Renji health issues - test Qs

Posted by: Diana

Renji health issues - test Qs - 03/06/14 10:40 AM

Last night, we had what appeared to be a bloat episode (after years of perfect GI health) but ended up not being bloat. After a normal meal, he presented with severe stress and anxiety, almost like a terror. Took him for a walk, he was darting this way and that. Urinated normally, then defecated not normally, but not unusual, either. A sticky clump without visible blood. After the movement, he was unable to walk. Renji was able to stand, but seemed unable to move his rear legs. we had to carry him back and he acted like a sack of rice. Just laid there half-dead in our arms.

Once we got him home, I was on the phone with the ER vet, but he began to come around. Walked around normally, wanted to play a bit, then settled in for sleep. Still was a bit off, but no longer enough to warrant a mad dash to the ER vet.

We are going in at 1130 to the regular vet for an inspection. This is my thought list so far.

-Abdominal imaging (xrays and ultrasound)
-Spinal xrays (he has had DM-like symptoms)
-Full bloodwork
-Infectious disease bloodwork (anything for ticks)
-Thyroid panel (Dr Dodds 5 panel)

Any other ideas? The last time he was sedated, he seized during recovery so he cannot go through this often.

It is worth noting that ultimately, the behavior observed was wholly unlike any of his previous bloating episodes. I highly doubt this was anything related to bloat.
Posted by: Wisc.Tiger_Val

Re: Renji health issues - test Qs - 03/06/14 10:48 AM

Diana, I am so sorry to hear that Renji is not feeling well.

I have no words of wisdom but you plan looks pretty through. Can they pre-treat Renji to ward off a seizure.
Posted by: Diana

Re: Renji health issues - test Qs - 03/06/14 10:56 AM

Thanks, Val, I will ask. Did not know that was possible. smile
Posted by: Barb E

Re: Renji health issues - test Qs - 03/06/14 11:11 AM

I am so sorry this is happening, that had to be so frightening!!

Did he strain when he pooped? If so, I would probably add a brain image, seems like I read somewhere once that straining while defecating can put pressure on the brain, though that was for people.
Posted by: Braverhund

Re: Renji health issues - test Qs - 03/06/14 11:27 AM

Positive healing vibes for Renji, for wellness. peacesign May this be something easy to diagnose and treat! crossedfingers
Posted by: Natalie559

Re: Renji health issues - test Qs - 03/06/14 01:00 PM

How's he doing today? Hope it resolves or you get some answers!
Posted by: Diana

Re: Renji health issues - test Qs - 03/06/14 01:16 PM

Have to go to specialist. They want him seen by neurologist and weren't comfortable putting him under only to not find anything and be told he'd need to be sedated again. Trouble is whether I can take him today or tomorrow. Updates will happen whenever something does happen.
Posted by: Kayos

Re: Renji health issues - test Qs - 03/06/14 01:33 PM

WOw, how scary for you. Hopefully neuro will see you today and get some answers.

Hope it is nothing.
Posted by: Mary Jane

Re: Renji health issues - test Qs - 03/06/14 01:36 PM

The neurologist makes a lot of sense (now that you said it) with the odd anxiety and then the inability to move. When you turn his rear paws over does he right them quickly?

Lots of people will be waiting to get Renji's update. crossedfingers

Mary Jane
Posted by: Diana

Re: Renji health issues - test Qs - 03/06/14 01:54 PM

Can't be today... I have a medical test scheduled in a few hours myself. Yeah, we're all sorts of gimpy here at Casa di Renji. Going in tomorrow.

Mary Jane, the reflex response is iffy. On one leg, he rights immediately (and tries to right before you have a chance to set the knuckles down), but on the other leg, he hesitates. At most, a full second of hesitation, but just long enough to make you think something might not be right. The day we stopped training classes was when he was extremely irritable in class and also attempted to go up the a-frame but was unable to go past halfway. He tried, his rear just couldn't do it. There is definitely something there...

Since then, we've had him on Springtime's Longevity and Fresh Factors supplements which has REALLY helped a lot. Maybe now we are finally seeing the downswing in whatever it is that he has. We will hopefully have answers tomorrow.

Thanks, all.
Posted by: Braverhund

Re: Renji health issues - test Qs - 03/06/14 02:35 PM

Paws crossed for some conclusive answers and a positive treatment plan for your dear, zesty, sweet Renji! paw Please update when you can. I'll be sending good thoughts Renji's way for a helpful appointment!
Posted by: Diana

Re: Renji health issues - test Qs - 03/06/14 03:31 PM

So... anyone out there have their dogs in for neurological exams? I'm going to make sure we get an ultrasound to check for any potential tumors (hello spleen) and also xrays of the back, but I'd rather avoid anything serious like an MRI. Due to his behavior issues, there is a limit.

What are the typical tests for DM or Cauda? Is an MRI pretty much required at this point? What are the ballpark costs? Are there other options?
Posted by: Grakira

Re: Renji health issues - test Qs - 03/06/14 07:00 PM

No answers for your questions, but sending positive thoughts to you and Renji!!
Posted by: PositiveDog

Re: Renji health issues - test Qs - 03/06/14 07:59 PM

I am so sorry for all you are going through.

I hope they quickly find what is going on.

frown
Posted by: BowWowMeow

Re: Renji health issues - test Qs - 03/06/14 11:44 PM

So sorry to hear that Renji is having more health problems. frown

Based on the additional info you supplied I would suspect something is going on with his back. I hope you get some answers and a good treatment plan soon!
Posted by: MaxaLisa

Re: Renji health issues - test Qs - 03/07/14 01:14 AM

I'm so very sorry frown

I understand that severe stress and anxiety which is like a terror, though I don't really understand it. Jazz here has episodes.

I find neurologists have extremely limited tools - even an MRI gives very limited information in many cases. My preference would be to start with an internal medicine guy because of the gut issues, though I understand why they want the neuro, because of the seizures and movement issues.

I would want the tests that you said above. For the thyroid, you probably could get by with a free and total T4 added to the complete blood panel. Myself, because of my situation here, I would hesitate on the MRI due to cost, limited usefulness, and danger (the contrast can cause problems, and many dogs are not comfortable with MRIs, so those questions need to be asked - I think Tooz seized either after her MRI or after her spinal tap, can't remember). The neuro may also want a spinal tap. There are times when the MRI can find something though and it really is the best option, so you really want someone with good intuition that can say whether this is the thing you want to do over the other things. For example, a minor FCE (spinal embolism might cause temporary paralysis) I've seen people charged $800 for an MRI. Here it would cost me $2,500.

I know because of his behaviour stuff, this might not be an option, but I prefer an initial evaluation by a chiropractor (as well as the bloodwork), but that's me, and most people don't make that their first stop.

If they don't know what it is, they might be inclined to treat with steroids. I always go for the antibiotics first, since there are so many infectious diseases that we don't have tests for and show up in weird ways. I'm always worried if steroids are used when the cause is unknown, that there may be an underlying infection that could be made worse on the steroids. For example, lots of tick diseases that we don't have tests for.

Historically have there been any issues with his bloodwork?
Posted by: bianca

Re: Renji health issues - test Qs - 03/07/14 02:16 AM

I have no ideas but wanted to wish both you and Renji all the best hugging
Posted by: Diana

Re: Renji health issues - test Qs - 03/07/14 05:54 AM

Great post, Lisa, thank you. That was very much needed. I am also hesitant on the MRI. Anything else would do, he would have to be sedated. He tries to "implode" upon himself and gets too tense for any physical work. I doubt he'd tolerate a chiropractor even though I've thought of it many times.

The good news, they have internists and other specialists there. We will see what we can do but yeah, I'm limited. Maybe he is a candidate for doggy-juana to help him chill out. :p I thought of Prozac but the last time we went with an anxiety med, he very nearly earned a final trip. We will see, maybe a shot of valium would help.

Rough night, he was having problems. Finally put a sheet down and let him in bed with us. He settled for a couple of hours. Poor guy.
Posted by: Diana

Re: Renji health issues - test Qs - 03/07/14 05:56 AM

Thank you all for the well wishes. <3

Ruth, I think it was you who recommended the Springtime products. Those are outstanding supplements and probably made all the difference in the world for Renji. I will always have them around for any other dog and also for myself!
Posted by: Diana

Re: Renji health issues - test Qs - 03/07/14 11:22 AM

Good gravy he is so stressed out here. What a shame that dogs can have such demons in their heads. Even greater appreciation for those who breed and put temperament above all else in their programs.
Posted by: MaxaLisa

Re: Renji health issues - test Qs - 03/07/14 12:08 PM

Max had some of that extreme stress reaction in certain situations. When his stress switch would flip, unlike a normal dog, he could not recover. Ultimately, it was compounded by some heart issues, not circulation blood correctly somehow, or enough blood I should say. I think it was from either infection or a hormonal problem. If you viit a lot of social anxiety forums, you can read a lot of the human description of this, and there are just no good or easy anwers it seems.
Posted by: Diana

Re: Renji health issues - test Qs - 03/07/14 12:40 PM


Initial exam was fine. Starting now with blood work, xrays, and ultrasound. Then go from there maybe. They will sedate. Will he here at least three hours.

Go figure the darned initial exam would be fine. Silly dog.
Posted by: Diana

Re: Renji health issues - test Qs - 03/07/14 12:56 PM

Renji is back getting sedated for back xrays, chest xrays, abdominal ultrasound, and blood work including cbc, tick, and thyroid. Then we go from there.
Posted by: BowWowMeow

Re: Renji health issues - test Qs - 03/07/14 01:00 PM

Originally Posted By: Diana
Thank you all for the well wishes. <3

Ruth, I think it was you who recommended the Springtime products. Those are outstanding supplements and probably made all the difference in the world for Renji. I will always have them around for any other dog and also for myself!


Glad that they are helping both of you. Wishing the best for Renji!
Posted by: Braverhund

Re: Renji health issues - test Qs - 03/07/14 01:03 PM

Renji is strong. The vets remember his history coming out of sedation. You have prepared yourself well with questions and concerns to discuss. I am sending positive energy for dear, singular, spirited Renji, your partner, your buddy, to come through with flying colors. May the answers and solutions to be much smoother than you expect.
Posted by: Mary Jane

Re: Renji health issues - test Qs - 03/07/14 02:04 PM

crossedfingers for a straightforward diagnosis with simple treatment.
Posted by: aubie

Re: Renji health issues - test Qs - 03/07/14 02:19 PM

Following, waiting and praying! lurking
Posted by: Diana

Re: Renji health issues - test Qs - 03/07/14 03:16 PM

Inconclusive. More later.
Posted by: MaxaLisa

Re: Renji health issues - test Qs - 03/07/14 03:57 PM

Be sure to get a copy of everything to bring home...
Posted by: Diana

Re: Renji health issues - test Qs - 03/07/14 09:07 PM

They will email the imaging so I will have copies of everything. Renji is definitely uncomfortable tonight. Pacing and whining. Don't know what to do for him.
Posted by: Diana

Re: Renji health issues - test Qs - 03/07/14 09:29 PM

The preliminary imaging readings were normal. Still waiting on final reads and results from blood and urine work. Tick snap test was negative. They don't doubt there may he something going on but whatever it is, they aren't seeing yet. The neuro said these tests would be what an internist would want, and also that if it were her dog, she would be doing the same. She wasn't sure that a CT or MRI would be of any use. There was a definite difference in the knuckle over reflex but not enough to be indicative of a problem. She said it might be normal for him or just very early in whatever might be happening.

The neuro asked that I video anything that I find questionable and email it to their neurology department for further investigation.

In the meantime, any ideas? Renji is clearly not doing well, even given anesthesia.
Posted by: Diana

Re: Renji health issues - test Qs - 03/07/14 09:30 PM

I'm thinking of going back to UF Gainesville if this continues.
Posted by: MaxaLisa

Re: Renji health issues - test Qs - 03/07/14 11:43 PM

I hope that he settled soon after you last posted. For a healthy dog, that post anesthesia thing can be rough, but it sounds like things lasted a long time.
Posted by: bianca

Re: Renji health issues - test Qs - 03/08/14 01:52 AM

hugging hugging
Posted by: Diana

Re: Renji health issues - test Qs - 03/08/14 08:20 AM

All further tests normal. So why is he not normal? If he has mild hip dysplasia, could he be just extra sensitive to those changes?
Posted by: MaxaLisa

Re: Renji health issues - test Qs - 03/08/14 01:37 PM

Do you have a copy of the blood panel?
Posted by: Diana

Re: Renji health issues - test Qs - 03/08/14 03:02 PM

Not yet but should by early next week. Should have copies of everything by then.
Posted by: MaxaLisa

Re: Renji health issues - test Qs - 03/08/14 04:11 PM

I never believe blood tests are normal until I have them in my hands and I've verified that nothing is out of range and also nothing is near the borders of the ranges. I have seen blood tests declared "normal" by vets (even specialists), that were in fact, not normal.

If everything is, in fact, normal, then you;re in a tough spot. There are things that are hard to diagnose, and also things that don't have a path to diagnoi other than exclusion.

Stepping back, and looking at him as a whole, what do you see on a day to day basis? Are there things you have accepted as normal that might nor be normal?
Posted by: Diana

Re: Renji health issues - test Qs - 03/10/14 09:26 PM

Over the past year or so, he has slowed down a lot. Granted, he is anywhere between 6-8 years old but that's still fairly young. He's only good to play fetch a few throws before he must lay down. Often, he'll just get up and head for the house. Time of day doesn't seem to matter. The two really unique incidents were when he couldn't get up the A frame a year ago and then a few nights ago when he couldn't walk. Just way too unusual. His muscle tone is going down, too. Though his diet hasn't changed, his gas has become a great deal worse. Very sulphuric, to the point of making my throat itch. Just very abnormal. He has always been gassy on beef but nothing terrible. The benefits outweighed the toots. Now, I've taken him off of all beef except for liver and I think that's next.

Otherwise, there isn't anything else major. But things just aren't going right. I have his xrays and ultrasound and tomorrow will have his lab results. Will post them as I am able. If I think of more oddities, I will share.
Posted by: Braverhund

Re: Renji health issues - test Qs - 03/11/14 08:53 AM

I remember when you got Renji, and the first pictures you shared of your gorgeous, characterful boy. wub

Regarding his health issues, we wish that they could speak, and simply tell us. hammer You are doing a remarkable job of being thorough, turning over every stone Seven seems about right to begin settling/slowing down, but I agree that stopping after a few ball throws and laying down or heading back towards the house is very unusual. With the testing coming back within normal range, might you do further imaging such as an MRI? It really seems you've been so complete in checking his health. Renji is so very lucky to have you! May an understandable answer be found, and progress forward to Renji feeling better be on the near horizon! crossedfingers
Posted by: Diana

Re: Renji health issues - test Qs - 03/11/14 11:00 AM

Is it possible this was a very mild mesenteric torsion?

Let's recap the evening.

-Symptoms began about an hour or so after eating

-Dog acted extremely agitated, almost terrified. Whined, paced quickly, darted about, tried to be next to me, couldn't settle

-Stomach was tight but not bloated. Dog held breath and was very still when I palpated. This indicates he was in pain/discomfort

-Took him for walk, darted about during the walk nervously

-Urinated normally, had a small, sticky bowel movement

-Immediately after bowel movement, he was unable to walk. Wasn't exactly hunched over, but wasn't standing normally. Appeared to try to move upon encouragement but could not or WOULD not move rear legs

-Flopped over while being carried

-Nose was hot

-Lots of loud noises in abdominal area

-Slowly came out of it

-Gums never paled but were brighter pink than normal

-Typical bloat symptoms of coughing, licking air, and licking carpet were NOT exhibited. Typical pacing/anxious behavior was greatly increased

-Still doesn't seem quite right


Over the long term, these are some other observations I've noted

-Has had abnormally and unusually bad gas getting worse over past few months. Most recently VERY bad to the point of modifying diet. Gas is extremely sulphuric

-He has been developing exercise intolerance. He used to be able to hard fetch for 20-30 minutes + without stopping. Now he's good for a few small throws before he lies down or wants to go inside. I can tell he WANTS to play and is still intense, he just can't do it for long

-Muscle mass appears to be decreasing

-He is noticeably more wobbly on his rear legs. He walks more like one would expect a showline German shepherd to walk, not a "normal" dog with moderate/normal rear angulation

-He is itchier without any visible skin issues (coat is excellent, skin isn't flakier than normal, odor is normal for him, no observed redness)

-He seems to be coughing more and sneezing more

I've sent the above to the vets at the specialist center for their input. I have a feeling this might not be neurological, at least not directly.
Posted by: Diana

Re: Renji health issues - test Qs - 03/11/14 12:05 PM

Looking to see if maybe he has some underlying issue, like EPI or SIBO. He's never been gastrointestinally normal.
Posted by: MaxaLisa

Re: Renji health issues - test Qs - 03/11/14 12:24 PM

Well, there is definitely something going on that is affecting his gut and also ambulation(?). The two things may or may not be related.

Kinda waiting to see the blood reports before I say anything, but, are you giving any probiotics? Which ones, if so?

Eta: I don't recall, did you used to give gas-x regularly? Are you uing any digestive enzymes?
Posted by: Diana

Re: Renji health issues - test Qs - 03/11/14 12:41 PM

No probiotics, no enzymes. He was more or less fine for years. Occasional loose stool but nothing to give me pause after we moved out of that one townhouse that caused us both major health problems. Haven't given gasx in years, either. He is fed raw prey-model. For supplements he gets Springtime Longevity, Springtime Fresh Factors, Springtime Bug Off, and Springtime Stress Free Calmplex. Also fish oil. He has been on these for at least 1.5 - 2 years with no issues, rather vast improvements.
Posted by: Diana

Re: Renji health issues - test Qs - 03/11/14 01:42 PM

Pancreatitis??? http://www.2ndchance.info/pancreatitisdog.htm His meal before the episode was about a half pound of pork butt, no skin. A few days prior, he had a large portion of pork butt with the skin and had bad diarrhea.

Maybe it's pancreatitis? The ultrasound was normal but apparently that doesn't rule it out.
Posted by: Wisc.Tiger_Val

Re: Renji health issues - test Qs - 03/11/14 02:35 PM

Pancreatitis is a royal PIA. Usually the Pancreas will have some swelling or tenderness in that area when palpated. The dog can have flare or it can be chronic. It is very very painful. IMHO the more flares the more likely that it will become chronic.
Posted by: Diana

Re: Renji health issues - test Qs - 03/11/14 03:01 PM

Eagerly awaiting bloodwork results...........
Posted by: Diana

Re: Renji health issues - test Qs - 03/11/14 03:57 PM

Spoke with the vet who saw Renji, she is disinclined to think any form of intesinal bloat and, since he wasn't vomiting or presenting with true diarrhea, no pancreatitis, either. She commented that maybe it is a good time for a CT scan or MRI. I might go that route but also might wait for another acute episode. Maybe there are indeed two different things going on here.
Posted by: Diana

Re: Renji health issues - Prozac? - 03/12/14 10:36 AM

Quick update. Renji is getting Prozac today. We have a script for six months. There is concern that the SSRI will exacerbate the anxiety and aggression problems. Does anyone have experience on about how long we should be seeing effects? The vets told me about six weeks for a positive outcome but I'm curious about others' experiences with Prozac and other SSRIs.

**I'm breaking this out into a separate topic**
Posted by: Diana

Re: Renji health issues - Prozac? - 03/12/14 11:34 AM

The only other real update I have is that his GI noises are a lot louder than usual. This is a recent development. Still waiting on the bloodwork results, too.
Posted by: Diana

Re: Renji health issues - Bloodwork! - 03/13/14 12:01 PM

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1gqsBdyV1UHRkZudVBYekxINms/edit?usp=sharing

Renji's bloodwork. While nothing seems wildly out of range and they did say the results are normal, there is enough in there to make me question the results. He is on a raw diet which could explain some of the differences but there are still things that don't seem quite right.
Posted by: Diana

Re: Renji health issues - Bloodwork! - 03/13/14 12:11 PM

I'm eying those liver values. The episode was Wednesday, the blood draw was Friday. I wonder if we would have seen something concrete on Wednesday. The vets don't believe this was pancreatitis but it makes one wonder.
Posted by: MaxaLisa

Re: Renji health issues - Bloodwork! - 03/13/14 01:40 PM

I should get a chance to catch up ome late thi afternoon. I think there are definitely ome things that aren't optimal.

How long before the blood draw had he eaten?
Posted by: MaxaLisa

Re: Renji health issues - Bloodwork! - 03/13/14 01:44 PM

Off the top of my head, I'm worried about the low potassium and high glucose (with low anion gap probably from the potassium).

I don't know if there are amy relationships.

Does he pee and/or drink a lot? Some of the high glucose could be a meal before blood draw, but, being fed raw, I do,kt know how high it might spike. Had he had any fluids? If so, when?
Posted by: Diana

Re: Renji health issues - Bloodwork! - 03/13/14 02:09 PM

His last meal was the evening before. PLENTY of time for typical fasting. Did he drink the day of? Not sure, probably not. He normally drinks a moderate amount, not a whole lot because of the raw diet and water with his meal (powdered supplement). The past few days though he has been urinating more. Not more frequently, but a greater quantity when he does. The water bowl seems to be going down a bit quicker but it's not a huge difference.
Posted by: Diana

Re: Renji health issues - Bloodwork! - 03/13/14 02:19 PM

At least 16 hours between meal and blood draw.
Posted by: MaxaLisa

Re: Renji health issues - Bloodwork! - 03/13/14 02:41 PM

Was he given subQ or IV at the vet, or aat the previous appt?
Posted by: Diana

Re: Renji health issues - Bloodwork! - 03/13/14 02:49 PM

He was sedated, although I'm not sure if he was sedated prior to the blood draw. I'm 99% certain he was not given intravenous for any purpose other than to sedate. I'd have to check the paperwork.
Posted by: MaxaLisa

Re: Renji health issues - Bloodwork! - 03/13/14 03:00 PM

Okay, just trying to figure out how real that high end glucose is. Not at clue at this moment what it means, but he's definitely not "balanced".
Posted by: Diana

Re: Renji health issues - Bloodwork! - 03/13/14 03:38 PM

My question is, was there an acute episode or is this a long term f-up. Being that this is my first dog and first raw-fed dog, that's always in the back of my mind. But since we've had years of good health, I'm pretty sure his diet has been balanced.

You know, he is EXTREMELY itchy lately. His skin looks and smells perfect but he is always ITCHY. No fleas.
Posted by: Braverhund

Re: Renji health issues - Bloodwork! - 03/13/14 04:28 PM

Even if it wasn't "balanced," he's still absorbing more bioavailable nutrients on his raw diet than he'd have available to him on any "premium" grain-free. All foods we feed are very high in omega 6, as everything's agri-farmed, corn-fed meat. I'm sure Renji is getting a balancing omega-3 such as fish oil, yes? On that note, is he getting any flax oil? It's an itch-producer for many dogs, Goldens famously so. Another itch culprit can be joint supplements made for humans, as all the coatings to make them palatable for us, and the fillers used to make a nice-to-swallow pill-shape, can cause serious itchies in dogs. This was the case with my last senior. Only doggy joint supplements for my dogs from now on, even though others may have gotten away with giving human-intended joint supplements to their dogs. Just a consideration.

I really hope that the Prozac helps, and that you and your vet can isolate exactly what your Renji needs.
Posted by: Diana

Re: Renji health issues - Bloodwork! - 03/13/14 07:03 PM

Thanks Patti, no flax. He gets gunky ears on flax. Found that out when we tried Nupro. I'm going to have to take a close look at his diet to see if anything has changed or perhaps find an ingredient in his supplements that could be a problem. All his supplements are from Springtime. I picked up the bottles and am going through the ingredients now.
Posted by: PositiveDog

Re: Renji health issues - Bloodwork! - 03/13/14 08:05 PM

Springtime's Omega 3-6-9 has flax in it. My sister's Aussie can't take those. Just a thought.
Posted by: Diana

Re: Renji health issues - Bloodwork! - 03/13/14 08:10 PM

He takes Fresh Factors, Longevity, Bug Off, and Calmplex. None have flax or anything grainy or suspect. I might take him off Calmplex in light of the Prozac. I didn't know about the 3-6-9 having flax; now I know to stay away from that!
Posted by: Braverhund

Re: Renji health issues - Bloodwork! - 03/13/14 08:19 PM

Grimmi really got in trouble with the Bug Off Garlic. I tried it, because I wished to avoid the chemicals in the topicals. He got very itchy on it, and he had a sort of pale powdery residue in his coat. I do know a few people who have their dogs on it, and they are fine. Grimmi really didn't feel or do well on it, though. The ingredients were mainly powdered garlic, so, I can understand that in nature, dogs are not supposed to/would not ingest garlic.

I dislike using the topicals. Advantix caused skin ulcers, but Grimmi tolerates Frontline basically okay. Gosh, it's like a balancing act with some of our sensitive dogs (and the odd stuff we're trying to put into/onto them)!
Posted by: aubie

Re: Renji health issues - Bloodwork! - 03/14/14 11:09 AM

Hey Diana, I know I'm late to the party in posting, but I know you've been doing a lot of cleaning in your house, and I know you've thought of this and you may have already said it, but could there be anything you've used that could cause a reaction? Are you using the water from the water heater that you flushed with peroxide? Just trying to rethink this. Feel free to read this and say: Well of course I've thought of that stupid aubie woman! Duh! rofl
Posted by: Diana

Re: Renji health issues - Bloodwork! - 03/14/14 11:54 AM

Patti, now there's a thought. I did notice Renji also has this fine powder by his skin. I'll pull him off of the bug-off and am weaning him off the calmplex. He'll stay on the Fresh Factors and Longevity as he was on those before the former two.

Tiffany, you've been following on FB so you are catching a lot more. smile BTW, if anyone wants to follow Renji and me on FB, PM me! We are NOT using the well water for drinking. Renji is getting bottled water. Yes, I'm almost certain this was caused by chemicals, either what we used to clean or the leftovers from the smokers before us. After all, none of this began until we moved in, except for his questionable nerve issues. I'm still pulling out gross stuff every time I vacuum. In fact, I've been researching a better vacuum to buy.
Posted by: Diana

Re: Renji health issues - Bloodwork! - 03/14/14 01:23 PM

So I talk to the neurologist again. And then I talk to one of their internal medicine vets. The internal medicine vet says it sounds like a neurological problem. The neuro insists the blood work was fine and doesn't indicate any problem.

And yet, darn dog acts like he ran a marathon after three or four throws of the ball.

Posted by: MSD

Re: Renji health issues - Bloodwork! - 03/14/14 02:29 PM

Hi, maybe this could be of some help, I have two very sensitive dogs, I understand about wanting a clean home and the chemicals. Iíve resorted to using Dr. Bronnerís Magic Soaps, and it is AWESOME and CLEANS EVERYTHING from your windows, kitchen cabinets, shower, floors, walls, moldings, gets ink out of clothing and you can even bathe yourself and your pup with it. This is my go to cleaner and I canít say enough good things about it. I canít think of anything I wouldnít use it for. A little goes such a long way. The ingredients are: Water, Organic Coconut Oil*, Potassium Hydroxide**, Organic Orange Oil, Organic Olive Oil*, Organic fairDeal Hemp Oil, Organic Jojoba Oil, Organic Lemon Oil, Organic Lime Oil, Citric Acid, Tocopherol. I also use a lot of baking soda and white vinegar and a 50% water/50%alcohol in a spray bottle for quick spills in the kitchen.

Originally Posted By: Diana
Yes, I'm almost certain this was caused by chemicals, either what we used to clean or the leftovers from the smokers before us. After all, none of this began until we moved in, except for his questionable nerve issues.
Posted by: aubie

Re: Renji health issues - Bloodwork! - 03/14/14 04:57 PM

Have you rented a carpet cleaner and sucked all the nastiness out of the floors? You could use a green cleaner like Simple Green or even a mixture of vinegar/water or even the Bronners?

Although, seeing the black nastiness that comes from your floor may make you nauseous! sick
Posted by: Braverhund

Re: Renji health issues - Bloodwork! - 03/14/14 06:15 PM

For Smokey's allergies/sensitivities, I had a local carpet cleaning company come (affordable! cheers) and do my main room with a portable system with a green, safe cleaner intended for sensitive/allergic crawling babies. It's called HOST. It's really a bunch of chewed-up tiny bits of sponges, saturated with a non-allergenic cleaning fluid. HOST gets scrubbed vigorously in between the carpet fibers, has to sit for a short while, then gets very strongly vacc'd out with their powerful system. The carpet is then basically nearly dry. And WOW is it clean! Smokey's allergies got better after that. paw peacesign
Posted by: MaxaLisa

Re: Renji health issues - test Qs - 03/15/14 03:17 PM

I don't know what is going on with Renji, it sure is a mystery. My "balance" remark was more directed at the bloodwork than the diet though, since those values are not what I would be comfortable with. Definitely no gross abnormalities or things out of range, which is what the vets will look for. The specialists are usually best at looking at things only after they get bad enough to present themselves.

My first thought about the tight stomach, etc. was also that pancreatitis might be a possibility, but the bloodwork and the u/s don't support that, so it's much less likely. I am not convinced that an MRI or CT scan would show a lot, and those are very stressful on the dog.

It does appear that there are significant gut issues though, and probably a good chance that there is inflammation in the gut, from the tightness and also some of the symptoms. I would be addressing that as a first step.

Looking at the bloodwork, if this were my dog, particularly knowing that a raw diet is being fed, these are some of the thoughts that would be going through my head....

A low end protein state doesn't make sense to me in a raw fed dog, and may point towards intestinal absorption problems.

The low globulin, combined with the low neutrophils and low lymphocytes, to me, and I may be wrong, points to a chronic immune suppression. Lower globulin with the higher albumin might be from the high protein diet, but I am still concerned about those low end neut/lymph blood values. The appearance of basophils I wish I knew more about, since I'm dealing with that here. Most dogs don't seem to have those appearing and can be a marker for a certain type of inflammation.

The high bilirubin, since all the other liver values look good, might be from a breakdown of red blood cells, but the reticulocytes (new rbc's) aren't high, so maybe that's not likely. The rbc values though are at the high end, which may be dehydration, or other things. That's often a mystery to me, I've seen it with the dogs here.

Raw fed dogs are more likely to have high end BUN rather creatinine in general, so there might be some stress on the kidneys, something I would watch, but not worry about too much at this point.

I do not understand the high glucose, particularly in a fasted dog. A quick google says that potassium is often given to lower glucose, so maybe this is part of the low potassium issue. Low potassium can affect so many things; I would definitely address this.

The low end phosphorous in a prey model fed dog makes absolute no sense to me.

I would have a nutritionist go over the diet as a first step. Even if the diet is balanced, it could be that he has special needs, but between the phosphorous and postassium, those are enough indications to me that I would want to double check things. This is who I use, but there is also Monica Segal, and others out there: http://www.betterdogcare.com/

The urine looks pretty concentrated, so more fluid through the urinary tract would be helpful. 8.0 is pretty alkaline - Last time Jazz had a u/a, they listed the normal ph as 5.5-7.0, and the normal SG as 1.015-1.050. The anion gap is also low, representing a more alkaline state in the body, perhaps, but I don't know if these are connected; in general I think they need not be.
Posted by: MaxaLisa

Re: Renji health issues - Bloodwork! - 03/15/14 03:19 PM

Originally Posted By: Diana
So I talk to the neurologist again. And then I talk to one of their internal medicine vets. The internal medicine vet says it sounds like a neurological problem. The neuro insists the blood work was fine and doesn't indicate any problem.

And yet, darn dog acts like he ran a marathon after three or four throws of the ball.



All that first paragraph means is that things aren't bad enough for them to know what's wrong frown

Trust your instincts that there is something wrong, though it might be like finding a needle in the haystack frown
Posted by: Braverhund

Re: Renji health issues - Bloodwork! - 03/15/14 03:45 PM

I know bloodwork seems normal, but could it be his heart? Even with a normal rhythm, I wonder, due to exercise component that you mention. Renji is a challenging boy, like my Grimmi, to bring to a vet's and ever try anything creative, but... any chance your internal medicine vet could, in an enclosed outdoor area, watch Renji chasing a ball? As anxious as Renji can be, would he run for his ball in a new enclosure if you were throwing it for him? Just a thought, it would be nice for the vet to witness what you witness.
Posted by: MaxaLisa

Re: Renji health issues - Bloodwork! - 03/15/14 03:59 PM

I think it's always possible Patti. Max had similar fatigue and breath problems, and his heart had undergone significant changes that were secondary to other issues. He was also low potassium in his diet, but not yet in his bloodowrk.
Posted by: Diana

Re: Renji health issues - Bloodwork! - 03/20/14 12:26 PM

I've been away from a bit but there is no real news. Renji is unfortunately getting very thin. Like greyhound-thin. He is getting about 1.25 lbs/day, which is a little over 2% for a 50 lb dog. He is 45 lbs. Something is up because he is eating the same stuff he always has been. NEVER had issues with absorption. I'd have to look back but during his most active days, he was getting about 1.5 or 1.75 lbs/day which is a LOT for a dog his size, but then again he was extremely active. Nothing has changed in his diet except I pulled out all beef (except liver) from his diet due to gas. Maybe there is something in the supplements that affect values. Raw is generally not considered a high protein diet but I could be wrong.

Can EPI develop out of the blue? He is always acting like he is starving, bowel movements appear mostly normal, and he is eating what I give but... dang dog's wasting away in front of me.

Lisa, I must thank you for an extremely thorough and well thought-out analysis. I *wish* the vets had given me SOMETHING like this other than "normal, bring him back if you're so worried." I don't believe I am bringing him back there. If anything, I'll be taking him back to UF Gainesville. But at this point, I have to weigh the stress. Sedation is very hard on him and just being at the vet is a tremendously stressful event. I could make things worse trying to chase this until we have something more concrete to seek.

I'm to the point of picking up some of that EPI powder to see if that helps. I can't get pancreas regularly enough to rely on that alone.

Thanks to all who suggested cleaning solution alternatives. I'll have to use those to take out the Odoban. Odoban is so far the only thing I've found that destroys the present nicotine/cigarette odors but Odoban is horrible stuff.

Patti, that's a good idea about having Renji play fetch while at the vet. If we go up to Gainesville, I will definitely suggest that. I'm hoping we can see if the Prozac levels him out a bit before we need to go. I don't know if it helps any, but he'll walk just fine. It's a fast walk, too. I have to hoof it to keep up! And he is happy to go on for quite awhile. Why in the world would he not want to play fetch, I don't know. It could be as simple as his hips hurt even though they aren't bad radiographically.
Posted by: MaxaLisa

Re: Renji health issues - Bloodwork! - 03/21/14 01:33 AM

Originally Posted By: Diana
I've been away from a bit but there is no real news. Renji is unfortunately getting very thin. Like greyhound-thin. .....

.....He is always acting like he is starving, bowel movements appear mostly normal, and he is eating what I give but... dang dog's wasting away in front of me.

....I'm to the point of picking up some of that EPI powder to see if that helps. I can't get pancreas regularly enough to rely on that alone.

.... I don't know if it helps any, but he'll walk just fine. It's a fast walk, too. I have to hoof it to keep up! And he is happy to go on for quite awhile. Why in the world would he not want to play fetch, I don't know. It could be as simple as his hips hurt even though they aren't bad radiographically.


Pancreatic Function can decrease over time so that where there weren't symptoms before, you can start seeing them.

But there are also other things that could be going on. Without looking at the bloodwork, it sure sounds a lot like a tick disease. Two things - 1) a negative test does not mean it isn't there, and 2) the bloodwork doesn't strongly support a tick disease, so it's not clear at all....

I would do the following as my starting point....

I would first get those enzymes and slowly add them. If he has big problems with pork, you might have to try something like a plant based one like Similase.

I would also slowly add a probiotic, VERY slowly add a soluble fiber (I like apple pectin), and I would give some B12 sublingual or liquid (cmake sure there is no xylitol), along with a general B-50.
Posted by: Braverhund

Re: Renji health issues - Bloodwork! - 03/21/14 08:31 AM

Now that you mention it Lisa, Grimmi got mysteriously super-skinny when he had tick disease. I do think of adding pancreatic enzymes and B12 anyway, but I'm wondering about the weight loss in your boy. I have no answers, just many ongoing well-wishes for a solution to be found for your sweet Renji. crossedfingers
Posted by: MaxaLisa

Re: Renji health issues - Bloodwork! - 03/21/14 08:52 AM

Originally Posted By: Braverhund
Now that you mention it Lisa, Grimmi got mysteriously super-skinny when he had tick disease.

Yes, it's common frown

But maybe this is EPI/SIBO, which hould be suspect in any dog that has any amount of GSD in them crazy
Posted by: Diana

Re: Renji health issues - Bloodwork! - 03/21/14 12:30 PM

Lisa, do you have suggestions for enzymes? I know Viokase and one other are rx-only. What about Bio Case or the stuff from Enzyme Diane? Are they all about the same or are the specifics to get?

Holy snozz they are expensive...
Posted by: Diana

Re: Renji health issues - Bloodwork! - 03/21/14 12:54 PM

Not just Lisa, anyone.... brain is fried today.
Posted by: Braverhund

Re: Renji health issues - Bloodwork! - 03/21/14 01:39 PM

You might wish to start an enzyme thread, for exposure, for more responses from folks who might have tried and liked, or tried and disliked, more different enzyme products.

Be sure it's a doggy product, or ensure that it doesn't come with stuff like fillers & extras that might make a dog itchy or gassy. Who needs the drama! grin
Posted by: Diana

Re: Renji health issues - Bloodwork! - 03/21/14 01:42 PM

Went ahead w/ Enzyme Diane after some reading around. Crossing fingers...
Posted by: MSD

Re: Renji health issues - Bloodwork! - 03/21/14 02:02 PM

Dianaó hi, could you use something like Super Enzymes from NOW Foods? Here is the main ingredient list:

Betaine HCl 200 mg.
Pancreatin 4X 200 mg.
Supplying: Amylase 20,000 USP units.
Protease 20,000 USP units.
Lipase 3,400 USP units.
Ox Bile Extract (45% Cholic Acid) 100 mg.
Bromelain (2,400 GDU/g)(from Pineapple) 50 mg.
Papain (2M FCCPU/mg) Powder (from Papaya) 50 mg.
Pepsin (NF 1:10M units) Powder 50 mg.
Papaya Fruit Powder 45 mg.
Pineapple Juice Powder 45 mg.
Cellulase (1M CU/g) Powder 10 mg.
Posted by: MaxaLisa

Re: Renji health issues - Bloodwork! - 03/22/14 03:23 AM

Originally Posted By: Diana
Went ahead w/ Enzyme Diane after some reading around. Crossing fingers...

I hope they help! I would also do the other things too. It sounds like the gut is really out of wack.
Posted by: Diana

Re: Renji health issues - Bloodwork! - 03/22/14 11:36 AM

Ordered some of this http://www.wonderlabs.com/itemleft.php?itemnum=6881 as recommended on Enzyme Diane. We couldn't do monthly B12 injections, at least not until/unless the Prozac settles Renji out a bit.
Posted by: Diana

Re: Renji health issues - Bloodwork! - 04/21/14 12:25 PM

We have Tylan powder on the way which should be in tomorrow. The pancreatic enzymes helped; no more diarrhea, some weight gain across ribs. However, his gut noises are super loud, his gas is weapons-grade sulphur, and every time I put hands on him I feel more bones I haven't felt before. Renji is losing weight very fast and is turning into a furry skeleton despite being fed a fair amount of food and living a quite sedentary life. And yet the vets found nothing wrong.......

We will be back to another vet. Hoping to give the Prozac a bit more time, crossing fingers the Tylan finishes what the pancreatic enzymes started.
Posted by: MaxaLisa

Re: Renji health issues - Bloodwork! - 04/22/14 08:00 PM

I hope that the SIBO Tylan does the trick crossedfingers
Posted by: Diana

Re: Renji health issues - Bloodwork! - 04/23/14 06:26 PM

So far, it is. Not a single bad fart since starting Tylan and no abnormal tummy rumbles. In fact, he's been very quiet.

I will be ecstatic if this is the solution. However, the vets will be getting some interesting questions. As in, they had the symptom information, I've told them he's been losing weight, lethargic, gassy, some not-normal stool, and the tests came back normal. To say nothing of the acute symptoms that night. How in the world, as vets, they wouldn't know to suggest pancreas/bacterial overgrowth? ESPECIALLY in a GSD or GSD mix?!

Sorry, this has me livid. Poor dog's been suffering for a long time and it's only because I took the risk to experiment that we're finally making headway. The enzymes and the Tylan were my stabs in the dark. It was either that or he was going to waste away in front of my eyes. No, I won't be nasty to the vets. After a few weeks of good, clear progress, I'll let them know what's working so maybe they'll recognize it in future patients.

Done venting. We're crossing everything we have here that Renji rallies and is a different dog in 30 days. Thank you all for standing by us!
Posted by: MaxaLisa

Re: Renji health issues - Bloodwork! - 04/23/14 11:17 PM

Good call on the Tylan. If the response was immediate, that's pretty telling.

These gut infections are really "under appreciated" by these vets. Our internal medicine vet sure understands them, but Max was sick for a long time until I treated him on my own - I had the same issue, though I think I was more angry than you sound. I think I became more angry in hindsight.

I really hope that the tylan does the trick. It has such a wide dosing ranch, it's pretty handy.
Posted by: Braverhund

Re: Renji health issues - Bloodwork! - 04/28/14 08:30 PM

How is Renji doing on his tylan? How are you holding up? It's always hard when we are trying to find just the right solution for our babies. Keeping Renji in my good thoughts!
Posted by: Diana

Re: Renji health issues - Bloodwork! - 06/24/14 01:58 PM

Thanks for asking, Patti. This update is LONG overdue but I am happy to report it is a very good update.

Renji is almost back to normal. I'm trying to wean him off the pancreatic enzyme but I'm doubtful it will work. The tylan will likely be ongoing for quite some time. He feels like a normal dog again, has gained a decent amount of muscle, has much of his energy back, and is close to being my buttheaded pushy fluffball again. We are almost done putting up a HUGE fence for him and will be slowly adding agility equipment and working on his endurance. This was a very close call. I emailed the vet staff to let them know what ultimately worked just so they may recognize it in a future patient. Thank you everyone for your help and support. It's a relief to see Renji doing so much better. smile
Posted by: Braverhund

Re: Renji health issues - Bloodwork! - 06/24/14 06:05 PM

Hooray for Renji! Renji has always been one of my fave dogs on the board. Yay for his improved health and condition! You did a great job getting him checked out in a complete and timely fashion. I love that he's getting a huge fence for the yard! Awesome! cheers
Posted by: Diana

Re: Renji health issues - Bloodwork! - 06/24/14 06:35 PM

Thanks Patti, but I really don't feel like I did all that good. Maybe I should have pushed harder with different vets despite the stress that would have done for him. Looking back, Renji was in pain/discomfort for quite some time. He is so much happier now. At the least, the symptoms he has experienced have been burned in my mind. Now I know what to do if I ever see it again in Renji or a future dog. But can you imagine, starving despite full meals twice a day? frown

At least we have a second chance. And if his story helps someone else before it's too late, all the better.

How is Grimmy these days? I always love his goofy boy grins. smile
Posted by: MaxaLisa

Re: Renji health issues - Bloodwork! - 06/25/14 03:24 AM

So glad that he is doing well!!

I wouldn't try to wean off the enzyme. Subclinical enzyme deficiencies can make a dog susceptible to many chronic diseases, such as arthritis and possibly even cancer, and certainly things like allergies, etc. From his history, it sound like he will benefit from them.

But great to hear the poitive update!
Posted by: Qyn

Re: Renji health issues - Bloodwork! - 06/25/14 08:53 AM

Thanks for the great update Diana. hugging
Posted by: BowWowMeow

Re: Renji health issues - Bloodwork! - 06/25/14 11:35 AM

Hi Diana -- So glad to hear that your Renji-boy is doing so much better! What a lucky guy to get his own backyard playground! Be sure to post pictures when you get a chance!
Posted by: Wisc.Tiger_Val

Re: Renji health issues - Bloodwork! - 06/25/14 12:03 PM

Diane I am so happy to hear that Renji is back to Renji.