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Very sick dog -- any ideas? ***UPDATE post #20***

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    Very sick dog -- any ideas? ***UPDATE post #20***

    I have an adult female French Bulldog. She came to us from a rescue organization, and has always been incredibly healthy. In the three years that we've had her, she's never been ill. Very healthy and energetic, glossy and beautiful. No digestive issues with us -- not even the famous bulldog flatulence! We believe she is about five or six years old now.

    About 5 or 6 weeks ago, she started shaking and could not go up and down the stairs. Her back legs seemed very sore, and she generally had trouble getting around. She would not eat or drink. Looking back on it, for about a week or two prior to this episode, she sometimes would skip a meal or eat only part of her meal.

    We took her to the vet, and they thought it was a tick-borne disease. They tested her for Lyme, leptosporosis, and a bunch of other parasites, but the blood tests came back normal. They were convinced it looked like a tick disease even though her blood work was normal, and they started her on minocycline, as well as an anti-inflammatory for pain. They said she should start feeling better within 24-36 hours.

    It took her days to begin feeling a little better. She slowly started eating again, but only very sporadically. Likewise with water. Very slow improvement, though. Then, about two weeks later, she stopped eating and drinking again. When she tried to poop, only blood came out. She seemed a little distressed, lethargic, and unhappy.

    Back to the vet, and they took x-rays. The x-rays showed nothing -- empty colon. They decided it was the antibiotics and took her off them (which I had actually done after she stopped eating). After about four days, she started to get back to normal. Eating, drinking, and happy. Pretty much back to normal.

    During the holidays, we left her for two weeks with a lady who takes care of our dog in the lady's home while we are out of town. She said our dog was fine, but had mild tummy problems. (That's all she would say even when we questioned her on it...) We picked her up on Friday, and she was happy and ate well. But yesterday, she started projectile vomiting (several bouts) and has started pooping blood again. She will drink, but will not eat.

    Any thoughts? Has anybody seen anything like this? In the two vet visits and numerous phone calls, they don't know what is going on. I will take her back in tomorrow, but wondered if anybody had experienced this.

    For food, she eats Darwin's raw food. She has done very well with it, and never been sick. Her illness started mid-way through a batch. Darwin's said no one has reported any problems. We did switch her to a different food that she is used to eating (when we run out of Darwin's). Same problems with that food. I thought I might try to give her some pureed pumpkin to see if that will help. Probiotics too.

    Thanks so much!
    Last edited by zippyrider; Mar. 5, 2015, 09:28 PM. Reason: Emphasis on important points

    #2
    I'm not sure what's going on with your pup but I will just throw this out there. My girl had started presenting with weird symptoms and had the vets stumped. They were sure it was some rickettsial related issue and tested her for tick borne illnesses as well. Even thought she might have gotten some parasite that only lives in raw salmon. They just didn't know.

    Turns out she had systemic lupus. It presents itself mimicking so many other diseases because its symptoms can be so random. If they haven't tested your dog for an autoimmune issue yet, maybe a referral to an internist would be a good next step.

    Good luck and I am hoping the vets give you answers and your pup starts feeling better soon.
    Ulysses- the most perfect all-terrain vehicle ever. Hencho en Mexico

    Mr. Walter Bumblepants - Foster Dog Extraordinaire

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by UlysMom View Post
      ...Turns out she had systemic lupus. It presents itself mimicking so many other diseases because its symptoms can be so random. If they haven't tested your dog for an autoimmune issue yet, maybe a referral to an internist would be a good next step.

      Good luck and I am hoping the vets give you answers and your pup starts feeling better soon.
      I have Lupus as well and yes, it was sudden onset. Fortunately, I had developed Renauds a few months before so the MDs were already alerted to the autoimmune possibilities.

      My version of Lupus attacks the blood vessels (vasculitis) which temporarily clamp down on the mesenteric arteries. This results in ischemic colitis which is extremely painful and can cause death if blood flow is not re-established within a few hours.

      The only drug that has worked so far (and many drugs & treatments have been tried over the past 4 years), is prednisone. I recently had a heart attack from the same issue, lack of bloodflow not caused buy blockages. Treatment is always increase the steroids.

      The OP should suggest a possible autoimmune based condition to the vets. Are there even veterinary rheumatologists? It's a very complicated field. I sincerely hope her pup improves.
      Last edited by rcloisonne; Jan. 4, 2015, 01:35 PM.

      Comment


        #4
        Until you got to the bloody stool part, I'd have put disc disease near the top of the list.
        Though the first bout could have been an adverse effect of the anti-inflammatory.
        "It's like a Russian nesting doll of train wrecks."--CaitlinandTheBay

        ...just settin' on the Group W bench.

        Comment


          #5
          What about Addison's disease. My vet called it the great pretender disease as many different symptoms can mimic other illnesses. When my dog went off kibble, bloody diarrhea and other symptoms he thought of addisons. Blood test can rule out.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by Ghazzu View Post
            Until you got to the bloody stool part, I'd have put disc disease near the top of the list.
            Though the first bout could have been an adverse effect of the anti-inflammatory.
            Same here. Time for a second opinion with maybe an internist and an abdominal ultrasound.

            Comment


              #7
              RIP my beautiful Lola, ????August 29, 2014

              Comment

                Original Poster

                #8
                I just looked up HGE, and this definitely sounds like a top contender. She is heading to the vet tomorrow. Thank you so much everyone!!!!!!!!!!

                Comment


                  #9
                  Sounds like you have 2 issues...both of which others mentioned.

                  For the difficulty walking, it sounds like disc disease (IVDD). It could still be that, even though it got better on its own (it often does, when it's mild). Frenchies are prone to it.

                  Bloody stool = colonic inflammation (colitis)
                  Common causes include stress (i.e. from a bout of IVDD), antibiotics (like doxy or minocycline) or change in environment/household...
                  HGE can be triggered by almost anything.
                  Addison's is definitely one to consider (hypoadrenocorticism).

                  The first bout of bloody stool may not be related to the most recent one.

                  Just things to think about.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by UlysMom View Post

                    Turns out she had systemic lupus. It presents itself mimicking so many other diseases because its symptoms can be so random. If they haven't tested your dog for an autoimmune issue yet, maybe a referral to an internist would be a good next step.

                    Good luck and I am hoping the vets give you answers and your pup starts feeling better soon.
                    We had a large (125 pound) rescue collie with lupus. He was on a 1000 mg of Vit e daily and he did very well. He lived until 15 when he started having seizures and lost control of his hind end.

                    I hope you find the probelm and solution.

                    Comment

                      Original Poster

                      #11
                      She is moving fine now, but that is how it all started. It's now just the blood, vomiting, lack of appetite, and general malaise that is so concerning.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Do ask your vet about Addisons, it manifests in those same symptoms. Here is an article

                        http://www.addisondogs.com/addisons/

                        Worth asking about.

                        Comment

                          Original Poster

                          #13
                          Originally posted by drs View Post
                          Do ask your vet about Addisons, it manifests in those same symptoms. Here is an article

                          http://www.addisondogs.com/addisons/

                          Worth asking about.
                          I just read this. Thank you for sending it. I can't believe how similar it sounds to my dog's symptoms. I will ask about this as well when we go to the vet tomorrow. She has many of the symptoms: The gut issues, earlier hindquarter problems, and her trembling. I am not sure if I mentioned trembling earlier. I thought she was doing it because maybe she felt queasy or feverish. But it sounds like this is a symptom of Addison's. What a shame.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Addison's is treatable.
                            "It's like a Russian nesting doll of train wrecks."--CaitlinandTheBay

                            ...just settin' on the Group W bench.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              My vet believed my HGE dog also had Addison's. Both are treatable; HGE you can really only treat the symptoms when they present. My dog stayed on her HGE meds until she passed away (from congestive heart failure), but did not have any episodes once she got older.

                              Good luck!! Jingles for your pup!
                              RIP my beautiful Lola, ????August 29, 2014

                              Comment


                                #16
                                Non specific GI signs are often signs of addisons. Specific blood values and ultrasound will help. Can check for other things and measure the size of the adrenals. It is treatable.

                                Comment

                                  Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  Thanks everyone! She's at the vet, spending the day there getting fluids and meds. They are running the Addisons test and other blood work. Will post an update when I know more!

                                  Comment


                                    #18
                                    Hi was wondering how your dog was doing? Hope all is well with her.

                                    Comment


                                      #19
                                      Update?
                                      "Absent a correct diagnosis, medicine is poison, surgery is trauma and alternative therapy is witchcraft" A. Kent Allen
                                      http://www.etsy.com/shop/tailsofglory

                                      Comment

                                        Original Poster

                                        #20
                                        Long overdue update... Maybe this will help someone in the future with a similar problem.

                                        The official diagnosis was hemorrhagic gastroenteritis. She spent several days at the vet getting IV fluids and meds (she would spend the nights at our house, and then go back to the vet during the day). She tested negative for Addison's. She was 25 pounds before she became ill, and went down to 19 pounds. She is pretty much back to her old weight.

                                        The vets were treating several other dogs for the same problem, whose symptoms appeared in tandem with my dog's. All dogs were on a different kind of food, and all dogs tested negative for testable tick-borne illnesses (which the vets first suspected). The cause remains a mystery!

                                        All this wrapped up for us in mid-January. Knock on wood, she's been fine since then.

                                        Thank you, everyone, for your help!!!!

                                        Comment

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