Tucker doesn't like kibble ...

Talk about diets, exercise, and disease.

Re: Tucker doesn't like kibble ...

Postby BabyReba » Sun Feb 26, 2012 5:17 pm

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.


is the PCV the test where they look for volume of cells in the blood? if so, we've done that when he was in for the ultrasound. his reticulocytes or whatever they were very high, lots and lots of immature cells. his hematocrit was low, and his WBC was actually a bit low low, too.

We've done full CBC workups every week since this started, so we can monitor. his RBC goes up and down, but he's consistently anemic. organ function appears normal each time, too.
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Re: Tucker doesn't like kibble ...

Postby FBODGRL » Sun Feb 26, 2012 10:19 pm

Still thinking positive thoughts for Tucker.

Hopefully the doxy will help.
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Re: Tucker doesn't like kibble ...

Postby heartbullies » Sun Feb 26, 2012 11:00 pm

Fingers crossed. How are YOU holding up?

I hope you get answers soon, more than that I hope he gets BETTER soon. what a good boy, still all happy at the vet's despite all the poking and prodding and stressed parents.

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Re: Tucker doesn't like kibble ...

Postby BabyReba » Tue Feb 28, 2012 6:15 pm

Fingers crossed. How are YOU holding up?


i'm starting to feel like we're chasing down Bigfoot. :(

today, the tick panels came back and the vet who called with results wasn't our usual vet, and she didn't know our case history. so all this time, i've been praying it would be a clear-cut tick disease, and she called and said, "i have great news, tucker's tick panels are back, and they're all negative!" my response sort of flattened her enthusiasm when i told her that good news to us would be a positive.

so ... one thing that surprised me is that i very specifically asked about babesia testing on this panel and i was assured by the vet at least twice when he took the blood for it that, yes, babesia WAS part of this panel of tests. well guess what wasn't included in the results: babesia. that really irked me. i even mentioned that i thought there were only a few places that really specialized in babesia and just wanted to make sure, and i was told with no uncertainty that YES, this lab tested for it and that was the test we were running. so they called the lab, got some information, then called me back and said, "oh, that's a totally different test and you didn't ask for that one." but i DID ask for that one, very specifically. GAAAAHHHHH!!!! now they're going to "talk to the clinic manager" to "see what they can do" since they already charged me for this one test and it'd be another god-only-knows-how-much test to get the babesia done as well.

he wants us to do the B12/folates bloodwork next, which he says is going to tell us whether he might have PICA or EPI or other intestinal absorption issues, which is fine except that I don't think we're seeing anything symptomatic of that at this point. no vomiting, no diarrhea, no eating inappropriate objects, no weird burping or gurgling, no "cow patties" or whatever. so i asked why this and no coombs test, and he said he doesn't believe that the CBCs and PCVs show strong enough evidence to suspect IMHA or AIHA right off the bat, and that even if we do a Coombs, it's not a definitive diagnosis. so his treatment plan will be: doxy, folates test just in case, and then if test is negative and we see no improvement from having him on doxy, we go right to immunosuppresants because the tests aren't necessarily going to tell us that, yes or no, he has it. a positive doesn't mean he has it, and a negative doesn't mean he doesn't.

which i get, i guess. but i also just feel like tearing my hair out. part of me wants a second opinion and/or to start over with a new vet. another part of me feels like we can't afford to start over, due to both time lost and lack of history with any other vet, not to mention the amount of money we've already spent doing tests that another vet will probably want to re-run.

the one tiny bit of good news from today's results is that his anemia has improved, as has his platelet count, which is now almost normal, and his white blood cell count. he's still anemic, and everything is still low, but for the first time in a month, he's showing some improvement rather than deterioration.

as for me, my mental state is beginning to deteriorate. i need to find a new vet.
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Tucker doesn't like kibble ...

Postby jamielvsaustin » Tue Feb 28, 2012 7:41 pm

I feel frustrated for you Erin. It doesn't make sense to me to test for things you don't think it is at first. I understand doing that on the back end when everything else shows nothing. I would start taking copies of all of his documentation at the end of each visit. That way if you decide to go to another vet you don't have that same BS -we won't share info, like you did before. I'm really starting not to like this vet. I typically stand up for vets when people say they're only out for money-but this guy really seems that way. I understand being methodical-and I appreciate it...but it also seems like he's wasting time on options that his symptoms are strongly not presenting (hope that came out in English). What does mskiwi say-is what this vet's doing make sense? Is there something us none vet people are missing?

I'm happy to hear about his anemia, at least something good came of this. I would fight tooth and nail about the babesis test-and I would specifically talk to the person who assured you. Everyone makes mistakes, when the vet (or staff) does they should make it right-by not charging you. Customer service 101.
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Re: Tucker doesn't like kibble ...

Postby BabyReba » Tue Feb 28, 2012 8:14 pm

i definitely don't think he's intentionally trying to get money out of me. i really don't ... i think he's been trying to not rush in and do all the tests at once, so as to make sure we don't blow a huge wad of cash all at once. i do, however, think the practice is too busy, too disorganized and has very poor communication. both with clients and between staff. this is the second time the call back i got on bloodwork was from a vet who was NOT the vet i've seen. which is OK if the vet calling me has the full picture and understands what we're looking for. but to call me with a celebratory "yay, it's not tickborne diseases!" when the chart would indicate that tickborne diseases are the best-case scenario right now is weird. then to not know why there was no babesia test in my results, only to call me back later to tell me i would have had to request a special test for them which is exactly what i did ... that means that obviously either the notes in my file are not complete OR she hasn't had time to review them OR somebody is not doing homework. or something.

i think the vet himself is pretty thorough and he spends a lot of time with us when we are in. but i talked to him on saturday about the fact that i had to call the office twice last week to just get him to call me back with the biopsy results, which i was anxiously waiting for, and he basically told me that he was very busy that week because he had to sub in at the other office, and that we could feel free to call as many times as we needed and assured me that if it were an emergency, we would have heard back from him right away. that didn't sit well with me. he's nice, he's thorough, but i get the feeling that they're perhaps overbooked and communication may be on the backburner.

i'm calling my landlords right now. they're dog people and i'm going to see who they use. i'm afraid that if our case is this hard for them to keep up with, we may fall by the wayside and i do not want my dog to fall through the cracks and end up getting worse when we could be getting him better.
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Re: Tucker doesn't like kibble ...

Postby pblove » Tue Feb 28, 2012 8:55 pm

Erin I haven't read this thread, just looked at the last page! I assumed it was about different kibble and diets but thought I shoudl look sicne it is getting a lot of replies, had nio idea Tuck is sick.
Here is a good site to read about blood and urine test results(and they also link to a lot of other useful info). http://www.dogaware.com/health/tests.html

also check out the tick disease info and digestive upset links
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Re: Tucker doesn't like kibble ...

Postby dogs4jen » Tue Feb 28, 2012 9:14 pm

That sounds so frustrating, :po:
I'm sorry you are having such a hard time finding out what's going on with Tucker. It does sound like a different vet might be good. :hug:
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Re: Tucker doesn't like kibble ...

Postby pblove » Tue Feb 28, 2012 9:40 pm

"what to do when a dog is sick and the bloodwork is normal"
http://www.drjwv.com/article.php?view=0009.php
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Re: Tucker doesn't like kibble ...

Postby BabyReba » Tue Feb 28, 2012 10:09 pm

that's interesting. we sort of jumped over one big recommended step in that chart and went to a different one, now i guess we're going back again.
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Re: Tucker doesn't like kibble ...

Postby julie64 » Wed Feb 29, 2012 4:22 am

: ( Sorry you and Tucker are going through this. It's frustrating just reading this, so I can imagine what you are going through. I hope you can find another vet and really hope you get some clear answers as to what's going on.

Glad to hear his anemia is better. Is he acting a little more perkier?
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Re: Tucker doesn't like kibble ...

Postby BabyReba » Wed Feb 29, 2012 8:15 am

he just tried playing with button for the first time in weeks. it left him tired out, but the fact that he even tried surprised me. so i think that's good.
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Re: Tucker doesn't like kibble ...

Postby Amie » Wed Feb 29, 2012 8:23 am

Yay!

:hug: :hug: :hug:
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Re: Tucker doesn't like kibble ...

Postby Ilovethepits » Wed Feb 29, 2012 10:47 am

BabyReba wrote:he just tried playing with button for the first time in weeks. it left him tired out, but the fact that he even tried surprised me. so i think that's good.


Sounds like a good sign. I hope Tucker is better soon. You are in my thoughts as well.
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Re: Tucker doesn't like kibble ...

Postby BabyReba » Wed Feb 29, 2012 8:27 pm

thanks, everybody. and just an update on the babesia test: they are making good on it at no charge. they said it was a lab error, and that they had requested that they test for four strains of babesia, but the lab failed to do so. doesn't matter to me whose fault it was, just glad we're getting the results so we know if we have it or not.

i have a strong recommendation from my very particular landlords on a new vet. i think once we wrap up this final test with this current vet, we're going to schedule an appointment with their vet to review the files and see if we can get the second opinion and possibly switch over completely if we like the practice.
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