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Old March 27th, 2008, 11:42 AM
buttercat9 buttercat9 is offline
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Dog has low protein, please help!

My 9 year old pug is very sick. It started about 2 weeks ago. He started losing interest in eating. We tried switching his food, but it didnít work. For some time he would eat a little bit of turkey. He has lost quite a bit of weight. Then about a week into not eating much he threw up. The vomit was a yellowish color, and it looked like it was food he had eaten the day before, yet it still looked undigested. Also he was having diarrhea at this time. The diarrhea was yellow and pasty. We took him to the vet where they found he has low protein levels. They tested him for intestinal blockages this came back negative. So then they thought it might be a liver problem, but all of the other test for this came back negative as well. They gave us some new food and some antibiotics to try. He would not eat the food. And the antibiotics seemed to help in the since that he became a little more hyper (heís been weak). Since he still wasnít eating much we took him back to the vet. This is where he is now. The vet is baffled. His protein is still low, and they had to force feed him last night. The vet is now saying he may need a blood transfusion to keep him alive. He is not doing well, and we are really worried. We are thinking about transferring him to the hospital. Please help!
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Old March 27th, 2008, 12:39 PM
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Dr Lee Dr Lee is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: East Coast
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I am sorry to hear about how sick your baby is!

Low protein levels can be from several causes. It can be not produced in cases such as liver disease. It can be lost - through the intestines and kidneys. It can be destroyed by systemic diseases.

It sounds like your vet is doing everything to solve the problem! This can be a very difficult situation. It sounds like they ran routine blood tests and a bile acids test to evaluate liver function, correct? Have they run a urinalysis to rule out protein loss through the kidneys? - this can be a common and serious disease in some dogs. Unfortunately, I would also be concerned about cancer. Have they performed survey radiographs (X-Rays). Can they do an ultrasound?

Do you have any laboratory values? Also are they doing a transfusion for an anemia which is also present or are they transfusing proteins alone?

Let me know if there is any other way to help. Good luck
Christopher A. Lee, D.V.M., C.V.L.S.
Promoting surgical options and pet comfort through the use of lasers.
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Old March 27th, 2008, 03:07 PM
buttercat9 buttercat9 is offline
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We just went to the vets about 2 hours ago to talk to the vet, and see him. He seemed to be doing ok, but he still seemed tired and not his usual self. Apparently this morning there was vomit in his cage. The good news is he doesn’t need a blood transfusion right now. He only has a mild case of anemia. He is going to get hooked up to an IV to get some kind of medicine (I don’t recall the name) to bring up his protein levels, and some more antibiotics. I am not exactly sure what kind of liver tests they did on him. They did do a urinalysis on him, but the results have not come back yet. They also did do an x-ray, but all they found was pockets of gas and arthritis which I believe is totally irrelevant to the problem.

I do remember now though that about 6-9 months ago we took him to the vets and he had low protein then as well. My mom had just picked him up from the groomers, and according to her his nose was bleeding, and he collapsed. During this vet visit as mentioned before he had low protein levels, they did an x-ray then and saw that his heart looked enlarged so they scheduled an ultrasound. The ultrasound showed that his heart was actually normal size. They never found out was wrong, but he seemed to get back to normal, and I believe that his protein levels went back to normal after a while too. We now believe that maybe one of the people working at the groomers accidentally left him unattended for a moment or something, and he got choked on the leash. I have no idea if that is related to this or not, but I thought it was kind of interesting. If he gets any worse we most likely have to take him. I just hope the vets can figure out what the problem is soon. Hopefully the urinalysis results will shed some light on to this mystery.

P.S. I don't know if this is related or not but over the past week he has developed some dandruff.

*Update: My mom went to the vets to try to feed him some food, and he ate about half a cup of chicken. I'm so glad he ate something. Now hopefully he will be able to keep it down. He was already hooked up to the IV.

**Update: Apparently he threw up all of or some of his food.

Last edited by buttercat9; March 27th, 2008 at 06:00 PM.
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