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That's a very basic dewormer--it's what shelters here use because it's cheap, but I often have to do it again with a better dewormer.

The problem with Strongid is that it doesn't cover some types of worms. Its active ingredient is Pyrantel and gets rounds and hooks...but not whips. Panacur (fenbendazole) covers more types of worms, including whipworms -- but it has to be given 3 days in a row and costs a little more. Liquid panacur is a lot cheaper than the flavored granules -- but it has to be squirted into the mouth and tastes terrible. The gold standard dewormer is Drontal Plus (a tablet combo drug of three different dewormers (praziquantel, pyrantel, and febantel)), but it's the most expensive (maybe $30?) but only takes one dose -- it gets everything though (even tapes).
 

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This is not a growth spurt. Something is seriously wrong with Seiran, and if someone doesn't figure it out she will probably die.

You are a highly intelligent, experienced dog owner who accurately observes what your dogs do, so I know Seiran hasn't been puking her guts out or spewing out diarrhea.

I have some experience with this kind of thing (too much!), and this is what I recommend.

First, and most important, Seiran may have Addison's disease. Addison's disease can affect any breed of dog, regardless of age. It is not the most likely possibility here but it is the most lethal. If she has Addison's disease and crashes and is raced to the emergency room, there is a 50% chance she will die. To diagnose this, the vet needs to an ACTH stimulation test, which involves drawing blood, injecting the dog with ACTH, and drawing another blood sample 2 hours later. This needs to be done ASAP. If your vet refuses to do it or doesn't have the ACTH needed to do it, find another vet who will do it immediately. Addison's disease is treatable, although the treatment is lifelong.

Get an abdominal and cardiac ultrasound from a vet who has a good-quality ultrasound machine and knows how to interpret the images correctly. Seiran may have some kind of internal mass.

I don't have the specifics handy but I have a dog that tested positive for EPI but it was a false positive. The way I understand it, from spending time in the EPI community, that there is only one lab that they accept a diagnosis from and they say the others simply aren't reliable.
You are correct. Test results can be wrong.

I think a dog can have normal stools on EPI.
Right again--in early EPI, this can happen.

If I were you, I would try digestive enzymes on your puppy. You can purchase them online without a prescription at a reasonable price and are safe. If you are interested, send me a PM and I will give you more information and links.
An excellent suggestion. Even if Seiran does not have EPI but something like inflammatory GI disease, these digestive enzymes can help her absorb her food. At worst, they won't hurt unless she is allergic to pork (and then you can try beef-based enzymes). I would order them now and start Seiran on them. Make sure they are shipped with a cold pack, as heat during shipping will wreck the enzymes. These enzymes are not the same as Prozyme.

Take in a very fresh fecal sample and have your vet send it out for an IDEXX diarrhea RealPCR test. This will test for weirdo gastrointestinal parasites.

Have Seiran tested for heartworm and tick diseases. Your vet should have done this in their office using the SNAP4-DX. Tick diseases can cause just about anything. If she tests negative, it's still worth putting her on doxycycline and seeing if she responds. Many tick diseases haven't been discovered yet, and the ones that have been can hide in the organs and not show up in the blood.

Make an appointment now with a board-certified veterinary internal medicine specialist for a GI endoscopy and biopsy. You can always cancel this if you fix the problem before then.

Also, stop deworming the crap out of Seiran. Unless she has an enormous load of worms, there is no way worms could cause this kind of severe weight loss. Also, totally wiping out worms can cause the dog's body to go nuts and attack itself since it has no worms to attack, causing inflammatory GI disease.
 

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Discussion Starter #44
That's a very basic dewormer--it's what shelters here use because it's cheap, but I often have to do it again with a better dewormer.

The problem with Strongid is that it doesn't cover some types of worms. Its active ingredient is Pyrantel and gets rounds and hooks...but not whips. Panacur (fenbendazole) covers more types of worms, including whipworms -- but it has to be given 3 days in a row and costs a little more. Liquid panacur is a lot cheaper than the flavored granules -- but it has to be squirted into the mouth and tastes terrible. The gold standard dewormer is Drontal Plus (a tablet combo drug of three different dewormers (praziquantel, pyrantel, and febantel)), but it's the most expensive (maybe $30?) but only takes one dose -- it gets everything though (even tapes).
Thanks Magwart! They all have been dewormed with a different med at the vets, spaced 3 weeks apart(if I remember correctly). This one was the just in case one. I’ll ask my vet about the drontal plus, I’m assuming it’s only available via prescription? I also don’t know if it will have any negative interactions with their monthly tick/flea/heartworm chewables.
 

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@JonRob, thank you for the information. I have a call in to setup an appt with the GI dr Magwart suggested that is in New Mexico. The vet did do xrays and ultrasound (sonogram), and no internal obstructions were found. Obviously I’m totally okay with getting a second, or even third opinion if necessary, but all the suggestions are appreciated so I know what tests to ask for.

I did get a call back from my vet, and they did test for tick borne illnesses. She’s supposed to email me the list of tests performed by her office, as well as the lab screens from the out of state lab they use. I’ll post those if allowed.

I already placed an order for the enzymes MOWL recommended.

I was starting to think maybe I was just crazy, I’m glad I posted.

Thank you all for the suggestions and recommendations, I’ll keep the thread updated as I get more info.
 

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Discussion Starter #47
Will your vet do the ACTH stimulation test for Addison's disease?
She does not have the ACTH available to test today, but has a colleague shipping her some to run the test on Friday. She is experienced in the testing, it’s just not something they keep on hand. We will be bringing her in Friday morning for that, and another run of bloodwork and stool to be sent to the lab. I’m assuming the GI Specialist Magwart suggested will not be available immediately, but my vet has been in contact, and sent Seirans medical records, xrays, and lab reports to their office. Hoping to hear back soon as to when they can get her in. But I will try the enzymes as soon as they arrive.

Should I even consider switching her food to a higher calorie food? Mix in some of the canned food of the Alpo cowboysgirl said has a 1,000 calories per can? I’m afraid that will cause an upheaval when she is already not doing well. But if Fromm isn’t supplying her with the necessary calories, a switch would be better, no?

I hate the idea of sending her with DH, but I just cannot travel that distance. Small in town trips are a stressor for me physically. I’ll have DH call me and put me on speaker, it’s the only thing I can think of. He’s not dog savvy in anyway. He loves them now, but doesn’t really understand them. Can’t read body language to save his life, but he is trying. He helps with exercising, training (still needs more training himself, but we cut back the one on one training with Jake to once a week for financial reasons).
 

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I imagine that your vet has already ruled this out, but some of the symptoms of diabetes in dogs are weight loss, increased appetite, excessive thirst, and increased urination. It'd be easy enough to check her blood glucose levels, if it wasn't already done in her lab work. Probably not likely in Seiran's case because she is so young, but couldn't hurt to rule it out.
 

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She does not have the ACTH available to test today, but has a colleague shipping her some to run the test on Friday.

We will be bringing her in Friday morning for that, and another run of bloodwork and stool to be sent to the lab.
Excellent.

Should I even consider switching her food to a higher calorie food? Mix in some of the canned food of the Alpo cowboysgirl said has a 1,000 calories per can? I’m afraid that will cause an upheaval when she is already not doing well.
Try a food switch, but not Alpo canned. Canned dog food routinely causes diarrhea, probably because it's too much meat and has lots of liver. I would try this one:

Royal Canin SMALL Digestive Care Dry Dog Food

Yes, I mean small. 537 kcal/cup. Available at amazon and chewy.

I've had dogs do very well on this.

Also, although it's not high calorie, I've also seen dogs that tend to lose weight do well on Pedigree Puppy dry food, believe or not. I go with whatever works.
 

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It might be worth seeing if your vet has the "Urgent Care" food, it's an RX food for dogs in distress, calorie dense, super digestible, super palatable. I think it's Hills A/D?

Just as a supplement to try and keep her going while you find the cause
 

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Is your dog an American Showline? They can look extremely skinny, then fill out between 12-24 months.
I've had several very nice American Showline GSDs and I'm familiar with the flat phase many go through.

JChrest's dog is not going through a normal flat phase. Her dog went from 46 lbs to 26 lbs in a month and a half. This is a very sick 6-month-old dog.
 

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I’m not sure if you can see or not? In person it’s easily her ribs, in pictures it looks like wave in her coat.

I hated to "like" that.

Yes, she's very thin and she has a "starry coat" of a worm load or something serious happening. She's sick. I'd be at the vet yesterday. I know you will as well. If you aren't happy with your vet, go somewhere else, they should catch this.
 

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I think there is something wrong and it’s not just lanky puppy. I’m sorry both of you are going through this. My last puppy had a mystery illness that the vets couldn’t solve when he was 6 months, and it didn’t end well. I know the worry you’re going through.
 

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Discussion Starter #56
It might be worth seeing if your vet has the "Urgent Care" food, it's an RX food for dogs in distress, calorie dense, super digestible, super palatable. I think it's Hills A/D?

Just as a supplement to try and keep her going while you find the cause
That is the RX food we used between meals, and then for a week straight as her meals. She lost the most amount of weight on this. It’s also the food they had her on when she broke her jaw and I was tube feeding her. She lost weight then as well, and started putting it back on when we were able to switch her to a slurry of the Fromm, then started having again, was perfect until a little after 4 1/2 months when she then started losing weight on the Fromm.

We stopped the slurry when her muzzle was removed and she went right back to moisten kibble with no problem, then just straight kibble.
 

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Discussion Starter #57
I’m not sure if you can see or not? In person it’s easily her ribs, in pictures it looks like wave in her coat.

I hated to "like" that.

Yes, she's very thin and she has a "starry coat" of a worm load or something serious happening. She's sick. I'd be at the vet yesterday. I know you will as well. If you aren't happy with your vet, go somewhere else, they should catch this.
We have an appt on Friday for her regular vet and are re-runnning her blood work, and doing the ATCH test. We are in the process of getting setup with a GI specialist in New Mexico. Thanks again @Magwart for the recommendation. Our vet is in contact with the office, and has spoken with the GI Specialist and sent over all her results and medical records.

Out of curiosity, what is a “starry coat.” I haven’t heard the phrase before.
 
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