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Discussion Starter #1
I'm just going to lay out the facts here, what I've done and get some suggestions, answers, and prayers. I've been a complete mess since purchasing this pup at the end of July. This has been the worst experience of owning a dog...ever! Don't get me wrong....I love her to death...I'm just full of all kinds of emotions! When I first picked her up she had demodex on her face. The breeder never let us know until we got there. She did provide medication. Three days later she wasn't acting right...so I took her into the emergency vet...STRONG Positive Parvo! I contacted the breeder and was refunded all $. The next day I took puppy into my vet and she stayed for a week being treated for parvo.....here's the rest of what her life has consisted of all starting at 8 weeks of age:
August 4th thru August 10th: in vet being treated for parvo
August 12: I notified vet of pups diarrhea, pustules on belly and near vulva
After this it's pretty much been UTI once a month. She's been on meds after having 2 urine cultures and sensitivity tests done. E COLI. tests resulted in Simplicef being the best medicine to treat E COLI with. She's also on cosequin and crananidin to help keep the bacteria from sticking to bladder walls. She was off antibiotic for 10 days this past week and another UTI. I took her to vet and had another urine culture done. Same thing....E COLI on bladder wall....nothing changed. So she's back on simplicef along with cosequin and crananidin.
I took her to a dermatologist a month ago because pimples on her vulva became nodules! A biopsy was done and nothing...just hard knots! They did put her on sweet potato and rabbit for itching. Since having the biopsy she has not had anymore pimples or rash near or on her vulva.
Tomorrow she is going to an internist. After the vet and dermatologist spoke with internist these are the 3 things that came to him off the top of his head without seeing her.
1. congenital cystic diverticulum
2. vulva plastia
3. ectopic ureters

Other than ALL of these problems, she's a sweet and happy pup! Oh, yes and how can you spay a pup that is almost 6 months old with all these problems! Hopefully, this can be done soon. I'm not sure if any of this makes sense..I have been a mess since. Every day I wake up not knowing if she will have a very short life or not! Your prayers and comments are needed please. I know she can't be the only pup who has ever gone thru this!
 

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Are you supplementing with anything to support the immune system? I would be giving vitamin C daily.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Her story is alot to write so I hope it makes sense. She was on Blue Buffalo. Then because of diarrhea and itching we switched to Natural Balance Sweet Potato and Venison. After seeing the dermatologist he wanted to do a food trial on her switching to Royal Canin/IVD Sweet potato and rabbit. Her stool has been fine. I'm sorry I did forget to mention the regular vet put her on Hydroxyzine 25mg 2x's a day for itching. She's been on this for several months now. The dermatologist made me cut all the extras out like omega 3 fish oil and vitamin c. I had to talk him into keeping her on the Crananidin tab which is a cranberry extract for utis.
The food change was before the nodules. It was also before the biopsy. I did notice a little bump on her vulva today. It's not red but I did put some resicort on it not too long ago as I am suppose to per dermatologist once a week. I noticed her wanting to lick herself just a bit.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Lisa....none of the above. It went from parvovirus to uti. They said the ecoli came from parvovirus going from anus to vulva area to bladder. Is e Colin that hard to get rid of?
I guess I'm babbling because I'm so worried about tomorrows outcome!
 

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I sent you an email. Let us know how it goes with the internist today. I sure hope they figure this out. I know you are stressed with her having to endure so much.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
At the internists now. They are going to do a CBC and ultrasound....looking to see if it's metabolic or anatomic.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Internist visit was good. They did an Abdominal Ultrasound, urinalysis, CBC, and serum immunogloublin levels check. The blood work will take 7 days. There is no anatomic problems with Gella which is a big relief! One of the surgeons recommended spay asap. It could be hormonal! I have been wanting to do this but regular vet wanted to make sure infection was gone first. I had questioned my regular vet about doing a CBC a month ago. I was told it wasn't needed...hmmm.
So...I won't know more until the blood work comes back.
 

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It sounds like good news overall. Also sounds like your regular vet might not be proactive enough in this instance?

The serum immunoglobulins - is that related to IgA deficiency?

CBC should be back sooner than 7 days? Maybe they are just going to wait until it's all back?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Phew, I have taken in so much info today that I had to look up IgA deficiency. Yes the serum immunoglobulins is related to IgA defiency from reading definition. This is the test that would take 7 days. I'm sure the CBC is in now since the lab is right across the street from office. He did say he wanted to compile all results and come up with a plan.
Lisa...you sure know alot about all of this!
I don't know what to say about regular vet...I will plead on this one...private message I will be truthful!
 

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Understand about the vet....

Is there any chance whatsoever that there is a tick disease happening here? Whenever weird things keep happening, I always have to ask that question!

Personally, I would put back the omega-3 fatty acids, and anything that will help protect the kidneys.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I've had Gella on frontline since the day I got her at 8 weeks old and frontline plus went on her asap. I cannot speak as to what happened before "my time."
No one has mentioned anything about tick disease. When internist calls, I will mention it.
The reason she was taken off of omega 3 fish oil was because the allergist wanted her off of it to see if it was food allergies. I wonder if I could sneak them back in her diet or just call and tell them this is what I'd like to do. I have noticed some itching the past two days more than normal.
 

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None of these are classic symptoms of a tick disease. It's just that so many owners report weird symptoms, it's never a bad thing to rule out. I'm pretty sure the vet would laugh at the thought since there are no apparent joint issues. However, I think some owners have reported uti's with lyme. In some cases, lyme will affect the kidneys.

I guess after a certain time you can put the 0-3's back.

I would consider doing a trial of home-prepared food, if you can find a single protein and single carb source that's tolerated. With the itching, it does sound like something is going on.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I have thought about doing home prepared food. I honestly would not know where to start. I know she's starting to not like the dry rabbit and sweet potato even after mixing it with the wet food she loves! At 58.00 for a 16 lb bag and 35.00 for 12 cans I'm sure it can't be anymore expensive!
I want to talk to the dermatologist and internist who work together and see what they think. I did add an omega 3 fish oil to her food today. I'm not going to tell the vet unless I need too!
The more I read about this IgA....the more it fits! I sure hope there's a way out of it.

Thanks for all your help and info. I'll keep you posted.
 

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Carrie I found an old forum that was looking for study participants. It's from a couple of years ago so not sure what the outcome was but can probably be tracked down.
Here is a little info they posted:

Immunoglobulins (Ig) are proteins produced by the immune system, which help to prevent and fight infectious diseases. Four classes of immunoglobulins are known: IgG, IgM, IgA, and IgE. They have different biochemical structures and are specialized for different tasks. Immunoglobulin A is important in protecting mucosal surfaces of the body, including the respiratory, intestinal and urogenital tract.

There is evidence that IgA deficiency might be inherited. Dog breeds that are affected include German Shepherd Dogs, Chinese Shar Peis, Beagles, Irish Wolf Hounds, and Cocker Spaniels. Affected dogs have lower IgA concentrations in serum and duodenal juice when compared to normal dogs.

Dogs with IgA deficiency may not have any clinical signs at all, but if they do, they typically show clinical signs starting at a young age. These include recurrent infections of the skin, respiratory, gastrointestinal, or urinary tract. Allergies, especially food allergies or atopy are frequently observed. It has been speculated that dogs with IgA deficiency are more prone to intestinal diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) or small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO). Immunoglobuline A deficiency might predispose to an infection with enteropathogenic E. coli bacteria, which can cause severe diarrhea, vomiting and fever.

We recently developed a sampling strategy for determintion of persistently low fecal IgA concentrations. Our aims are to determine the prevalence of IgA deficiency in German Shepherd Dogs and to evaluate potential genetic markers associated with IgA deficiency in German Shepherd Dogs. This project might be helpful identifing carrier dogs allowing for them to be eliminated from future breeding programs.

We are looking for purebred German Shepherd Dogs at least 12 months of age from multi-generational family groups. If you are interested in obtaining further information or participating in our study, please contact Dr. Niels Grützner ([email protected]).


Link: German Shepherd Forum :: View topic - Study of IgA Deficiency in GSDs(anyone want to participate?)
 

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CHawkins,

I would email the researcher in that study, particularly if your dog shows up positive for this deficiency. A number of us had dogs go through the study, my Max did, though he was within normal limits. They also test for EPI and SIBO.

The diet...an adult dog can deal with a relatively unbalanced diet for a bit, which would buy you time. Here, I just feed meat and veggies and flax and supplements. I do homecook, which is a pain though. The tough part is finding the right protein too - so many have issues with poultry, and some with beef, which leaves things like pork or lamb, where lamb is very expensive. I fed the EVO canned for awhile for breakfast, the rabbit or venison. It wasn't so good for their kidneys, which I thought was interesting, since they are on high protein homecooked diets anyway.

If you decide to do the homeprepared thing (some folks would do raw instead of cooking, that depends on which the dog does better on), I like combining the meat with veggies rather than grains or starches, though I don't think any of the vet-types do that.
 
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