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We've been trying to figure out what's wrong w/ our beagle, Guiness, for the past 2-3 years. At first we thought that he had ear mites, or just dry skin...then we thought it might be a food allergy....that then progressed to possibly mange or lupus. Now that we've pretty much ruled all that out things aren't looking good.

It seems the only thing that's working for Guiness are big doses of prednazone (sp?), which there's only so much he can take. After some time that'll just destroy his kidneys & other organs.

It looks like he either has an autoimmune disease or an allergy to something (we're out in the country, so there's a million things that it could be). Both are very expensive to further diagnose & treat...and both are way beyond our means.

I have 4 kids and a very limited budget. We've spent thousands on Guiness so far, and we just can't afford to do the diagnoses just to learn we have to spend even more for something that won't really make his quality of life that much better.

At this point it feels like our choices are to either let Guiness suffer or to put him to sleep & end this misery he's been dealing with. Honestly, I'm not comfortable with either option.

So my question to all of you is...are there other options? Are the rescues or anything out there for situations like this? Or are there grants or any sort of financial programs that can help with the costs?

I don't want to lose Guiness. I love him, my wife loves him & all 4 of my girls adore him. He is a family member to us. I can't fathom the idea of losing him, but I also can't stand to see him so sad & lethargic all the time.

If anyone has ideas or suggestions, I'm all ears. I just want my buddy to be happy & healthy again.

Warmest Regards,

Scott (BeagleBuddy)
 

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We've been trying to figure out what's wrong w/ our beagle, Guiness, for the past 2-3 years. At first we thought that he had ear mites, or just dry skin...then we thought it might be a food allergy....that then progressed to possibly mange or lupus. Now that we've pretty much ruled all that out things aren't looking good.

It seems the only thing that's working for Guiness are big doses of prednazone (sp?), which there's only so much he can take. After some time that'll just destroy his kidneys & other organs.

It looks like he either has an autoimmune disease or an allergy to something (we're out in the country, so there's a million things that it could be). Both are very expensive to further diagnose & treat...and both are way beyond our means.

I have 4 kids and a very limited budget. We've spent thousands on Guiness so far, and we just can't afford to do the diagnoses just to learn we have to spend even more for something that won't really make his quality of life that much better.

At this point it feels like our choices are to either let Guiness suffer or to put him to sleep & end this misery he's been dealing with. Honestly, I'm not comfortable with either option.

So my question to all of you is...are there other options? Are the rescues or anything out there for situations like this? Or are there grants or any sort of financial programs that can help with the costs?

I don't want to lose Guiness. I love him, my wife loves him & all 4 of my girls adore him. He is a family member to us. I can't fathom the idea of losing him, but I also can't stand to see him so sad & lethargic all the time.

If anyone has ideas or suggestions, I'm all ears. I just want my buddy to be happy & healthy again.

Warmest Regards,

Scott (BeagleBuddy)
This really is not something that allows us to tell you what it is... I really think you need to call around your area and look for a vet who can help you. I do not think an option is to let him suffer...that would be selfish and I can see you know that. I would search around for a beagle rescue who can maybe help you or you need to consider finding him a home out of the country to see if it is allergies and it subsides. I cannot imagine how bad the poor guy is suffering but something needs to be asap. Why did your vet not just take the rout to test for allergies or autoimmune? Was there a different possibility? I am sorry to hear all this, its unfortunate and difficult
 

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I have no idea if Beagles are susceptible or not but you're describing many of the things I went through with my Sheltie. He itched all the time. Had dry skin. Just generally a mess. When we got him, he was being given benedryl and from time to time he had been on prednizone.

Over a year later, I asked for a T4 thyroid test to be done. Normal range is supposed to be 1-4. But I've read in several places that Shelties need to be in the upper 1/3 of the range. Scotty came in at 1.1. Dr put him on thyroid meds.

That was 5 weeks ago. We go next week to get another T4 test done and see how much tweaking of the meds we'll need to do.

The vet said we probably wouldn't see a difference in him for 6 weeks. I saw it in 3 days. Seriously. Tiny but I could tell. But I've been watching him like a hawk since March of 08 too.

The T4 test was less than $40 here. Your vet can tell you how much it would be. I don't have a clue whether it might be that or not, but with all the other stuff you've done...might be worth a look-see.
 

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Sorry to hear that you are going through such a hard time with Guiness!

If mange is a suspect it is relatively inexpensive to rule this out (and possibly cure it). As long as your dog is not a collie breed (and I am assuming from your name that Guiness is a beagle) your vet can give an injection of ivermectin and repeat it in 2 weeks. If this is mange this will cure it. Or, a slightly more expensive option is to put Guiness on a heartworm/flea product called Revolution. This product is great for mange.

It would be a good idea to have a biopsy done. Yes, it is probably a little pricey but it could help you to make some decisions. If this is an autoimmune problem then the biopsy really should give you an answer. If your dog has an autoimmune problem and is not responding to the prednisone then there are other options but they are expensive. Dogs with these issues will often do well on cyclosporin or imuran instead of pred.

If you do get an answer of autoimmune disease and the meds are too expensive then it may be time to make some hard decisions. Autoimmune diseases can be controlled but not cured. So, if you are unable to afford to treat him it may be time to talk to your vet about euthanasia as hard as that would be.

I really hope he does ok!http://www.askavetquestion.com
 

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PLEASE, before you even consider putting Guinness to sleep, I would like to suggest something. First of all, have you vaccinated Guiness lately? I recently wrote two articles on the dangers of dog vaccinations for "Natural Dog" magazine and am writing a book on the subject, and auto-immune diseases are a HUGE side effect of vaccines. I would strongly suggest that you talk with your veterinarian about NEVER vaccinating Guinness again (a sick dog should never be vaccinated). Also PLEASE read the vaccinaton story on my Web site about someone whose dog contracted an auto-immune disease from vaccinations and had to go on terrible meds, UNTIL she started him on Transfer Factors. Transfer Factors are fantastic at boosting the immune system. PLEASE read more about the benefits of Transfer Factors. And if you'd like to speak with the person in the vaccination story, I'm sure I can arrange it. Her dog's auto-immune disease was totally cured by the Transfer Factors. PLEASE don't put Guiness to sleep until you learn more about this and give it a try. It is not at all expensive.

Best,
Dianahttp://www.the-happy-dog-spot.com
 

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I agree that a sick dog should not be vaccinated and I highly doubt the vet has given him vaccines since the huge dilemma. The only problem I have with you telling people vaccines are horrible is we have a huge problem with parvo in some of these states....Mine for example is HUGE. If you do not vaccinate your dog you might as well NEVER plan on taking your dog out of the house... Also in the county I live in it is required by law to have your pet vaccinated against rabies and even license them in the state.... I understand sick dogs shouldn't get vaccinated as to vets, and in this case yes but in a healthy dog in a county where parvo is a huge problem please dont recommend them not vaccinating their dog....

Back to the original post... I hope you can find out what has caused such issues in your baby and I hope you can find a way to make it through this.
 

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Dear PawsAddict,
Please note that nowhere in my post did I say that puppies should not be vaccinated with the core vaccines, which includes Parvo, or that vaccines are "horrible". The dog in question is not a puppy and therefore would have had his core vaccines years ago. Also, I certainly never said that a dog should not have his rabies vaccine. Obviously, this is the law. However, a vet can write a note for a sick dog and as I suggested, she needs to talk to her veterinarian about this. The foremost immunobiologists and animal vaccine researchers in the world will tell you that once a dog has received his core vaccines as a puppy, he is very likely covered for life. This includes Parvo. A simple titer test can determine immunization so that unnecessary revaccination is avoided. Again, all puppies must receive their core vaccines. I am simply stating the scientifically determined side-effects of vaccines, and that OVER-VACCINATION (yearly) is a HUGE disservice to our pets. Please visit About the Rabies Challenge Fund to read research from the most established animal vaccine researchers in the world on rabies. The problem you have with Parvo in your area has nothing to do with dogs being re-vaccinated on a yearly basis. Re-vaccinating a dog every year does not improve his immunization, it simply improves his chances of becoming ill from adverse side-effects.
Please do not extrapolate my message to be saying something that it isn't.
Thank you!
Diana
 

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Actually I have seen adult dogs who had puppy shots AND THAT WAS IT come in with parvo... I have worked in many animal hospitals and have seen this as well. And I do not appreciate the rude ending there... I was simply stating EXACTLY what you stated and restated in this message. AGAIN adults need vaccines at least every 2-3 years in areas where diseases such as parvo are common. THANK YOU!
 

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Dear PawzAddict,
If the ending of my post seemed rude to you, then I sincerely apologize, as it was not intended. I just want to make it clear that I did not say that vaccines were horrible, as you quoted me. I think it is fair to clarify this. I simply asked if her dog had been vaccinated recently and stated that auto-immune diseases are a known adverse side effect of vaccines. Again, please accept my apology if you felt my reply was rude, but I just don't want to be quoted as saying vaccines are "horrible" and unnecessary, when I did not say that. I do not wish to get into an off-topic discussion about Parvo and vaccines. I am sure that your local veterinarians are doing the very best they can.
Cheers,
Diana
 

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Personally I try to spare my dogs the vaccinosis and will be doing titers if I feel they are at risk.

I dont' feel a dog can become "more immune" to a disease by boosting every year. Which is what alot of people do...either no vaccs or yearly.

I hate that I have to give rabies all the time...fortunately they let us do a three year rabies vaccine and still be able to license the dogs.



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Dear PawzAddict,
If the ending of my post seemed rude to you, then I sincerely apologize, as it was not intended. I just want to make it clear that I did not say that vaccines were horrible, as you quoted me. I think it is fair to clarify this. I simply asked if her dog had been vaccinated recently and stated that auto-immune diseases are a known adverse side effect of vaccines. Again, please accept my apology if you felt my reply was rude, but I just don't want to be quoted as saying vaccines are "horrible" and unnecessary, when I did not say that. I do not wish to get into an off-topic discussion about Parvo and vaccines. I am sure that your local veterinarians are doing the very best they can.
Cheers,
Diana
Ok well I guess I took it very wrong. So I am sorry, sometimes what we post comes off totally opposite of how we mean for it. I totally agree dogs who are not well should NEVER receive vaccines, that is why everytime I got calls about "well why do I have to pay for an exam" I went into detail about health and vaccines. I do also believe every state is different and if diseases are not common then vaccines are not needed. I never knew until you posted and read the article you posted that vaccines have been linked to autoimmune diseases. I only knew of sever allergic reactions. I hope the dog is ok and that the original poster comments soon to let us know how the dog is.
 

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Personally I try to spare my dogs the vaccinosis and will be doing titers if I feel they are at risk.

I dont' feel a dog can become "more immune" to a disease by boosting every year. Which is what alot of people do...either no vaccs or yearly.

I hate that I have to give rabies all the time...fortunately they let us do a three year rabies vaccine and still be able to license the dogs.
yea we can do three year rabies as well. we have tons of wildlife roaming around neighborhoods here so rabies is a definitely no go with titer in my family
 
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