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Hi there, I am a fellow expert on JA and I...

Resolved • Response time 15 minutes

23 Aug 2019

Hi there, I am a fellow expert on JA and I have a problem with my big dog. He is a lab mix(webbed feet so I know he's a bird dog). He has problems standing on hardwood, cannot walk much, is losing balance, pooping blood and chicken bones.He is very lethargic(more than usual), wants me to carry him anywhere(outside to pee), won't eat dinner, will eat meat(homemade beef jerky), falls when he pees on his favorite spot(my wife's flowers).I have been stressing about his condition all week. Normally I am out of town and can't carry hime 3 times a day for bathroom breaks.He has a lump on his side about 3 ribs up from the bottom. I just found out about bladder expressing so I will try that. He is usually very active and ready for walks or car rides, but will do no more than lift his head.H pants in normal room temperature with a fan on him, so I think he has a fever, but I hesitate to drug him like a human.Please help, thank you!
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23 Aug 2019

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Customer reply
23 Aug 2019
I will check back tomorrow, have a good night!
23 Aug 2019
Dog Specialist's response
23 Aug 2019
PitRottMommy
PitRottMommy
Veterinary Nurse

Hello, fellow JA Expert-Jeff! I have been a Veterinary Nurse for over 15 years and would be happy to help you today. I'm reviewing your question right now.

23 Aug 2019
Dog Specialist's response
23 Aug 2019
PitRottMommy
PitRottMommy
Veterinary Nurse

I'm sorry to hear that Hanzo is not well. I have a few questions:

1) Can you share video of the walking/balance issues?
2) When were chicken bones fed and were they cooked or raw?
3) When did he start defecating blood?
4) When did he last have bloodwork performed?
5) Any vomiting?
6) How long has the panting at room temp been a concern?
7) Are you able to collect a rectal temp?

23 Aug 2019
Customer reply
23 Aug 2019
1. https://drive.google.com/open?id=1mLEUoB5Ei6t4nIzNtw1VMAuOVivliHWx
2. 2 weeks ago, he must have snuck them from the trash, we don't feed bones normally
3. last week while on a walk, he pooped blood, when I tried to pick up what I could, I saw a small 1 inch chicken bone.
4. no blood work lately
5. he was vomiting 2 weeks ago
6. past few days he has been acting hot
7. I will try today
23 Aug 2019
Dog Specialist's response
23 Aug 2019
PitRottMommy
PitRottMommy
Veterinary Nurse

Thank you very much for the video. I'm sorry I did not reply sooner, I had signed off for an early lunch.

The video you shared strongly suggests that Hanzo is suffering from some degree of arthritis potentially in both the hips, lower rear limbs and spine. He's definitely showing his age. I suspect that his loss of balance may be due to weakness from passing blood and having eaten chicken bones. Truly, if these were consumed 2 weeks ago, he should have passed them by now. We expect to see this happen within 3-5 days of consumption. Two concerns exist here including 1) him finding other bones to eat and 2) a possible impaction and gastric irritation from the original bones consumed.

Anytime we see blood being passed in the stool, it's ideal to have an examination performed. Not only do we want to rule out intestinal parasites, but underlying ailment needs to be ruled out, as well. Examples of concerns within this age range and with similar symptoms include liver disease, kidney disease, diabetes, pancreatitis, HGE (hemorrhagic gastroenteritis), etc. The best approach for Hanzo is going to be a vet visit. The panting you mentioned may well be due to discomfort (digestive upset, arthritis, etc). The lump you're seeing appears in the video, I believe, and looks as though it may be a fatty tumor. This is certainly a worthy concern, but likely not as pressing as the other symptoms such as not eating and passing blood.

If you need help finding a vet, please let me know. I'll need your location.

Failing this, I can give you some steps to take at home to help your companion’s stomach feel better and help to restore their appetite back to normal. However, if you do not see a marked improvement from your pet or you see worsening of symptoms, they absolutely must be examined by a veterinarian. If you need help finding a location that can see your pet (even just to keep on hand), I can help. I’ll need you to provide your location as the website does not give us this.

It often helps to give medication to calm the stomach and a bland diet with higher fiber a few hours later once the medication has been given time to work. This can help to reduce the instance of nausea/vomiting, restore/improve the appetite, avoid or address changes in the stool, help to move ingested items through the GI tract, etc.

You can give regular pepcid (famotidine) every 12-24 hours if no other medications are being given that we haven’t discussed. This should help with GI symptoms. You can find the dosing information available here: https://www.petcarerx.com/medication-guides/famotidine-for-pet-stomach-ulcers/1116 For this, you can visit any human pharmacy and buy the OTC brand name Pepcid, or you can use the cheaper, off-brand “famotidine” that’s available. If your companion is avoiding taking medication, you will likely need to use a pilling technique like this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-P6NfbxeLX0 (this video is of a dog as it shows the finer details of how to complete the action, this method can be used in dogs, cats and other mammals needing oral medications). Be sure to give a few teaspoons of water following any dry pilling to help flush the pill down to the stomach. [Note: once symptoms have resolved for at least 48 hours, please discontinue the famotidine.]

2 hours after you have given a dose of famotidine, the time needed for the medication to begin working, you can offer a small amount of bland diet. To make the bland diet, you’ll combine white or brown rice, boneless, skinless chicken breast and sufficient water for cooking in a stock pot (note: if your companion is allergic to chicken you can use a protein source they can have such as ground turkey, a filet of salmon, etc). Avoid skin and bone. Use no salt, butter, oils, spices or other enticing additives. Boil on medium until it turns to mush and the meat is easily flaked. To avoid nausea, start with small amounts to begin with and offer the amount every 2-4 hours. A few teaspoons to start is typically sufficient and you can work your way up every 2-4 hours in incremental increases until you’re sure no vomiting will be seen. If your companion requires a more palatable food, try using or adding in pureed baby food in chicken, turkey and similar flavors. Avoid those that contain onion or garlic in the ingredient panel. You want to work up to feeding exclusively until at least 3 days following the resolution of symptoms. After this, work on slowly switching back to the regular food that your companion typically eats over a 10 day period. My recommendation is a 10% switch every day. Day 1: 10% new food, 90% old food; Day 2: 20% new food, 80% old food; Day 3: 30% new food, 70% old food, etc. This slow switch process should minimize any risk of GI upset from changing food.

Once he's fully recovered, I would suggest talking to your vet about cytology/removal of the lump and histopathology to determine what it is and if any treatment is needed. I'd also have x-rays performed on the entire spine, pelvis and lower limbs. If arthritic, he would likely do quite well on NSAIDs and pain medication. Be cautious about giving anything at home as human OTC medications like Ibuprofen can be toxic in certain dosages. I would also avoid giving anything before the GI issues have improved as this is likely to cause them to worsen. A joint supplement like http://www.glycoflex.com would also be ideal to help support joint health.

Let me know if I can grant you any additional support along the way.

It has been my honor to assist you today, I hope this information has been helpful as I take a great deal of pride in my work. I will be standing by if you have any questions I did not address, please feel free to reply and I will respond further. Please be sure to leave a rating or issue thanks before signing off today so that I know you received my response above. It’s imperative for this to be done for the website to compensate me for helping you.

23 Aug 2019
Customer reply
23 Aug 2019
his rectal temp is 101.4. What is normal for a dog?He is starting to get a little better, I will try the pepcid and baby food.I really appreciate your help, thank you so much.I will make an appointment with his vet and take him to emergency if he gets worse.
23 Aug 2019
Dog Specialist's response
23 Aug 2019
PitRottMommy
PitRottMommy
Veterinary Nurse

Up to 102.5 is normal for a dog, so he is at a normal temp. I'm glad to hear that he's improving. If you need any additional support, just let me know.

23 Aug 2019
Dog Specialist's response
26 Aug 2019
PitRottMommy
PitRottMommy
Hi Jeffro, I'm just following up on our conversation about Hanzo. How is everything going? PitRottMommy
PitRottMommy
PitRottMommy
Veterinary Nurse
Avg. question only $19
15 yrs experience in vet med, 8 in emergency med. Founder of a non-profit animal rescue
26 Aug 2019
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