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Hello all, this is my first post so I apologize if the format is not correct or it is too long. We recently learned that our 2 yr old male GSD tested positive, as is indicated by the title. This is what transpired. A few weeks ago, we noticed our normally high energy pup was laying around quite a bit and wasn't eating, this was back in mid-Jan. So, one night we pressed around his belly to check things out and he was clearly uncomfortable, he kind of growled, not a mean growl or even aggressively, but more like...hey, that hurt. So, we took him into the emergency ER. It was late at not on a weekend/Friday...don't they always happen like that?? Anyway, they did x-rays and examined him and came to the conclusion that it was likely a strained iliopsoas muscle, prior to that he did slide down the stairs while acting like an aloof and playful male GSD. So, he thought that he hurt himself. X-rays indicated no organ issues, or at least as much as an X-ray could tell. So, he sent us home on some small dosages of meds for 7 days, muscle relaxer and anti-inflammatory.

So, fast forward two weeks, we notice that he is urinating WAY more frequently. He is also thirsty all the time. Then he would drink a bowl of water then want to run outside and urinate almost immediately. My mind was racing, oh shoot, did the meds mess up his kidneys? Did he have a UTI? So, I collect his urine and run to the vet for testing. They ran within an hour from the collection time and all came back good. So, now we are really wondering what is going on, so they schedule an examination with our vet. They run complete blood count, another urinalysis, and physical examination which came out good. Good muscle tone, "heart rate of an athlete" according to the vet, temp, etc. He lost some weight in the past couple weeks, about 2 lbs actually. The results were fine for the most part. Kidney and Liver numbers indicate normally functioning organs. The only thing they noticed was elevated WBC and low platelets. WBC was 21,000. So she starts asking questions about our dog's environment, any toxins in the yard, etc. My wife mentions that we have lots of raccoons but that wouldn't be a concern because he was always vaccinated for lepto and we always heard that raccoons carry it. That's when the vet said, no he wasn't. She said she checked his chart and he never received the vaccine. This scared my wife quite a bit because my aunt almost lost her dog many years ago to lepto, so we always vaccinated for it, even though it's a debatable topic, it gave us peace of mind after seeing what my aunt went through who also lives in a heavily populated raccoon area.

So they went back as far as his first puppy shots, and no lepto vaccine. Now my wife is panicking because the vet told us that frequent urination and thirst are some of the symptoms and they were trying to rule out everything. So, they run the antibody test and he tested positive. The vet made it clear that it doesn't mean he is infected, but he has been exposed to the bacteria which is why his body was producing the antibodies, he also had high WBC so he was fighting something. So, the next step was to send to Michigan State for a test that would indicate for certain if there is an infection, and what strain and severity. We are waiting to get that back.

So, here is where we are with this. Prior to getting our current dog, we had another GSD that was also taken care of by that vet. He got the lepto vaccine from the time he could first get it. He never had ANY health issues other than strained ACL's etc., likely from early neutering around 6 months, per the advice of the vet and other trainers. He was a handful. He ended up passing away from cancer of the spleen, worst experience of our lives, he was the best dog I have ever owned. He was 9 1/2. We still can't look at pictures without getting choked up. That was in 2017.

So we told the vet to proceed with our normal protocol, aside from the early neutering. We were going to hold off on that and let her know when to do that, and also have the stomach tack. So ours is still intact. How they got off of our normal vaccination protocol is a mystery, they don't even know how that happened. And they said based on our environment, the vaccine would have always been suggested. This really bothered my wife because now we are having to spend quite a bit of money to treat him, when it could have been avoidable had they just stayed with his normal protocol. We aren't sure how it happened, we went back many years and the lepto04 vaccine was always administered. We got to the point that we didn't even double-check. I wish we would have now though. I remember even asking the vet when he was dropped off for his vaccinations last month if we should still monitor him after he gets his lepto shot since we heard that one can be hard on younger pups. They said no, he should be fine. But, that's a whole different conversation.

We haven't received the final test results from MSU, but we aren't sure how to proceed with our vet. My wife is scared that something like that happening put our pup's life in jeopardy. Aside from that, we love our vet and they love our pup. He has boarded there since he was a puppy and even went through training there. We are not sure what to do. He loves it there. Right now it seems like our dog is recovering? They put him on a normal cycle of meds assuming that he has lepto. The symptoms and presence of antibodies were just too much to overlook and early treatment is key. They gave him a shot of penicillin, gave him some fluids, and sent us home with 10 days of amoxicillin. He is VERY tired, still urinating frequently and always thirsty, but not eating much at all. Just treats. But he has only been on the antibiotic for about 24 hrs. My understanding is that lepto is easily killed by antibiotics, which is why many people recommend not taking the vaccine. It is hard on some dogs. But, after seeing our dog go from healthy happy energetic GSD to what he is now, it would be hard to not get it.

Is there anything else that we should look at or maybe the vet is overlooking? Could the emergency vet have misdiagnosed him and he had lepto all along? His vitals were good, as was his x-ray, then at the vet all labs and urinalysis came back good as did the organ profiles. To provide additional info, he is 76.4 lbs, 2 yrs and 4 months old. West German from healthy parents, I believe bloodline was show line? I always thought that he was working line, but the breeder recently told us that he was show line when a trainer asked about the arch in his back, she thought he had spine issues, but the trainer said many of the show line dogs had the roach back? We aren't experts, just lifelong lovers of GSD's, so we took her word for it. He was DNA tested as a pup, etc., and showed no signs of whatever problems they would uncover. We have fed grain-free since he was a puppy, Victor Hero with Victor soft food to add some flavor, although, at the suggestions from our vet, we have switched to Victor Professional, which has grain, but is lower in sodium and protein. Our dog is a pet, he is not overly active, other than playing, so we tried to keep protein levels low. Also, they said recent studies are indicating grain-free may not be that great for dogs? We also give Cosequin in the morning and some holistic treats and immunity and gut health food toppers with his meals.

I sincerely apologize for the long read, we are just anxious for our furry family member's health to return. My wife took off two days from work to care for him as the vet said to monitor him and let them know if he doesn't start getting better. They may need to give him another round of fluids.

Any input would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
 

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Sorry to hear that has happened to your dog. It sounds to me that you are doing everything you should. Are you in Michigan? Hope everything works out for you..
 

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Must be such a worry. Please post the results of the test when you get them, it would certainly be interesting to know the strain he has (it might not even be a strain covered by the vaccine?). I personally don't give my dogs this vaccine, but I do wonder if this is becoming more common recently.

There is also the possibility that despite the lepto antibodies, that this isn't the main issue going on for him. While he is still seeming sickly I would be thinking ahead and more broadly in the meantime, double checking things like poisonous plants / substances in your yard, making sure nothing you are feeding him is possibly contaminated etc. Keep in touch with your vet on his symptoms

Also, if your picture is the dog in question, then yes he looks like a West German Show Line, very handsome looking guy! I hope he gets better soon!!
 

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I had a dog get lepto….kidneys were in acute failure by the time it was diagnosed. You can probably do a search and find the thread about it. I would definitely be proactive and support the kidneys/liver and make sure your vet is knowledgeable about this. a holistic vet may have some better ideas on herbals to support the organs while your dog is recovering.
 

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My Dutch Shepherd was two when she contracted it from a possum in our yard, in town. He levels for 3 strains were very high and her kidney values off the charts. Put her, my old dog and me (compromised immune system for me) all on antibiotics. I followed her around the back yard and sprayed every time she peed with a 10% bleach water. They can pick it up just inhaling while sniffing urine of an infected animal. Ended our tracking for about 4 months. She will be 7 the end of April. Her kidney counts remain only slightly elevated. I did feed her Dr Harvey's base mix and high quality cooked proteins, like ground meats. I realize the odds of her kidneys failing at a younger age is there. Prayers for your pup.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Sorry to hear that has happened to your dog. It sounds to me that you are doing everything you should. Are you in Michigan? Hope everything works out for you..
Thank you. No, we are in Northern Indiana but near the Michigan border.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Must be such a worry. Please post the results of the test when you get them, it would certainly be interesting to know the strain he has (it might not even be a strain covered by the vaccine?). I personally don't give my dogs this vaccine, but I do wonder if this is becoming more common recently.

There is also the possibility that despite the lepto antibodies, that this isn't the main issue going on for him. While he is still seeming sickly I would be thinking ahead and more broadly in the meantime, double checking things like poisonous plants / substances in your yard, making sure nothing you are feeding him is possibly contaminated etc. Keep in touch with your vet on his symptoms

Also, if your picture is the dog in question, then yes he looks like a West German Show Line, very handsome looking guy! I hope he gets better soon!!
Thank you very much, yes, that's our pup. His issues being something other than lepto is also a worry of ours. Our last dog passed away unexpectedly from spleen cancer only a couple of weeks after he had his annual exam in which they said he was in excellent health with good vitals and good blood work results. So, we always have in the back of our mind they there may be something else going on that is undiagnosed.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thank you for all of the replies. We would definitely interested in finding a holistic vet that can help us with ways to help support his kidneys and liver while he is going through the treatment. The vet said they may bump his antibiotics to 3 weeks depending on the MSU results are so I picked up probiotics for him. I hear that amoxicillin can throw off the gut microbiome. I would love to know of more natural ways to help support his overall health without potentially causing future issues.
 

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Don't know where you are in Northern IN but below are a few. There are more near Indianapolis.

You'll want a Holistic Vet who is certified in Homeopathy or Homeotoxicology and either Western or Chinese Herbs. They usually combined these forms of natural medicine for animals.

NOTE that there are MANY clinics today that "claim" they are Holistic or Natural just by getting a Chiropractor on their staff, so you need to ask specific questions.

Acupuncture, Chiropractics, and Glandular Therapy is a plus!

These may not be close to your city, but would be well worth the trip! Once an assessment is done on your dog, many things can be handled over the phone or email.

They would need copies of all the dogs medical records. They will work with your vet, although, don't be surprised if a conventional vet is not in favor of these types of things. But it's YOUR decision to use other types of medicines if you choose it.

GOOD choice to include ProBiotic's! SO necessary when giving antibiotics!!!
About 75% of the Immune System lies in the gut!!!
Note that Probiotic's are given at least 2 hours away from feedings.

Below are Human Ingredient Products made for dogs:
Sunday Sundae https://feedsentials.com/sundaysundae (click on the email to order)
Gut Sense WholeBiotic: Wholistic WholeBiotic
Mercola Pets Complete Probiotic: Pet Probiotics | Optimal Digestive Health for Pets - Mercola eCommerce

Anderson, Jennifer
CVA, DVM
Lincolnway Veterinary Clinic, LLC
4019 Lincolnway East
Mishawaka
574-256-1871
IN
46544
USA
www.lincolnwayvet.com
SMALL ANIMAL
Acupuncture (CHI), Chinese Herbs (Chi), Homeopathy, Laser Therapy, Nutrition


Rensberger, Stephenie
DVM
Family Pet Health Center
2910 Mishawaka Avenue
South Bend
574-282-2303
IN
46975
United States
www.familypethealthcenter.com
SMALL ANIMAL
Acupuncture (CHI), Chinese Herbs, Clinical Nutrition, Conventional Medicine, Glandular Therapy, Homotoxicology, Laser Therapy, Nutraceuticals, Nutrition, Western Herbs


Fleck, Timothy
DVM
Noblesville Veterinary Clinic
3355 CONNER STREET
Noblesville
317-773-3283
IN
46060
United States
www.noblesvillevetclinic.com
EQUINE, MIXED ANIMAL, SMALL ANIMAL
Acupuncture (CHI), Acupuncture (IVAS), Applied Kinesiology, Bach Flowers, Chinese Herbs, Chinese Herbs (Chi), Chiropractic (AVCA), Conventional Medicine, Craniosacral Therapy, Electromagnetic Therapy (EAV, Interro, Biotron II, etc.), Homeopathy, Homotoxicology, Laser Therapy, Nutrition, Prolotherapy


Garrett, Margarethe
DVM
1301 E. Missouri Street
Evansville
812-424-8968
IN
47711
United States
www.arkveterinaryservice.com
AVIAN, EQUINE, EXOTIC, FARM, SMALL ANIMAL
Acupuncture, Acupuncture (CHI), Bach Flowers, Chinese Herbs, Chinese Herbs (Chi), Chiropractic, Chiropractic (IVCA), Conventional Medicine, Craniosacral Therapy, Glandular Therapy, Homotoxicology, Reiki


Jones, Rachael
DVM, CVA, CVCP
Southlane Veterinary Hospital
1259 S. STURDY RD
Valparaiso
219-462-4114
IN
46383
United States
www.southlanevet.com
AVIAN, EXOTIC, SMALL ANIMAL
Acupuncture (CHI), Acupuncture (IVAS), Applied Kinesiology, Bach Flowers, Chinese Herbs, Clinical Nutrition, Conventional Medicine, Glandular Therapy, Homotoxicology, Laser Therapy, Magnetic Therapy, Nutraceuticals, Nutrition, Other (fill in below), Ozone Therapy, Prolotherapy, Pulsating Magnetic Therapy, Rehabilitation Therapy, VOM, Western Herbs
 

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I'm so sorry. It sounds like your last one likely had hemangiosarcoma -- your experience was unfortunately a very common one in our breed. Lots of us have been there with that dreaded "Shepherd Cancer" that nearly always appears in the spleen, in a seemingly healthy older dog, just appearing out of nowhere -- there's a thread going on about it right now over here if you want to commiserate: Don't Assume Your Vet Knows . . . Anything

Lepto is hard to catch early when it's most susceptible to easy treatment with abx -- the symptoms are so vague that you need to almost be looking for it specifically because those symptoms could be so many different things. A lot of good owners with the common symptoms would choose to wait-and-see because the symptoms are so vague....so there are many dogs that don't get treated during the "easy" window just because nobody suspected the dog had lepto until the kidneys started crashing. It sounds to me like your regular vet did a pretty good job with the detective work to figure it out!

In high lepto areas, we vaccinate to prevent the dog from suffering kidney damage from the 4 most common types of lepto in the wild, in case we don't catch it early enough. While it's true that there are more than 4 kinds of lepto (and the vaccine doesn't cover them all), vaccines are playing the odds against the most common ones. My vet sees a lot of lepto cases, but never in vaccinated dogs, so the clinical experience is that the L4 vaccine is a pretty good match for what's out in the wild locally, at least in our area.

The later you catch it, the greater the risk of irreversible loss of kidney function. If you have a confirmed infection, figuring out how the kidneys are doing will likely be part of the plan going forward. The kidneys can lose some function and still keep be able to get the job done (the dog can still have a long life, even with reduced function)....but life-long supportive care (diet, supplements, maybe meds) might be recommended, depending on how much was lost. Hopefully your pup's kidneys weren't damaged!

As for your vet not giving the lepto vax? It might have just been an office mix up -- if so, maybe they'll admit it and eat some of the cost of treatment. OTOH, I think if you read all the threads here about people arguing about vaccines (and especially this one), you might get a sense here of why some vets aren't going to push it if people don't ask for them specifically. Some vets also prefer to separate them -- so they'll do the entire DAPP series, and then three-four weeks later start the L4 two-shot series. That's a pretty reasonable call to make (and what I do with my own dogs), and might have also been what your clinic was thinking of doing. Could it be that your vet had planned to separate them maybe, and just didn't have time to do them before the suspected infection?

If you get a confirmed diagnosis, I would ask your vet to verify with MSU that the food choice, supplements, and treats ALL are okay for a kidney-compromised dog -- have an internal medicine specialist at MSU review EVERYTHING (don't keep any supplements a secret, and don't add any without checking with them). They will likely do this by phone or email with your vet, once the results come back. The might charge a tele-consult fee and require communication to flow through your regular vet if they haven't seen the dog. I would REALLY want an evidence-based, board certified veterinary internal medicine specialist on my care team -- when kidneys are fragile, the wrong herb or supplement could make things worse. You might also find out if there's one close to you that you could see in person, using this directory:
 

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Discussion Starter #11
My Dutch Shepherd was two when she contracted it from a possum in our yard, in town. He levels for 3 strains were very high and her kidney values off the charts. Put her, my old dog and me (compromised immune system for me) all on antibiotics. I followed her around the back yard and sprayed every time she peed with a 10% bleach water. They can pick it up just inhaling while sniffing urine of an infected animal. Ended our tracking for about 4 months. She will be 7 the end of April. Her kidney counts remain only slightly elevated. I did feed her Dr Harvey's base mix and high quality cooked proteins, like ground meats. I realize the odds of her kidneys failing at a younger age is there. Prayers for your pup.
Thank you. That's awesome that your pup recovered. Were her symptoms really bad? We recently learned of Dr. Harvey's. Our pup is one super picky dog and we need him to start eating more. He used to eat so fast we had to get one of those bowls that looks like it had crop circles in it so slow him down, the girl who watched him while boarding used to laugh at how anxious he was to eat. Now he just sniffs the food he used to love and walks away. I have heard that Harvey's is really good, but we worry about when he is boarded. We always board with his vet since they give him lots of attention and he basically grew up with them, but I am not sure how they will handle feedings like that when there are many steps.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Don't know where you are in Northern IN but below are a few. There are more near Indianapolis.

You'll want a Holistic Vet who is certified in Homeopathy or Homeotoxicology and either Western or Chinese Herbs. They usually combined these forms of natural medicine for animals.

NOTE that there are MANY clinics today that "claim" they are Holistic or Natural just by getting a Chiropractor on their staff, so you need to ask specific questions.

Acupuncture, Chiropractics, and Glandular Therapy is a plus!

These may not be close to your city, but would be well worth the trip! Once an assessment is done on your dog, many things can be handled over the phone or email.

They would need copies of all the dogs medical records. They will work with your vet, although, don't be surprised if a conventional vet is not in favor of these types of things. But it's YOUR decision to use other types of medicines if you choose it.

GOOD choice to include ProBiotic's! SO necessary when giving antibiotics!!!
About 75% of the Immune System lies in the gut!!!
Note that Probiotic's are given at least 2 hours away from feedings.

Below are Human Ingredient Products made for dogs:
Sunday Sundae https://feedsentials.com/sundaysundae (click on the email to order)
Gut Sense WholeBiotic: Wholistic WholeBiotic
Mercola Pets Complete Probiotic: Pet Probiotics | Optimal Digestive Health for Pets - Mercola eCommerce

Anderson, Jennifer
CVA, DVM
Lincolnway Veterinary Clinic, LLC
4019 Lincolnway East
Mishawaka
574-256-1871
IN
46544
USA
www.lincolnwayvet.com
SMALL ANIMAL
Acupuncture (CHI), Chinese Herbs (Chi), Homeopathy, Laser Therapy, Nutrition


Rensberger, Stephenie
DVM
Family Pet Health Center
2910 Mishawaka Avenue
South Bend
574-282-2303
IN
46975
United States
www.familypethealthcenter.com
SMALL ANIMAL
Acupuncture (CHI), Chinese Herbs, Clinical Nutrition, Conventional Medicine, Glandular Therapy, Homotoxicology, Laser Therapy, Nutraceuticals, Nutrition, Western Herbs


Fleck, Timothy
DVM
Noblesville Veterinary Clinic
3355 CONNER STREET
Noblesville
317-773-3283
IN
46060
United States
www.noblesvillevetclinic.com
EQUINE, MIXED ANIMAL, SMALL ANIMAL
Acupuncture (CHI), Acupuncture (IVAS), Applied Kinesiology, Bach Flowers, Chinese Herbs, Chinese Herbs (Chi), Chiropractic (AVCA), Conventional Medicine, Craniosacral Therapy, Electromagnetic Therapy (EAV, Interro, Biotron II, etc.), Homeopathy, Homotoxicology, Laser Therapy, Nutrition, Prolotherapy


Garrett, Margarethe
DVM
1301 E. Missouri Street
Evansville
812-424-8968
IN
47711
United States
www.arkveterinaryservice.com
AVIAN, EQUINE, EXOTIC, FARM, SMALL ANIMAL
Acupuncture, Acupuncture (CHI), Bach Flowers, Chinese Herbs, Chinese Herbs (Chi), Chiropractic, Chiropractic (IVCA), Conventional Medicine, Craniosacral Therapy, Glandular Therapy, Homotoxicology, Reiki


Jones, Rachael
DVM, CVA, CVCP
Southlane Veterinary Hospital
1259 S. STURDY RD
Valparaiso
219-462-4114
IN
46383
United States
www.southlanevet.com
AVIAN, EXOTIC, SMALL ANIMAL
Acupuncture (CHI), Acupuncture (IVAS), Applied Kinesiology, Bach Flowers, Chinese Herbs, Clinical Nutrition, Conventional Medicine, Glandular Therapy, Homotoxicology, Laser Therapy, Magnetic Therapy, Nutraceuticals, Nutrition, Other (fill in below), Ozone Therapy, Prolotherapy, Pulsating Magnetic Therapy, Rehabilitation Therapy, VOM, Western Herbs
Thank you very much, there are two on your list that are very close to us. We will be contacting them. My aunt uses one that seems to be up to date on a lot of treatments like laser, stem cell and even acupuncture. But, I am not sure that they are as familiar with the herbal treatments. I believe it is Western Veteranrain Clinic. My wife and I are really big into trying to treat the body as a whole, she is in health care and we had some scary things in the past that were made much better when we approached her treatment using a combination of natural supplementation/treatments with conventional treatments. I would love to have a vet that would be able to take the same approach. Thanks again.
 

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4,661 Posts
Thank you very much, there are two on your list that are very close to us. We will be contacting them. My aunt uses one that seems to be up to date on a lot of treatments like laser, stem cell and even acupuncture. But, I am not sure that they are as familiar with the herbal treatments. I believe it is Western Veteranrain Clinic. My wife and I are really big into trying to treat the body as a whole, she is in health care and we had some scary things in the past that were made much better when we approached her treatment using a combination of natural supplementation/treatments with conventional treatments. I would love to have a vet that would be able to take the same approach. Thanks again.
GREAT to hear!!!

Just to make sure that folks reading this thread are clear when asking about "Holistic" treatments:
"Holistic Medicine" is an umbrella term used to describe a variety of therapies that attempt to treat the patient as a whole person."
Herbals (Western Herbs or Chinese Herbs) and Homeopathy (where "remedies" are used) are two distinctly different types modalities.

Best of luck in whatever treatment you decide on for your boy! And keep us posted!
:)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I'm so sorry. It sounds like your last one likely had hemangiosarcoma -- your experience was unfortunately a very common one in our breed. Lots of us have been there with that dreaded "Shepherd Cancer" that nearly always appears in the spleen, in a seemingly healthy older dog, just appearing out of nowhere -- there's a thread going on about it right now over here if you want to commiserate: Don't Assume Your Vet Knows . . . Anything

Lepto is hard to catch early when it's most susceptible to easy treatment with abx -- the symptoms are so vague that you need to almost be looking for it specifically because those symptoms could be so many different things. A lot of good owners with the common symptoms would choose to wait-and-see because the symptoms are so vague....so there are many dogs that don't get treated during the "easy" window just because nobody suspected the dog had lepto until the kidneys started crashing. It sounds to me like your regular vet did a pretty good job with the detective work to figure it out!

In high lepto areas, we vaccinate to prevent the dog from suffering kidney damage from the 4 most common types of lepto in the wild, in case we don't catch it early enough. While it's true that there are more than 4 kinds of lepto (and the vaccine doesn't cover them all), vaccines are playing the odds against the most common ones. My vet sees a lot of lepto cases, but never in vaccinated dogs, so the clinical experience is that the L4 vaccine is a pretty good match for what's out in the wild locally, at least in our area.

The later you catch it, the greater the risk of irreversible loss of kidney function. If you have a confirmed infection, figuring out how the kidneys are doing will likely be part of the plan going forward. The kidneys can lose some function and still keep be able to get the job done (the dog can still have a long life, even with reduced function)....but life-long supportive care (diet, supplements, maybe meds) might be recommended, depending on how much was lost. Hopefully your pup's kidneys weren't damaged!

As for your vet not giving the lepto vax? It might have just been an office mix up -- if so, maybe they'll admit it and eat some of the cost of treatment. OTOH, I think if you read all the threads here about people arguing about vaccines (and especially this one), you might get a sense here of why some vets aren't going to push it if people don't ask for them specifically. Some vets also prefer to separate them -- so they'll do the entire DAPP series, and then three-four weeks later start the L4 two-shot series. That's a pretty reasonable call to make (and what I do with my own dogs), and might have also been what your clinic was thinking of doing. Could it be that your vet had planned to separate them maybe, and just didn't have time to do them before the suspected infection?

If you get a confirmed diagnosis, I would ask your vet to verify with MSU that the food choice, supplements, and treats ALL are okay for a kidney-compromised dog -- have an internal medicine specialist at MSU review EVERYTHING (don't keep any supplements a secret, and don't add any without checking with them). They will likely do this by phone or email with your vet, once the results come back. The might charge a tele-consult fee and require communication to flow through your regular vet if they haven't seen the dog. I would REALLY want an evidence-based, board certified veterinary internal medicine specialist on my care team -- when kidneys are fragile, the wrong herb or supplement could make things worse. You might also find out if there's one close to you that you could see in person, using this directory:
Thank you very much for your reply. Yes, that's exactly what he had. It was horrible. He was always so healthy and vibrant. The ONLY thing that was good is that my wife and I along with my mom, who would puppy sit when we had to leave town, were all there holding him and talking to him as he passed. She LOVED her "grand puppy." We couldn't be more thankful for that, he didn't like being away from us too long, even when staying with her. Given what he had and knowing that he could have gone at any time, even while being boarded, we couldn't have asked for a better way for him to pass on.

Yes, the whole lepto thing is very confusing. He just had his annual exam about three weeks prior and everything came back good, CBC, exam, etc. Then last Thursday evening, about few days prior to his diagnosis, he just started to urinate very frequently. He wanted out every hour or so and would urinate within a few seconds. Normally he would mosy around until he felt like going, lol, many times as I was waiting to leave for an appointment. But, that was really only a few days. Prior to that, no indications anything was off. We always check his stool and would look for odd things when he would go out, like if he struggled to go, or if there was blood, and nothing. I collected his urine on the 2nd day after noticing the symptoms and they called me within hours saying that everything looked great. That was Saturday. They made an appointment Monday morning because of his frequent urinating and ran a battery of tests that all came back good. Kidney and liver function included. The only thing that looked off was his WBC and platelets. The conversation shifted when my wife mentioned out of the blue when discussing our environment that we have raccoons but that couldn't be it because he gets the lepto vaccine. So, that was it, the light bulb turned on with the vet. As far as we could tell, it was a matter of about 4-5 days from noticing anything out of the ordinary to when he tested positive for the antibodies. Prior to that, he could hold his bladder for 9-10 hours at a time. We would always let him out when we woke, but he would walk around the yard until he felt like going. It's puzzling.

The one thing that scares us with him is that he is like a bloodhound. His nose is to the ground the whole time he is outside, sniffing and licking everything he comes across, including his own urine at times. Our last shepherd couldn't care less, never picked anything up, and was not a big nose to the ground sniffer. He was just content with playing with us, or coming back in the house after he wore us out. lol So, we really don't know how we are going to break him of the whole sniffing and licking thing. We did leave him intact and heard that could be part of the reason that he does that? We did some research and even talked with some vets, techs, and trainers who suggested waiting on it until he is at LEAST 2 yrs old. They cited many studies including some that showed dogs neutered too early, like our first shepherd, can be at much higher risk for many issues, including the cancer that took him. So, we just figured we would hold off as long as we could and let his body develope properly. Our last shepherd was a LOT taller than this guy, with really long legs, so we figured the whole growth plate thing from neutering too early was the cause which made us think that maybe the new views on neutering are correct. We planned to neuter this spring when he gets his stomach tack. We heard that they do both in a single visit at Purdue for a reasonable amount using laparoscopy for the tack. But, now we are debating on the neuter. We may look at alternatives. We just want to do the best we can to keep him healthy.

That being said, it is always a funny conversation when we discuss with trainers, techs and even vets about the efforts we go through for our dogs when other family members have 17-18 yr old dogs eating the equivalent of puppy chow and snausages. Throwing table scraps and pretty much anything that doesn't get eaten into a dog bowl at the end of the day. One of the breeders we knew fed nothing but Eukanuba to all of their dogs, and they all had long relatively issue free lives, 13+. We were strongly advised to avoid that brand so that is when we started looking at more nutritionally complete brands. We tried various blends from Wellness, Fromme and finally Victor. Our vet doesn't like raw because of the potential for contamination when preparing, or when the dog interacts with us.

Thank you again for your input, I will bring up the MSU stuff when they call with our results. We really don't supplement much, other than 2 tabs of Cosequin since we moved him from Victor Hero Grain-Free that has glucosamine and chondroitin to Victor Professional with grain that doesn't contain either of the joint supporting supplements. Oddly enough, it was shortly after the food move and his final dose of Minoxidil and Robaxin that all of this started. We thought that the meds he was on while being treated for a diagnosed muscle strain may have harmed his kidneys, which is also one of the reasons we wanted them to run tests on his kidneys. She said his numbers looked great, she mentioned the different values and my wife being in health care knew what she was referring to.

So we are just waiting now. I will post all updates as we get them. It's awesome that there are even forums like this. This little guy is our family, so this stuff can be heart-wrenching. But, as I told my wife just yesterday as we were cleaning up the only potty accident of his life in our makeshift hazmat gear, it could be much worse. They had him on fluids and it must have been too much for his bladder to handle. He was crated and just couldn't hold it. For now, my wife took the week off from work so she could stay out with him all night and let him out when he "asks." It's usually every couple of hours but we are trying to let him tell us so we at least know if the frequency is changing. Now, we just need to find a more effective way for him to take his meds and eat.

Thanks again. Much appreciated.
 

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I like green tripe for balancing gut bacteria, my dogs are raw fed. Also, if it is not Lepto (when you get results back), look into tick diseases.
 

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I like green tripe for balancing gut bacteria, my dogs are raw fed. Also, if it is not Lepto (when you get results back), look into tick diseases.
Thank you. Would they have similar symptoms and be treated by the same antibiotics they currently have him on? He seems to be doing better today, roughly 24 hours into the Amoxicillin after the initial Penicillin injection. He went back in for fluids earlier this afternoon because he hasn't been eating much, but he has been acting more normal.

The vet mentioned that we may want to consider what I believe was a Lyme vaccine that is fairly new too. I think she was mentioning it because she wasn't 100% certain that it was Lepto and it may be a plan B if the results come back negative. She said many dogs test positive for the antibodies, but negative for the actual infection. We just aren't sure since they said his symptoms look a lot like very early-stage Lepto.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
UPDATE: So, this morning the vet called and did give us confirmation that he has Lepto. She wanted to see how he was doing too. They thought that it would be best to give him another round of fluids before the weekend and re-check his kidney and liver values so we go in for that today. He seems like he has perked up quite a bit the past few days but it is still difficult to get him to eat. He did eat some chicken mixed in with his food, but is really good about eating everything around the pill and spit the pill out like some sort of magic trick. We tried the Greenies Peanut Butter Pill Pockets, Mozzarella Cheese, Hot Dogs, etc. The Hot Dogs seemed to work best at first but it's really hard now. So, after we talk with the vet to check the severity of the infection, we will know what the next phase is.

Is it possible for him to be infected with Lepto and still have a good urine tests, blood tests as well as kidney and liver values?? They checked the blood and urine multiple times too. No blood in the urine, stool, no diarrhea, Creatinine and BUN levels good, etc. No mouth sores or tongue sores. No jaundice, or issues with the color of his eyes. His symptoms literally were just lethargy, lack of appetite, excessive thirst and frequent urination. None of the other symptoms we have read on the Vet's handout were present, so was this an early diagnosis? He did vomit a couple times, but it looks like he did because he drank so much water after eating. How would anyone know if their dog has this, especially if the initial symptoms are so mild and mimic so many other things? Are there other things that we were overlooking?

At the suggestion from members on this thread we contacted our local holistic vet and try to schedule an appt to begin some sort of holistic kidney support while he is recovering. The good news is that we already started treatment, literally the day we discovered the antibodies were present. He is recovering and seems to be getting his energy back. He wants to chase squirrels again and will eat some. He has lost a few lbs so we will work on getting that back on as soon as possible. The only thing we notice now is that he is still thirsty and inundating often. He can go longer now though, my wife stayed up with him the past few nights to let him out and at first he could only hold his bladder for an hour or so after drinking. Now he is up to about 3 1/2 - 4 hrs.

Now, I am wondering about us. We are pretty healthy, I am 50 and my wife, 47, but my wife was recently put on a medication that can weaken the immune system. Should we be put on an antibiotic? We were in direct contact with his urine when he had his accident Monday night. We did wear gloves, but we hand washed him in our garage and it wasn't the safest environment. Currently neither one of us are running temps, but we may call our physicians to be safe. We also picked up antibacterial pet safe sprays and pet safe cleaning agents, but I am not sure how likely it is that this would move to us. Thanks again for the input.
 

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A way that I give pills that might be useful to ya". Put the pill in about a half teaspoon of sour cream and they don't even seem to know it's there. A little bit of vanilla ice cream works well for me too.
 

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A compounding pharmacy might be able to get you meds in liquid form. Something to look into. Also, as I have done with others animals when working at vet, open mouth, insert pill to back of throat, close mouth. Usually goes down. Antibiotics can have a bitter taste. Maybe immediately have ready and offer peanut butter in a spoon.
 

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Definitely call your primary care physician's office, speak with his or her nurse, and ask her to call you back with guidance later today.

I would buy a box of disposable latex gloves at Costco or Sams to use instead of reusable rubber gloves. Practice removing gloves with a clean pair (pinch up near the wrist and then pulling so that they fold inside out as you pull them off), have a plastic bag at the ready to put them in, knot the top of the bag, and put it in the trash outside.

A can of old-fashioned Lysol spray or the newer, excellent Seventh Generation version of it is also worth having at the ready -- I keep a can by the door to spray the soles of my shoes when I come in from a yard where an infectious dog has been, and leave the shoes by the door for the spray to dry (this was something I learned from the rescue's vet clinic to avoid tracking germs in). Using 10% bleach solution is smart, but it ideally should be mixed up fresh before use and not stored for days at a time in a spray bottle. Pottying the pup on concrete will make it easier to disinfect with bleach.

Ask the vet whether veterinary chlorhexidene shampoo and wipes are appropriate to keep the pup clean and knock down any lepto clinging to it from urine splash-back -- I like the veterinary chlorhex shampoo because it's formulated for very frequent bathing (weekly or even 2x weekly) without drying out the skin and coat. We use it on dogs that are shedding staph bacteria to help reduce the chance of human transmission, so my instinct would be to use it on a dog with anything infectious -- but the vet will know if it's okay to do that. You can find it on Amazon, or buy it from the clinic if it's recommended.
 
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