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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I would like to start off by saying I am extremely upset. I came here because I need a place to vent. I love my dog, truly, and I feel like I am spinning in circles and going into a bottomless pit.

My dog is spayed and she is 3/4 Pomeranian and 1/4 chihuahua. She has collapsed trachea. She turns 10 in November.

My dog started throwing up over a month ago. I took her in and she had a small fever. She was given antibiotics and it was suggested no more table food.

My dog, like many, loves table food and I made the mistake of still giving it to her after a week or so. I decided to cut back, however, and gave her very minimal amounts. I noticed two weeks ago that her pee was orange. I was worried it could be her liver (google search) and took her in. They were just planning to do a physical and urine analysis but I requested blood work. It was getting close to senior blood work time, anyways.

Her levels were extremely high. Kidneys were normal, but liver and pancreas and gallbladder were bad. Vet wanted to keep her overnight and give fluids (Ringer’s Injection)via IV. The vet told me they thought it was the table food… they insisted no more table food, that it could kill her. I let the vet keep her and do the IV. I was told the first 48 hours were important and a deciding factor in treatment plan. It was suggested we might test for Cushings.

Fast forward and I take her home after three nights of IV and observation. Levels are still high. Vet puts her on medicine and an antibiotic and has me keep bringing her every day for a week to get IV fluids. I make sure to give her no table food and the special dog food I was prescribed.

Her levels were still high when she was re-tested. Vet demanded to know if I’d given her any table food (basically accused me because the pancreas levels went up). I told the vet NO, nothing. The vet asked if my dog had been given any treats. NO. Testing her for Cushings was not brought up, nor was any suggestion on what could be wrong. The vet wanted to keep doing the medicine and antibiotic and suggested another week of IV fluids because they didn’t think we should chance it even though the levels had gone down. I agreed. I was just going along with whatever because I wanted my dog to get better. At this point the urine was still orange but had gotten lighter and then darker again. Basically back and forth.

I keep taking her for IV fluids each day and giving her the medicine twice a day as instructed and the antibiotic twice daily. I took her in yesterday to be re-tested. Blood work takes about 15 minutes to come back. I was told I would be called. I was never called. Sometimes I’ve gotten calls after hours but nothing. I thought that maybe it was a good sign because it must not be urgent.

I finally got a call this afternoon. Levels have gone down but the pancreas in particular is still high. I was not told how high. I was asked if my dog was still not getting any table food. I responded that she is not getting any table food. The vet wanted to do another MONTH of IV fluids. No suggestion on what the matter is, just expected me to do fluids. I asked IF IT WOULD FIX THE PROBLEM AND MAKE HER BETTER. The vet said they did not know.

I’m not even going to say what I’m thinking. I will also add that the IV treatment is not cheap.

I asked if we could just keep trying medicine and retest blood levels in a week. The vet said yes and that we could also X-ray. I said that was fine and I asked what would the X-ray show. I didn’t get a very good answer, basically that it just might show something possibly. I asked about an ultrasound (I’ve read that it can be used for diagnosing problems like this). The vet told me we could but that was more of something a specialist would handle and that I was more “more than welcome” to go see one.

Because the specialist closest to me is far away (I’ve been emailing around and seeing appointment availability and things), I am going to go ahead and do the medicine and antibiotic for the week and the X-ray. But I don’t expect much at this point. I don’t even understand why the antibiotic (nothing was ever explained to me about that).

I’m very angry and upset at this point. I feel like I should have just been pointed to a specialist after the first week at this rate. I was under the impression the vet was confident in the fluids and it being table food because nothing was said against this ever. I just kept getting told to do IV fluids. I feel like I’ve wasted precious time at this rate.

Maybe I should just go ahead and book a specialist? Maybe I shouldn’t even bother with the medicine and X-ray? I don’t know what to do. My dog acts normal and the kidney levels are currently fine or I would really be panicking at this point. I’m scared and from what I’ve read on the internet it never seems like people get answers for these issues?

She does not really fit the symptoms of Cushings from what I’ve read. I’m fine with testing her for that, of course, but I think it is something else. I want her to get better and I’m scared there is not much hope. I won’t give up, it just seems like the outlook isn’t great on a diagnosis

I would greatly appreciate any advice or words of comfort. I feel lost.

Thank you.
 

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This must be very hard and frustrating.
Honestly, I'd immediately switch vets for a second opinion and look into getting a specialist appointment. I'd also prefer the ultrasound or an MRI. If they are able to take pictures, you might be able to send them in to a specialist for a consult, which might be faster than an appointment. Ask what the medication is supposed to be doing specifically. If no answer? Run even faster to a new vet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
This must be very hard and frustrating.
Honestly, I'd immediately switch vets for a second opinion and look into getting a specialist appointment. I'd also prefer the ultrasound or an MRI. If they are able to take pictures, you might be able to send them in to a specialist for a consult, which might be faster than an appointment. Ask what the medication is supposed to be doing specifically. If no answer? Run even faster to a new vet.
Thank you for your response. I think I may go ahead and book an appointment with a new vet (I am done using the current one), although I’m concerned I will be met with the same issue. However, the specialists I’ve contacted seem to be booked for a bit so this would possibly be the fastest option. I will have to google around to see my choices in the area and read through reviews, maybe send some emails. I appreciate you weighing in.
 

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I would definitely do an ultrasound, if you can get one. I think the fluids may have been an attempt to possibly flush out toxins in the pancreas and liver, which is a common treatment method for pancreatitis. If the vet had suspected pancreatitis, however, they likely should have given an anti inflammatory of some sort and possibly something for the vomiting if it was ongoing.

The antibiotics confuse me though, as these normally target an infection of some sort... I would definitely see another vet, but I would ask your current one to express in clear terms exactly what their diagnosis was, and why they used the antibiotics. Also ask what outcomes did they want to achieve with the treatment they prescribed.

It is completely possible the pancreas and liver have sustained damage from the continual feeding of table scraps in the past, even though you have stopped now. Of course it could be some other underlying issue, but don't rule out the scraps as a causing factor just yet.

Personally I would be putting her on a low fat, easily digestible diet in the meantime, which will be easy on her pancreas while it is under the weather. Something like Hills low fat I/D (specifically the low fat version) or similar would be good.

Best of luck, please keep us updated!
 

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So sorry this is happening. I fin d it very strange, though, that antibiotics are being used, if there is no infection. they won't help with pancreatic issues, which may very well have been caused by feeding your dog human food. Even though you have stopped, the damage may have been done and although it's great that you have stopped, it's possible that your dog will need treatment for that on an ongoing basis. One of the most important things for pancreas trouble is to eat a low fat diet.
I fully support your going to see a new vet, as it doesn't sound to me as if that one was very helpful. I think it would be best if you could get that vet to send all of the records they have on this with your dog, over to the new vet. That way they will see what has been done and what has not, and will see the results of any tests your dog was given. I would see the new vet before scheduling with a specialist.

Best of luck, and do let us know how it goes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I would definitely do an ultrasound, if you can get one. I think the fluids may have been an attempt to possibly flush out toxins in the pancreas and liver, which is a common treatment method for pancreatitis. If the vet had suspected pancreatitis, however, they likely should have given an anti inflammatory of some sort and possibly something for the vomiting if it was ongoing.

The antibiotics confuse me though, as these normally target an infection of some sort... I would definitely see another vet, but I would ask your current one to express in clear terms exactly what their diagnosis was, and why they used the antibiotics. Also ask what outcomes did they want to achieve with the treatment they prescribed.

It is completely possible the pancreas and liver have sustained damage from the continual feeding of table scraps in the past, even though you have stopped now. Of course it could be some other underlying issue, but don't rule out the scraps as a causing factor just yet.

Personally I would be putting her on a low fat, easily digestible diet in the meantime, which will be easy on her pancreas while it is under the weather. Something like Hills low fat I/D (specifically the low fat version) or similar would be good.

Best of luck, please keep us updated!
Thank you for your comment and well wishes. The vet never offered anything besides that it was probably due to table food and that if not we could maybe test for Cushings. I would also think pancreatitis would have possibly been suggested and is something I’ve considered but there’s been no mention of it. She is on Hills W/D food as of now per the vet’s suggestion. She is on Ursidol, the antibiotic, and she has something for nausea as well. The nausea medicine was originally supposed to be given for three days and then only as needed, but then the vet later decided she should just stay on all three medicines (they were all temporary originally). I have found another vet close by that seems potentially promising and will see when they can fit my dog in once they open later today. I feel like an ultrasound is probably a good idea at this point. I will keep you posted. Thanks again for stopping by.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
So sorry this is happening. I fin d it very strange, though, that antibiotics are being used, if there is no infection. they won't help with pancreatic issues, which may very well have been caused by feeding your dog human food. Even though you have stopped, the damage may have been done and although it's great that you have stopped, it's possible that your dog will need treatment for that on an ongoing basis. One of the most important things for pancreas trouble is to eat a low fat diet.
I fully support your going to see a new vet, as it doesn't sound to me as if that one was very helpful. I think it would be best if you could get that vet to send all of the records they have on this with your dog, over to the new vet. That way they will see what has been done and what has not, and will see the results of any tests your dog was given. I would see the new vet before scheduling with a specialist.

Best of luck, and do let us know how it goes.
Thank you so much for reaching out. I remember when I got my dog as a puppy— I told myself I wasn’t going to give her any table food, and now I greatly wish I had stuck to not giving her any. She’s on W/D Hill’s Science now which is weight digestive glucose management food. She’s not a big fan of it but she’ll eat the wet version of it ok for the most part. I actually have asked for copies of her blood work each time I’ve visited, so I will have those in hand. I’m going to try scheduling with a different vet before a specialist— the one I’ve found mentions internal medicine on the website so I’m hoping they may be able to help. I will keep posted. Please keep your fingers crossed for my sweet baby. Thank you!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I have come to add an update and it is not one I expected or wanted but I am still trying to remain optimistic.

I finally got to see the other vet for a second opinion.

I do not have her paperwork with me at the moment, but when I took my dog to the first/original vet it was September 20 and her highest pancreas level was somewhere above 800. During her overnight stay at the first vet within 2 days it went to over 2,000. During this entire time it has stayed above 2,000 and increased continuously during the fluids but remained below 3,000. I’ve been so frazzled I just realized this Monday when sitting down with the first lab work paper again and I’m upset I did not catch it sooner but I digress.

When I spoke to him yesterday, I asked the second vet if the Ringer’s Injection could have caused the elevation and he said that no, he did not think so. I waited for new blood work. The highest level for the pancreas is now around 5,500 (I am going based off of memory right now hence the estimates). That is within 6 days of her last blood work and not having any IV fluids, just prescribed medicines. I cannot remember right now what the liver levels are.

We discussed options. I asked him what he thought it could be, if we could do an ultrasound, ect. He was very truthful (and I very much appreciate this) in saying he recommended I go to a specialist, that there could be something he might not see. He said he was just being honest and that he would not waste anymore money here. If it were him he would go to a specialist.

He says his fear is that it could be a tumor. He also mentioned the possibility of it being a laceration? I may be getting that wrong, because I don’t really see how it could be that since upon looking it up it seems to be the result of trauma or injury and I cannot think of anything that I’m aware of which would have happened to her to cause such a thing.

He offered to call around for me in the morning and see what appointments were available at the speciality clinics. I agreed, and I got a call this morning from the receptionist. The next available appointment was not until December 9. So I have decided to take her via an emergency visit either this weekend or Monday.

It is partially due to her not liking the food she is currently on, but I noticed my dog’s ribs were too easy to feel. She was 14 pounds (she used to regularly weigh around 12 but gained a bit after being spayed) but September 20 she was around 12 pounds and as of now she is under 11 pounds (she was something like 10.68). I asked the second vet if I could switch her to Fresh Pet because she didn’t want to eat the W/D food (she still begs for table scraps and tries to get in the kitchen to eat the other dog’s food which is Kibbles ‘N Bits) and he said he didn’t know why she was on that, that he would put her on I/D Science Hill because fat was the enemy here. He said dogs tend to love it.

Well, sadly my dog seems to like the I/D even less than the W/D. Ugh. And I now have 5 cans left of it. I’m not really sure what I should do. I do not want her to lose more weight or be hungry. She is a picky eater.

While the possibility of a tumor was very scary, I was still hopeful until I started reading when I got home. It sounds like it is aggressive and spreads fast when it comes to tumors on the liver and/or pancreas. It is also my understanding that virtually nothing can be done in such a situation if they are cancerous. It sounds like 2 years is the highest survival rate, that often it is not even detected until very late and therefore that would be if you caught it in the earlier stages. And even if the tumor was to be non-cancerous it sounds like it is still not a great prognosis and likely recurring.

I am expecting the worst at this point. I will be honest and say I feel defeated and heartbroken beyond measure. I don’t see how this could ever turn around, as negative as that is. I never thought I would be in this situation (but I guess that is typical with such things). Cancer was something I feared to happen to my dog possibly, but I was hopeful that would never happen. While I’m trying not to jump to conclusions, the second vet seemed to heavily think a tumor was the most likely explanation and it doesn’t sound like there are many other possibilities out there, not to mention how fast this is all progressing. I feel like I have failed my dog in every way. I wish I had not wasted time with fluids and just taken her straight to a specialist after that first week.

As they say— always trust your gut.

She still acts normal despite everything, and she has not lost her desire to bark. This gives me a bit of hope, but makes this all even more questionable.

I just don’t know.

Thank you to those who have read here, and thank you for all of your well wishes. My dog is my world, and she truly is the sweetest baby. To say that she is just such a wonderful little girl is a severe understatement, and I am grateful she is mine. I just want what is best for her and for her to be healthy and happy. I have no idea what road we are going down. I just hope it is not as dark and bleak as I am fearing.

I will post what I find out at the specialist.

Thank you all again. Please keep us in your thoughts.
-WS
 

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I'm sorry you still don't have answers. Thinking of you and sending gentle ((( hugs ))).
 

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This kind of fearful anticipation is so difficult, but I'm glad you are able to get out how you are feeling and know we are listening.

I remember going through the food issue with my aging girl, it was really frustrating and stressful. I ended up getting some supplements from the vet and DIY recipes tweaked for her health issue. She wouldn't eat the slop but I used ingredients to make cookies. Just threw in an egg to make a batter.

Honestly in hindsight I wish I investigated raw feeding. Just wish I looked into it.

I really hope this all is figured out, sending you both all my well wishes.
 
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