Report for the 2nd week of July, 09, 19 mo: Oops, it’s been too long since updating. He weighed in today at 130.4 pounds. We’re almost getting back to normal after my brother’s death, which should help us all. Kenai’s likely got another bout of SIBO, from the combo of antibiotics we’ve finished and stress.
He had yellow, ploppy cow patty stools, reflux, one incident of vomiting, and became very nervous again. He refused to eat food with tylan on it, so I had to order empty capsules to fill. I believe he also has a yeast overgrowth, despite the probiotics he was given, having an itchy anus despite it being clean and looking normal. He also started with gas.
He stopped eating in the mornings and lunch, so we’ve made a few changes. We’re down successfully to 2 meals, 12 hours apart: 2-2 1/2 cups of Eagle pack Lamb kibble and 1/2-1 cup of red meat at each meal. He’s eating much better. He still gets his flexicose twice a day, and 1/4 tsp of trace mineral supplement in the evening.
I started a yeast killing supplement in the pm 3 days ago, and tomorrow should have the capsules to fill with tylan for the SIBO.
Report for the 3rd week of June 09, 18 mo: Kenai’s very slowly gaining back what he’d lost, up to 130.8 pounds. I’ve slightly increased his kibble, and have ordered a trace mineral supplement. With the stress of being crated so much this month, I found that added zinc helped him both hold his muscle, remain calm, and (unexpectedly) lessened his discomfort in the hind legs.
The ratio of trace minerals is important to get right. Too much zinc can strip the body of copper, and I don’t want to make more problems than I solve. So I ordered something that has the entire spectrum of trace minerals in it, that way nothing gets out of whack. Having known maldigestion, the boys are both prone to multiple nutritional deficiencies.
The tests about his dark urine indicate no problems with either kidneys or liver, thankfully. Sometime doxacycline can harmlessly change urine color. He’s still shedding, though the fur has shine to it again. I attribute it mostly to stress right now.
Report for the 2nd week of June 09, 18 mo: Ooo, time got away from me…I didnt realize it had been two weeks since I updated this page. Well, we made it 4 days with the vet food before I called it quits. Kenai dropped 4 pounds in 4 days, his coat was shedding profusely, and he was ravenously hungry. Despite being so hungry he didn’t want to eat it, either.
To top it off, Kenai’s urine became extremely dark, even though he was drinking more. He’s not a big water drinker but he was getting into that water bowl big time. His urine was dark, dark yellow to orange, so the vet got a sample and drew some blood. We’re waiting for the results, probably tommorrow.
So we are back to the Eagle Lamb, and Kenai managed to gain almost 1/2 pound back. He’s been stressed, crated more the past 10 days than anytime in his life. My brother is in critical condition in the hospital. That never goes well with these boys, stress.
Hopefully soon we can settle back into normal routines, and get the weight back on Kenai and his brother BB. Their coats are getting better again, and their hunger is returned to normal. They wouldn’t skip meals, but they aren’t trying to steal food off plates or crying.
Report for the 3rd week of May 09, 17 mo: I haven’t gotten a weight, and likely won’t for several days with the weather forecast. But he seems to have gained a little muscle mass up in the shoulders 5 days after starting treatment.
Kenai is getting 300 mg of doxacycline twice a day for his tick disease Ehrlichia. Other than the slight muscle gain, I haven’t noticed much by way of results just yet, but we have 6 weeks to go.
In a couple weeks I’ll have doc do another CBC and liver panel, since the antibiotics are processed in the liver. We should see his platelet counts up and globulins down.
I was hoping he wouldn’t have the pain and nausea from his anitbiotic, the way I do for my Lyme disease treatment. Unfortunately he does. Poor baby, I know what he’s going through. I am really hoping his problems all stem from Ehrlichiosis and will go away with treatment. Especially his personality changes. Tick diseases are really insidious…(good info site: http://home.earthlink.net/~hawkeye87/Ehrlichiosis%20Page.htm) .
report for the 2nd week of May 09, 17 mo: Kenai lost a pound then gained again to 132.2 pounds. His body condition is the same, the poo is yellow and soft, coat is more coarse and shedding than it used to be. His skittishness is slightly worse, despite the help of a professional trainer. I seem to wake up with a new dog every day, not knowing what he’s going to be like.
We have an appt for each of the boys Wed 5/20/09 at the university of missouri, to see if they have any ideas to get the boys healthy again. I expect they will want a biospy of the small intestine.
I got copies of their vet records and printed out his growth pages from the very beginning to provide as much information as possible.
**5/22/09–I knew something was hiding under the low TLI score!!! Kenai has been infected at some point with Ehrlichia, a tick borne disease. He was negative for Lyme and anaplasmosis, but we know he has one tick disease for sure. He’s been started on doxycycline 300mg twice a day. Sweet baby, he’s going to feel as awful as I do–I’m being treated for Lyme disease and it’s miserable. Hopefully there’s something to mediate the nausea and pain for him.
Report for the 5th week of April 09, 16 mo: Kenai’s lost weight again, down to 131.2 pounds. His personality is more skittish and jumpy too. The clicker training does change his responses from insecure to curious and playful, which is a step in the right direction towards calm and unconcerned.
He’s shedding something ferocious, unfortunately, and strangely for a Dane in my experience. His digestive problems seem to be slowly worsening. Cross my fingers and paws the tax refund comes soon. I’m considering having them neuter him at the same time they do a biopsy–one less sedation is always safer. I don’t know what they’ll want to do at the Univerity vet hospital, though.
Report for the 4th week of April 09, 16 mo old: Kenai’s gained a little, 132.4 pounds. I don’t see much improvement, but no worsening either. We should get a tax refund next month, then we will make the long haul to the University.
His health is “okay”, but not “great”, if you know what I mean. I’ve seen him much, much healthier. I’ve seen him much worse too. Lets hope the $$ comes soon–I want my boy love in tip top shape someday.
His coat is still a bit coarse, a bit too dull but not shedding as badly as he was. The diarrhea no one could figure out for weeks went away for reasons no one could figure out either.
We are working with a trainer to help me find ways to get him over the noise and movement phobias that appeared when he lost so much weight and his personality changed. He’s okay, and we’re working on getting back to good.
Report for the 3rd week of April 09, 16 mo old: Kenai’s back to 132 pounds. We returned to 1 cup Eagle Lamb and 1 cup raw red meat per meal, 3 a day since I wasn’t seeing enough improvement with the altered raw diet to make it worth the cost. He is still getting the flexicose, 2 tsp pancreatin enzymes at each meal.
As of April 16th, we have re-started tylan, at 1/4 tps at 3 meals and will continue for a six week course this time as TAMU suggests. I would like to increase that to a full tsp per day, but the taste is bitter, and Kenai resists eating his meal with 1/2 tsp in it. I may have to make capsules to give him in peanut butter or use more of that smelly lamb meat to cover the taste.
His coat is somewhat improved, not shedding as much, a bit shinier. Still his muscle mass is poor, and the coat isn’t as soft and supple as it was before his pancreatic problems appeared in force. His personality is still skittish of noise and movement, but the trainer has been a big help, not to mention confidence boost.
Report for the 2nd week of April 09, 16 mo old: Kenai’s managed to gain back to 130 pounds, his stools are infrequent but solid. He’s eating 2 cups of mostly cooked red meat 3 times a day, with one or less BM a day. His coat is poor, his muscle mass is poor, his personality is still timid.
There’s still no concensus on what to do for him. When we get our tax refund, we’re going to likely make an appt at U of Mo. In the meantime, I’m considering talking to the local vet about re-starting his tylan, this time at a higher dose, and if the improve then decline cylcle starts again to add an anticoccidial or metro to the tylan.
Report for the 4th week of March 09, 15 mo old: Missed last week’s weigh in, but this week bodes not well. Kenai’s down to 128.1 pounds. He’s not wanting to eat, not finishing his meals, not wanting to poo, either. All the vet’s tests are turning up nothing. We had one more round of tests, and the vet is contacting Tx A&M and U of Missouri vets.
The diarrhea at least has subsided, into semi-formed ploppy stools. But Kenai’s been a chow hound from day one, so not wanting to eat is worrisome. I’m wondering if the rice in his kibble is causing him problems. We’ll be pickled if that’s the case: he can’t eat the grain free kibbles because of the high calcium levels (cause skeletal changes).
Anyway, right now I’m just chewing my nails and praying someone has a clue.
Report for the 2nd week of March 09, 15 mo old: I was late getting this up, wanting to wait for the vet visit. Kenai really declined near the end of the tylan course, having lost weight (133.6 lbs) from diarrhea. I can’t stop the diarrhea, so we’re testing him for chronic coccidiosis or other enteric pathogen.
There’s got to be a reason he’s just not getting well–we’re doing all the right things, and getting nowhere. Something is either causing or hiding beneath the pancreatic problem. His TLI is now 5.6, dangerously close to pancreatic atrophy.
While waiting for the fecal smear results, the plan is to increase his probiotics. Even the vet is worried, now. Kenai cannot tolerate the l-glutamine powder, refluxing anytime I add it. It’s supposed to soothe the tum, but it doesn’t with him. I think his GI tract is so inflammed it can’t tolerate anything.
We’ll see what develops.
Report for the 1st week of March, 09, 15 mo old: Kenai is still doing well, gaining to 134.4 pounds this week. He has 5 more days of tylan antibiotic, then I will taper down to once a day for 3-4 days before stopping it. His coat is a touch more shedding and coarse, and he’s still too nervous at times. But overall, I’m pleased.
He’s enjoying the warmer weather, with lots of energy. The probiotic will continue, and we just started l-glutamine powder to help heal the intestinal lining, so I’m hoping it will eventually return their digestion to normal.
I don’t think the slight turn out of Kenai’s front feet is going to correct itself, being so close to the age when the growth plates close in the long bones. But that is the only “not perfect” the vet could find in his ortho exam. Considering how badly his malabsorption problems could have affected him, I’m downright grateful for how good of shape he’s in.
Report for the 4th week of Feb 09, 14 mo old: Kenai gained weight! He’s at 134 lbs even, a net gain of 1.8 pounds. He’s been on the tylan for 16 days now, and really seems to be improving. His body condition is good, coat is good, personality is calmer, and he’s wanting more exercise.
He still gets 4 cups Eagle Pack Lamb, 3 cups cooked red meat, flexicose, tylan, and a probiotic per day. This seems to be doing the job for him, at least for now. I’m getting happier about his health, and even happier about his timidity going down.
I would still like to see more muscle on him, but we’re not done with the tylan, nor have I started the l-glutamine and zinc. Every little victory is one I’ll take.
Report for the 3rd week of Feb 09, 14 mo old: Kenai lost about half a pound, down to 132.2 but this time it doesn’t concern me. His coat is softening, and showing less dander. The muscle loss has stopped, too, despite my not giving him added amino acids, so I’m encouraged. He hasn’t gained muscle, but he stopped losing without being given extra protien.
His legs aren’t sore unless he’s not had any exercise (my need to rest so much). His energy levels are increasing, and so is his desire to run and play.
He’s been on the tylan antibiotic for 10 days, with 20 days to go. I’ve ordered a second probiotic, with the lactobacillus sporogenes strain that’s been shown very effective in treating SIBO in studies. Probiotics are recommended by Texas A&M. Also the amino acid l-glutamine, to help heal his mucosal linings in the small intestine. The primal defense probiotic we’ll add after his 3rd meal to control any yeast that might try to overgrow.
I’m researching nutrient deficiencies as a potential cause of his bizarre nervousness. That’s all stuff I need to think about and work on awhile longer. Right now, he’s only getting the antibiotic, the flexicose, and a zinc pill.
I’m hoping as the tylan and probiotics knock down the bad bacterial overgrowth, his trace mineral absorption will improve on it’s own. With treatment of zinc and l-glutamine, the intestines should heal in time and hopefully return to normal.
I’ve had folks say “he looks fine to me”, just an immature Dane. If someone didn’t know him, he would look fine. So I thought I would add a pic of him back at 32 weeks old. He was the same height then as today, and it’s before the digestive malabsorption issues really began to affect his appearance.
You can see in the recent pic above that his body seems too small for his head, and the legs look spindly. Not an unusual appearance for a sub-adult Dane. At the same height, and just 20 pounds apart, though, there is an obvious difference in his body’s build from the 8 mo old pic.
It’s a fine and nitpicky line we walk, but the goal is to get his body healed and pancreas working again. I dislike putting potions and pills in a dog’s food, but if they will treat adn heal him in the long run, it’s worth it. Crossing my fingers and toes, and following the TX protocols…
Report for the 2nd week of Feb 09, 14 mo old: Kenai weighed in at 132.8 pounds, gaining 1.2 pounds. However, his coat continued to deteriorate, he was loosing alot of muscle mass still, and the hind leg tendons were bothering him again.
The blood tests showed his b-12 was within normal ranges. However the folate levels were too high, which means he has a high concentration of the “bad” anaerobic bacteria in the small intestine. He was putting on bone, but losing muscle/connective tissue.
So we started the 30 day course of Tylan that Tx A&M recommends on Feb 14. Within only a couple days, his energy levels improved, his coat began to improve, and the muscle loss stopped. We have a month to go, so I’m holding out no opinion yet about the treatment.
A month of antibiotics can tear up a boy’s gut pretty bad–I’m worried about a repeat of gastritis or colitis like he’s had in the past. Tylan has the least gastric side effects of the effective meds, so I’m crossing my fingers and toes.
Feeding: 4 cups Eagle Lamb kibble, 3 cups cooked meat, 6 tsp of pancreatic enzymes, and 1/4 oz of Flexicose per day (divided into three meals). I’ve stopped the probiotic and amino acid supplements for now, until we see how he responds to the SIBO treatment. I’m hoping he won’t need additional amino acids after the tylan is finished. I’ll return to the probiotic once the tylan is done or almost done.
Report for 1st week of Feb 09: 14 mo old Kenai gained just 0.2 pounds, at 131.6 this week. He’s lost muscle mass, as I’ve had to refit both this vest and
harness. His coat is more dull, too. I had blood drawn to test his folate and b-12 blood serum levels, checking to see if he’s got another bacterial overgrowth in his small intestine. We’ll see.
The vet gave us antibiotics, but they are not the recommended type or duration. I believe I need to print out the Texas A&M protocols, to convince the vet to prescribe the oxytetracycline, metronidazole, or tylan that’s proven effective with SIBO.
His feeding hasn’t changed, still 4 cups of Eagle Lamb, 3 cups cooked hamburger, 3 amino acid pills, 1 probiotic per day. I may have to begin b-12 shots, but I’ll wait for the blood tests to come back before ordering.
Report for 4th week of Jan 09: 13 months old Kenai gained 1.8 pounds this week, up to 131.4 pounds. We made the 130 pound mark after all. He has had lots of energy, his coat is back to normal (no dander, 1 brushing a week is all). There’s been less exercise because of me feeling punky, but he hasn’t lost any muscle mass! That’s a small victory. All in all he is doing very well.
Kenai’s Feeding (Unchanged):
AM: 1 1/3 cup of Eagle Pack Lamb and Rice, 1 cup cooked red meat, 2 tsp pancreatic enzymes. After moistening and allowing to sit for 30 min, add 1 Primal Defense Probiotic, 1/8 tsp of Flexicose, 1 Amino Acid capsule.
NOON: 1 1/3 cup of Eagle Pack Lamb and Rice, 1 cup cooked red meat, 2 tsp pancreatic enzymes. Moistened and allowed to sit for 30 minutes. Add 1 amino acid pill, 1 Primal Defense Probiotic.
PM: 1 1/3 cup of Eagle Pack Lamb and Rice, 1 cup cooked red meat, 2 tsp pancreatic enzymes. Moistened and allowed to sit for 30 minutes. Add 1/8 tsp of Flexicose, 1 Amino Acid capsule..