Chihuahua not eating, GI troubles. Vet unable to provide answers.

Discussion in 'Dog Health Care' started by Sekah, Oct 5, 2012.

  1. Sekah

    Sekah The Monster.

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    My Chihuahua normally has a voracious appetite and will eat anything. She came to me with my fiance about a year ago. She's 7 years old and intact. Until she came to stay with me she was very overweight. She's now at an ideal weight. Or would be, if she would firckin' eat.

    About a month ago she refused food for a day or so, coupled with some diarrhea with traces of blood in it. Her poops are normally well formed and regular, and her appetite never wanes. I brought her to the vet. He checked her blood and stool, gave her an ultrasound checking for pyo and abdominal masses, etc and checked her teeth. Ultimately he didn't find anything. She started eating again shortly after the vet visit.

    Since then she's stopped eating half a dozen times or so, but not always coupled with diarrhea. Between hunger strikes she acts normally and is bright and playful. Right now we're in one of the worst bouts of it and she's not eating much at all, and her poos are liquid and with some blood in them. I've brought her back to the vet once more where he gave her another ultrasound and checked her teeth more thoroughly but again could come up with no answer for her condition.

    Because she's a tiny dog and she's been slimmed down so much, she can't exactly afford to lose any more weight. She gets sickly looking pretty fast. My fiance has requested we pile some more weight on her to act as a buffer, but her refusing food is a symptom, so fattening her up doesn't feel like an answer. Plus she has a luxating patella - I want to keep unnecessary weight off. She's also had back/pain problems in the past. She eats 6-Fish Orijen.

    Anyways, does anyone have any thoughts on what could possibly be the issue? And does anyone have any thoughts on what my next step should be?
     
  2. Lyzelle

    Lyzelle New Member

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    Is it possible she is eating/chewing something from around the house? Plant, wood, old toy, finding something in the yard, under the bed, etc?

    That's what speaks to me when I hear yo-yo coupled with "nothing wrong". They are getting into something, get sick, it's already digested or there is no trace, you go home and watch her like a hawk, she ends up not being able to get into anything.

    Then she gets better, you loosen up, she gets into it all over again.

    Similar thing happened to me when my boy was a puppy.
     
  3. crazedACD

    crazedACD Active Member

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    Have you done a thorough blood panel?
     
  4. *blackrose

    *blackrose "I'm kupo for kupo nuts!"

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    Has any bloodwork been ran on her at all? Any wonky values? Any medications been tried?

    Has IBD been ruled out?
     
  5. Sekah

    Sekah The Monster.

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    I'm not sure how thorough the blood panel was. I assume it was a standard type looking at liver values, etc. However I'm pretty ignorant about what exactly they look at. The vet responded that everything looked normal (normal enough that I could choose to spay her without worrying about the anesthesia).

    Yes, some blood work. No wonky values. No medications have been tried.

    IBD is a diagnosis based on exclusion of all other diagnoses, right? Can it just spring up in a middle aged dog without an identifiable change in her environment/food?
     
  6. crazedACD

    crazedACD Active Member

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    Has the vet suggested anything other than "Oh well, can't find anything!"? Is he interested in figuring it out? I might suggest a second opinion depending on the bloodwork answer.

    Addison's disease comes to mind..once again depending on the bloodwork.

    Could there be a correlation between anything you are doing..flea sprays, frontline, washing beds, cleaning, heartworm prevention, treats, bathing, anything like that?
     
  7. Sekah

    Sekah The Monster.

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    Quite honestly, I've been less than impressed with the vet's motivation to figure out what's wrong. I appreciate him being conservative and not going too crazy from a client costs point of view, and he DID come to me highly recommended, but... He's definitely not aggressive in his diagnostics.

    No correlation between anything you mentioned. The only possible correlation I had come up with previously was stress. Mega can be a bit of a stress case, but I think the association is tenuous at best in this situation.
     
  8. *blackrose

    *blackrose "I'm kupo for kupo nuts!"

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    I would think of Addison's was the cause, there would be other symptoms/interesting bloodwork results.

    Just checking liver values probably isn't enough. That's great, but there are other clues in bloodwork that can't be found by just a basic CBC. I'd suggest doing a full blood panel workup, and may as well do a thyroid check while you're at it. We just had a pooch diagnosed with Addison's and he had some weird chemistry values (major values were in normal ranges, it was just some key things that were off that a CBC wouldn't have caught), as well as the diarrhea/vomiting/shaking.

    I'm not a vet, so I honestly don't know. I do know that if a full blood panel doesn't show anything, intestinal parasites/giarrdia has been ruled out, and nothing else obvious shows up, the pet is tentatively diagnosed with IBD and treated with steroids. Most do well with that treatment. Course, steroids make lots of things better! lol

    I think if I were you I'd be finding a different vet and getting a second opinion.
     
  9. crazedACD

    crazedACD Active Member

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    Stress can trigger autoimmune symptoms and addison's, IBD=autoimmune diseases. Yeah sometimes it's nice to have a vet that doesn't go crazy with all the tests, but then again the one time she's not eating, goes into hypoglycemic shock and you have to go the evet at 1am...it's going to cost a lot more than running tests to get a diagnosis you can manage. I dealt with a vet that was lax about running tests for a while and it cost me more in the long run...not to mention likely hurt the animals.

    Ah yes, I didn't see she posted before me. I'm assuming he did in-house bloodwork, and didn't send it out...usually that's just a basic CBC and organ values. If you were to do a full blood panel with thyroid..that's where I would start, and work off of that. I'm looking up diagnosing Addison's..
    So..in-house labwork won't really test for that stuff. Maybe a second opinion is in order. I'm surprised he hasn't offered any meds to manage the symptoms in the meantime..like metronidazole or some anti-inflammatory. I would talk to whatever vet about having something on hand like Nutri-Cal (OTC)...being so little, if she's not eating, her blood sugar could drop and go into shock.
     
  10. Doberluv

    Doberluv Active Member

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    I would definitely get another vet who will press on, trying to find the cause of this. Blood in the stool and diarrhea...not good. Maybe a specialist? I hope this gets figured out soon, poor little thing. It could be a number of things, from parasites, to bacterial infection, virus, something causing inflammation in the colon, stomach. Maybe she has something poking her intestines. My Chihuahua had this when she was young and it was a shard from a pig's ear that scratched her up inside. Needless to say, that was the last thing like that I ever gave her. Lots of vibes for a diagnosis and treatment for your little one.
     
  11. *blackrose

    *blackrose "I'm kupo for kupo nuts!"

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    Ha, that's what it is. Potassium and Sodium. I knew it was something that was odd, but couldn't remember what.

    Some clinics do run full blood panels in house, which may save you some money. I think here it costs $125 in house.

    And yup, running tests are so important, IMO. Takes a ton of the guess work out and gets you to the right diagnosis quickly without all of the, "Well, let's give this a try..."
     
  12. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    Is she refusing all foods or have you tried any compromises?
     
  13. Sekah

    Sekah The Monster.

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    She ate a whole pig's ear tonight and some cream cheese on the side, but is still turning down standard treats & kibble (dehydrated lamb's lung, liver). I find a super special pig's ear is a good tool to at least get some food into her. I'm trying not to rely too much on special delicious foods since I don't want her to feel like she just has to hold out on kibble to get something better, but she's generally so enthusiastic for her kibble I'm not terribly concerned about encouraging pickyness today.

    For the longest time I thought it was a tooth issue, but with the recent heavy duty bout of diarrhea I'm not so sure any more. Sometimes she looks absolutely miserable eating kibble - tail tucked between her legs, carrying food around the apartment, etc. Her breath isn't great, but it's not bad, and the vet couldn't see much when looking at her mouth. Plus she'll tug on a cuz enthusiastically pretty much always. My fiance is hesitant to put her under for an exploratory cleaning etc unless we know a bit more.

    e: I'll probably end up taking her to another vet. However, I'm not sure where I'm going to go. I'm somewhat new to the neighbourhood and the Chi didn't have a vet prior to coming to live with me. Thanks so much for giving me a bit more direction in what I can ask a future vet.
     
  14. AllisonPitbullLvr

    AllisonPitbullLvr New Member

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    What about a diarrhea panel including a fecal culture?
     
  15. JacksonsMom

    JacksonsMom Active Member

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    With a dog having bloody stool and diarrhea, I'm not sure giving pigs ears and cream cheese is the best idea, personally. Probably just adding to the upset. I know you want her to eat, but I would think plain chicken and rice would be the better answer. Pigs ears are very high in fat. Jackson can't handle them, he pukes, and he doesn't have a super sensitive stomach in general.

    I'm surprised the vet is not taking this more seriously ... with the little ones especially, they can go downhill fast. Is she staying hydrated?

    I am wondering about pancreatitis? I've known a few yorkies who have gotten pancreatitis from pigs ears in particular. And then Orijen is a food somewhat high in fat, and for most dogs it wouldn't be an issue, but sometimes certain dogs just can't handle it. It's a fairly rich food. Was she eating something else prior to living at your place?

    Otherwise, I agree with every one that a blood test should be top priority.
     

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