Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Big Two

Reagan turned the Big 0 - 2 yesterday. Its hard to believe she was just a paper-weight-fearing pup a little over a year ago. I will never let her live that one down. Just too cute and funny.

We are still working on Reagan's digestive problems. We had her do 8 days of a strong course of Metronidazole and 5 days of Panacur. She has now been drug free for 9 days. In total, she has done great the last 16 - 17 days with only 2 "outputs" being unacceptable.

I also made some diet adjustments suggested by a holistic vet that I will share with you in my next post. Nothing earth shattering, but it has changed Riley from good to great. And Reagan is doing much better. I'm just not sure if it from the recent drugs or the diet tweak.

However, it has become evident that Reagan looking rather thrifty. Her fur has thinned out significantly on her forehead, front legs, toes, elbows, and thighs. We ran blood work and found blood values consistent with intestinal disease or dysfunction and malabsorbtion. It is possible that something is causing her to not absorb nutrients efficiently. I only know enough to be dangerous and to misinform all of you. I can tell you that things like a course of weekly B-12 injections and endoscopy do not have me excited....... Happy Birthday, Reagan! We have not decided on a plan of action yet, but I will keep you posted.

I do want to reiterate how important it is to make vet visits as fun as possible. Being only 2 years old, Reagan has not had surgery yet (although spay day is fast approaching) and only a few needle pokes. I looked around the waiting room and each dog was quite nervous, panting and shaking. But Reagan played with a special toy and would put it in my hand for a treat. We worked on sits and downs on the hard floor. We did some training doodles. She practiced stretching her neck for the upcoming blood draw and I would even give her a little pinch..... and then a treat. She was too busy to absorb the tension in the waiting room and quickly forgot about the actual blood draw when the vet presented her with fish treats.

Happy training and I'll keep you posted.


BrittBeah said...

Good luck in your search for answers.
I have a friend with a toy poodle that has nutrient absorbsion problems. That dog is on prescription kibble. She looks aweful and never has a formed stool. She has done all the medications you've tried so far and more. I know that prolly isn't what you want to hear. I think Coco's problem is a lot worse then Reagans.
I hope you keep us posted. It will be interesting to see what works.

alex said...

Belated Happy Birthday Reagan!
Better to celebrate with Frosty Paws than B12 shots and an endoscopy, poor puppy.
Here's hoping you find the solution soon.

Zan said...

Happy birthday Reagan!!! Stop worrying your mom. You're too young for health issues. Could the diet tweak help her absorption issues?

Anna said...

Happy B'day Reagan! Glad to hear that you don't mind vet visits. Your cousins Fire & Tornado didn't mind them either. Hope they figure out what is wrong with you soon.

Never Say Never Greyhounds said...

Thanks everyone. I don't think a diet tweak is going to fix this. She has looked weedy for awhile now and I think its due to not absorbing the nutrients.


Sientay L said...

Happy birthday Reagan!

Do you think the parasite/bacteria infection or malabsorption causing her hair loss has anything to do with her digestive/pooping issues? I hope the answers are right around the corner.
I can't wait to read about your holistic diet tidbit. I hope it doesn't apply to only BARFers. Dino is getting a bit picky at eating and he has to lose a few pounds.

Never Say Never Greyhounds said...

At this point, most likely not parasites. Yes, if there is too much growth of the normal bacteria found in the gut.... the bacteria will steal nutrients from the food. So if the body is missing nutrients, something like a beautiful coat will be the first to go. And yes, bacterial overgrowth will call chronic or off and on diarrhea.


Never Say Never Greyhounds said...

Like I said... I know enough to be dangerously misinforming :-). After talking to my vet again, we are trying a diet tweak... low fat, high fiber.


Laura with the Kudzu pack said...

Happy birthday, Reagan, who I for some reason want to give the nickname Twiggy & that's not related to any unthriftiness.

Jen, if you all are thinking Reagan might have SIBO give the Tylan & B12 protocol a try. In my experience, Tylan is much less prone to side effects than that scary metronidazole. Some dogs respond to it better as well. Don't sweat B-12 injections. They can be given sub-q & if I can learn to do it without queasiness, anyone can. Have you run the tests for EPI yet or is that on the back burner for a while.

Never Say Never Greyhounds said...

Yes, EPI was ruled out. We are going with the B-12 injections... we both handled the first one like champs :-). She is already back on Metronidazole. I hate it, but she has done very well on it. The goal is to get the bacteria growth down, B-12 up, and hope that the diet change will maintain it.