Posted 11 May 2013 - 08:39 AM
Posted 11 May 2013 - 08:48 AM
Is the breeder helping? She may know of other breeders that have seen this before. Hopefully she is also asking around.
- SalliJames likes this
Posted 11 May 2013 - 09:17 AM
Did you vet have you do the chicken and rice to see if it is an allergy? Has he thought about testing for food allergies?
Edited by Suzi, 11 May 2013 - 09:33 AM.
- SalliJames likes this
Posted 11 May 2013 - 10:15 AM
Posted 11 May 2013 - 08:06 PM
- SalliJames likes this
Posted 11 May 2013 - 09:07 PM
Posted 11 May 2013 - 09:33 PM
Our journey began when Bella got a UTI and after 4 weeks of treatment with antibiotics still had issues. The first signs of her liver shunt were puzzling crystals in her urine. Many dogs have crystals, but Bella had crystals that should not have been present in the urine at the particular pH. It was on her third urinalysis that biurate crystals appeared. I immediately requested a blood panel with liver values and a bile acid test. The BAT requires that you fast your dog, but it is the true indicator of liver issues. It will not be a definitive test, but it can help you in the differential. If your BAT comes back with high values, further testing needs to be done to rule out a shunt. This further testing may well involve an ultrasound (which can often miss a shunt, which we learned with Bella as hers was not visible on the ultrasound), CT, MRI, or portoscintigraphy. Portoscintigraphy is the gold standard for confirming the presence of a shunt, but not the location. During surgical repair they also do a liver biopsy, but the results will be the same if the dog has a shunt or MVD. Only a follow-up biopsy will confirm any underyling liver disease. 6 months post surgery Bella's BAT values remain high and may never return to normal, we have decided to continue with her liver protocol since she is doing so well on it. We are assuming the higher values are an underlying MVD on the advise of our surgeon, Dr. Karen Tobias at University of TN. Our current plan is to not have another biopsy unless Bella starts to show signs of distress.
My vet was very honest about her lack of experience with liver shunt dogs, but has been amazing to work with as we learn together. She read everthing I supplies to her in terms of liver shunt, testing, treatment, and maintenance. She has consulted at length with our surgeon and written every prescription and referral we have requested.
We were unable to get in contact with Bella's breeder, which makes me a bit sad since there were two other pups in her litter.
If I were in your shoes, I would have the liver panel and bile acid test done regardless of anyones advice, if for no other reason than your own peace of mind and as a tool for a diagnostic. If it is not a liver shunt, or MVD you will be futher along in finding out what is causing the issues. I am more than happy to serve as a resource for you in terms of sharing information I have learned and our personal experience. You can also learn about our journey on facebook: Havanese Hope - We Love Bella.
Best of luck to you, I know this is a stressful time.
Willow, Bella & General's Mama
Posted 12 May 2013 - 08:18 AM
IF he does have liver issues, then there are canine food experts online that can provide diet recipes, though I would go with the highest recommended experts. Members at this forum and elsewhere have used Sabine's services, so maybe one of them can chime in with her site link and other info. Monica Segal, you'll find her online, also provides great tips for dogs with liver issues, as does Dr. Jean Dodds from Hemopet. I like all their input and you can see what sits right with you. I would not give a diet this vet recommends, based on what she's already recommended, but that's just me and what bit I know about dog nutrition. I'm no expert, but I had to look into this years ago with my Ricky, after he almost died from a toxic reaction to a vaccine and it affected his liver. He is not a "liver dog" but I did learn a ton about the commercial foods out there, raw diets, homecooked and supplementation. I also worked at a pet boutique (food and accessories) for 4 years and consulted with customers who had diverse health problems in their pets. I learned a lot! Have a look at our Diet section for lots of great advice, links, recipes and help for some health issues in our dogs.
I don't think liver problems are typical or "common in our breed" as the vet said, but it does happen and most especially in Havanese bred from backyard breeders and puppy mills, which are commonly found online and in pet shops. That really sways the health issues in any breed!
I would give up any kibble for now and stick with home cooking either chicken or boiled ground beef. In fact, what your breeder suggested sounds good, though I'd not give the fruit. I wouldn't want to up the sugars in his system. Also, I HIGHLY recommend you give him a probiotic supplement in his food. When on antibiotics, the good gut bacteria are also wiped out and so the gut is off-kilter, but because of his issues, I'd give him probitiocs long term. Find capsules that you can open up or tablets that you can crush. I have a powder form of probiotic that I sprinkle on the food and it helps keep things stable in the stomach and intestines. It can't hurt and is pretty easy to find at pet stores or online.
Best of luck, and please keep us posted!
- SalliJames likes this
Mom to Ricky (my big teddy havanese - d.o.b. July 14, 2006) and Sammy (my funny, little Prince - d.o.b. Aug. 2, 2006)
Posted 12 May 2013 - 10:21 AM
In my Marley's case I was desperate to find answers and avoid surgery which ultimately he end up having surgery anyway. *Anal gland issues are hard to find the cause of, so diet was only one thing I was trying to alter to help!
I also did allergy testing for him JIC it was allergy related. From what I have heard the standard allergy tests do not always give cut and dried answers and are very expensive. I chose to do the Nutriscan test developed by Jean Dodds. It's a food sensitivity test that uses saliva as a test medium. http://nutriscan.org/ I ran both panels on Marley. As it turned out that wasn't my answer either but it was part of our journey to find possibly causes, so I could rule out another thing which was good. Marley tested well with many foods that I feared could be an issue. So lucky for Marley he isn't allergic and I won't be limiting his diet LOL!
I hope you find answers to your dogs problems. I know how frustrating it can be not to know how to help your little one.
- Marj R.C. likes this
Posted 12 May 2013 - 05:44 PM
I have used Sabine and I am very happy with her diet plan. I consulted her when my Benji suffered from loose stool, blood in stool for months due to what the vet thought was either IBD or colitis. All his tests were normal. I changed him from Natural Balance Duck and Potato to homecooked meals. Sabine mentioned that chicken, oily, fatty meat or fish can be irritants for dogs with delicate tummies. Lean turkey is the best and so is white fish.
I feed homecooked meal of cooked ground turkey, potato, green beans and carrots. I give him organic homemade yogurt. He has been doing well on this diet for last 4 years. He does have loose stool occasionally when he gets anxious (he has anxiety colitis due to fear of thunder and lightening). He cannot not tolerate any commercial foods at all. I had to feed him commercial grain-free kibble when I had a personal medical emergency in my family. He started to have runs and bloody stool all over again. So I highly recommend trying consistently homecooked food.
I hope it is nothing serious and the home cooked diet gets your puppy back to health.
- Marj R.C. and SalliJames like this