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  #1  
Old January 21st, 2019, 09:25 PM
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Loss of appetite - why?

Jessy is 14 now, and there have been many ups and downs with her health over the years but her appetite has never been an issue. We always joked that we’d know her time has come when she’d refuse food. Well, she started refusing food around December 14th. She also started shaking her head a lot and encouraging us to rub the side of her head near her left ear. My husband figured it was probably a tooth, since her jaws are shrinking with old age and she did lose a molar last summer; she could also use a teeth cleaning but age her age and with her elevated liver enzymes it could kill her.

She won’t let us examine her mouth, so we brought her to the vet (not more successful) who got her on antibiotics (Clavaseptin) because she thought the gums were a little inflamed and Surolan drops because although both ears looked great, there was infection deeper near the eardrums and only visible with the otoscope (both ears so I am guessing her allergies caused this). We had to buy stinky canned food because she would not eat her homemade recipe. She improved, the vet said her ears were clear, and she started eating her regular healthy homemade food but only if we blended in some canned or added chicken bouillon, etc. She even started crunching some kibble we use sparingly in her Nina Ottoson games so we figured it had been the ears and everything was healed, because I doubt she’s crunch kibble with sore teeth or gums. So we figured it was all over...

Well that lasted a few days. She has gone back to being lethargic, just wanting to sleep in a cold place near the door, she has lost a lot of her hearing since the Surolan drops or the infection, and she is eating less than half her normal portion and even there I have to pour bouillon and chicken bits over it to encourage her. She snaps at us when we pet her, and although she seems to walk ok outside for her potty breaks, she is slipping around on the wood floors but this is new. The floors are not that slippery. I am wondering if the ear infection was even deeper than what the vet saw, that it might be on the other side of the eardrum in the middle or inner ear and this could be causing all these symptoms, including maybe a balance issue? I don’t know if it matters, but her stools have been normal except once with some yellow liquid. She is drinking more than usual.

I guess at her age the problem could be a combination of things? Would blood tests find the problem? I was thinking maybe the ear and also a liver/gallbladder/stomach issue but her stools look good and she’s not vomiting? Input would be appreciated...

We will return to another vet this week, but it would help if I could narrow down the possibilities...
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  #2  
Old January 22nd, 2019, 12:21 AM
Barkingdog Barkingdog is offline
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It may be hard for to eat baby food night be easier .Why do you think she likes being in a cool spot would she have a fever from an infection ? How is urine is she peeing OK ?
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Old January 22nd, 2019, 08:09 AM
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Yes, pee Ok. I noticed today that the white of her eye was reddish and the eye was weeping on the side of head we think is bothering her, so I am really suspecting a deep ear issue. We will try to get her to a more knowledgeable vet today. We hate that she isn’t feeling well and it’s baffling because it really seems to be a combination of things. I know she’s getting old, but she was doing fine before this.
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Old January 22nd, 2019, 12:44 PM
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Poor kitty it's so hard seeing pets get old :cry.
Is there any vets college near that have a vet office? I am on my cellphone and it hard to see wif I have any misspelled words
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Old January 22nd, 2019, 05:20 PM
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Aw, poor Jessy!

Blood tests/labs are probably the best next step. Blood work will at least help rule out the obvious age-related maladies. You might even get some results that would steer you in the right direction, but it could just be her age catching up with her. That happened with our Ember. In the end, his body just gave out.

Keep us posted, pls!

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Old January 23rd, 2019, 05:41 PM
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Sad update

Hazel Run Pack! You’re still here! You helped me so much through Jessy’s CCL rupture, after that she dislocated a hip, but she’s been doing great the last few years. Today we sadly found out through an xray that her liver is about five times what it's supposed to be and it’s pushing on other organs. Blood test results will come in on Friday but just that mass is not good. 95% chance it’s cancer. Would you go further with an ultrasound to be absolutely sure? She’s 14. She is refusing her regular food (a first) but will wolf down cooked chicken. The vet says that in spite of the enlargement, if the blood tests show an adequate liver function we wouldn’t need to pull the plug yet, but I wouldn't wait too long and have her suffering..

Could this be something else by some miracle? Something curable?
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Old January 23rd, 2019, 08:22 PM
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Yep, still here.

So sorry to hear about Jessy's liver issue. We lost Macie to what was probably a benign liver growth. It was inoperable, so there was really nothing more to do, whether benign or malignant. Since she didn't suffer from the wasting so common with malignant growths, we assume it was benign, but in the end, it did take her from us just the same.

Here's how the decision would be made here. We ask ourselves, would we consider major surgery or extreme measures (say, chemo) for the dog at her age? If yes, then we'd go with the ultrasound in the hopes that it could be surgically removed. But, if knowing for sure wouldn't change our decision about treatment, we'd skip the ultrasound. And an ultrasound can't always tell you if a mass is benign or malignant, anyway.

I think we had Macie's checked one more time a few months later, just to see how fast it was growing, but our decisions were made based on how she seemed to feel and her behavior.

I'm sorry you guys are going through this with Jessy. It's always so difficult, no matter how many times you've been through it We always do hope for a miracle, but those seem to be really hard to come by

Give Jessy a tender hug and kissy for me, pls, and keep some hugs for you. Hang in there!
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Old January 24th, 2019, 11:39 AM
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Yes, I know. They don’t live forever...

But I am not just being wishful when I say that I get the feeling it might not be cancer. This is a new vet out here in the country where we moved to last year. Jessy is a weird one with strange issues, and the vets back home got used to that. I fear that maybe this vet might be looking at those xrays in a textbook way. Jessy is not textbook. I was looking at old ultrasound and xray results. She’s always had a an enlarged spleen and liver and if even the specialist in internal medicine didn’t blink much (blinking costs big bucks at those places) then I guess they see this often and it’s not a big deal. Sure, the enlargement still might be cancer but there is no sign of liver disease; no jaundice, her stools are not pale, and we are realizing she has her normal big appetite but just doesn’t want to chew (the xray showed inflammation of the left jaw that we didn’t pursue when we figured she had a few days left on this earth).

And my husband says I must have been in shock because the liver is not 5 times its regular size, but it is enlarged enough that it’s pushing on the stomach and spleen, so it is still too large.

I will wait for the blood test results tomorrow and if the liver is working alright, I think I might consult Dr Jean Dodds in California...I could send her the xrays and test results and see what she thinks. I don’t really know a specialist here (province of Quebec or Ottawa area).

Is there any way to know if it’s cancer (or not) but without a biopsy?
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Old January 24th, 2019, 05:02 PM
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Biopsies are usually necessary unless the blood work shows something, unfortunately.
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Old January 24th, 2019, 07:07 PM
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What could the bloodwork show to indicate cancer?
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Old January 24th, 2019, 08:49 PM
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Blood cancers, like lymphomas or leukemia, can show up in blood test results. And sometimes, patterns of high or low components in bloodwork can be an indication of cancer elsewhere, but further tests would probably be indicated.
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Old January 25th, 2019, 08:13 AM
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We are waiting for the blood results to come in, and Dr Dodds in the USA has kindly agreed to look over these results and Jessy's xrays. Honestly, the jaw issue is what is worrying me more right now and what seems to be causing her a lot of discomfort. The inner white of the eye on the affected side is red today and she is blinking a lot. I don't know if this is related to a painful jaw? It's very dry here in our temporary rental house (20% humidity!!) and it's a 2-storey which is hard to "humidify" so I wonder if just the dry air could be doing this. I have some lubricating eye drops for dogs which I just used.

Could the eye have something to do with the enlarged liver or spleen? I don't think so but you know more than me!

I am waiting impatiently for the blood results today because if they look really bad (according to Dr Dodds, not the vet here) we will probably not put Jessy through dental xrays and the lot. Instead it will be a good painkiller and we will prepare for the inevitable. I don't want her suffering. However, if the word from Dr Dodds is not bad and she thinks Jessy is comfortable and things are functioning at an acceptable level, we will have to deal with this jaw.
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Old January 25th, 2019, 10:47 AM
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I'm no vet, but I can't think of anything that would link an irritated eye and an enlarged liver or spleen.

So nice that Dr Dodds is willing to consult.

Could it just be a bad tooth? (Not the liver issue, but the chewing issue?) Or is the jaw, itself, inflamed?
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Old January 25th, 2019, 10:03 PM
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Wink

The blood results are not good. Her ALP is literally off the charts, over 2000. Her ALT is 1049. The list goes on. According to Dr Dodds, her blood indicates a enlarged and damaged liver that is not functioning properly. She also has high calcium, urea, so her kidneys are not doing well either. Her pancreas is not functioning well. However, there is no way of knowing if it's cancer or not but she says that wouldn't change anything at 14 (I agree) and an ultrasound and biopsy would just stress her. She has recommended that we feed her the liver cleansing diet of chicken or cod with sweet potatoes and white potatoes (etc) and we give Zentonil or SAMe/milk thistle. If it's not cancer, she might even improve a bit but we are dealing with a 14 year-old dog with severe issues so I doubt she's gonna bounce back from this. Not this time. I talked about euthanasia and she said "Please try the diet and herbal cleansing. She'll let you know when she doesn't want to continue. Preserving her dignity is compassionate love too". So that's it. I just hope nothing ruptures, she's a ticking time bomb with dignity!

Now I just have to figure out what to do about the jaw (vets don't think it's a tooth, you can see the jaw a darker white on the x-ray). I guess dental x-rays would show it better? Unless I say forget it and just give her doggie Cannabidiol for the pain?

My head hurts...don't know what to do..
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Old January 26th, 2019, 03:54 PM
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I'm not sure I'd be putting her through anything more given her condition and age, so we'd probably just find some pain regimen that works for her, too.

I'm so sorry about the results, but I think Dr Dodds' advice is good. Let Jessy call the shots.
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Old January 26th, 2019, 07:30 PM
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I agree preserving your dog
dignity is important. My hearing
dog got cancer and he was a very proud poodle . I put him down while he still had his
dignity , it was the most hardest thing I had to. Do . I am so sorry your dog isn't doing well .
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Old January 29th, 2019, 04:30 PM
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Jessy is not eating the cod and potato-based liver-cleansing diet. Not even with chicken, and not even when all ingredients are separate instead of mushed together (she just eats the chicken). She normally would love this stuff, but I guess the liver issues are making her extremely finicky. The only things she seems to like and that are acceptable are chicken and rice noodles with homemade broth. She likes egg noodles too but I think the durum semolina flour (aka " wheat flour") is probably not great for the liver. I am feeding her smaller portions, 4 times a day, but chicken and rice noodles are not real nourishing so I contacted Dr Dodds who said to try some unsweetened applesauce 30 minutes before her meals to increase her appetite so she'll eat the proper diet. That didn't work, and it was delicious homemade stuff with nothing added.

I am getting desperate. She is in good spirits but she has to eat. I am very close to caving and going to pick up a can and maybe a free sample (to test) of one of those liver-support commercial foods from the vet. I always thought they were junk and fed her a Hilary's Blend homemade salmon recipe for seniors (that she rejects too), but right now she needs to eat! Oh, and no way is Zentonil in any form or hiding place getting into that mouth. "Ain't nothing wrong with her sense of smell!" Luckily, she is not detecting the Milk Thistle . .

Last edited by BabyJessy; January 29th, 2019 at 08:32 PM.
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Old January 29th, 2019, 07:50 PM
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Aw, poor girl! Is there any food at all that she seems interested in? Not necessarily a liver-cleansing diet--just any food in general?
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Old January 29th, 2019, 08:31 PM
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Apart from noodles (and probably all pastas, no matter the "flour") and chicken, I have given her a few of my flax flakes cereal, and I am sure she'd eat duck, beef, turkey - basically anything "meat" but this will make her sick since her liver can't deal with high protein or too much fat. She normally likes cooked vegetables like carrots and broccoli, but right now she "removes" them and they're all over the floor. She also had a little piece of an organic veggie cracker. Actually, I found a recipe on the net for dog cookies with sweet potato, chicken bouillon, potato flour - and I was thinking that maybe I could make my own healthy "kibble"?

I don't give up easy...!
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Old January 29th, 2019, 09:24 PM
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Poor puppy ! I read that catnip will make cats hungry I wonder if it would be safe for dogs
to eat to try increase their appetite
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Old January 30th, 2019, 11:27 AM
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I just found some recipes in a separate newsletter on the website for Hilary's Blend - she has been eating a senior recipe from the book for years so maybe she'll accept one of these. First I'll see if she eats the main ingredients before I combine them and make a week's batch and waste money...here we go. Another day exhausted because she had mushy food-related diarrhea twice during the night (we had to dress and bring her outside...twice). It's cold in Quebec at 3 am, let me tell you.
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Old January 30th, 2019, 02:40 PM
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Can your dog eat white potoates
if you boil some white potoates in
water and give your some water the starch from the potatoes may slow down the diarrhea
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Old January 30th, 2019, 03:57 PM
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No, she's refusing both white and sweet potatoes. However, she is eating eggs, egg noodles, rice noodles (no rice though), flax flakes cereal, and I think I'll be able to do a Hilary's Blend Complete and Balanced recipe for the liver I found in their newsletter. Today my kitchen looked like a lab with Jessy happily in the middle of it all, and I was testing combos on her. I will be able to get the applesauce and some good vegetables into her, but they have to be cooked in chicken bouillon and pureed in the blender to be super-smooth, almost watery. Then I poured this on top of the noodles and protein (some cooked egg and chicken) and she ate it! I even hid her Milk Thistle in it, but now I have to add some fish oil and the Hilary's vitamins and if this works out it seems I found a way to get her healthy again (as much as possible considering her issues) and to get her stools back to being somewhat clean. It's better for her and for us Looking forward to sleeping a whole night right through!
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Old January 30th, 2019, 04:10 PM
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I am talking about drinking the water from boiled white potoates. It's supposed to help with diarrhea. I am using my cellphone
so it hard to see what I am doing . I hope your dog will feel better very soon
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Old January 30th, 2019, 08:37 PM
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So glad she's eating a little something now! And I hope you get your full night's sleep! We can relate--Brier has Sundowner Syndrome and spends many nights just pacing.
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Old January 31st, 2019, 07:58 PM
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I've been following your postings in regards to Jesse's problems and stumbled across something in my cupboard a day or so ago. I have a product called Biostrath, and it was recommended to me by a holistic vet some years ago for a problem fairly similar to yours. I had a cat at the time who was refusing to eat and she recommended me putting him on it. It took a few days before you could see the start of the results. Maybe this might help you as well. They do have the product for animals now at the time I was using the human version. This product is manufactured by A Vogel and is available through Bioforce in Montréal.

Something else that I make and mix into my cat food is bone broth, and I was thinking if you haven't been involved with it it might be of interest as well, and here's a couple of websites.



https://animalwellnessmagazine.com/bone-broth/

https://healthypets.mercola.com/site...one-broth.aspx

And here's something else that is worth taking a look into. It is Fecal Transplant or Gut Microbiome. I ran into this protocol being used about 15 years ago in 2 different locations in northern Ontario for the treatment of parvovirus. These people were in a position where they could not afford the vet. So they took it on themselves with family help, and within 48 hours both pups were doing well, and they had no more problem.

This past weekend I was listening to a program on CBC radio called Quirks and Quarks posted by Bob MacDonald. One of the items on the program at that time was dealing with Fecal Transplant, and I found it very informative. Here is a website that might be worth looking at.

https://healthypets.mercola.com/site..._rid=481965611

Hopefully this will be some food for thought.
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Old February 6th, 2019, 08:36 PM
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How is Jessy doing?
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Old February 17th, 2019, 09:10 PM
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Jessy is doing better! She started eating properly yesterday, and did good today too. When I say properly, I mean she is eating my super-healthy Hilary's-inspired recipe with chicken, egg noodles, eggs, yogurt, apple, vegetables, Omega oil, vitamins, etc (low but high-quality protein and a quality starch plus the vegetables and fruit). Of course I am giving her small amounts about 4 times a day, along with her milk thistle. She wants to play, she is back to barking at me to demand things (I did not miss that), and she has more energy - but I guess just eating right will do that!
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Old February 18th, 2019, 11:22 AM
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Good girl, Jessy! So happy you're feeling better!
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