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Sixth time to the vets this month

Discussion in 'Dog Chat' started by Bryxy, Sep 25, 2013.


  1. Bryxy

    Bryxy PetForums Senior

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    George is sick again. :frown5:

    Think this might be a new record for number of trips in a month. But he had the runs, been vomiting and now hasn't eaten for 36 hours. The biggest worry to me is that because he won't eat he's missed taking his epiphen twice and if he has a seizure in this state it could be worse than ever.

    We're getting his blood test results for his liver too, something tells me all this could be related to him having some problems there. I hate having to put him through the stress when he goes there so often already but I don't think there's anything else I can do, he looks so miserable. Got an appointment for this afternoon so hopefully can get some sorted so he'll be able to take his meds again tonight.
     
  2. lullabydream

    lullabydream PetForums VIP

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    Hi,

    Did not want to read and run. Am sorry to hear that's it is another trip to the vets for George. Hope that you get through this all soon, and any diagnosis can be quickly treated.
     
  3. Dogless

    Dogless PetForums VIP

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    Oh no :(. Hope this afternoon's appointment goes well.
     
  4. Bryxy

    Bryxy PetForums Senior

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    Thank you both, unfortunately the test results point to liver disease.
    He's had more bloods taken and has to go back again tomorrow and if those tests show the same signs then he needs to have an ultrasound to look for a mass :frown5:

    I have to somehow get him to eat something now because it'll be 48 hours without anything soon and I have no idea what to do. I might have to blend up some food and use a syringe which he really won't like, this is an absolute nightmare. :(
     
  5. Dogless

    Dogless PetForums VIP

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    I am sorry :(.

    Is he restricted with what he can eat with the liver disease?

    Otherwise, sixstar gave me a fabulous recipe for getting weight back onto Kilo which can be drunk....lactol, a raw egg stirred in and some manuka honey. Kilo loved it - maybe give that a try?
     
  6. shirleystarr

    shirleystarr PetForums VIP

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    Oh dear I am so sorry to hear this
    Raw egg and honey like Dogless said is good worth a try even if you have to use a syringe
     
  7. lullabydream

    lullabydream PetForums VIP

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    Sorry to hear your news.

    My JRT has something wrong with her liver. We are classing it as liver disease. X ray and ultra sound and a biopsy found nothing and she's been problem free for a year and is having a flare up now. The vets wanted to do an evasive procedure, but am not keen so we monitor her, since although she is not her normal herself she still has a load of energy with this flare up. This time last year she sounds very like George, no interest in food, she lost so much weight that even her head felt skinny. She had fluid in her stomach, which looked horrendous. I lost count of how many vets I saw who told me all the time she is very poorly.

    She was treated with, and is currently having denamarin to support her liver. I buy this off line since its £20 cheaper than the vets. She has antibiotics, and is on steroids that we are slowly weaning her off. She is breathless, which was originally a symptom but this might be down to the steroids now. She went a whole year with no meds though, its just a shame it has flared up again.

    Diet wise, I feed Burns. It was Burns or prescription diet, so I chose Burns. Food should be low protein. I will be at the vets next week, and we are maybe going to try a home cooked diet, which included cottage cheese. I have no idea exactly what though, so cannot give more details.

    I also have lactulose for her, since it should help with her hepatic encephalopathy which she's developed due to the liver disease. Due to this she has out of character episodes of aggression and can look a bit vacant at times. So please if you notice anything different behaviour wise in George please mention it to your vet. I am sure there is a whole list of problems that can occur due to this. I probably not made it very clear but it is a brain disorder.

    Please keep me up to date with George. I am not sure if my post has helped you but just wanted to say how treatment has been for my gorgeous girl.
     
  8. Bryxy

    Bryxy PetForums Senior

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    I'm not sure the vet didn't say, I think he's waiting until we're completely sure it's his liver. I gave him some raw egg with honey (didn't have any lactol) and he licked some of it up so that was good! He's also had some chicken skin (but he wouldn't even try the actual chicken which was odd) and then decided he wanted some of the fish I was having for dinner :eek: so he's had some odds and ends but it's better than nothing I hope.


    The raw egg and honey went down quite well with him and I haven't had to use the syringe yet which is good and hopefully I won't have to.


    I have a feeling it is his liver causing all these problems even though they're doing extra blood tests to make sure. I'd been noticing him drinking a lot more and now he's been sick twice. Poor boy has had to take so much medication for his seizures and what he's taking has been chopped and changed so much I'd actually be surprised if his liver wasn't damaged. I'm still hoping for the best but I have a bad feeling about it all. :(

    The vet talked to us about some of what the next steps will be if he does have something wrong. He's letting me help with the ultrasound tomorrow if George needs one after we know his results. He said after that he'd want to take a biopsy and they either do it with a sedative and from the outside or they put him under anaesthetic and open him up. If they have to give him anaesthetic I'm not sure what to do because he's an old boy so the risks are much higher for him.

    When your girl was off her food did you manage to give her anything at all? I've had a bit of success tonight and I'm going to try again later but I'm worried he's just going to stay like this now and never want to touch food again. He's lost 3kg since his last weigh at the vet 3 months ago, and I can feel his hip bones, vertebrae and ribs really easily so I know he's not in good condition.

    He's not been aggressive but he does sort of stare into space while he's been sick these past few days. He's already got this circling behaviour due to something being wrong with his brain, we don't think it's a tumour anymore since it's been about four years since it started but there's definitely something not right with his vestibular pathways.

    Thank you for all the info, it's a great help to know about what we'll need to do for him, I really had no idea what we would be able to do for him apart from a diet change but even then I wasn't sure what the change would be. I'm so sorry to hear your girl is having a flare up after having a good year, I hope she gets better soon.
     
  9. lullabydream

    lullabydream PetForums VIP

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    The weight loss sounds exactly like my Poppy. It was absolutely horrid, the saving grace in my head is she's very hairy so to outsiders she looked pretty normal. I don't think I would have coped if some ignarmous said something to me when I had her with me. Which I know should have been something that should be ignored but it would have upset me knowing how I'll she was.

    From the first visit last year, they whipped her in for an ultrasound, an x ray and had small incision biopsy but found nothing. The ultrasound seemed to show something but it was more what her bloods showed. She was put on denamrin, the antibiotics, lactulose and steriods. The steroids obviously helped with her appetite. A few days later she was eating, but she is a JRT and she actually eats as much for a dog twice her size. Meals were initially given 4 times a day, so very much like feeding a puppy. At her lowest weight she was 6.9kg, and when the medication was not needed she was 9.2kg. Although I do think she was slightly above what weight she should be, I think 8.5kg is her best weight.

    I have been offered the cut open biopsy, but I have also been told depending on what blood tests show, she might not even be able to have the general anaesthetic anyway. So we are holding off this step.
    Her flare up definitely does not seem as bad as last year, yes she dropped to 7.2 kg, but not as boney. No fluid in here abdomen and her protein levels have not given concern this time.
    It took about 3 months of treatment last year, to be honest I think the vets really did not think she would make any recovery at all. They was also surprised at her age since she was only 4years old, she turned 5 in February. But this doesn't mean that with George being an older dog he shouldn't be given the same treatment as my Poppy has, and I will not respond as well to treatment.

    Sorry for the essay, if I remember anything else that may help I will chip in when ever I can.
     
  10. Sled dog hotel

    Sled dog hotel PetForums VIP

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    So sorry to hear he has liver problems. If he has been on Ephiphen for a considerable time which is phenobarbital, pheno can cause liver damage and scarring of the liver. If it is due to the phenobarbital, and the liver damage is caught quick enough, it can sometimes be even reversed, or it an be helped.

    Canine epilepsy guardian angels recommend a home made liver cleansing diet, and the use of milk thistle. Ill link you to the diet and details of milk thistle.

    Early signs of liver damage can be loss appetite, weight loss, chronic/ongoing intermittent diarrhoea and vomiting especially vomiting and sometime an increase in drinking and urination.

    More on pheno and liver damage here.
    Canine Epilepsy - Using Phenobarbital to control seizures in dogs

    The liver cleansing diet as well as other info on things that you can do are on here.
    Liver Cleansing Diet and Milk Thistle

    More on the use of Milk thistle for liver damage and liver failure on here.
    MILK THISTLE

    There are other drugs that can be used that are not so hard on the liver. if you haven't seen the Canine epilepsy guardian angels website before, its worth exploring. Full table of contents below.

    Canine Epilepsy and Dog Seizures Table of Contents - Canine Epilepsy Guardian Angels
     
  11. lullabydream

    lullabydream PetForums VIP

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    Just had another thought, which may be relevant or not. I used to see the same vet every time with Poppy till about the last month since she went on maternity leave. Then because she had obviously turned a corner and just had check ups and the odd blood test, then I would see a variety of vets. At least 2 of these explained it could be a one off occurrence, can occur a couple of times and then never flare up again. I suppose its pot luck really.

    I know its only a glimmer of hope, but with treatment, the right diet you can never really tell what the future holds.

    Please keep me updated.
     
  12. Sled dog hotel

    Sled dog hotel PetForums VIP

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    The main test blood test wise to look for liver dysfunction are the chemistry panel
    for the liver enzymes. The definitive test is a liver bile acid test usally where the dog has to be starved from the night before, a blood sample has to be taken and then food is given and another blood test is taken 2 hours after meaning that the dog has to be starved and then has to stay in the vets for half a day. There is another test that can be used instead which is urine bile acids which means you don't have to do this.

    Again canine epilepsy guardian angels explains about liver enzyme monitoring with a biochemistry blood test.

    LIVER ENZYMES TO MONITOR TO PREVENT LIVER FAILURE

    Bile acid testing and the alternative urine Bile acid testing is explained on here.

    URINE BILE ACID TESTING

    Don't think I gave you this link before its reducing the risk of liver disease particularly drug induced when on things like phenobarbital.

    Reducing the risk of liver disease

    You can get behavioural changes and neurological signs like, seizures, pacing, circling and vacancy as well as aggression in some dogs, just due to the liver dysfunction due to toxins not being removed and toxin build up. Mores explained on the link above.

    More is explained about liver disease, symptoms and diagnosis on the link below.
    Liver Disease
     
  13. Sled dog hotel

    Sled dog hotel PetForums VIP

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    Have they ever checked her for adrenal problems. There is too forms hyper adrenal cortisism and hypo adrenal cortisism.

    The Hypo adrenal cortisim (Addisons) can wax and wane over long periods and the most common signs are.

    Depression, Lethargy, dehydration, vomiting, diarrohea, weight loss, and often they lose appetite. There are other symptoms too. But the above signs are the most common and can come and go often with fluid theraphy and or steroids.

    Its often missed too as blood tests often show nothing up in a lot of dogs.

    The only real way to tell is one blood test that detects either hyper or hypo adrenal cortitism and that a specific blood test called an ACTH.

    If you want to read more on it see the link.

    http://www.percorten.novartis.us/pdf/Percorten_V_Monograph.pdf

    Just a though as the symptoms are the same and it can flare up and disappear for a long time, they actually call it the great pretender for that reason as its often missed and mmimics other things.
     
  14. Bryxy

    Bryxy PetForums Senior

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    Thank you all so much for the information and advice. He went for his scan today and his liver looks ok, his gallbladder may have some problems though.

    We had much worse news though, he has a 3cm tumour in his spleen. It's very unlikely that it's benign and it may have metastasized elsewhere already. He either has a splenectomy, we put him to sleep soon or we leave him until he's deteriorated enough that his quality of life warrants him being put to sleep or the tumour ruptures and he bleeds to death. All of these scenarios have terrible outcomes. So far we're opting for the splenectomy, I booked him in for surgery tomorrow and we're going to discuss it further tonight and if we decide against it we will cancel it. They X-Ray him first to check it hasn't metastasized to his lungs. But even if his lungs are ok, he's an old boy and he might not make it through. If he does, his quality of life will improve but because this cancer is so aggressive he may only have months afterwards.

    I have no idea which way to turn at the moment. If I leave the tumour there I know George is just going to get worse, and I can't watch that happen to him, or even it will rupture and he'll bleed out which I just can't imagine putting him through. But then the surgery has all these risks and the prognosis is only good for a short term. I know he's old and he's not going to live forever but I'm at a loss as to whether to give him this chance or not because it could end up killing him as well.
     
    #14 Bryxy, Sep 26, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2013
  15. lullabydream

    lullabydream PetForums VIP

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    Just got in from work, and couldn't read and run.

    Am so sorry to hear that, and speaking from experience I know its a horrible decision to make. There are so many what ifs, and no definite clear answers. If it was said to you that surgery would make everything better, of course the answer would be go for it.

    No one wants their dogs to suffer, or anyone to suffer. Its one of those that we could all start telling you this happened to me, and the outcome was good, or this happened to me and the outcome was bad. It wouldn't help though since all cases are different. Its that horrible c word that no one wants to hear.

    I just want you to know that what either you decide and whatever happens, please keep in touch. My thoughts will definitely be with you tonight and tomorrow, and no doubt for some extra days too. Thank you for sharing such a heartbreaking time, its taken you courage to write and explain everything. It is much appreciated.
     
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