Gastrointestinal illness in dog - Losing weight; picky eater; diarrhea & vomiting
(Upstate New York)
We have a 3.5 year old female cockapoo named Cassidy. Her highest weight in early 2011 was 7 pounds 4 oz. The dog came to us from a very reputable breeder from upstate New York.
We moved less than 2 months ago from Long Island NY to Upstate NY. Before we left Long Island we realized that Cassidy had lost 1/2 pound, but we were not overly concerned. 2011 has been a stressful year with my retirement, our decision to sell the house on Long Island and move permanently to Upstate NY.
We were in our new home (farmland, country, rural) for less than 2 weeks when we discovered a huge engorged tick on Cassidy. We were scheduled to see a new veterinarian the area for a meet and greet so we used that appointment to discuss the tick. I removed the tick that morning and the vet verified that the entire tick was removed.
She was given a full dosage of Frontline Plus which she had never had before. The vet took quick blood results in 10 minutes which did not show problems of any kind. We decided to take a full blood test that day as well. It was a stressful appointmentas the blood was difficult to take from her legs. The vet called in a couple of days to say that nothing was too concerning in her blood results.
Over the next seven days things went downhill. Cassidy began vomiting with diarrhea throughout the day. This went on for several days. On Friday we then called her breeder who we now live 45 minutes away from. Carol is very knowledgeable and told us to come right over and she would bring us to her vet who cares for the mama dogs and puppies at the breeders.
We went to her vet (60 mins away from our new home) and were pleased with the time spent and discussion with the vet. Cassidy was weighed and to our shock weighed 5 pounds 6 oz. She was very gaunt. Although I had the records faxed over from the recent blood test, the new vet decided to take blood again because some of the readings of the first test were marked with "Error".
We were told not to feed for at least a day, until the vomiting and diarrhea were done. We were given Rebound and told to hydrate her 3x daily with 5cc.
On Monday, 3 days later, we were phoned and told to come in and pick up food for her, which was canned gastrointestinal dog food with packets of probiotics. We were also given a prescription for Marin to aid the gallbladder in digestion. When I got there the vet gave me a copy of the bloodwork results which I have uploaded along with a picture of the dog. We had a urine and bowel movement sample with us and the vet said these came back negative.
Since the breeder went with us to the vet for the first visit on Friday we had a lot of discussion about diet for the cockapoo. Carol feeds her mama dogs and puppies Vets Choice which has very few ingredients on the can and dry food - basically chicken. She mixed in Breeders Edge powdered milk which is loaded with good stuff. She gave us one
can of dog food, some dry and some powdered milk. She showed us how to mix it all up. Carol strongly suspected worms (hookworms or tape worms which are usually not present in fecal samples). We wormed her that Monday and she had a slimy looking bowel movement which may have contained worms. From that moment on she ate heartily, had good energy and no symptoms.
Starting that Monday we started Cassidy on the vet's prescription food. She had not eaten in a few days, so she was hungry and ate the vet's food several times, then refused it. Two days later on Wednesday we started her on a mixture of the breeder's suggestion which was the canned Vet's Choice, a small amount of dry Vet's Choice and Breeder's Edge powdered milk mixed in. She ate this heartily for several days. Then she stopped eating that and we waited her out per the breeder's suggestion - putting food down 15 minutes and then taking it up. No treats of any kind. We found her on the dining room table snarfing human food off our plates - fruit salad - something she had never done. So, although she refused to eat the Vet's Choice, she was obviously very hungry and wanted to eat.
We then switched her back to her regular food she's eaten for 3 years: Halo's Spot Stew. We picked out the vegetables and she ate this heartily for several days. Never more than 3 oz per meal, never more than 4 meals a day. During this post diarrhea/vomiting stage her bowel movements were regular, dark brown and smooth. She seemed to be steadily gaining weight.
About 4 days ago, she suddenly stopped eating the Halo's Spot Stew. She jumped up on the cat's table (raised to prevent Cassidy from eating their food) and she snarfed down their canned food - Instinct. I went on Nature's Variety's website and saw that Instinct for Cats and Dogs seemed to have the same exact ingredients so we fed her instinct for the last few days. We also put down Vet's Choice and Halo from time to time, but she would only eat Instinct. I ordered 3 cans of Dog food to test it out but it hasn't arrived - so we only had the cat's food on hand.
Little by little after eating the Instinct for Cats over the past few days her bowel movements became less firm and goopy. She was scheduled today for a followup at the vet's - new blood work to see what if anything has changed. The new vet's office is 60 minutes away so during the 2 hour drive, Cassidy vomited yellow liquid several times.
At this point we know the following facts:
1) She's lost 2 pounds (for a 7 pound dog that's not good)
2) She was found with an engorged tick on her
3) She got a full dosage of Frontline Plus (for 8 to 22 pound dogs)
4) She has had 3 full blood tests (2nd one attached)
5) She has switched food several times in last few weeks
6) We need to find a vet who partners with us in finding solutions who is no more than 20 minutes away from our home (like we had in Long Island)
Any advice would be appreciated.
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