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Confusing symptoms and diagnosis

  1. #1

    Unhappy Confusing symptoms and diagnosis

    Hi everyone,

    I'm new to this forum and looked around a few pages to see if this particular problem was already brought up. I didn't find anything, but do excuse me if i didn't catch it.
    It's my first time posting on a forum in general but i'm pretty desperate at this point, so please bear with me.

    I have two beautiful dogs, one is a beagle and the other is a Saluki Cross. My beagle is almost 5 years old, and has suffered from a host of "gastric" symptoms for as long as I've had him. He is been on different medications, IV fluids, and has seen a variety of veterinarians over the years. He's always had stomach problems, but no vet has been able to properly pinpoint what causes his intermittent vomiting or diarrhoea. It has ranged from food allergies (and so far, we still have no idea what he is allergic to, or if he's even allergic to something) to gastritis and flatulence (which is the current and last diagnosis we've received for over 2 years now).

    After four years, i have finally found a vet that suggested we do an X Ray and US. Previously, my other vet did not feel the need to perform these tests. He thought it best to focus on eliminating certain foods first, before involving tests and procedures.
    My beagle is a picky eater, and refuses to eat dog food on its own. We usually have to mix it with boiled chicken and rice, or wet food such as Lamb or Rabbit. As a result, he's had several food changes along the years and it has been difficult to figure out what does not sit well with his stomach. (from dog food, to chicken/rice/veggies, to hypoallergenic dog food, etc...).

    His symptoms are sporadic. Over the last two years, he has had the "raspberry jam" diarrhoea associated with HGE about two to three times + the accompanying symptoms, he has puked bright red blood or yellow bile almost every few months, and has had severe gas for as long as I can remember. Because his symptoms are isolated, I understand why or how vets find it difficult to single out the exact cause. So far, the assessment is always "Suspected food allergies vs IBD vs both". Looking through his medical records, there is always either a mention of chronic diarrhoea, chronic vomiting, or both.

    The reason I am posting this today is because after a visit to the vet yesterday, as he puked white bile with blood specks for the third time this month, we were given anti nausea medication + medication for his stomach lining. We also scheduled the tests for next week. I woke up to watery, brown diarrhoea and a very lethargic dog. He hasn't eaten since yesterday. So far, he's between getting up and walking around outside, to lazying around and staying as far away from me as possible. He is drinking water.

    I just wanted to know if anyone here has ever had an experience like this. I am too anxious to wait till next week, and tried to get the tests done this week and will hear back from the vet. I know the symptoms seem very vague/general, but they are just so inconsistent. They happen far apart, sometimes it is severe, and sometimes it is something he gets over in a matter of hours.

    Could this really be chronic gastritis? Is there a possibility it is something else? Does HGE steadily show symptoms throughout the years rather than a sudden onset of issues?

    The vet said it was unlikely that it was something serious, as he wouldn't be fine for this long. But i am wondering if it is some sort of illness that has developed over the years and gone undiagnosed. I always hear stories about beagles being misdiagnosed since they are known to have nervous/problematic stomachs, and by the time they find out what it actually is, it's too late.

    I know this is quite lengthy and mostly semi-paranoid ramblings, so I apologize in advance. If anyone on here has ever had a similar situation, please respond and let me know what you ended up doing or what it turned out to be. I know the internet is the absolute worst place to ask questions, which is why I have never really researched anything and just insist on bothering my vet at all times of the day to ask my questions. But i've gotten desperate, and feel like maybe it's time to ask around.

    Thank you so much!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    New Hampshire
    Hello and welcome to the forum. Are you giving him a probiotic? 90% of a dog's health starts in the gut. A probiotic will keep good bacteria in the gut. Do you have a teaching hospital near you? I would suggest you take him there, these are student vets working under highly qualified vets, they are no more expensive than a regular vet and before you leave there you will have answers to your questions. They won't stop looking until they have an answer for you.

    The little bits of blood in the vomit would have me concerned. the blood is coming from someplace and you need to find out where. Has pancreatitis been eliminated? Is he worse if he eats anything fatty? Pancreatitis is a nasty thing to deal with. If the stools are always loose he needs more bone in his food, get some powdered bone meal, make sure its for pets as they also sell one for plants that is toxic to animals. Start with one spoonful in each meal, if the stools are still runny add more, if to hard decrease it. You can also give him metamucil, one or two cookies a day to put more fiber in his diet.

    And I would be feeding a raw diet. All the commercial food has chemicals in it and that won't help your situation either. I feed raw, have for many years so if you need help with preparing a diet if you want to try that I can help you make a diet for him.

    The chicken and rice is ok but make it brown rice, white rice has a lot of carbs and he doesn't need that. Plus its not a balanced diet. he needs certain "greens" not carrots or peas, those too have to many carbs.

    These are just some suggestions until you can get to the root of the problem. Consider taking him to a vet school or hospital, you will be pleasantly surprised how good they are and what they can do for you. If anyone can find the problem they can. They see more cases of unusual things your vet may have little or no experience with. Please consider taking him there
    he is your friend and protector, he will love you unconditionally, you owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    PA USA
    Welcome! I'm sorry to hear your poor beagle is having such problems and I hope he gets better. I have no experience with this but Linda (as always) offers great advice. Please keep us posted.
    “Save a life and save a stray”

  4. #4
    Hi Linda,

    Thank you so much for the detailed and thoughtful response. I got too antsy and ended up taking him to the vet today for the tests instead of next week.

    They ran some blood tests and found out he's got an inflamed pancreas. The vet told us he's got chronic pancreatitis and needs to be on a low protein, low fat, Gastro-intestinal diet.

    I am so glad that we finally got a diagnosis, but I am still livid about the fact that vets refused to take my husband and I seriously when we felt that they were giving us the wrong diagnosis. She said they'll have to keep him on an IV drip for three days and start the diet. He might also need an X Ray to be absolutely sure of their results.

    I would much rather follow the diet recommended through "human" food, and not animal food. While the vet insisted it would be better for him to eat dog food (for the nutrients), I'd prefer getting those nutrients organically or naturally. Thank you so much for offering, and yes I would definitely appreciate it if you could help me out or give me some advice on how to provide that sort of food for him!

    My grandmother has had German shepherds her entire life, and never fed them any form of dog food. It was always raw, from the butcher. Her dogs were in fantastic health. I've tried to follow in her footsteps and had started Brando (my beagle) on that sort of food but vets discouraged me so many times!

    Also, there aren't any vet schools where I live. All our vets were certified from abroad and have years of experience experience, and they're the only ones available unfortunately.

    Thank you so much for responding!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    New Hampshire
    pancreatitis was my first thought. You will need to keep him on the prescription diet until the episode has passed then gradually go with the raw diet. He needs as little fat as possible in the diet, low protein like around 20%, nothing white, no potatoes, rice carrots, white equals starch which he can't have, also as little carbs as possible.

    give him ground up chicken with the skin removed, skin is fat, you could also do ground beef but very low fat. Raw is better than cooked as cooking kills nutrients. as little fiber as possible, if you find he gets constipated add powdered bone meal. Add l spoonful of missing link to his meal, that is all the vitamins and minerals he might be missing in his diet. No lamb or pork. Feed him small meals 4 times a day instead of one big meal, you don't want to stimulate the pancreas any more than necessary.

    mash up some either fresh or frozen green beans to add to his meals. no carbs in beans and it will help him stay full without adding weight, you must keep the weight off him, overweight will aggravate his condition.

    add one pound of ground up liver and gizzards to ten pounds of ground chicken. Remove all fat that you see.

    No matter what you do you can still expect occasional flare ups but hopefully they will be less and less as his body adjusts to the new diet.

    By the way if he's on a prescription diet don't stop all at once, mix a little of the raw mixture with the prescription stuff, adding more raw each time until its all raw. Switching all at once will for sure give him diareah.

    You can also give him 1 pepsid ac for upset stomach, if you see him acting restless and or licking his lips his stomach is upset. I would give him one pepsid in the morning even if you think he's feeling ok, it won't hurt him and will reduce the acid in his stomach.

    Good luck, keep us informed
    he is your friend and protector, he will love you unconditionally, you owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion

  6. #6
    Hi Linda,

    For now, he's going to be on Royal Canine Gastro Intestinal for two months.

    Is there a substitute for Missing Link supplement? Just in case I don't find it around here. Would it be possible to give him very limited amounts of fruits (strawberries) as an occasional treat?

    20 % ground up chicken, with a little bit of brown rice, and beans would be a daily diet. Are there any other veggies i can include?

    Thanks a lot

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    New Hampshire
    royal canine is a good food. not 20% chicken, limit to food with no more than 20% protein and add l pound of ground up hearts and gizzards to ten pounds of chicken. I don't know of anything besides missing link, you can order that if you can't find it at a pet store.

    this is the honest kitchen base mix food. all you do is add the meat everything else is in it and its only 13% protein. You mix it half and half with warm water let it sit until it thickens then add the meat. Here is the link if you want to check it out

    I use this to add to my raw diet, if you check out the ratings you'll find it got high ratings and people who have dogs with pancreatitis swear by it
    he is your friend and protector, he will love you unconditionally, you owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion

Please reply to this thread with any new information or opinions.

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