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Old January 12th, 2008, 10:20 AM
Kelly C Kelly C is offline
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Mystery Illness, Husky

Hello Everyone - I have an 8 yr old neutered male husky who is quite ill and my vet cannot determine the cause. I am hoping someone out there has seen these symptoms and might give us a clue.

I started treating zinc responsive dermatosis with oral zinc citrate & then switched to zinc methionine. The dose started at 10 mg per day but dropped to under 5 after he immediately started looking lethargic and drinking excessively. After a couple of weeks he started to look very ill so I took him off the zinc & went back to the vet. His blood was normal except he was excreting all his protien through his urine and had a temp 3 degrees above normal. All his liver enzymes were also way up. There is some discharge from the nose but no vomiting , no diarreah.

He looked the worst about 3 days after I stopped the zinc, has improved some since but not getting any better from there. The vet said the tubules in the kidney were still functioning it was the other part affected.

He tested negative for the 3 tickborn diseases they do in my area and we do not have any definitive proof of Lupus. He had a bout of the dermatosis a year ago & it was never accompanied by anything like this. We did not however use zinc that time.

Has anyone ever seen symptoms like this? Has anyone ever seen a dog react badly to oral zinc? There is no way for us to know if the zinc had anything to do with his kidney problems.

Any ideas would be appreciated. I can provide the lab work if someone has the expertise to understand it.

Thanks - Kelly C
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Old January 12th, 2008, 12:03 PM
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CearaQC CearaQC is offline
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You're in Ontario?

Have you tried the clinic in Guelph?

I've never been there personally, but thought I'd ask anyway because lots of members here post about that place.
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Old January 12th, 2008, 12:07 PM
Kelly C Kelly C is offline
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Not yet, but I think wer're going to need to figure this out within a few days. Probably not enough tome to get an appointment in Guelph. My own vet is away till Monday but has called several times to check up on the dog.

Kelly
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Old January 12th, 2008, 01:28 PM
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Kelly, I am so sorry to hear what you are going through with your Siberian Husky. :sad:

I found this article that says some Sibes do not respond to oral supplementation of zinc and require intravenous supplementation. The article is in pdf format....scroll down to pages 2 to 3 for the information.

Also, what are you feeding your boy?

Good luck and please keep us updated.
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Old January 12th, 2008, 08:55 PM
Kelly C Kelly C is offline
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I have read similar information about oral zinc not working but I've never heard of them causing kidney failure unless overdosed.

My vet doesn't think this is related to zinc at all but I would think it was a h___ of a coincidence if it was not. That was the only new thing in his life. --Kelly
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Old January 12th, 2008, 11:41 PM
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Hmmmm....if he does have Zinc Responsive Dermatosis and isn't tolerating the oral zinc then I would give him the zinc intravenously.

About the kidney failure.....what are you feeding him?
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Old January 13th, 2008, 01:01 PM
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I wouldn't give up on Guelph - although my 2 experiences there have been of the late night emergency type where they call in the specialist surgeon who is on call - no problem getting treated under those conditions - but hope to never go through that again. My friend got a "regular" appointment with a Guelph specialist quite quickly - the referral and appointment were set up by her vet - who also directly sent current X-Rays, charts, health status reports etc. to Guelph - it is a great place. I don't know where you are in Ontario, but that is what I would be doing if I couldn't get my dog into one of the Toronto specialists on McMurrich - and they absolutely require a 24 hour work-up - they had my vet do the emergency referral to Guelph for my last pup since time was of the essence. I hope that you find out the problem.
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Old January 13th, 2008, 06:32 PM
Kelly C Kelly C is offline
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I am going back to the vet tomorrow and will ask about Guelph. I'm also willing to try antibiotics now. He isn't drinking quite as much now but still looks wiped. Gums are really red, nose has gunky stuff, and temp is up a bit 39.3 C. It's been over a week since he had any zinc.

I am feeding Nutram chicken & rice low fat but have started reducing it in favor of real chicken and rice + a few other things.

None of my other dogs are sick (yet).

Kelly
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Old January 13th, 2008, 07:04 PM
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Would you write out how this all started and what the progress of symptoms were. Also could you maybe give some idea of the dogs diet and medical history, any other illness, if you give vaccines and other heart worm/flea meds... all of it could play a roll.
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Old January 13th, 2008, 07:15 PM
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Kelly, I just noticed that the link I said I posted about some Sibes not responding to oral zinc is not there. I was sure I posted it.

I can't find that particular article but here is a diffferent site:

http://jn.nutrition.org/cgi/content/full/128/12/2783S

Quote:
Some cases, especially Siberian huskies, do not respond to oral supplementation and may require the intravenous administration of zinc sulfate (10-15 mg/kg) at weekly intervals for 4 wk, followed by maintenance injections every 1-6 mo to prevent a relapse.
I would definitely ask your vet about getting the oral supplementation.
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Old January 19th, 2008, 04:50 PM
Kelly C Kelly C is offline
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He seems to be responding slowly to doxycyclene and aspirin. We started it Monday evening. Not his old self yet but looks more alert and is peeing a lot less.

For the person who asked about how it started, well, he had crusty lesions on his skin, penis sheath and nose last yr & antibiotics & steroids didn't work. It eventually cleared up on it's own though he still had an occasional spot. This year I noticed horrible callouses on his foot pads when I went to clip the toenails for the start of sledding season. I figured they were going to cause a problem and indeed they did so I went to the vet again. The lesions were just starting to come back on his skin too & with the hyperkeratosis on the feet the vet was finally able to positively ID it as Zinc Responsive Dermatosis. We discussed options & decided to try a zinc supplement.

He recommended 10 mg per kg of zinc or 1.7 mg/kg of zinc methionin. I was conservative & started with 10 mg total per day of the zinc I had on hand, zinc citrate. He started looking lethargic the next day but I read online that there is an adjustment period for zinc so I wasn't worried. After a few days he didn't get better so I cut to 5 mg & he perked up some. Then I obtained zinc methionin & switched to about 4 mg of that. He still looked shabby but didn't look to be in trouble till about 3 weeks when he started drinking & urinating like crazy. I went back to the vet.

We had blood & urine tests done. Blood was normal but low in protien. Urine was full of protien & kidney protien values were up. Temperature that day was 42. Gums were red and nose was snotty. Vet was confused but said there had to be a cause as the kidney tubules appeared to be working fine. Lab tech suggested tick disease or Lupus but was certain it wasn't Lupus as she said there is almost always an abnormal blood test. He tested negative for the 3 tick diseases we do in our area.

The last time we were in a tick area was late october. The illness started Dec 10th. We had been 2-3 time on a snow trail used by other dogs since November & he did have some abrasions on his feet at the time.

My dogs have been on Nutram chicken & rice low fat for yrs.

His temps. since being on the antibiotic are going up and down between 38.8 and 39.2. Gums are still red.

Throughout this adventure We never had diarhea or vomiting and he still ate though his appetite was reduced.

Kelly
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Old January 20th, 2008, 04:41 PM
ghislaine ghislaine is offline
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kelly

My American Eskimo has been suffering since Oct. Had skin infection, sores all over I treated him with antibiotic cream until I took him to the vet,I was told he had severe skin infection and put on antibioticand allergy pills that gave him severe diarrhea. Two weeks later the pads of his feet swelled up and are still not back to normal. The vet had suggested putting him down after Christmas. He is 14 yrs. old but I will try everything first. I have done a lot of research and food allergies seem to play a large part. Anyway I found this website a vet from California that I spoke with and was reffered to a biochemist. HE suggested the dog go on Bio Preparation, from reading about these pills seems they are good for everything. I have ordered them and the dog will start as soon as I get them.They are cheaper than another visit to the vets. Look up Bio Superfood.com

Good luck Ghislaine
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  #13  
Old January 20th, 2008, 06:32 PM
Kelly C Kelly C is offline
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You can try getting a skin biopsy done but it's a bit pricey and intrusive. At 14 you really need to be reasonable about it because most dogs don't live much beyond that. Mine is only eight so I have tried my best and I would feel terrible to put him down not knowing the cause of the illness or if it was a perfectly solvable problem. But he was so sick that had he been an older dog, I would have put him down. I still don't know if he will recover for sure. He has improved but very slowly & is still peeing far more than normal.

Good luck with yours.

Kelly
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Old January 20th, 2008, 11:48 PM
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Has the vet taken a sample of any of the infected area to test for bacteria, parasite, yeast, abnormal cell growth, granulomous inflammation? This is the sort of thing that needs to be considered and ruled out. Trying to treat it with a 'lets try this' approach could very well make all things worse as many meds will deplete natural bacteria and others will further weaken teh immune system.

I'd remove the dog/s that suffer from this from 'all' store bought food and put them on a very strict fresh food diet with 'no wheat' in it for awhile.
Try a week of just boiled chicken, rice and a tablespoon a day of olive oil on the food. Feed two or three meals a day for easy digestion. No treats of any kind other then what is contained in this diet chicken or rice that's it for atleast a week. Then after a week add 'one' type of vegetable (steamed of course)

This could be peas or carrots and mash it in with the rice and chicken.
Then start adding a large tablespoon a feeding of 'plain' yogurt. This will help to replace any bacteria killed off with teh antibiotic. It would be very beneficial to also buy some probiotic capsuls and add that 'to' the yogurt. Just open them up and pour a probiotic capsul into the yogurt once or twice a day.

The big thing is that you shoudl have a sample/biopsy/cytology done on any of these lesions. That's the only way to find out 'what' it is. Anything else is hit and miss and 'messing' the dogs natural defences up.

There are any number of preservatives, fillers, chemicals in prepared dog foods and treats that can cause this,that includes rawhide chews *very bad*. Companies often change their ingredients and have no cause to advertise it or to let customers know, so there could be something 'new' in the product's you have been using for years.

Good luck!
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Old January 21st, 2008, 03:22 PM
Kelly C Kelly C is offline
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So you think it might be a food allergy? Or a reaction to something in the food? I think the skin issue is separate as it has come and gone before & I'm pretty sure it's the zinc problem common in huskies.

It's the drinking, urination and fever that have me scared - that never happened before. We did talk today about a kidney biopsy but that is even more intrusive than the skin one which we have also discussed. And expensive too at $800.

Kelly
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Old January 21st, 2008, 03:40 PM
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The drinking, urination and fever would have me concerned as well. Have you had blood and urine tests for this done yet? That should be done before a kidney biopsy and will tell you if the kidneys are functioning properly.

And, did you talk to your vet about the zinc injections?
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Old January 21st, 2008, 03:45 PM
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I would want a scraping of the affected skin area atleast to determine what 'it' is. It may be autoimmune/allergy or both. Both make eachother worse and a natural diet would really benefit either way.
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Old January 21st, 2008, 04:11 PM
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I think the skin lesions are due to the zinc deficiency.

http://jn.nutrition.org/cgi/content/full/128/12/2783S
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Old January 21st, 2008, 04:19 PM
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Could very well be, but better not to guess in such a case and the scraping is really less intrusive then a kidney biopsy for sure.
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Old January 26th, 2008, 09:54 PM
Kelly C Kelly C is offline
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All of the tests were done except the intrusive biopsies. Doxycilin has failed and now the dog is in acute liver failure. His values were 1600. not sure what that means but the vet said 40 was normal. His urine is now orange and his skin tinged with yellow and he has virtually stopped eating. The lab tech said not to bother with biopsies as he wouldn't survive.

We took him in to be euthanized Thursday evening but ended up taking him home as he perked up in the office and was wandering around licking people and eating cookies from the vet's hand. We decided he wasn't ready to go yet and brought home clavamox and denosyl as a last ditch effort but we know his chances are slim to none.

The vet said it wasn't likely that he is in pain, just very wiped out. His wife apparently had experienced 90% liver destruction due to an aggressive infection. Lepto was discussed and blood sent to the States for testing.

His snotty nose is clearing up and hopefully other things will too. I just hope we aren't too late. --Kelly
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Old January 26th, 2008, 10:07 PM
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My heart goes out to you, keep doing the best you can do and love love love him. pbp
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Old January 26th, 2008, 10:13 PM
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Is the liver failure a result of the zinc deficiency? Did you ever get the zinc injections? Are you giving Milk Thistle and SAM-e suppplements to him for his liver?
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Old January 26th, 2008, 10:19 PM
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I'm sorry you're going through this ordeal, Kelly C. The fever, drinking/excess urination, and organ failure are certainly all consistent with lepto, but doxycycline is the drug of choice there, and it didn't seem to work. Perhaps a resistent strain? I hope they find out what's ailing your boy in time!

Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your husky boy!
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Old January 27th, 2008, 12:31 AM
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There are some liver function tests which may need to be repeated more then once. And antibiotics and other medications can cause what appear to be liver disease but often clear up after the medication is stopped.

I suggest as much hydration as possible to clease the liver and rid it of toxins like the a/b.

I'm really hoping for some good news for this doggie.
Make some flavoured ice cubes for him, boil some chicken and freeze the stock (skim the fat off) and give him several ice cubes through the day. That will keep his temp down and help to cleanse the liver. If you can, get to a health food store and buy pure cranberry juice and get an eye dropper.
Dilute the cranberry 1/2 water 1/2 cranberry and give him a couple of droppers full every couple of hours. It's tangy and bitter he won't like the taste of it so follow it with a little piece of boiled chicken. It may also help encourage him to drink more water.

How were the pancreatic enzyme levels?

Keep getting that liver flushed, the liver can rejuvinate itself!!
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Old January 27th, 2008, 01:19 AM
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Just wanted to send lots of &

I hope your boy can pull through this sounds like he has the will to live
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  #26  
Old January 31st, 2008, 10:16 PM
Kelly C Kelly C is offline
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Frosty has been a week on clavamox and denosyl. He looks a lot better. He's eating in stages and has stopped peeing orange. The yellow tint is fading from his skin and the snotty nose has cleared up. He's still drinking & peeing a lot though. I hope it goes back to normal eventually. And, I sure hope this anti biotic doesn't fail.

I put a picture of him on my flicker album. Taken a few minutes ago.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/25296583@N00/2233439243/

Kelly
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Old January 31st, 2008, 10:31 PM
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My connection and modem have never liked flickr for some reason--can't download Frosty's pic! :sad:

But I'm very happy to hear that he's doing better!

that this treatment will be the one that makes him healthy! Have they figured out what he's fighting, yet?
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Old January 31st, 2008, 10:51 PM
Kelly C Kelly C is offline
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I'll see if I can get an attachement to work here. We still don't know exactly what it was.

Kelly
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Old January 31st, 2008, 10:57 PM
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Oh, he's gorgeous! Thanks for posting the attachment!

I suppose it doesn't matter what he has as long as they can find something to cure it! It sounds like they're on the right track, anyway.

How long will he be on the clavamox and denosyl?
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Old January 31st, 2008, 11:07 PM
Kelly C Kelly C is offline
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I've probably got another week of denosyl left and 10 days of clavamox. I hope it isn't contageous as one of my others is allergic to clavamox.

The denosyl is supposed to be a supplement & it must be a darned good one as this dog had virtually no liver left. It was slightly expired so we got it free.

Kelly
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