Something going on with my dog
Ok, I've had a few threads where you guys have been super helpful and I've tried some suggestions, but I'm not seeing any noticeable changes in my 7 month old female GSD. Sorry if I'm driving you nuts, and also sorry this is a lot of info.
I think I'll get the vet involved at this point, but I wanted to run some of her "symptoms" by you guys to get some ideas on specific things to check for.
I'm a worry wart and I think my vet thinks I'm a bit ridiculous, so I'd like to go in and specifically ask about doing certain tests, because I find sometimes the vets can be a bit dismissive, since I'm a pet owner hypochondriac.
I should note, pretty much all of these things I've discussed with my vet over the phone and/or brought her in and she wasn't worried about them. However, it's kind of chronic and I feel like something is off systemically that I need to address.
Some background: she is a 7 month old spayed female, UTD on shots and vaccines including Bortadella and had her last Revolution treatment 2 weeks ago. She is in doggy daycare and lives on a farm (lots of wildlife - coyotes, all manner of birds, raccoons, horses etc), in case you think she could be exposed to anything. She is crated when I can't watch her, so getting into something is unlikely.
Long term issues:
-soft poop (sometimes it's almost normal, sometimes it's very liquid, sometimes it's a mix of both??) They do seem to be yellowish in colour, but I'm not sure that isn't relating to her food. Her poop was fine when I got her from the breeder (who fed raw), and her poop was ok after her spay surgery, but quickly changed to loose poop when back on her diet (acana pacifica, 3 cups a day, split into 3 feedings). I have tried a few different brands & formulas with no success. It's basically always been like this.
I keep her fairly lean, I can just barely see ribs, vet says she's perfect for a GSD her age. I have not noticed any weight loss, however she hasn't really gained the last couple of weeks. Is this normal at her age? When she was spayed a month, month and a half ago, she was about 53 lbs, last time I checked she was 55-57 lbs which seems like a drastic change to how much she had been gaining until that point. Maybe spaying had something to do with it (I guess her uterus weighed something too, which might explain that, so I may be worrying for nothing)
Her energy level is good. She seems happy, playful, shiny coat etc. she's always had a good appetite, but lately seems extra hungry.
-when she was 4 months old, I had them check a stool sample for coccidia and giartia, came back negative, but treated her just in case. No change.
-About 2 weeks ago, she developed a phlegmy cough. It wasn't constant, seemed worst first thing in am. She coughed a wee bit yesterday, but it wasn't bad and it was the first time in several days, so I think that's on it's way out. Vet thought kennel cough and not to worry.
-that same weekend, she felt hot on the Saturday morning. By the time I got her home and took her temp, she felt better (not hot anymore) and her temp was normal. HOWEVER, she was off her food all weekend and her poop was extra loose. The one day is was almost foamy and yellow in colour. I looked that up and said it was a small intestine issue? I had called my vet and she thought it was just a bug (the kennel cough) and to give her the weekend to see if she got over it. By Monday, she was back to her normal appetite.
-after this bout, a few behaviour changes that I've noticed (and her daycare mentioned to me - they think she's hungry): she's trying to eat poop, she's trying to eat dirt and grass and sticks. ETA: Her weight is where I want it, so I don't want to up her feed.
-a few weeks ago I kept her home for a few days from daycare since she hurt her leg a bit (I had a thread on that too lol) and I wanted her to rest it. I was able to pop home on day 1 on my lunch break to let her out and all was well. On day 2, I wasn't able to pop by on lunch and she had diarreha when I got home. The very last bit had a tiny bit of blood. Called and discussed with vet, she thinks it was from stress of being left alone all day and said that can happen if they get very stressed (my puppy is one of those velcro dogs. Can be left in her crate for several hours with no problem, but this was a long day and maybe was too much for her). By the next day she was back to "normal" - loose, but not liquid, no blood.
On your guys advice, I bought some digestive enzymes and have been soaking her food for 30 minutes with it in warm water. At first I thought it was working, but she's back to the way she was before, so was maybe just having a good day.
Since introducing the enzymes, here's something weird - last week I fed her in the morning, then took her to my car to take her to daycare. The moment she jumped in she barfed and the ate her barf. Gross, but ok. I figured it was the jumping movement so soon after eating.
BUT - This morning in her crate I heard her heaving. I let her out and she threw up a small amount, yellow, foamy stuff. Otherwise seemed normal.
I have heard her tummy grumbling on occasion and over all she's been acting hungry, but is not losing any weight that I can see.
I've heard some dogs will throw up if their stomachs are empty in the morning. Would this start so late in life?
EPI has crossed my mind, but would she not be losing weight? Would the enzymes not have helped?
I'm worried because my little cat started throwing up and he had stomach cancer at just 4 years of age.
What tests should I have them do? I pretty much want her to run the full arsenal - but what things might I need to specifically ask her to do.
I think my vet thinks I'm nuts, but this is just chronic and I want my puppy to feel good. She can't be feeling good with a wonky tummy. :(
I remember your threads!
Fecal - regular poop check
You can do a PCR Fecal (that was a new one to me - I think there is a thread about it) http://www.idexx.com/pubwebresources...hea-panels.pdf
12 hour fasting GI blood work through Texas A/M
Any chance of overfeeding?
From that you should get some good answers. If it's IBD, that's a whole different thing that would need to be looked at differently, but I would guess you would start ruling things out doing the things above first.
But - you need to stop with the enzymes on an undiagnosed dog - contact Texas A/M to see if there is a washout time so that the blood work you send them is accurate. Be sure to tell them what kind of enzymes, how much and how long you've used them. Gastrointestinal Laboratory - Texas A&M Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences
I got my GSD at 8 months and her weight has not changed significantly since then (she's 10 now).
"Some background: she is a 7 month old spayed female, UTD on shots and vaccines including Bortadella and had her last Revolution treatment 2 weeks ago. "
that is in essence an assualt on her young physical self - at a key time when there are already demands just for growth .
If I interpret this correctly she is 7 months now and was " When she was spayed a month, month and a half ago" so she was 5 1/2 months at time of spay !!!!
The yellowish bubbly stool usually indicates some form of a bacterial infection. The dog was probably on a dose of antibiotics after the spay surgery .
" her poop was ok after her spay surgery, but quickly changed to loose poop "
This along with stress (physiological) along with the vaccine protocol and Revolution -- leading up to chronic malabsorption - indicated by the watery stool (rapid elimination) and yellow colour. The foamy or bubbly indicates bacterial infection of some sort.
She needs to be fed the best clean protein . She needs to detox . To fight the bacteria she needs full spectrum PROBIOTICS
carms, sorry! She did not get all those vaccines at once! I was not clear.
Just her Revolution 2 weeks ago, the other stuff was just regular puppy shots spread out over a couple of months when I first got her, and her Revolution once a month.
I was rounding off her age, she'll be 8 months in just over a week, she was actually spayed Oct 18 (born April 24). So 6 months I guess. Sorry my memory isn't so good. And I spayed her before her first heat, which is a decision thought long and hard about and I am comfortable with.
I am doing my best to take good care of her. There are a lot of conflicting opinions on what to do and when.
Jean, those Texas tests...are they literally in Texas? LOL I'm Canadian, I don't know if that makes a difference.
Ok, I'm calling my vet. I'll stop the enzymes for now and I'll ask my vet the time frame to get that all through her system.
I agree with carmspack. Your dog was treated for giardia it did not have (antibiotics) and then antibiotics after spay. Usually the vet will also prescribe probiotics.
Our dog Molly did have difficult to treat giardia when she was a pup. I believe the giardia and the constant treatment did some damage to her GI system, which led to chronic soft poop and stress colitis (bloody diarrhea). I think she became very sensitive to processed kibble and maybe the texture of the kibble itself upset her stomach. She also does not do well on fish based foods (soft poop).
The yellow foam in the morning could be from empty stomach, we usually give our dog a bedtime snack. Sorry this is so frustrating for you. You love her so much and just want her to be well. We were the same way, it seemed like our dog was never normal for long her first year of life.
Jean, I am not sure about over feeding. It's a lot of food, which is why I split it up into 3 feedings, but shes acting hungry and is lean, so cutting her back doesn't seem like a good move, I don't know.
Ok my vet does the PCR fecals, so I'm doing that, plus bloodwork etc.
Apt is Thurs. They said no worries about the enzymes as far as withdrawal time, I'll stop them today though.
I'm listing everything I've done with her EVER, so not all at once, BTW.
We were worried about possible exposure to coccidia and giardia as a littermate tested positive in her now home shortly after going to it's new home.
Well, hopefully we can get some answers from these tests at least. Poor puppy. I'm going to ask her daycare to withhold her lunch today because I put the enzymes in it.
Early spay, every vaccine available given, heartworm treatment is a powerful pesticide, constant bombardment of bacteria/viruses/chemicals from being in daycare, on a farm, etc... HIGH exposure for a puppy already taking a serious hit to the immune system.
What food do you feed?
I recommend switching to an extremely high quality kibble if you can't do raw. Raw is ideal, it's the best - I agree with Carmspack that she needs to detox right now and have a stable, clean diet.
Ideally, switch to raw food and get on probiotics.
Here's an article on over vaccination:
Minimal vaccine protocol: The dangers of overvaccinating your dog. - K9 Instinct - Dog Nutritionist, Dog Trainer, Dog Walker in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada. Dog Nutrition, obedience training, dog walking, dog training, canine nutritionist, holistic do
Go back to feeding her only raw. Give it a couple of weeks for her digestion to settle down. Don't overfeed.
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