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Old 12-05-2010, 08:34 AM
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Default Concerns about Buddy (sorry long post)

A brief history of Buddy. He is a Westie, dx'd 28 January 2010, went from 22 pounds (muscled and no fat down to 14 pounds. When diagnosed he was put on Glyburide for 2 weeks, then on Caninsulin with very bad results and consistent numbers in the 500, went blind almost overnight.

Throughout this period, he had acute pancreatitis, ketoacidosis, had elevated liver enzymes (close to the thousand mark), high cholesterol. , He was switched to Novolin NPH. He had numerous blood panels and tests and Cushing, Addison and thyroid problems were eliminated.

He then went through an ultrasound of the glandular system and cushing was again eliminated, his kidney were found to be functioning well however, he was diagnosed with cholestasis (sludge in the bile ducts) and stones in the bladder. We were told that the stones were small enough that he could possibly eliminate them and to try and increase his liquid intake. He was prescribed SAMe and Ursodiol for 2 months and reacted to ursodiol very violently to it (severe diarrhea and blood). We cut the dosage in half and kept him on for 4 months. He has been off the ursodiol since 30 October, and continued with a maintenance dose of 64mg of Flagyl which he has been on for 5 months. I added cranberry, bilberry, probiotic and a mix of vegetables (green beans, brocoli and spinach) to his meals and he has been eliminating very well since then and the vegetables seemed to have really helped in regulating him.

Buddy also has food and environmental allergies as well an immune deficiency. Since putting him on grain free food, he hasn't had ear and paw infections other than 1 big one in the summer and no gum infection. I brush his teeth regularly as well.

Combined with curves at the vet and my sporadic success in testing, he was gradually increased to 11 units twice a day. Then suspecting Somogy, he was brought back down to 6 units and since his numbers consistently stayed in the 500's, he gradually was brought back up to 11 units and up until about 1 month or so ago, he was doing the best he had been in a long time, was a happy little boy, wanted to play and enjoyed his walks.

Since then his behaviours have slowly changed. He now refuses the water and a bit of tuna that he used to go crazy over. He is going off on his own a lot more, wants to go out a lot more (and not for pee or poop), just to lay down in the yard and sleep, is happy when he hears the word <walk< but it has been a struggle to walk him, he just wants to sit or no move.

We have been weighing him regularly as we noticed that he looked a little more boney yet, he hasn't lost any weight and is still at his normal weight of 22 pounds. He is not in obvious pain, jumps off the couch etc.

Compared to many of you who have challenges with feeding, I always considered that we were very fortunate that he had a ravenous appetite and we always tried to make meal times fun and he would do his happy dance. Lately, his appetite started decreasing and I reduced his portion and reduced the insulin by 1 unit (down to 10) and he continued to do well. He is not drinking to excess.

For some meals (mostly in the morning), we managed to make him eat by coaxing and handfeeding. We thought it was because of the time change and it would correct itself. Then he started fussing for the evening meals as well and this morning, he just wouldn't eat his regular food. I tried scrambled eggs, Buffalo canned food and nothing, so we gave him 6 units.

I use the Chemstix and test for UTI weekly and no sign of bladder infection.

I am getting quite concerned about my little man. I live in the country and no choice in vets. He is due for a Wellness exam in January, unless someone suggest a visit before. Frankly, our vet and the staff all think that Buddy has been <nothing by the book< dog and my confidence level is somewhat low.

Any suggestions or comments as to what could be happening to my little man or what I could do would be appreciated

Louise
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Old 12-05-2010, 08:53 AM
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Default Re: Concerns about Buddy (sorry long post)

Hi Louise

How old is buddy?
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Old 12-05-2010, 09:38 AM
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Default Re: Concerns about Buddy (sorry long post)

Sorry I should have mentioned that he is 10 1/2 years old.
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Old 12-05-2010, 10:06 AM
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Default Re: Concerns about Buddy (sorry long post)

Hi Louise

Yes it doesn't sound like a typical westie behavior does it? Have you done a curve lately to see how he is doing? Sometimes as dogs get older they just need a change of food. I don't like that he isn't really interested in things you cook for him. Have you tried some baby food. If you read the board lately, there are folks going through heroics to get their dog to eat including Craig who had to pretty much force feed his yorkie for a week. You might want to move his wellness exam up to this month. That way you know you are just dealing with appetite or something else.
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Old 12-05-2010, 10:11 AM
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Default Re: Concerns about Buddy (sorry long post)

I agree with Peggy, Louise. I'd move his appointment up to this month and run a full blood work panel on him. I do a full thyroid panel on my girl every year since she's getting up there in age. Might not hurt to look at that again as well just to rule out possibilities.

I don't like that he's wanting to go off by himself and isn't interested in the enticements you use to get him to eat.

Patty
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Old 12-05-2010, 10:52 AM
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Default Re: Concerns about Buddy (sorry long post)

Tks Peggy and Patty. I'll see about getting an appointment with the vet.

I just want to be harmed with the right and specific questions for the vet as I had a few problems.

Full blood panel would be the one that test ALT, cholesterol etc ?

As for the thyroid, he had the T4. Is that the one I should ask for?

Ironically, he has only been on this new food since June and just loved it. He went through food changes 4 times since being diagnosed. Hopefully, because he has not eaten much this morning, he will be a little more hungry tonight. I'll only give him his regular treats of green pepper and turnips today

As for testing, I never was very good at it until I learned that trick with the clear plastic thing to bead the blood however, the last time I did, I must have hit a vein because it bled so much and I had to hold a cotton ball to his ear for about 5 minutes. I am a little scared of testing again but will try and we are not going to leave him at all today and keep a close eye on him.

Tks
Louise
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Old 12-05-2010, 11:10 AM
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Default Re: Concerns about Buddy (sorry long post)

I tried to find the post about baby food as I remembered reading about making sure it does not contain a certain ingredient but I can't find anything.

Can someone refresh my memory?
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Old 12-05-2010, 11:29 AM
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Default Re: Concerns about Buddy (sorry long post)

Hi Louise,

There's a reference to feeding baby food in the post "New to the Board and Diabetes" just below yours. Scroll down to SeattleCraigs post.

Just curious questions: What food are you using? What glucose monitor are you using and have you calibrated it to the vet's blood testing equipment?

Sorry if I'm misunderstanding your concern, but if you're concerned about the bleeding, it may look like a lot, but he's not going to lose enough blood to harm him from nicking the vein in the ear. The vet draws a lot more than that from the vein when they test. Just apply pressure for a while.

Have you tried any sites other than the ear? Inside the lip? Does he have any elbow callouses? Just checking.

Pat
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Old 12-05-2010, 12:26 PM
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Default Re: Concerns about Buddy (sorry long post)

Louise, On the baby food, be sure it doesn't have added sugar or onion powder.

A full blood workup typically includes a CBC (Complete blood count - red blood cells, white blood cells, hemaglobin, etc) and Blood Chemistry Panel (liver enzymes, protein, cholesterol, etc).

A full thyroid panel often includes T4, Free T4, T3, Free T3 and TGAA. But if cost is an issue and you want a basic test, I'd ask for a Free T4 by Equilibrium Dialysis specifically.

This time of year I usually have them send all the blood work to Dr. Dodds in CA since she does a lot of work with thyroid analysis. http://www.hemopet.org/services.html Her cost for CBC, Chem, and thyroid panel is $95 I believe + shipping + your vet's charge to draw the blood. It usually works out to about the same as what my vet charges to send it out to their lab anyway.

Patty
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Old 12-05-2010, 12:35 PM
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Default Re: Concerns about Buddy (sorry long post)

Good afternoon, Louise.

As best I recall, the issue with any human prepared food was that it has no artificial sugars. Both the turkey w/gravy and Chicken w/broth I've used have no carbs or sugars.

Hope this helps!
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