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Old July 5th, 2018, 10:49 PM
eyongping eyongping is offline
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Unhappy Vet suspects liver disease in my 2 year old dog - Please help!

Hi there!

I have a 2 year old Coton de Tulear named Miles. He is the sweetest dog. Unfortunately, last week he began to show symptoms that he was sick. I have broken down the symptoms by day and would greatly appreciate any feedback from anyone who has seen a similar progression of symptoms.

Wednesday night
- Mile ingested poop of some sort in my friend's backyard so I was expecting symptoms of some sort to appear shortly after.

Thursday
- I noticed that Miles was panting a lot during the day, turning his head upward, and acting lethargic.

Friday
- Symptoms seemed to worsen a bit. I took Miles to the vet who discovered that he had a slight fever (39.6 degrees Celsius) and was acting lethargic. He prescribed a mild anti-inflammatory.

Saturday
- The symptoms began to worsen. In the morning he wouldn't walk very far and started to cry out. Directly after eating his breakfast he collapsed (legs gave out a bit). I pulled him on my lap and saw that his gums had turned white. I rushed him back to his vet, who did a quick examination. Miles was crying and looking upwards a lot. In addition he cried out once when the doctor pushed his neck downward. The vet told me to go to the emergency right away. Miles was examined at the emergency by two vets who did not find him to exhibit any outward symptoms. Mile's blood work came back normal. Similarly his x-rays also appeared normal, however, the vet thought there could be something going on in his neck, but said I needed a specialist to look at it. That evening, Miles symptoms returned at home after I gave him his food and anti-inflammatory (as directed by the vet): he was crying out, looking upward, and even collapsed again later in the evening (remained conscious, but was panting, shaking, and peed himself). I rushed him back to the emergency, where they admitted him for observation.

Sunday
- I visited Miles Sunday afternoon. I was told by the doctor that she suspected a problem with his liver. As such, they started to treat him with antibiotics and a laxative (anti-inflammatory was stopped). They also ran a bile test, which eventually showed elevated levels of bile pre- and post- food.

Monday
- I visited Miles again Monday morning. While he was slightly better, but he was still crying out. We returned later in the evening to see that he had regained some strength, didn't cry out nor look upward.

Tuesday
- Tuesday morning we picked him up and took him home to monitor him and wait to see a specialist in internal medicine. He cried out in the morning and in the evening.

Wednesday
- Miles' underwent a test to measure his ammonium levels - which found normal levels

Thursday
- Miles underwent an ultrasound that did not find any shunts in his liver. He also underwent a consult by a neurologist, who found miles to cry out consistently to palpations to his lower back and once to his neck

To summarize, Mile's blood work, urinary analysis appear to be normal, as do his ammonium levels (approx 3 days after treatment). He is going to remain on treatment with antibiotics and a laxative for 2 weeks when we recheck his bile. The doctors now suspect Microvascular dysplasia. I was wondering if anyone else had experienced such a sudden progression of symptoms with their dog and the best way to stabilize their dog and get them back to "normal". Also, I was wondering if there are any other conditions that I should be asking the vet to rule out.

Any help, feedback, or advice would be greatly appreciated. We are scared, sad, and just want our little boy back.
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Old July 6th, 2018, 12:23 PM
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hazelrunpack hazelrunpack is offline
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Welcome to the board, eyongping. Sorry you're here under these circumstances, though.

I don't have any experience with liver disease, but I do have a fair amount of experience with dogs getting into things out in the yard that they shouldn't... (sigh) Could Miles have gotten into mushrooms instead of some sort of fecal material? We've had dogs exhibit neurological, gastrointestinal, and organ damage symptoms, all after getting into mushrooms that commonly grow in our area. I mention it because they suspect liver complications due to HMD, but can't find a shunt. Could his bile test results have been due to some sort of mushroom poisoning?

We've also had dogs with spine problems, who cried out or stiffened when the vet palpated the lower back and/or neck. Is neck/back stiffness a symptom of HMD? I think I'd want to ask the vet if it's possible he just hurt his back or pinched a nerve in his neck. The lethargy, crying out, holding his head funny, panting, shaking and peeing himself could all be explained by that.

I'm so sorry you're going through all this. We've had young dogs that had severe symptoms but were difficult to diagnose and I know what a nightmare it is.
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