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Can't get diagnosis on our dog's illness

by Olivia
(Los Angeles, CA)


Bailey is our ten year old standard charcoal grey poodle...he does have hip dysplasia, but it never bothered him before. He was fine, and then suddenly he didn't want to get up one day (this started about 6 weeks to 2 mos. ago), his energy was lower, etc.


It got progressively worse with low energy, low appetite, he was moaning when lying down, hard time climbing stairs....his blood work has all come back normal, liver kidney are fine, his heart and lungs sound good, no tick diseases, lymes was ruled out, no fever, pees and poops with no problems.

He doesn't have Atypical Addison's which he was just tested for, has no itching and his skin is all normal, but the doctor gave him prednesolone to take right away before we got the test results back, and he felt better almost immediately.

So he doesn't have Addison's but he feels vastly better taking that drug... his appetite returned with a vengeance (he's lost a little weight), he was playful again, is getting up and down ok, etc, pretty much back to normal...so that leads me to think either it's all because of the dysplasia or he has some other inflammatory condition that the prednisolone really helps.

What else can we check him for or do you think that all his symptoms, which abruptly started one day, are just due to dysplasia?

We even had a pet medical intuitive suggest he may have a severe case of fungal candida, and many of the symptoms do match, but he does not have vomiting or diarrhea, or itchiness, etc.

He otherwise looks and seems like a healthy boy...he eats mostly raw meat diet, veggies, brown rice, vites and supplements, etc, he has his whole life, no antibiotics, has gotten mostly french vaccine, etc.

Thanks for any thoughts on what else could be going on, what else to test for...thank you - Olivia

Comments for Can't get diagnosis on our dog's illness

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May 28, 2011
My Online Vet Response For: Can't get a diagnosis on our dog's illness
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Hi Olivia,
Here are a few of my thoughts regarding Bailey and his miraculous response to Prednisolone. Has your veterinarian considered any of the autoimmune diseases that are very responsive to cortisone? An Immune Blood panel would help to diagnose these conditions, Rheumatoid Arthritis, (RA), ANA, (auto-nuclear antibody), and Coombs test, are some of the tests.

Another thought, would Bailey improve if you tried him on a NON-steroid anti-inflammatory? If so, then his problem would be narrowed down to some inflammation occurring somewhere (the dysplasia and secondary arthritis?), rather than the effect of the cortisone.

Regarding the comments about fungal candida, by the "animal intuitive", I would expect prednisone to make Bailey's condition worse if he had a fungus infection, especially if the dose of pred is in the immune-suppressive level, or only have a transient improvement.

You said that "he eats mostly raw meat diet, veggies, brown rice, vites and supplements, etc, he has his whole life, no antibiotics, has gotten mostly french vaccine, etc." I am curious as to what the 'french vaccine' is exactly. Was he vaccinated in France?

In the meantime, instead of pursuing a diagnosis, you might consider taking him to a holistic veterinarian, to take his case, and study his symptoms and treat him homeopathically. Dog homeopathy does not depend on a diagnosis in order to treat the patient.

In many cases, the patient will respond to a remedy, and improve, while conventional doctors were unable to find a diagnosis, leaving the patient to become more ill. If Bailey does need to stay on Prednisolone while all of this is being 'sorted' out, you should supplement his diet with Milk thistle to help his liver process the Prednisolone. The dose is 8 mg per lb two to three times daily. (For example, if he weighs 50 lbs, then he would need 400 mg two to three times daily.)

To find a holistic veterinarian in your area click here:
find a holistic veterinarian in your area

Please keep us posted by coming back to this page and clicking the 'click here to add your own comments' link below.

Take care,
Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

DISCLAIMER: This educational advice is based on the depth of your question and the picture you submitted. The above should never replace the advice of your local veterinarian, as they have the ability to evaluate your dog in person.



May 28, 2011
Response to Dr. Tillman's question....
by: Olivia

Hi Dr. Tillman, thank you for your response... the problem is we live in an area that has no holistic vets that use homeopathy, and it requires a lot of traveling to get to one. We are going to see if there is a homeopath in the area that can treat a dog, as well as people.

At some point we will travel to go see one.

The french vaccine was administered by a holistic vet when we lived in a different area. I don't know exactly what it is, but i know it's a much smaller dosage, and it is not a 'live' vaccine, but a dead one, which these may be imported from France, it's to greatly lessen the amount of vaccine that she feels is given in too large doses, too often, etc.

May 28, 2011
My Online Vet Response for Can't Get Diagnosis on our dog's illness
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Hi Olivia,
In that case, you might consider decreasing the prenisolone very slowly (keeping him on the milk thistle) , with the intent to stopping at some point and then trying him on a non-steroid anti-inflammatory.

Here are some supplements for supporting his hips:

Glucosamine/chondroitin sulfate 2,000-3,000mg two times daily. OrthoMolecular Specialties, Mega C Powder added to his food to boost his immune system and act as an anti-inflammatory.

Continue the raw natural dog food diet, vegetables, etc. See if your veterinarian would send off for the Immune Panels, to rule out an auto-immune disease.

Please keep us posted by coming back to this page and clicking the 'click here to add your own comments' link below.

Take care,
Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

P.S. If you've found this service or our web site helpful, please "Like" us by clicking the like button at the top of the left margin. Thank you!

DISCLAIMER: This educational advice is based on the depth of your question and the picture you submitted. The above should never replace the advice of your local veterinarian, as they have the ability to evaluate your dog in person.



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