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Old 01-24-2012, 09:20 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Malabsorption, Weight Loss in Dog

Hi y'all
First post, and it's a long one... I'm having a problem with one of my dogs and hoping someone here might have some ideas/treatment suggestions I can bring up when I take my dog to the 4th vet appt in 3 weeks. Yes I have taken my dog to 3 different doctors this month already and no one can figure out what is going on with her.

Background: 3 y.o. female APBT, UTD on shots, dewormed, no fleas, indoor guard-dog, no health problems before this, was always an ideal size w/ good muscle tone.

About a month ago, I noticed my dog was starting to lose weight and I didn't know why. She was eating a combo of dry lamb/rice meal and cans of wet food 2x a day so I upped it to 3x a day. A week later I noticed she was still losing weight so I took her to a Dr. He didn't do any tests but told me that since she was active/eating a lot, the problem had to be some kind of worms because if it was anything serious she would not be so active with such a high appetite. He gave me some deworming pills and told me I would notice her starting to gain weight in about 2 weeks.

2 weeks later she was still skinny and actually looked like she lost a few more pounds so I took her to a different doctor at a local animal hospital. This Dr told me that there could be hundreds of possible things causing the weight loss and that the other guy was irresponsible to tell me it was worms without doing any tests. This vet said that it was possible my dog had food allergies and to get rid of the canned food and just feed her hypo-allergenic dry food. I paid for them to take tests to send to a lab- full bloodwork and fecal exam.

I had to wait 4 days for the tests to come back because the place ended up closing the one day due to snow and then it was the weekend and no one was there...during this time my dog became lethargic and had liquid diarreah. I stopped the diarreah with pepto-bismal and gave her Gatorade to prevent dehydration. She was still eating and drinking but not as much as usual.

The test results came back and a different Dr at the animal hospital called me and told me what they said (and i later saw the results myself)- HW neg, Lyme neg, no parasites but my dog had an extremely low red blood cell count, low iron, low potassium, low hemoglobin, anemia. He told me that my dog had "malabsorption" and for some reason her body wasn't digesting the nutrients she took in when she ate, and that is why she was losing weight and was lethargic from the anemia. He said he thought there might be an intestinal blockage, like she swallowed a foreign object that was stuck in her insides.

I took her back to the animal hospital and saw this new doctor and he did 8 x-rays and said he could not find any kind of blockage at all and everything was looking normal on her insides except for a build-up in the bowels (which could be from me giving her the pepto). He gave me these "Dexa" pills that he said would make her digestive system work, along with Doxy antibiotic, dog vitamins, and RX dog food and told me to come back in 1 week. I asked him if he wanted me to put her on IV nutrients or do any IM injections at home but he said it didn't look that severe that anything like that was necessary. I had already stopped the pepto when the diarreah ended and when we came home from this appt., she started pooping again and the poop is looking normal now.

So basically I'm at the stage where i'm treating the symptoms but not the underlying problem- why did my dog's body suddenly stop absorbing nutrients? She is so skinny and weak, her nipples changed from pink to white, her gums are pale, and all she wants to do is lay in bed. Even if these pills work I don't want to have to give her pills for the rest of her life just so she can digest food, I want to know why this happened in the first place and take care of it. Also these constant dr vets are bleeding me dry over here and each vet is saying something different, so I'm hoping someone here might know something so I can ask about it next appt. I really love this dog and I don't want her to die or be sick. Thanks.

Last edited by PittieJones; 01-24-2012 at 09:25 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 01-24-2012, 09:33 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Do you mean she was eating dry kibble lamb and rice? The way you described it sounded off to me....My first thought is to get her on some satin balls to help regain weight on her and better food with probiotics and enzymes supplement to help with digestion. Also get her on a multi vitamin because so much of the vitamins and nutrients are lost when making dog food. A good multi vitamin is beneficial to all dogs. Also, is she spayed? You mentioned everything but if she was fixed? My first thought when I started reading your post was possible cancer since she is losing so much weight. Has that been mentioned at all?
I use these vitamins
http://www.onlynaturalpet.com/produc.../999010.1.aspx

I use these probiotic and enzymes
http://www.thewholisticpet.com/index...0&ParentCat=40
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Last edited by Blue_Nose_Bella; 01-24-2012 at 09:43 PM.
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Old 01-24-2012, 09:42 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Wow thats horrible I feel bad for you and your girl having to go through this . malabsorption canbe caused by many reasons and locating the problem would be the best bet to control / treat it. My first thought was pancreatic, the vet when he did the xrays did he happen to look ather pancreas? any abnormalities? as well as the small intestines was any of that checked. This can be brought on by parasites as well but seeing as the tests they took all came back neg for that I guess it can be ruled out. There are a few GI problems that can cause this as well like irritable bowel syndrome. In some cases more where its caused by a bacterial infection in the intestines or when its a paraite it can be treated , other cases where its caused by a disease you will be best to just manage it. Has she been puking at all? Since starting the new food has she been better no loose stools? has she lost any more weight? Do you happen to know her starting weight and what she is now? I would ask the vet if they had thought about it being her pancreas or if there could be a bacterial infection { probably already checked for that}. Alot of her levels that were low like the iron is typical in cases where they are diagnosed with malabsorption as it causes them to have issues absorbing nutrients and water. Hope someone gets you some answers soon . best of luck and keep us posted on here.
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Old 01-24-2012, 11:04 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Thanks for the advice, I will definitely look into it.

@Blue_Nose_Bella- Yes I was feeding her the kibble before, but today the vet gave me Purina HypoAllergenic Veterinary Diet (dry), Purina EN Gastroenteric Veterinary Diet (wet), and Hills a/d Prescription Diet (wet) and told me to feed her a mix of the wet and dry together. Also, she is spayed and has never been bred. I had never heard of satin balls before but I just looked it up, I can give that a try but I need to find a substitute for the wheat germ as she has a wheat allergy. The Dr. did mention the possibility of cancer but he said that symptoms of that are swollen lymph nodes and swollen joints, and she has neither so I was hoping that's not the case. I can get her tested but I'm not sure how they test for that? She has had bloodwork, fecal analysis and x-rays already and none of the lab results said anything about cancer. The vet also gave me these Canine-Plus multi-vitamins, I had not been giving her any vitamins before this. I had never heard of probiotic and enzymes either but I will ask him if that is ok and if so, I will order what you suggested. Thank you so much.

@angelbaby- I will call the animal hospital when they open again tomorrow and ask if he looked at the pancreas and small intestines, I'm not really sure what he was looking at, he just came back in the room and said he did 8 xrays of her insides and everything looked normal except her bowels being very full but he said that could be constipation from the Pepto. This last visit was this a.m. and as soon as we got home I gave her a mix of the wet and dry food he gave me, with the vitamin and medicine crushed up in it and a half hour she pooped and it looked totally normal and solid, nothing strange. Then she went again 2 hours later and it seemed normal. Her starting weight was about 60 lbs and she is down to 48 pounds now. I have taken her to the vet regularly for wellness checkups before all this and they always said she was ideal weight and in good condition but now her ribs are really protruding and it looks like I am starving my dog or something but according to the vet I have been overfeeding her, everyday she was getting about 5 cups of kibble and 2 cans of wet food + treats like Dingos and peanut butter in a Kong. When I talk to him I will definitely ask about the pancreas, IBS, and bacterial infection. He gave me 7 days of antibiotics but did not say what they were for. I am going to weigh her again in a few days and see what it is- she was 48# on Thursday and 48# today but her bowels were full today so she may be less than that since she has gone to the bathroom twice since she got back. Thanks for taking the time to reply, i am definitely going to ask about all this stuff.

One more thing- I just talked to a neighbor and he said he heard something about someone on my street whose dogs may have gotten poisoned by this crazy lady who also lives on my street. I'm in a big city and my neighborhood is all rowhomes w/ fenced in concrete yards and my block has a wide alleyway that people always cut through. I am going to ask the vet tomorrow if he thinks that is a possibility, if so I am putting cameras up in my backyard, inspecting it before i let my dogs out, and going over to talk to the crazy lady to tell her to stay the hell away from my yard and I better not catch her anywhere near my dogs or any other dogs for that matter and hopefully she will get scared straight, I look kinda menacing lol so a lot of these people are scared but they are just judging me like people judge pitbulls based on the way they look when they are the best dogs ever!
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Old 01-24-2012, 11:10 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Id maybe try and find out whos dog was poisoned and talk with them see what the symptoms were on there dog, but yes bring that up with the vet as well see what he says. We went through this years ago with one of our old dogs before I got into this breed and turned out to be pancreatic cancer thats why the pancreas is jumping out at me now although usually xrays would show any cancerous spots. Hope its nothing like that and its something treatable. Like I said bacterial infection can cause this as well and is very much treatable. Best of luck. Post some pics up of your girl if you get a chance would love to see this sweet girl.
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Old 01-24-2012, 11:52 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Your very welcome But please do your own research for yourself if you don't take the advice given. The diets the vet gave you are all a profit for them and are crap foods. I have a dog who has had skin infections, bacterial infections, ear infections, yeast, etc. I don't trust the vets 100% because they are all about profit and making money for themselves. My girl is on a home cooked diet now because alls the vets were doing were giving me antibiotic after antibiotic and she wasn't getting better. Her skin infections would of course heal on the antibiotics but it just keeps coming back and that keeps us going back to the vet. I have books that I have read about nutrition and how kibble is making our animals sick as well as over vaccination. I will PM you some links. You came to the right place for info and to get help. I like my vet but they don't always do or suggest what is best for your dog because again it ia all a money maker for them. Probiotics and enzymes are definitely a great thing for your girl at this time because it aids in digestion and helps the body to absorb more nutrients from their food. I have learned so much on here from fellow GPer's and have done my own research to educate myself. Please....do what you think is best for your dog but a diet change to a better food and the supplements I suggested are a good start. As I said home cooking for my dog saved her from her skin infections and constant itching. She is a totally different dog. I told my vet what I was doing and she agreed that was a good move for her but I also told the vet that "I'm not your average clueless dog owner" Even if she told me that kibble was better and that home cooking is no good I would have ignored her because the proof is my dog has a shiny full coat again and that home cooking is working!
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Old 01-25-2012, 12:16 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Diabetes. Have her tested. My cat and my mom's dog were diagnosed when they lost a lot of weight and peed a lot. Get a 4th and fifth opinion and just keep going until you find someone who can help you. Where are you? Maybe one of us will know a good Dr near you.
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Old 02-25-2013, 01:38 PM   #8 (permalink)
 

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Hi Pittie Jones, I know its been a year since you posted this problem with your dog. I just found it and was wondering if you ever had a proper diagnosis etc. I have a Great Pyr who has had very similar symptoms.
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