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Old 01-10-2014, 07:12 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Angry Beyond angry and worried

I am so dang mad!! I canít even believe it. For you who donít know, I have a 3 year old Great Dane that has lost a lot of weight over the last month (23lbs). We took him to his vet and they did blood work and everything, they then tell us ďeverything looks fine, change his foodĒ. So we change his food, still losing weight so we talked to our other vet. (We were planning on switching Abel, our Great Dane over to our GSDís vet) So we tell him whatís going on and he tell us to have the old vet fax Abelís file over to them and heíll look at it. So we do that, and our new vet tells us to bring in a stool sample next time we come in for Ridley, our GSD. So we bring it in and not 24 hours later we get a call telling us Abel had Giardia and Hook Worms. WHAT THE @!(@#($!!!!!!!!!!! The new vet tells us that this is treatable but he didnít understand how the other vet missed thisÖ. My question exactly!!!! I canít believe our old vet! Iím so angry and disappointment in our old vet, this was an easy fix but it could have become something serious because he doesnít know what heís doing. Iím so glad we switched vets. We have both the dogs on antibiotics to combat the Giardia and Abel has one for his hook worm. Is just goes the show you, paying a little more for a vet visit is TOTALLY worth it!! Do your research before choosing a vet. Anyways, unfortunately we also found out from our last vet visit that Ridley has high PH and protein levels in her urine. The vet is having us give her 500mg vitamin C tablets a day to try to lower her PH levels. Once they get the PH levels down to normal he will take another look at the protein levels, were hoping the high protein levels are from the PH levels but it could be her kidneys. Each vet visit seems to cost more and more money and its beginning to really stress us out but we have no choice, Iím not going to let my dogs stay sick. I really canít help but feel there something weíre doing wrong..... We are doing our best but it looks like our best isnít cutting it. It so hard for us to see our babies sick and we will keep trying to get them back to 100%.
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Old 01-10-2014, 08:43 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I've had several false negatives with giardia tests, so that's not really that unusual. Seems like they should have found the hookworms though.
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Old 01-10-2014, 08:58 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Cassidy's Mom View Post
I've had several false negatives with giardia tests, so that's not really that unusual. Seems like they should have found the hookworms though.
I agree, our vet even told us that the giardia does get missed but the hookworms was what he didnít understand. The vet we have new is awesome, really tries to find the best way to treat YOUR dog and will reach out to specialists if he's unsure. i just really hope Ridley will be ok, poor girl is not even 6 months old....
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Old 01-10-2014, 09:03 PM   #4 (permalink)
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The delay is frustrating. (I know, I went through 2+ years of misdiagnosis which almost killed my dogs) BUT you now have something to treat - something definitive!
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Old 01-10-2014, 09:32 PM   #5 (permalink)
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in people giardia can take 3 or more samples and still can not be found and are just treated based on symptoms. can't explain the hook worms. glad your dane will be ok now.
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Old 01-10-2014, 10:55 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I'm sorry you are going through this, but glad you have a diagnosis. I've seen hooks nearly kill dogs, if left untreated--they really, really do a number on the dogs. Fortunately, though, a few rounds of dewormer will fix the problem (Panacur I'm guessing? or Drontal Plus?) and let the dog start packing on some much-needed pounds. Of all the possible things that could have cause this condition, this one is among the most easily fixed -- so try to look on the bright side!

I don't want to stress you out more...but hookworms can also affect other mammals (including people), if you come in contact with the bare ground where the feces was allowed to sit. The larvae can enter through the skin, including skin of bare feet, and they can live in the soil for a long time (6 months) waiting for a mammal to walk over the soil. Plan to wear shoes in your backyard this Spring and summer, and keep any little ones in shoes too when the weather warms.

Hookworm Info: http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/hookworm/

Last edited by Magwart; 01-10-2014 at 10:59 PM.
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Old 01-10-2014, 11:45 PM   #7 (permalink)
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If I am not mistaken, the way they check for hookworms is to find eggs in the stool. The thing is, hookworms (unless I am mixing them up with another type of worm) well I think it is hookworms that do not shed eggs all the time. Hooks attach to the intestine and generally cause blood loss. But, because they do not always shed eggs, they can be missed in a stool sample. In fact, my vet said you really need to have several negative tests to rule out hooks. I am wondering if your vet felt he should have wormed the dog with a wide spectrum wormer as a first step in treating something that could have very well been worms.

Of course, I could be mixing up my worms, could be whips that act that way.

If this is true about hooks, and it is also true about false negatives on giardia, then don't be too disappointed in your vet. Vets have to treat critters who can't talk to them, and they have to try and do it economically for the most part. Some go the extra mile (and expense) to diagnose completely before treatment. Others do some economical tests to rule stuff out, within reason, and then treat what a thing is most likely to be, and use the response to the meds and symptoms to determine whether they got it right or not. Both methods are used in veterinary practices and have merit.

For example, in the case of hookworms, the vet that adds up the symptoms and determines that 85% of the cases will have some type of worm, that will be managed by XYZ wormer, even if it did not show up in the stool, will worm the dog, and take care of the problem.

The vet that wants to know what he is treating before treating it, will test the stool and run bloodwork, and if the hooks weren't shedding eggs today, they may not treat, but they won't give wormer to a dog when the dog is not suffering from a worm load.

I hope this is the whole of what is going on with your dog. It will be really great to start to see the pounds go back on him.
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Last edited by selzer; 01-10-2014 at 11:54 PM.
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Old 01-10-2014, 11:48 PM   #8 (permalink)
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selzer, i would think if the blood loss was severe, that would have been picked up on routine lab work.
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