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Thread: Help: What would you do?

  1. #1
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Help: What would you do?

    January hasn't been good to my 9 year old lab/border collie/terrier.

    On December 31, she became very listless, lost her appetite, vomited her food right after she ate it and just seemed very down and perhaps in pain. DH and I noted that every time a pet gets sick it's on a holiday or a day the vet is closed. So I did Dr. Google and learned that she could have pancreatitis. At Christmas time I had given her more people food than normal, including ham, which I learned is not a good thing for dogs and in older dogs could cause pancreatitis.

    She rebounded the next day, appetite was back in full swing, so all was well.

    Then the day after we came back from Vermont, I walked her in the morning and her urine was the color of red wine. I collected some before panicking and got her to the doctor. He put her on antibiotics, and the blood was gone in a day. Because it was such quick resolution I thought maybe she didn't have a UTI at all. Seemed awfully fast for antibiotics to work. But I continued the twice a day regimen.

    However, I noted that her appetite started dwindling. She's eat dog treats but not the dry kibbles. Or I'd put wet dog food in her bowl and she'd pick at it at the end of the day, leaving half of the food, which I'd dispose of and start all over the next day.

    So I saw on the internet that loss of appetite could be a side effect of antibiotics in dogs, so I cut back on the dosage--that was probably last Tuesday. Her appetite didn't improve.

    Then, on Friday evening (2 days ago) I caught her grabbing a chicken wing bone out of the garbage. There was no meat on it, no fat, and she chewed it and ate it before I could get it. So I looked online (again!) and it said that it should be fine--just monitor. She didn't choke on it. They advised to look for intestinal blockages.

    Given her appetite is not great, she wasn't eating stuff that might help to push it through, and she ate NOTHING on Saturday (yesterday) and she's eaten nothing today. And there you go--I'd have her at the vet already, but it's Sunday and they're closed.

    If she has an inflammation like pancreatitis, they tell you not to give her food or drink for 24 hours to rest the organ.
    If she's got a chicken bone stuck, they say to give her white bread or pumpkin or lentils to help soften and push the bones through. She has not passed anything that looks like a bone to me at this point.

    So I'm damned if I do and damned if I don't (try to feed her).

    There is a vet open today, but it's not my regular guy. From what I can tell on the internet, another 24 hours of not eating, even if there is a blockage from the bone, is probably OK. (They say to give it 72 hours after a chicken bone ingestion--and 72 hours will be Monday evening.)

    What would you do?
    Go to a completely new vet today, or wait and take her immediately in tomorrow morning to our regular vet?
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
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  2. #2
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    It hate it when Sunday illness presents itself in our pets. Our Emergncy Clinic is expensive.

    I would wait until tomorrow, but of course take her in tomorrow.

  3. #3
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iris lilies View Post
    It hate it when Sunday illness presents itself in our pets. Our Emergncy Clinic is expensive.

    I would wait until tomorrow, but of course take her in tomorrow.
    Thanks, IL. That's my instinct, too. She's sleeping peacefully right now.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
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    Senior Member CathyA's Avatar
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    Hi Catherine. All I can say is what happened to our dog. She started not eating and vomiting and being listless. A trip to the vet with bloodwork showed that her liver enzymes were elevated. I can't remember, but I think they did a gall bladder ultrasound and it was packed. When their gallbladders get full, it backs up and starts causing liver problem and I think even pancreatitis. The vet put her on ursodiol for several months, and then we repeated her labs.......and they were normal! Then she started doing the same thing about a year and a half later and we had her labs drawn again, and sure enough.......her liver enzymes were elevated. So she now has to be on ursodiol every day, to keep stuff moving through her gallbladder. Did you vet draw labs?

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    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CathyA View Post
    Hi Catherine. All I can say is what happened to our dog. She started not eating and vomiting and being listless. A trip to the vet with bloodwork showed that her liver enzymes were elevated. I can't remember, but I think they did a gall bladder ultrasound and it was packed. When their gallbladders get full, it backs up and starts causing liver problem and I think even pancreatitis. The vet put her on ursodiol for several months, and then we repeated her labs.......and they were normal! Then she started doing the same thing about a year and a half later and we had her labs drawn again, and sure enough.......her liver enzymes were elevated. So she now has to be on ursodiol every day, to keep stuff moving through her gallbladder. Did you vet draw labs?
    Thanks, Cathy! No, they did urinalysis but not a full blood lab. So I suspect they'll do that tomorrow morning.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
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    For me, pain = vet, as you did the first time. No pain, I think observation would be fine.

    If you were up to four or five cycles of this with no diagnostics, I'd say new vet....they would put fresh eyes on the case. But it seems that each incident is unrelated. Again, as a whole - one more time and I'd opt for a second opinion. But that's just me.

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    Came back to add: what I meant was each incident seems totally explained as different causes. Repeated illness begs for more of a workup.

  8. #8
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    A regular blood panel is cheap here, arpund $100. I always spring for that as a first or second step.

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    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
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    If it were our dog and she does not appear to be in pain, I'd wait. Even if you go to the emergency vet, they unlikely will have access to all the previous labs and doctor's notes, so you're starting from square one except for whatever history you can provide. Obvious pain, however, and I probably would make a different decision. Especially given the chicken bone, which could cause some problems on the way through (separate problem from the pancreatitis).
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  10. #10
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    We went through something similar with out big old dog and he ended up on a bland diet for life. Working for the past year.

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