Fleetwood's Health Rollercoaster. AGH!

Discussion in 'Dog Health Care' started by Tazwell, Aug 30, 2011.

  1. Tazwell

    Tazwell New Member

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    It seems to me like something's always been 'off' with Fleetwood. For those of you who don't remember, I've had problems with his behavior around other dogs from 11weeks old. And issues with his digestive system, skin and coat, and pain in his legs along the way. Among other things.

    He started limping when he was about 6 months old (going on 9 months old now) and it seems to be Panosteitis, it switches legs and it's random. He broke out in (what looked like) hives one day after a bath, when he was about 5 months old. He itched, chewed, bled, lost some hair, and his coat became really brittle for a few weeks-- but it subsided after a steroid shot and antibiotics. However, it never fully went away. He's had itchy bumps- like cysts- on his back since then, that get better and worse. Randomly. And brittle hair, and dry skin.

    Some days he's more fearful of people and other dogs, and I'm disappointed in his behavior. Some days, he's a champ! And I'm proud to have him at my side.

    Some days he's tired. lethargic. He doesn't want to eat, or have treats, and he isn't happy. He seems to dislike attention and even the other dogs being around at some times. But he will perk up to play ball, or go for a walk.

    Finally, he has never had consistent stools. It's always Loose, smelly, or downright diarrhea. Lately, on Innova, he's had pretty decent stools. But some days his stomach is making noises all day and he has loose stool, and doesn't want to eat much.

    I started logging everything-- how he feels on any particular day, how he acts, what he eats, how much exercise he gets... And my findings are a little odd. It seems like, most or all of his symptoms coincide on the same days. It's like when we wake up, I know it's either a good day or a bad day. Let's stay in the house all day, or let's go downtown to the cafe-day. And it seems to be completely random.

    For example, Yesterday he woke up a little groggy, but ate around lunch time. I got home from work, and we went for a walk with a friend and her dog, and he did wonderful. He was energetic, liked the other dog, and just plain 'went wild' on our walk. He had a blast. We got home and played ball for about 15 minutes.

    But today, he's been tired, and lacking energy. Woke up limping. He seems distant, and just isn't... thriving. We went for a hike and swim, and he totally perked up for that, but we didn't see any people. He heard some noises and seemed jumpy, which isn't his usual self. We got back in the car and home, and again, just laying around looking unhappy and limping. Loose stools, all day.

    So there doesn't really seem to be a rhyme or reason. And I did have his thyroid tested, it was normal. He had bloodwork done 3 months ago, Normal. I don't know where to go from here. I suppose it's not as dramatic as I make it sound, but it's quite noticable to me.

    Ideas?
     
  2. Kat09Tails

    Kat09Tails *Now with Snark*

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    Has he been tested for Lyme yet?
     
  3. Barb04

    Barb04 Love my pets Staff Member

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    The only food that my friend can feed her dog is TOTW Pacific Stream. Any brand of dog food with chicken, chicken broth, etc. in it gives him loose stools. If you try changing foods, remember it will take a week or so to see results.
     
  4. HayleyMarie

    HayleyMarie Like a bat outa' hell

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    Have you looked into feeding raw at all?

    I know feeding raw has helped alot of people who have dogs that have stomach and other issues. I believe Kady's Piper is one of them.
     
  5. Tazwell

    Tazwell New Member

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    He has not been tested for Lyme disease. I didn't even think of that as a possibility, since 1) lymes is not common in our area, 2) he has never had a tick (that I've seen) 3) He's been on frontline forever, and 4) he had the vaccine. I know it's possible, but not probable. However now that you've mentioned it, and I looked at all the symptoms, it seems very similar.

    I would like to feed raw, but my breeder is not a big fan of raw feeding, and in the contract there is a stipulation that I cannot feed raw until a certain age. I am thinking of asking her to let me try it, to eliminate any food sensitivites as a cause. But honestly he's been on so many (high quality) foods with no change. For about 1-2 months each (although I know 1 month is cutting it a little short.).
     
  6. HayleyMarie

    HayleyMarie Like a bat outa' hell

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    I really think it would be worth giving it a shot. Start with one protien at a time and go from there. And see if that helps. And personally I would be kinnda miffed if I bough a dog from a good breeder and it ended up having sensativites and issues and then them not allowing me to try different options to try and help the issues. Because of that reasoning I think she should let you try raw.
     
  7. Tazwell

    Tazwell New Member

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    Well, I can't put any of the blame on my breeder. I don't really know if I'm being super paranoid, or if he really does have a problem. Diet has NEVER seemed to influence his problems, so I don't know if that has anything to do with it. I've had him on grain free, not grain free, chicken, salmon, single protein source... And so on.
     
  8. HayleyMarie

    HayleyMarie Like a bat outa' hell

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    Gah!

    thats gotta be frustrating. I guess all you can do is trail and error and see if you get any different results. Poor guy:(
     
  9. Saeleofu

    Saeleofu Active Member

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    It almost sounds like something auto-immune or something is going on. Do any if his littermates, or parents' littermates, have any similar issues?

    Have you had a fecal culture and/or PCR done? Logan had on again off again diarrhea at first and after a while of assuming it was food sensitivities, we did a PCR and he came up positive for clostridium. Antibiotics cleared it up and he's had zero problems since the round of antibiotics and changing to TOTW. One of the dogs I've been training/dogsitting also had clostridium and at first he was lethargic on some days too. Antibiotics took care of that as well.
     
  10. Zoom

    Zoom Twin 2.0

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    If you present a well-thought out, detailed argument as to why you want to try raw and provide a list of resources backing up your argument (or even a copy of his new diet), the breeder should listen. No guarantee, but she and I had a lot of discussions about diet, I was pro-raw and she hadn't seen enough to be convinced and more people doing wrong.
     
  11. Kat09Tails

    Kat09Tails *Now with Snark*

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    I know raw fans see amazing thing happen with their pets after going to raw but reality is it's unlikely that it's the food IMO. High quality kibble raised pups (and there are millions of them) do not tend to have problems like is being described.

    This to me does sound immune, which is why I asked about being checked for Lyme disease. Bad skin, rough coat, joint pain, and just cycling through acting under the weather and being normal just smacks of immune issues. What has your vet said so far?
     
  12. monkeys23

    monkeys23 New Member

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    I bet prey model raw and no other treats, etc. would make the world of difference for Fleetwood.

    What is the age limit restriction to trying it in the sale contract? Frankly I would keep to that, but try pmr as soon as possible. Then once he does a complete 180 show his breeder some befores and afters.

    Is there any history of metabolic disorder or similar issues in any of the breeder's other stock? I would be real curious to talk to other purchasers about this.... and longevity.... something isn't sounding quite right on a genetic level here.
     
  13. Grab

    Grab Active Member

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    It does sound a bit immune-ish. If it were simply a coat issue, I might be inclined to blame diet. But the overall blahness along with lameness issues seem to speak of a deeper issue
     
  14. Tazwell

    Tazwell New Member

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    Actually, I've always said that Fleetwood has an unusually weak immune system... He's had his skin infection, an eye infection that would not go away, and when he was a puppy he got sick (never figured out why-- it's suspected he chewed on a dog that had some sort of flea meds applied recently) and became anemic within almost 12 hours. He also had puppy warts for almost 2 months. He's been ill with one thing or another since I've had him, almost!

    I'm not very interested in switching his food right now, I really don't think it's dietary-- but if I can't figure anything else out, I'd really like to speak to the breeder about trying raw. I truly believe in it. The contract says 18 months before I can do that, so another 9 months.

    Earlier he was pretty energetic, and we went for a short walk and swim. But tonight, he's lethargic, distant, and is having stomach problems. He ate nothing out of the ordinary between last night and this morning, besides Zuke's chicken treats, which he's had other times without a problem. He did go into the river, and probably ingested some water, though. He's eaten grass and thrown up twice today that I know of-- once earlier today before breakfast, and once just now in the evening. We will be skipping dinner tonight. Sometimes we just do rice, and that settles his tummy down.
     
  15. Kat09Tails

    Kat09Tails *Now with Snark*

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    Have you ever had him tested for giardia? coccidiosis? a fecal at all?
     
  16. PlottMom

    PlottMom The Littlest Hound

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    My first thought as soon as you mentioned how often & how much he seems to enjoy swimming.
     
  17. Tazwell

    Tazwell New Member

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    Oh, and I apologize-- I missed a couple questions. Kat, my vet has just treated things one at a time-- He's not really my main vet, but my main vet has been out of commission since I got Fleetwood. I'm visiting her tomorrow with my cats, so I'll be able to talk to her about Fleetwood then.

    Monkey, My breeder is super conscious about health in her breeding. She has been 100% helpful all the way, but her dogs have no history of anything of the like. She has been very open and honest. Fleetwood's sire was a stud from a completely different kennel, though, and I have no idea about his history. None of his siblings have any issues, as far as I know.

    I want to point out also, Fleetwood has no problem keeping weight on at all. In fact, I can't believe how much weight he puts ON, despite lots of exercise and not eating like he should sometimes. And being on adult food, not puppy food.
     
  18. Tazwell

    Tazwell New Member

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    Yep. He had fecals when he was a puppy, and then again before his neuter. But I've never had him tested for Giardia. I've had rescues with Giardia before, and it's nothing like their stool was-- His stool is for the most part normal, just very loose sometimes.
     
  19. Kat09Tails

    Kat09Tails *Now with Snark*

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    Health testing aside.... Lyme disease, giardia, coccidiosis, round worms, tape worms, etc can happen to any dog at any time. They also don't always go along with weight loss. Some dogs do just fine and still have sticky, nasty, smelly giardia crap.

    A fecal would be where I would start. It'd be the cheap test. Just drop off a pile when you take your cats in.
     
  20. Tazwell

    Tazwell New Member

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    I suppose it's a good place to start, however, the problems began before his last fecal. That doesn't mean something didn't show up, though.
     

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