 2011, 08:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Rgeurts View Post
I'm so glad to see she is still improving
Nookie no longer has a limp at all! The holistic vet has had him on several herbs and the Recovery SA. He actually has a little muscle definition in his hind legs now, which is something he has never had. He still has a lot of issues, but overall he is doing much better

Did you try the Recovery SA?
I never did try the Recovery SA. Are you still on the regular formula or the extra strength?

I might have to try it with your endorsement! I'm so glad that Nanook is not limping and gaining some muscle back!

I started a product that contains shark cartilage (which the company says is humanely harvested and does not include endangered species) however, this still weighs on my mind when there is such a demand for it, can they really be that sure??? I certainly did see a difference when I started using it but at the same time, if there was something else that worked and didn't contain the shark cartilage, I would switch.
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  #257  
Old March 24th, 2011, 08:20 PM
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I'll also be waiting to hear the update from the blood tests. I so understand being nervous between tests!
How is Max doing??? Any recent results? Are his platelet counts still in the normal range?
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  #258  
Old March 29th, 2011, 05:15 AM
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Max has been back up on his full dose of doxy. The red blood cells are back up, as well as his neutrophils, but his platelets are 1 point below normal. I'm still trying to figure out my next step - thinking maybe an ultrasound to rule out cancer, but I have to space out the expenses.

If it's not one thing...

Robyn, meant to mention, for the muscle atrophy, if dairy isn't a problem, you could use a scoop of unflavored whey protein maybe for Nanook in his meals?
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  #259  
Old April 3rd, 2011, 08:36 PM
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Glad to hear Timber is still doing well SW! =]

What is she eating these days? Any supplements? Maybe you can help her coat out with diet.
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  #260  
Old April 4th, 2011, 03:07 PM
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Originally Posted by MaxaLisa View Post
Max has been back up on his full dose of doxy. The red blood cells are back up, as well as his neutrophils, but his platelets are 1 point below normal. I'm still trying to figure out my next step - thinking maybe an ultrasound to rule out cancer, but I have to space out the expenses.

If it's not one thing...

Robyn, meant to mention, for the muscle atrophy, if dairy isn't a problem, you could use a scoop of unflavored whey protein maybe for Nanook in his meals?
I'm sorry to hear that

I'm sure you said you did Bartonella testing. Not sure if anything has changed but was told that finding Bartonella in a dog is like finding a needle in a haystack. Apparently, the Bartonella culture methods are the most sensitive for detecting it but still not 100%
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  #261  
Old April 4th, 2011, 03:17 PM
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Glad to hear Timber is still doing well SW! =]

What is she eating these days? Any supplements? Maybe you can help her coat out with diet.
Thanks Myka,

I think the coat problem is working itself out. It is coming in thicker now and is softer and shinier with way less dandruff .

I have always given them Orijen with the addition of fresh foods but I have recently switched to The Honest Kitchen. They have several formulas but I find it more cost effective to use their 'Preference' formula. It is a dehydrated veggie based pre-mix with added vitamins and minerals so all you have to do is add your own meat. I add a salmon oil capsule to that and whatever other add-ins like eggs or other fruits and veggies. Both my dogs seem to really be loving this stuff.

Stilll haven't picked up the Darford dog food sample but would like to see what it's like.

Oh, and I also add that shark cartilage supplement to Timbers food but I might switch to the Recovery SA. The Honest Kitchen also has a herbal joint supplement called Lithe Tea which I thought I might try as well.
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  #262  
Old April 4th, 2011, 03:34 PM
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Ah very interesting! Our chi mainly gets Orijen. Both him, and my older girl (passed) do very well on it. I like that it's fairly local for us (and you)! Glad to hear her coat is coming in nicer. I imagine it will take some time.
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  #263  
Old April 5th, 2011, 03:24 PM
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Yes, Orijen is a great food. I was trying to do an experiment to see if removing potato from her diet would help her arthritis which she had before all this happened.

Really hard to find a grain-free food without potato and that is why I'm experimenting with the Honest Kitchen. Apparently Darford is potato free so would like to try it as well.
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  #264  
Old April 6th, 2011, 10:47 AM
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I see. I didn't know that potato was linked to increased arthritis. That would be bad news for all us grain-free feeders! Has Darford stepped up their game? They never used to be a particularly decent food brand.
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  #265  
Old April 6th, 2011, 01:01 PM
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Yes, apparently plants in the nightshade family which include potatoes (not sweet potatoes), tomatoes, peppers (not black pepper but all others) and eggplants can trigger arthritis. I honestly don't know if this has been scientifically proven but there seems to be a lot of information out there and some people who suffer from arthritis say it's true so I figured I see if removing these things from the diet would do anything at all

With respect to Darford, I haven't heard a lot about it. Posted another thread in the dog food section and a few replied. Most seemed to think it was a good quality food. The price is certainly indicative of that. Did you hear that it wasn't so great?
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  #266  
Old April 6th, 2011, 01:08 PM
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Hmmm..now I think of it I've heard all sorts of things about nightshade plants. You might be onto something. Worth a shot anyway.

Well, a decade (and then some) ago I worked at a pet store that carried Darford biscuits. They were pretty much in line with Nutro for quality at that time. I saw these biscuits at the specialty store here which I thought was odd (I didn't think they would qualify for a specialty store). I read the ingredients and it didn't look like anything had changed. I wasn't aware that Darford made food though, so maybe that is higher quality?
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  #267  
Old April 6th, 2011, 01:18 PM
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Darford has improved the ingredients of their dog cookies since then.

Also, with regards to the arthritis made worse by potatoes, from what I've read grains can also be bad ....it depends on the dog. There are brands that don't use either abut use peas/chickpeas instead as the carb source.
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  #268  
Old April 6th, 2011, 02:10 PM
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From what I read last year on a box of Darford cookies they still have a lot of highly processed carbohydrates in them. I just went to look at their website though and I see they now carry wheat & corn free cookies as well as grain free cookies. I got to learn something today!

I see their "Zero/G" grain-free kibble as well. It seems to be the only kibble they make (a poultry recipe and a fish recipe). The ingredients do look good! I don't know much about the nutritional value or metabolic reaction of buckwheat though. I like to see manufacturers trying something different. Please let us know how it goes!
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  #269  
Old April 16th, 2011, 10:08 PM
MaxaLisa MaxaLisa is offline
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I'm sure you said you did
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Originally Posted by SuperWanda View Post
Bartonella testing. Not sure if anything has changed but was told that finding Bartonella in a dog is like finding a needle in a haystack. Apparently, the Bartonella culture methods are the most sensitive for detecting it but still not 100%
Funny you say that - I had him and my girl tested through NCSU, their super duper culture and testing; they were both negative, though I think that's what killed my girl, after battling it probably all her life. We beat it for about 12 years though...

I've ordered some azithromycin to treat for Bart, will see how that goes.

So glad to hear that Wanda is still doing well - what a success story!
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  #270  
Old May 16th, 2011, 06:49 PM
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Finally had my Spring vet check and all results look good.

Timber has made a pretty amazing recovery under the circumstances. She still has some hind leg quivering. Not sure if that is a result of the disease or weakness from muscle loss?

She has been on the recovery SA Extra Strength for a few months now and I think it has helped. She does not limp but still has some muscle loss in her hind legs. We are to continue with regular exercise but she looks great, her coat has grown in nicely and, with the exception of the quivery legs, is back to her old self again.

Interestingly, I received a two page letter from the emergency clinic (where she was first misdiagnosed) about heartworm, anaplasmosis, lyme and ehlrichiosis. It was fairly detailed and talked about the symptoms and treatment. It also said that early detection it important for a full recovery. A little too late for us but I am glad that this information was sent out to their clients and hope that it helps to save more dogs. It said they are seeing an increase in tick disease so hopefully Timber's case helped to inspire this mailing (although no one mentioned this to me) but I like to think it is true.

I guess this is a final and happy ending to this very long thread that started with so much uncertainty.

Thank you again for everyone's support here!
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