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Mystery Illness in our Pup ! Anyone experience anything similar?!   Health, Nutrition and Exercise

Started Nov-14 by Lemonfield1; 775 views.
Lemonfield1

From: Lemonfield1

Nov-14

Greetings all, we are new members here, and we are experiencing a real mystery illness with our pup Otto here in Colorado.

Otto is a purebred, import dog purchased from a local breeder here (more on the breeder in another post).  Mom was allegedly from Austria and brought here by another breeder in Oklahoma while pregnant.  In any event, Otto is a little less than a year old now.  He had a few problems out of the gate (heart murmur - went away, then an undescended testicle - still there).  We were told he was the only surviving puppy out of two, this being Mom's first litter.  Otherwise up until about a month and a half ago, Otto appeared healthy, albeit with a low motor for a puppy, not to mention import dog.  When I get around to talking about the breeder I'll discuss the premium we paid for an import dog and their advertising of the "finest German bloodlines."

About a month and a half ago, Otto started to develop a nasal thing where his snout started getting clogged with boogers, and he could be heard wheezy breathing.  About the same time he started to eat way less and lose weight.  This morphed into bouts of vomiting and diarrhea.  He ended up losing about ten pounds.  When the symptoms first started to appear our primary vet began doing a litany of tests..x-ray, ultrasound, blood work, cortisol and distemper tests all showed normal.  Antibiotics and stomach meds did nothing to improve his condition.  Otto also became fairly lethargic as well. We then took Otto to an vet internist in Denver where a rhinoscopy was done but showed nothing abnormal with his nasal passages, also .  The internist suggested a course of steroids, thinking an immune mediated issue, possibly GI related but that the steroids and B12 shots over 4-6 weeks would get him going.

Initially the steroids appeared to help him..he started to eat regular..especially chicken/rice/hamburger.  His demeanor and energy also picked up pretty quick.   After his first B12 shot, he reverted to vomiting and diarrhea again pretty quickly.  In the week and a half since then he seems to go up and down between eating normally and not eating/vomiting/diarrhea.  And his snout has still not cleared up!

At this point the vet bills have eclipsed what we paid for him, and the lack of a clear solution has us beyond heartbroken and frustrated.

Curious of any other forum members have ever seen these symptoms in their dogs and if so is there any advice you could send our way!?

Thanks in advance!

John

DW (GSDogwalker)

From: DW (GSDogwalker)

Nov-14

Are any of you familiar with this?  

DW (GSDogwalker)

From: DW (GSDogwalker)

Nov-14

It sounds like allergies.  The most common food allergy is the protein source.  What color is the skin on the inside of his ears?  That is one clue.  I discovered my dog has a chicken protein allergy when I noticed the insides of his ears were bright red and hot.  He can eat chicken cartilage but nothing containing protein.  I tried duck and the symptoms were not as bad, but I decided to stay away from all feathered birds, including turkey and goose.  He has a sensitivity to beef, too. So his diet is a rotation of fish, salmon and pork for now.  I may try different proteins as he gets older, but not chicken.

Does he lick his paws?  That is more likely an environmental allergy.

Lemonfield1

From: Lemonfield1

Nov-14

Hello DW and thanks for your reply.  We discussed the possibility of allergies with out Vet, however she said that if the issue were allergies, the steroids would help that..?

No licking of his paws btw.

DW (GSDogwalker)

From: DW (GSDogwalker)

Nov-14

Did the vet test for all possible illnesses?  Distemper, Parvo, hepatitis, corona virus, leptospirosis and ticks?  Parasites?

selzer

From: selzer

Nov-15

No, I haven't experienced this. 

Please do talk to your breeder before throwing her under the bus.  Innocent puppy murmurs are nothing.  Gestation is 9 weeks and the heart is not complete at birth.  A murmur may be there as the heart completes its development.  That does not scream breeder-issue to me. 

As for the retained testicle, well they go up and down.  If the ring closes when one is up, then you end up with a retained testicle.  This is also something I wouldn't necessarily throw the breeder under the bus for.

There are many diseases and conditions a puppy might contract or develop.  You thought your dog was healthy, up to about 10 months old, when the current symptoms began.  This does not sound like something the dog contracted at the breeders, though it could be some form of genetic illness, and talking it over with the breeder might point you in the right direction.  Things I would maybe think about are:

Have you done a tick panel?

Anaplasmosis?

Lupis?

Another auto-immune issue?

Shot in the dark: do you have a carbon-monoxide tester in your home?  Not sure why I am worried about that.  But if there is something in the water or in the air a dog might react to it quicker than humans, like round-up weed killers-lawn chemicals. It could be something poisoning your pet.  Slowly. 

The dog is feeling un-well.  That will make them not eat well, lose their appetite, and they will lose weight.  If the dog is eating fine and still losing weight, then you could have other problems.  But it sounds like the weight loss is a side-effect of whatever is actually going on. 

ETA:  What are you feeding and for how long have you been feeding it?

  • Edited November 15, 2017 12:05 am  by  selzer
FriedFishie

From: FriedFishie

Nov-15

I don't know what to think, truthfully. I agree with Selzer that it sounds like you're blaming the breeder for an illness that came up long after the breeder had any real influence. I don't know too much about dog illnesses, so maybe there are some that can continue for nearly a year with no symptoms. But that doesn't sound likely to me.

While it may not be allergies, transitioning to a different food is a very easy thing to try, in the grand scheme of things. I would recommend finding a limited ingredient kibble, or even better, feeding a limited ingredient diet of food you prepare for your pup. My puppy (8 months) has some sort of pollen allergies. We've been dealing with that since he was a tiny baby. One of the things we tried right off was switching foods, because even though I was nearly positive it wasn't a food allergy, I wanted to rule it out.

In reply toRe: msg 6
Lemonfield1

From: Lemonfield1

Nov-15

I made no mention of the breeder being a she but somehow you knew this?  Hmmm. 

But since you opened that door I'll explain why I find the breeder suspect - 

yes I have talked multiple times to the breeder, and in doing so asked for contact information for the kennel Otto's mom came from.    Her reply was just that the woman who runs the kennel -now in Romania? - -doesn't speak English. She then explained that there was a middleman who brokered the dog coming from Europe, adding that "I doubt he would remember the mother, these people buy and sell hundreds of dogs every year." I should also note that efforts to contact the middleman in Oklahoma have gone unreturned...

 So yes when someone advertises "the finest German blood lines", and is unable to provide any valid contact information for the people who bred and  brought my dog here then yes I find it a little suspect and maybe I paid a premium price for a puppy mill quality dog.

 Feel free to defend the breeder if you wish but perhaps disclose why you do so? 

For everyone else to reply with genuine responses as to the health of my dog I appreciate it thank you

FriedFishie

From: FriedFishie

Nov-15

Selzer is a breeder herself, and may have been making assumptions or projecting herself onto your breeder. Speculation on my part, of course.

I agree with you that advertising "finest blood lines" is strange - do you mind my asking how you found your breeder? It's perfectly alright if you don't want to say. Middlemen and brokers are pretty common, though I'm not sure how many of the dogs they do or don't remember. My experience with GSD people is that they remember many of the dogs they come in contact with, at least if they really like the dog. Being unable to get in contact with the middleman is pretty sketchy imo, but I don't know how long you and/or the breeder have been trying. I'd rather give them the benefit of the doubt and assume they're busy, but who knows, really.

Were you provided with a pedigree? There are some people here who could likely tell you plenty about your pup based on his pedigree. I am not one of them, but many people here are passionate and knowledgeable. I've posted my boy's here before. Some are uncomfortable putting a pedigree out to the public, and that's okay. But if you wanted to know more about your boy, that may be a way to get some answers.

All of that aside, I'm hopeful you and your vet(s) will find out what's going on with your pup. It's hard to see them unhappy or unhealthy, and we all know that. Do keep us posted, and if you notice any other symptoms, let us know. There are some on this forum with extensive knowledge and experience who may be able to help.

DW (GSDogwalker)

From: DW (GSDogwalker)

Nov-15

There seem to be more women breeders than men and more women training dogs.  Jeff Gellman said 90% of his clients are women. He isn’t a shining example of a good trainer but I believe his stats are accurate from what I have seen at dog shows, a local dog club and classes. 

Personally I would never buy a dog from a broker.  I want to meet the breeder and see the dogs in their own kennels.  I always meet the mother and the sire if available.  But there are members here who use brokers and get exactly what they want.

The red flag for me is “finest blood lines.”  Do you have the dog’s pedigree?  They are hard to read at first but once you know what to look for, they are actually pretty easy.  I look for dogs I recognize or for kennels I recognize.  One of my dogs comes from imported Czech lines.  I was not familiar with Pohranicni Straze but someone here was and told me about it.  Those are some of the fienst bloodlines.  But it’s not just the ancestors but the parents as well.  Were they titled before breeding? Did they have health certificates?  

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