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Re: Another Finn Update

Posted: 25 Aug 2019, 19:45
by Patsy
Changing the conversation, apologies, As he is a St Bernard with digestive problems, have any vets checked him for zinc deficiency?
This is worth reading. ... ciency-dog

Re: Another Finn Update

Posted: 27 Aug 2019, 13:16
by worriedparents
That's an interesting article Patsy. Thanks for posting. I wouldn't be surprised if he has a variety of deficiencies. How can a dog be deficient in B12 but not other things too? Do vets test for vitamin/mineral deficiencies other than B12/folate? I'd love to have some answers from test results.

Finn has completely stopped eating the kangaroo food he was on. This is not surprising because this happens every time he is on meds (antibiotics) that upset his stomach. I hate having to give him antibiotics. He's got another 4 days to go. He's hungry but he won't eat that food. He gets up (which can be a struggle for him) and runs away if we give it to him. Doesn't matter how we try to mask it with toppers etc, he's not having it.

We tried bison meat and he liked that. Of course any new adjustment sends his GI into gas and loose stool. I gave him 1/4 cup bison meat, carrots, potato and beef broth last night and shortly after he had hotspots on his neck, spine and ears. Luckily it subsided fairly quickly. I looked around here for limited ingredient bison food and there isn't one. Tried some (beef) tripe this morning (that he used to eat) and short time after he was pawing his face (which is why we think we stopped feeding it before). Ugh allergies.

We have to get him eating today so we bought some raw rabbit (medallions)meal, which had no other suspect ingredients like carrots or potatoes. We've never fed him rabbit and we've never fed him raw. He ate it. We'll wait a bit and see if anything adverse happens and try it again. We've been afraid to feed raw because everything affected so stomach in one way or another. I so wish his stomach had a chance to heal.

Jill, we thought about the water fountains but not sure what drool would do to filtration, and he hates when his water or food gets full of drool, he'll stop at that point. He likes eating/drinking snow or shaved ice instead. I think he actually gets a higher moisture content eating ice than he does with water. For his size, he doesn't drink enough water.

To add: With his allergies he is not a dog that shows it on his coat or skin. It's his ears mostly. He does lick his front legs but I also wonder if that's an response to pain. There is one spot however where I have noticed crusty/flakey skin and that's right at the base of his tail above his anus. Otherwise I've seen an patches elsewhere.

About the Gabapentin, we were told one of the side effects is hind-end weakness. Which he already has. We have noticed that can get worse after a dose. Did you notice that with your dog Jill?

Re: Another Finn Update

Posted: 27 Aug 2019, 15:17
by jilbert57
I would think that the filtration system in the fountain would take care of the saliva? Not sure.

Kiya is going to be vetted for a couple conditions in a couple weeks as she is older, almost 13. I have not noticed weakening in her rear end area but she stumbles ever so often. Yes, lack of coordination can be a symptom of gabapentin, but it is a symptom of another condition the vet is looking into so hard to say if it is the gabapentin. She has arthritis in neck and spine but is doing well on Carprofen/Gabapentin twice a day. Gets up and down right quickly.

If I want a specific vitamin or mineral checked I do it as an add on to Senior blood panels.

Re: Another Finn Update

Posted: 27 Aug 2019, 16:28
by Jean
are you on Metronadazole

Re: Another Finn Update

Posted: 27 Aug 2019, 16:40
by worriedparents
No he's not on Metronadazole. He got that before he got Tylosin when he used to have diarrhea.

He's eaten raw rabbit meal a couple times now with no allergic reaction. He liked it, so it was nice to see him eat something. The Internist emailed me and she is against feeding raw because of increased risk of bacterial and parasitic food borne infection with raw food diets. After eating, he drank water in the house. Happy for the little victories.

We are to start giving sulcrate and famotidine to help with acid reflux and see if that helps his appetite. She mentioned immunosuppressive therapy (e.g. modified cyclosporine). I've asked about testing for vitamin/mineral deficiencies.

Re: Another Finn Update

Posted: 27 Aug 2019, 23:17
by Madelon
Hey there. Boy you two can't seem to catch a break - I am so sorry!! As for the water issue - I'm glad you posted because I thought my boy was just a weirdo - he will not touch his water if it's sat too long and is at room temperature - he prefers his filtered Brita water straight out of the pitcher from the refrigerator - LOL LOL. I have thought about the fountain thing too but I worry about bacteria. As for the burping/acid - I believe Olesia has written before that Omeprazole tends to work best on EPI dogs. Have you tried Slipper Elm Bark Powder?

Re: Another Finn Update

Posted: 28 Aug 2019, 07:10
by worriedparents
Maybe they are related :) We couldn't stop him from drinking disgusting mud puddles or licking our deck after it rained but he won't drink standing water in the house. :roll: It has to be fresh or terribly dirty, but no in between. Let's call him quirky! Once the snow falls he will only eat snow outside, and will not touch water in the house. If we try to prevent that and force him to drink like a normal dog he gets extremely stressed and just won't drink at all. That's why we shave ice for him, it's cleaner. Just this spring we noticed he's finally stopped the disgusting puddle licking.

I tried slippery elm before and it gave him gas, so I stopped it. I tried it this time and if he smells it (I put it in some yogurt and added peanut butter) he refused to eat it. Granted while on the antibiotic he gradually stopped eating everything, but I think he doesn't like the smell. His nose runs the show. I wasn't getting any supplements into him because if he smelled it, forget it. A lady at a pet store suggested freezing the supplements in something he likes and then he can't smell it. I thought that was brilliant but hadn't tried it because he was so off/sick didn't want to rock the boat. He can't smell his probiotic so I was giving him that on shaved ice and he ate it. He had a frozen yogurt treat this morning, but they are from an old batch so I can start that trick soon.

FWIW Finn ate a small raw rabbit meal 4 x yesterday. We didn't want to overload him at once till we knew how he'd react. He didn't have any allergy symptoms. He didn't have any gas, which he's had a lot of lately. He pooped on his walk that night and it was soft but still segmented. He slept on his side the majority of the day, so he was resting comfortably a lot. We still have 3 days of Baytril. We didn't have to give him Cerenia, because he didn't appear to be nauseous and was willing to eat. We didn't give him Sulcate or Femoditine because he slept through the night. The most positive sign was that he slept at the end of our bed, which he hadn't done in weeks. He got himself up and came into the room when we went bed!!! We felt so happy to have him want to be with us again! Our old Finn was is still in there. Maybe he's a dog who would do better on raw? I want to give his stomach a chance to heal and having reoccurring UTI's/antibiotics is not allowing that to happen. Have a vet app't this morning, so lots to talk about.

Re: Another Finn Update

Posted: 28 Aug 2019, 12:07
by worriedparents
You'd think I'd learn by now not to get my hopes up. Finn seemed perkier this morning and more like himself again, but he refused the raw food he ate yesterday. He's lost a couple lbs since last week. Had blood taken and maybe tests with show something. Until we are off the Baytril, which could still be causing him to refuse food/GI upset we won't know if that's the cause or something else.

Re: Another Finn Update

Posted: 28 Aug 2019, 12:23
by jilbert57
I was on sucralfate quite awhile. You have to time it right with before food, after food, and meds as it coats throat, stomach, etc..

Re: Another Finn Update

Posted: 31 Aug 2019, 08:09
by worriedparents
We lasted 7 (out of the 10) days on Baytril. Finn stopped eating and drinking, and lost 3 lbs so I said that was enough. I will never use that antibiotic again. Luckily after stopping the med, he went back to eating almost immediately. I got some answers via blood work and I've realized a few things.

I don't have the last blood work results in front of me but I saw it while at his neurologist appointment. His liver and kidneys are fine. His cardio pet is slightly elevated but not worse than it was in the spring. It's been much higher.

His B12 was over 800, so he's high with supplement (w/intrinsic factor). Folate was at the high end of normal. His still on the higher dose of Tylosin. As far as his poop, when he was getting ground rehydrated kibble, he had 2-5x/day. They were softer and smellier but still formed. His GI was getting used to the diet change (due to allergies) when he went off that food (kangaroo based) due to Baytril. I've never thought kibble agrees with Finn but while on kangaroo we didn't notice any allergic symptoms. There were plenty of things in commercial kibble for him to react to, although it didn't have carbs he's had before.

We got him to eat a commercial raw rabbit meal before he was turned off of everything. He likes it, but I think we are starting to see signs of allergic response. Nooooo. We are going to try just plain cooked rabbit today to see if it the protein or something else in the meal (although there is nothing in it that we have fed him before). Yesterday, his poop on the raw was excellent, with no smell. During the first couple days on raw he didn't have any gas, so I thought this would be a good diet for him to continue. He had lots of gas when first switched to kangaroo (perhaps due to getting kibble), but as more time has gone on with the raw, he's getting more gassy and stomach gurgling (and burping after eating) with it too.

What we've noticed, he has more issues (gerd I assume) when he eats standing up. When he was sick, we were feeding him while he was laying down. Now when he eats standing up, he gets symptoms 1-2 hours later. Panting, out of sorts and can't settle down and relax, whining, yawning and sometimes air licking. I'll have to see if drinking water standing up shows a pattern too. So we are going to do smaller meals, laying down.

I'm still not sure how he reacts to slippery elm. I've been putting it in yogurt and got it past his nose yesterday but I think yogurt could be causing him problems too.

Finn would be great if we never had to feed him. He didn't get a TLI or PLI test, but Finn is not a ravenous eater like traditional EPI dogs. Never has been. More the IBD side of things. I'm getting so discouraged, and we don't seem to be helping him.

With regard to urine PH, I have copies of several tests. It ranges from 6 to 6.5. Not higher and not lower. He had several times had 1+ Protein and 1+ Bilirubin but not this last time and not every time. Specifc gravity varied but not out of range. So UTI don't appear to be due to a PH problem.

The neurologist said he's ok but wants to work on the incontinence again. Proin didn't help, and he reacted poorly to Bethanechol. She'd like to try Metacloprimide, which has similar uses to Bethanechol on the bladder but may also help GI issues. She wants him eating more first. I'd like to see that too. He's so sensitive to meds, I hate trying something new. We are to express his bladder after he pees to make sure there isn't urine sitting in there that he can't get out.

He's off Gabapentin, and his hind end weakness is better. He is able to get himself up on his own and much stronger since off the Baytril. Hopefully we can get back into his rehab exercises now he's feeling better.

I did notice his blood work showed low (bottom of normal range) platelets. They are less than they were in the spring. I wondered if that had something to do with going back on the xarelto (and hopefully nothing more serious) for his clot. Perhaps a fecal test to make sure there isn't blood in stool. I don't see any. 2 vets have felt a pulse in the leg with the clot when he's standing up, which is good. I'd like him to be on the least dose needed to prevent clot returning. I'd wouldn't be opposed to Curcumin instead if it worked.

Any further GI tests? Welcome any thoughts.