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Discussion Starter #1
I really don't know what to do and I'm hoping someone here might have had similar experiences and could therefore advise me:

Java 1yr old Choc. Pup. Female.

Dec/Jan - Warts. Picked up from Doggie Daycare ($450 to treat)

March - Cut inside of her throat which became infected ($279 to treat)

May/Present - Allergic reaction to stinging insect (swollowed or stung is unknown) Treatment for Coxidia (parasite) and excessive ear wax ($383 to treat.
Upon treatment for the last bout of ailments our vet became concerned about her low heart rate and lethargy (50bpm/sleeping most of everyday). Consequently he perscribed prednisone which helped at first but ultimately did nothing. After an entire night of vomiting we took her back to the vet where they kept her on fluids and for another $400 declared that she had Addison's and possibly Hypothyroidism. After prescribing soloxine, we have seen an increased heart rate, but a loss of appitite and a general air of depression around our once playful pup. She is now having bouts of bloody diarrhea and even more extreme lethargy.

Our vets (we have seen 4), do not seem to be up to the task of pinpointing the heart of the issue; and my girlfriend just slapped another $800 on the problem for the next round of treatments. She is threatening to sell her car next to do whatever it takes to treat the dog. I love my dog and I'm a reasonable man, I just want her to get better. Please tell me if you have ever heard of anything like this!!

Thanks in advance.
~Brian
 

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Welcome Brian to you all,

I am no expert of the conditions poor Java is suffering from but feel sure there are those on this Forum that will be able to offer advice....be patient they will appear :wink:
 

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Sorry to hear your problems Brian. The fact that your vet has actually found Addison's is in it's self no mean feat. It's not for nothing that it's known as the great deceiver. The problem is that it mimic's several other ailments and is not usually diagnosed until too late.

The cause is not known, although most probably an autoimmune disease, it can be caused by damage to the Adrenal Gland'

The symtoms are often vague and appear to come and go. Weight loss, loss of appetite, general run down appearance, muscle weakness, not wanting to walk far, vomiting, Diarrhea resulting in dehydration. Certainly in the case I saw there was lots of little things but little really that you could put your finger on. We finally got the dog to the vet collage where the true problem was found, unfortunatly too late.

Prednisolone Sodium Succinate is the usual treatment or possibly dexamethasone. I'm sorry to say that as the Prednisolone has lost effect the situation is serious. Treatment of Addison's is so dependant on early diagnosis and treatment, which due to the nature is so often not forthcoming that the chances are always loaded against.

I'm sorry Brian, I so hope I'm wrong. Just maybe the vet has caught it in time, we can only pray. Please understand, I'm not a vet so could be totally wrong.

Thinking of you, John
 

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Hi Brian

I have no specific advice to offer you either regarding Java's condition. However it is my opinion that a great many of the ailments that beset our dogs are diet related. While I would not presume to advise you what to feed Java on I would suggest you take a look at her food and then question if it is a suitable diet for a carniverous animal. Many "complete" foods fall far short of this requirement and can cause or aggravate numerous health problems for our dogs

There is a wealth of information regarding pet nutrition available on the internet including some very knowledgable people on this forum. All any of us can do is to research as much as possible and then make a decision on what we put in our dog's mouths based on what we feel is right. One word of caution, I wouldnt rate a vet's opinion on dog nutrition as high as I would an experienced dog owner. They often have views that are influenced by factors other then just the well being of the dog

So a good long look at Java's diet would be the first thing I would do in your position. Even if her food is not the cause of her current problems a better diet will result in an improved immune system which will help her fight them and reduce the chances of further ailments later on

HTH
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you all for your kind words and speedy replies!


Java thanks you too!


Java is currently in the local 24hr vet hospital until tueday when the internist can see her. I assume the poor thing will have no real food until we have her again. I'm sorry to say as well that she has dropped nearly 10lbs inside the last month (62lbs down to 53).

If anyone does have any diet advice, I would welcome it. We currently have her on Eukanuba Adult Formula and I want to say off the top of my head, that all of these problems started cropping up around the time we swtiched from their puppy formula. I don't know that there is connection, I'm just offering information. After our last trip to the vet, she was on boiled chicken and rice and after the stated time we went back to the dry food. Since she has lost so much weight we have increased her meals to two cups, twice a day but she can't always keep it down so I don't know that that is helping anyway.

Thanks again for your support! I think a positive attitude is my best weapon.
~Brian
 

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Hi Brian,

Welcome to Labforums, although i wish for your sake it was on a brighter note. I'm sorry to hear about all the health issues you have been having with Java, it sounds like she has really been through it.

I would say a good diet would help strengthen her immune system as Nigel has pointed out, i have no experience with Eukanuba but have read good reports about it. Maybe you could discuss Java's diet with your vet, to make sure she is getting the best possible nutrition. We do have a thread called 'What Do You Feed Your Lab', here is the link, it may help:

http://www.labradorforums.co.uk/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=8&highlight=

If your vet has diagnosed Addisons, at least they now have something to go by. I have found this link on Addisons, which might be of some use to you:

http://www.thepetprofessor.com/secArticles/dog/Addisons_disease.asp


You have the right attitude in staying positive, i know how much we all love our labs, and as you said earlier, you'll do anything to help Java get better. Lets see what the specialist has to say on Tuesday. Java will be in our thoughts, lets hope she takes well to medication.

How is she today?


We will be thinking of you, keep us posted when you can ok.


All the best,

Julie
 

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Hi and welcome to the forum

As John as pointed out autoimmune disorders can be difficult to correctly diagnose. It took almost three months and three different vets to diagnose my Misty as a Cushing's dog. Cushing's is the opposite of Addison's.


http://www.petwellness.com/health_topics/en/dog_addisons.shtml

Here is an interesting first person account with a lot of links at the end:
http://www.ginnie.com/DaDane368.shtml Part 1
http://www.ginnie.com/DaDane369.shtml Part 2
http://www.ginnie.com/DaDane370.shtml Part 3

Links to Canine Addison's support groups, information and links:

http://www.addisondogs.com/
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/k9addisons/
http://www.k9addisons.com/
http://www.sonic.net/~cdlcruz/GPCC/library/Addisonlinks.htm

Being the Cinci area gives you a wide selction of services, plus there is the Ohio State University Vet Hospital clinic in Columbus. Almost went there when we were dealing with an eye problem in our Labrador pirate, Jack when we were living in Ohio. Very helpful over the phone. University clinics are led by vets who teach at the university and the animals are seen by the facity as well as the advanced students.

I took Misty to the University of Iowa at Ames when I was living in Iowa. That trip was two days and $1500 but it resolved a lot of issues. I have no idea how much a vist to OSU would be. Check their web site.

Finding a vet one likes can be time and resources intensive. I have found vet practices that belong to the American Animal Hospital Association to offer a wider range of services. To belong, a vet practice goes under similar scrutiny as a human facility goes for JACO certification.
Here is a link to their site:

http://www.healthypet.com/ click on find a hospital

Determining the cause of symptoms takes time and sometimes requires several different tests. Often the tests are ruling out possibilties rather than pinpointing the cause. Once it is determined what the cause is a course of treatment can be started.



HTH
 

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Discussion Starter #9
**JAVA UPDATE

Just wanted to let you all know that we got Java back on Tuesday as the vet predicted. It looks like for the time being they were convinced that she had a rather severe case of whip worm. We're on medication for that and she seems much more perky. Our vet seems to be reevaluating his stance on his diagnosis as to wheather or not she even has Addisons. We'll probably run another ACTH once we're through this medication to be sure. Just wanted to thank everyone for their thoughts, kind words and advice. We all truely appreciate it!

~Bri
 

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Bri,...................

So glad Java is back home and perkier :D

Lets hope it's just the whip worm then eh?

Must be a relief for you as I imagine you had a difficult weekend :(

So, carry on staying positive, seems to have worked so far :wink:
 

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So pleased Jav a is back home. Please let us know her progress Regards Meg
 

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Bri

that's good news she's back home and feeling a bit perkier. Fingers crossed she's on the mean. Please keep us updated.
 

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Glad to hear your news Bri. I must say, whip worm is not something we get trouble with over here and is something I've never seen. I'll have to look it up on the net later and see what I can find out about it.

Regards, John
 

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Re: **JAVA UPDATE

5ybarite said:
Just wanted to let you all know that we got Java back on Tuesday as the vet predicted. It looks like for the time being they were convinced that she had a rather severe case of whip worm.

~Bri
Hi Brian I hope Java gets better soon!! Halo had a severe case of whip worms back in February/March and almost died. My vet told me he had lost an 80 lb Chow to these nasty buggers! But he survived it and is thriving (accept for shoulder surgery) and he's about 7.5 mths now! I sure hope they've figured it out!!
 

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I really think that was it!

You guys rock! I'm really diggin' this forum!

Anyway, for those of you who don't know about whipworm:

It is one of the few worm parasites that adult dogs can get. Of the dogs that have this particular bugger, only about 1 in 5 tested for it actually test positive. The worms must have been there and working for some time as they either caused a blockage of Java's G.I. tract via their numbers or the resulting inflamation. Our first hint to this fact was the repeated vomiting of what seemed to be everything we had fed her (although a small amount came out as a bloody mush through the other side) and her eventual loss of appetite all together. This coupled with rapid weight loss (almost 10lbs in a months time) was a large blinking neon sign that something was wrong.

Treatment
Once diagnosed, the treatment was easy: mebendazole for 3 days followed by an additional 3 day treatment 3 weeks later.

Our results
I have to say we have a pretty happy girl on our hands. We can't believe the turn around considering that the decline was so gradual. We really thought we just had a mellow chocolate (although I heard they don't come that way :p )

Anyway, as soon as I have some pix I will post them; but I really just wanted to make a PSA for all you guys out there, and to thank you all for your support. Feel free to PM me or email me if you have questions

(I do have some pix of the girls up on our website here: Hott Java )

Thanks again guys!
~Bri
 

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Thanks for the info Bri. I'm glad we dont have them over here!!!!

Actually the slow decline is always hard to spot and often animals sink to a lower level like that before anything's noticed than with a rapid decline.

Regards, John
 
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