Tucker doesn't like kibble ...

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Re: Tucker doesn't like kibble ...

Postby BabyReba » Fri Feb 24, 2012 10:27 pm

after a week of waiting, we've got some more info. his body IS making RBC, lots of them, and his spleen tissues are healthy and full of RBC. but his anemia is progressively getting worse, and his count as of today was super-low. 1.88 is what they told me, so we're putting him on b12 and folates tomorrow, as well as the iron supplements he's on. since the ultrasound indicates no internal bleeding and his heart appears to be functioning properly and his bone marrow is producing what it should be and his organ function is OK, we're looking at two possibilities:

he might have a tick-related disease, such as babesia, that hasn't shown up in a positive test yet, so we're probably going to start him on treatment for one of those just in case (though the vet says this is "controversial" and he's going to run another test for all the tick diseases again, just in case)

he might have an auto-immune disorder. i'm supposed to go in tomorrow to talk to the vet at lunch about the potential for immunosuppresants ... i know nothing about this, but i know others here have dealt with IMHA and AIHA, so if anyone has any stories, good or bad, to share, i'm now looking for more information on these conditions.
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Re: Tucker doesn't like kibble ...

Postby AllisonPitbullLvr » Fri Feb 24, 2012 10:31 pm

What is the treatment for babesia?
:hug: he sounds like he is in excellent care. Sending healing wishes to your sweet boy!
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Tucker doesn't like kibble ...

Postby Adrianne » Fri Feb 24, 2012 10:56 pm

Oh tucker :( you're in fabulous hands, hang in there buddy.
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Re: Tucker doesn't like kibble ...

Postby Misskiwi67 » Sat Feb 25, 2012 1:00 am

Those red blood cells are going somewhere, and its time to figure out where before he gets any worse.

Doxycycline for treatment of suspected tick borne disease is less and less controversial as the years go by. The diseases are easy to treat, the drug is cheap and has very few side effects, and the diseases it treats are numerous and potentially deadly. Weigh the benefits vs. risks and you will pick treatment every time.

We actually had a discussion about this in regards to asymptomatic lyme positive dogs recently at our clinic, and as a clinic we will be recommending treatment from here on out instead of being impartial.
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Re: Tucker doesn't like kibble ...

Postby BabyReba » Sat Feb 25, 2012 4:05 pm

home from the vet. starting on the doxy now ... going to do a b12 and folate panel on monday. biggest concern with putting him on the doxy today is that he's already lost 4 pounds and is having a hard time maintaining his weight, and since doxy can be tough on the GI tract, we have to make sure he eats and watch for GI upset.

but in the end, the hope is that it'll start reversing some of the red blood cell destruction we're seeing.
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Re: Tucker doesn't like kibble ...

Postby mtlu » Sat Feb 25, 2012 4:51 pm

Sending good wishes to Tuck Tuck! and hugs to you :hug: :hug:
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Re: Tucker doesn't like kibble ...

Postby Misskiwi67 » Sat Feb 25, 2012 5:15 pm

BabyReba wrote:home from the vet. starting on the doxy now ... going to do a b12 and folate panel on monday. biggest concern with putting him on the doxy today is that he's already lost 4 pounds and is having a hard time maintaining his weight, and since doxy can be tough on the GI tract, we have to make sure he eats and watch for GI upset.

but in the end, the hope is that it'll start reversing some of the red blood cell destruction we're seeing.


Doxy is less hard on the GI tract than many other antibiotics in my experience, but I agree we need to watch closely regardless and keep him eating.

If his marrow is pumping cells out, you should see a response fairly quickly. Hopefully in a week??

Did you do any testing for autoimmune disease? Slide agglutination test or Coomb's test?
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Re: Tucker doesn't like kibble ...

Postby BabyReba » Sat Feb 25, 2012 5:36 pm

Did you do any testing for autoimmune disease? Slide agglutination test or Coomb's test?


he's really big on ruling out one thing at a time, so he has not done those yet. i asked today about screening for autoimmune, and he said that would be the next step.

so far we've done the following things:

first we did regular CBC screening, HW test w/ the associated ehrlichia and whatever other things they now do in that one HW blood draw, fecal and urinalysis
after we got the results, we put him on iron, then a followup CBC after some iron supplementation
then xrays
then ultrasound because the xrays showed abnormalities
ultrasound resulted in biopsies and tests for degenerative or regenerative anemia (as of friday, we learned that his anemia is regenerative, so his body is trying to keep up, causing some heart and spleen enlargement)
today, we took blood for a more specific tick panel, which will screen for babesia, among other things

and we do doxy and look for signs of improvement. so that's where we are at. if the tick panel is negative, he said he wants to stick with the doxy for a week and look for signs of improvement, because a negative tick panel doesn't necessarily mean he does not have something tickborne, such as babesia or rocky mountain spotted fever, etc.

if the doxy does nothing at all and a followup CBC shows no improvement in anemia, then we'll start testing for autoimmune issues.

in the meantime, he says, if we see any signs that tucker is starting to deteriorate, we should be calling him immediately to speed things along.

one thing that concerns me: he asked us to come in on monday for another blood draw for B12/folates test. which is fine, except we've had no abnormal stools, no temperament issues, no vomiting, no dry coat, no eating inappropriate items. i really doubt PICA or SIBO, because his symptoms just don't seem to be consistent. but they are pretty consistent with tickborne or IMHA/AIHA of some sort, from what i can tell.

i dunno. this really does suck.
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Re: Tucker doesn't like kibble ...

Postby starrlamia » Sat Feb 25, 2012 5:41 pm

Good thoughts for our Tucker, I hope this course of treatment works!
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Re: Tucker doesn't like kibble ...

Postby julie64 » Sat Feb 25, 2012 5:46 pm

Hoping the doxy works. This has been such a nightmare for you and Tucker with still no solid answers.
Hugs to you both.
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Tucker doesn't like kibble ...

Postby BabyReba » Sat Feb 25, 2012 7:00 pm

Thanks. Fortunately Tucker is a trooper and loves going to the vet. We took some pics of him waiting to be seen today. Such a good boy.

Image

So what's wrong with my blood, now?

Image

Making himself at home, being nosy.
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Re: Tucker doesn't like kibble ...

Postby Leslie H » Sat Feb 25, 2012 8:46 pm

It seems like the less common tick borne diseases are culprits in a number of these mystery ailments, it would be great if it could be something so relatively straight forward. he's such a good boy, look at that adorable face.
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Re: Tucker doesn't like kibble ...

Postby turtle » Sat Feb 25, 2012 9:08 pm

Awww.... what a good boy!

I am glad you are getting some answers and hope it is something relatively simple to cure. Anything is better than not knowing. The antibiotics should knock it out. There is lots of info on line about babesia and other tick borne illnesses.

Good thoughts sent to Tucker and you and I hope he is feeling much better soon.
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Re: Tucker doesn't like kibble ...

Postby Misskiwi67 » Sun Feb 26, 2012 12:30 am

I'm fine with doing things one step at a time when dogs are doing well, but with possible IMHA, I guess I would have sent out the other lab tests too. Its so hard to decide when you've got all these possibilities and you don't want to spend a million dollars in one day...

I would definitely check a PCV (cheap, fast, easy) at a minimum or a full CBC on Monday to see where Tucker's red cell count is. When the red cells decrease slowly, they can get REALLY low before pets show clinical signs because they compensate gradually too. This way, if the doxy isn't helping, you don't end up waiting too long for the next step, but you aren't doing unecessary tests either.
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Re: Tucker doesn't like kibble ...

Postby PitbullLover* » Sun Feb 26, 2012 7:08 am

BabyReba wrote:
Does anyone have any super-finicky eaters? What do you feed? Do you do the "eat when he's hungry" thing, even if the dog seems like he's content to nibble his regular food and chow down on however many training treats he can get in the course of a day?


I don't do the ''eat when he's hungry'' because i have a girl who just won't eat or drink for days, she managed to hold on to not drink for days and eat for 3 weeks. Then she had to be rushed to the vet, who said he ''never seen someting like that'' and that normally no danger is in it to do this, so it really depends on the dog on wether on not you should do it.
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