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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all,

New to the forum, found it by trying to figure out what is going on with my GSD.

She is a 17 month old female, spayed, and 73lbs.

She lives indoors buy does stay outside in our 1 acre fenced back yard when the wife and I are away from home. We free-feed her and on Monday we had transitioned her to another brand of food.

Friday she was being a little lethargic and just not herself. I thought she may just be tired from going on a 3 mile walk the previous day. I started keeping track of her bowl movements at 4pm when I noticed she was being lethargic and had not seen her "poo" all that day nor eaten since I had gotten home.

Saturday AM she whimpered when she jumped from our bed, was slow to go down the stairs and again had no movement. She pee'd just fine and it was a good color, her gums were pink but she was not eating and appeared to be in pain. She tensed up whenever I touched her abdomen. She did not even get all too excited about her favorite treat (ice cubes) so I took her to the vet.

The vet ran blood test and took a stool sample and said there was a slightly high bacteria count in the stool and she had a very slight temperature. She did an ultra-sound (for free - Great vet) to confirm there were no twisted bowls. She gave her a shot, gave me some special canned food to feed her, and some pills and we were on our way.

Today she is not any better. Does not want to do anything, whimpers when she lays down and does not seem to want to poo. Is there anything I am missing? Any ideas? The vet is closed today but said it may take a few days to clear up. She is eating the special canned food we were given and we are following the orders of spreading out 2 cans over the day.

Just looking for anything I could have missed... I forgot the name of the pills we have but she gets 2 a day. It is an antibiotic and also helps with inflammation of the bowls.

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Oh my, she's gorgeous!! So sorry she's not feeling well. Since she's been to the vet and there's no obstruction I'm not sure what to think other than to follow dr's orders until tomorrow. Poor girl, hope she's feeling better soon
 

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What was the food you transitioned her to and how did you do the change? Could be colitis or inflamed bowls from a fast change or could be a bacterial infection in the bowls again causing inflammation. Hard to say with so little info, but I would keep the diet bland and not push eating too much. Keep her hydrated and lay off the exercise for a few days until the meds kick in. You can do some chicken and rice which is easily digested, some yogurt for probiotics, or better yet just buy some powered probiotic to add to her food. It helps rebuild good bacteria lost when there is an infection and they have been vomiting and have diarrhea. Good luck and if she seems overly lethargic or dehydrated find an e-vet in your area:)
 

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Did the vet take an x-ray? This sounds like an obstruction! An ultrasound wouldn't necessarily catch an obstruction because they would have to wand over the area where it was.

Obstructions can be deadly. I would go back to the vet and get an x-ray.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Did the vet take an x-ray? This sounds like an obstruction! An ultrasound wouldn't necessarily catch an obstruction because they would have to wand over the area where it was.

Obstructions can be deadly. I would go back to the vet and get an x-ray.
Vet did not take an x-ray. Said the lack of any vomiting and the blood tests ruled out an obstruction.

Think I should get a 2nd opinion?

--edit--

To clarify the ultra-sound focused on the stomach to ensure there was no bloat.
 

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I am not a vet but because of the constipation and the pain I would get a second opinion immediately. The other thing I thought of is intussusception
rhttp://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=2+2090&aid=307

The symptoms fit and it is deadly if not treated.

If this were my dog I would find out where the nearest reputable e-vet is and go today.
 

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This sounds like it could also be pancreatitis, infection induced.

I would suggest a bland homecooked diet, frequent small meals. Forget the prescription stuff. What antibiotic were you given, flagyl (metronidazole)?

I would hold off on the probiotics right now - introducing them to an already tight and firm stomach may cause more of a bloating reaction. Definitely add them once she turns a corner and is on the mend.

Did she say anything about the blood tests? Anytime lab work like that is run, do get a copy to take home with you for your files. It's also important that owners start understanding that bloodwork, often vets overlook things.

I don't know about that obstruction thing on xray vs. ultrasound...

If it's infection, it will take a bit to get better. If it's blockage, that is an emergency.
 

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Lisa: Did you read the link on intussusception?

And why would there be total constipation with a bacterial infection? :thinking:

How much has she eaten since her last poop?

ETA: Pancreatitis usually shows up on the blood work with elevated liver enzymes.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
This sounds like it could also be pancreatitis, infection induced.

I would suggest a bland homecooked diet, frequent small meals. Forget the prescription stuff. What antibiotic were you given, flagyl (metronidazole)?

I would hold off on the probiotics right now - introducing them to an already tight and firm stomach may cause more of a bloating reaction. Definitely add them once she turns a corner and is on the mend.

Did she say anything about the blood tests? Anytime lab work like that is run, do get a copy to take home with you for your files. It's also important that owners start understanding that bloodwork, often vets overlook things.

I don't know about that obstruction thing on xray vs. ultrasound...

If it's infection, it will take a bit to get better. If it's blockage, that is an emergency.
Metronidazole.

She said blood tests gave no indication of what was going on and everything looked good blood-wise. Good info on the copy to take home, I did not think of that there. I'll do it from now on. They run blood tests in-house.

She seems to be doing slightly better today and wants more and more food but we are keeping it small amounts spread out.
 

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I don't know about that obstruction thing on xray vs. ultrasound...
Looks like the ultrasound will pick up most, but not all blockages, though it's better for strangulated ileus and finding the cause of the blockage. But if the u/s only looked at the stomach and not the lower abdomen, that's a problem, we would need more info on what the vet looked at.

Definitely could be intussusception Ruth...I know that can be *really* hard to find and requires IMMEDIATE attention. I just don't have a good feel what this might be. I know that sometimes this shows up on no diagnostics.

The constipation could be from an inflamed colon or digestive tract. OR, now that I think of it, it could be caused by a weird side effect of flagyl (if that is what is being given). I believe that it had this effect in my dad when he was in the hospital. It is listed as a side effect of flagyl - that drug can paralyze certain parts by affecting the central nervous system.
 

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Lisa: Did you read the link on intussusception?

And why would there be total constipation with a bacterial infection? :thinking:

How much has she eaten since her last poop?

ETA: Pancreatitis usually shows up on the blood work with elevated liver enzymes.
Since her last poop she has eaten 2 13.4oz cans of

Amazon.com: Purina Veterinary Diets EN Gastroenteric Canine Formula 12.5 oz (Per Can): Kitchen & Dining

and a little bit of her dry food before she got "sick"

It is what the vet gave me to feed her.
 

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If it is an inflamed bowl skip the kibble and stick with chicken and rice- it's a lot easier on the bowls and if they are working hard to digest kibble he'll continue to vomit his food:(
 

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She seems to be doing slightly better today and wants more and more food but we are keeping it small amounts spread out.
Oh good, that is encouraging. If they found bacteria in the stools, and a slightly elevated temp, there is a good chance this is a really really bad bacterial infection of the gut, which GSDs are susceptible to. However, as you see from the other ideas in this thread, there's a fine line and often a small window when the situation is an emergency, and it really isn't completely clear.

Once it's really clear that she is on the mend, I would start *slowly* adding some probiotics.

Also, what food was she on, and what was she being switched to?
 

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Oh good, that is encouraging. If they found bacteria in the stools, and a slightly elevated temp, there is a good chance this is a really really bad bacterial infection of the gut, which GSDs are susceptible to. However, as you see from the other ideas in this thread, there's a fine line and often a small window when the situation is an emergency, and it really isn't completely clear.

Once it's really clear that she is on the mend, I would start *slowly* adding some probiotics.

Also, what food was she on, and what was she being switched to?
Wishing I had really pushed for an x-ray. I told the vet that cost did not matter and I just wanted to know what was going on and she still did not push for an x-ray...

Now, I ask you do not judge me too bad as I did not know different types of dog food were so bad and after doing research we will be getting her on a "good" food after this is all over, but she was switching from Purina to Science Diet. The switch was because we had a snow storm in our area and needed to stock up on her food and they were out of what she usually got and she had science diet before and seemed to do okay on it.

If she does not have a BM by tomorrow AM she is going back to the vet...
 

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From my own "limited" research it appears a key symptom of intestinal blockage is vomiting and we have not had any vomiting...
 

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In the canned, the only bad thing is the meat-by-products, since it's "meat", it often means it is lower quality and could be any protein. However, overall, I've seen a lot worse. If it's working, no problem using right now. In the future, many of use do a homecooked bland diet, chicken and rice (or beef).

Now, I ask you do not judge me too bad as I did not know different types of dog food were so bad and after doing research we will be getting her on a "good" food after this is all over, but she was switching from Purina to Science Diet. The switch was because we had a snow storm in our area and needed to stock up on her food and they were out of what she usually got and she had science diet before and seemed to do okay on it.
We all start somewhere, and this is a learning process. I even fed Iams and SD to my girl when she was a pup (I didn't know any better then either)!


If she does not have a BM by tomorrow AM she is going back to the vet...
Good call. Hopefully the flagyl will get some of that inflammation down quickly.

The constipation really could be part of the inflamed gut...if she is up to mild exercise (walking some), that might help get things moving.


From my own "limited" research it appears a key symptom of intestinal blockage is vomiting and we have not had any vomiting...
You're right, though I think it can sometimes be deceptive. My dad had a blockage and he didn't vomit food at all. Finally he started vomiting water....weird.
 
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