My dog is deteriorating & vets don't know why...

This forum is for dog lovers seeking everyday advice and suggestions on health-related issues. Remember, however, that advice on a public forum simply can't be a substitute for proper medical attention. Only your vet can say assuredly what is best for your dog.


Barked: Tue Feb 17, '09 7:09pm PST 
I am writing this in the hopes someone has experience with the symptoms my dog is exhibiting. As a background, she is a 9 year old spayed female blue brindle American Staffordshire Terrier. With her recessive coat has come many skin issues. She also has urinary leakage, so she was on PPA from about the age of two, and then switched to DES at age 6. She has hip dysplasia and was on rimadyl and other meds starting at age 4 to relieve pain off and on for about 2 years, but I took her off them about 3 years ago. Only when she is in pain will I give her medication. I also used to give her Synovi supplements. I walk her at least 3 times a week up and down hills to keep her muscles around her hips strong.

We are active pit bull rescuers, and at the end of August 2008, we had 2 pits and a Rottweiler foster dogs. I think she either got a skin allergy from one of them or she was just very stressed out by having so many new dogs, and she developed horrible bumps all over her body. Many were pimple pustules and the liquid inside smelled very metallic. She was put on Simplicef and they went away. Then a few days after the course was done the bumps came back. We put her on another antibiotic, and they went away. She had biopsies and scrapings done and nothing was conclusive except that she had a possible fungus. I was also give a medicated shampoo and washed her 3 times a week with it. We have not had any foster dogs in the house since the beginning of September.

I then took her to an allergy specialist and they said she had a fungal growth and put her on antibiotics and antifungal medication, along with a shampoo to wash her with. We put her on a bland diet of only cooked ham and potato along with the meds. The hope was to clean her system so we could perform the battery of allergy tests. However, she developed a horrible diarrhea with a lot of fresh blood. We gave her meds to help wit that. She also developed a much looser control over her anal sphincter, and I generally have to now wipe her after she has a bowel movement. We stopped the bland diet and she started Evo Red Meat, and she did better. Intermittently she will get very bad diarrhea again with blood, and I give her rice with her Evo Turkey & Chicken hard food and some chicken broth and she gets better. At the worst she did another course of antbiotics. Needless to say, we never got to complete the allergy tests.

Right now she is in remission with her skin issues, she is not on any medication except DES, and her diet Evo Turkey & Chicken hard food and the rice/broth if needed. I sometimes give her Solid Gold Tripe pure freeze dried intestine treats. In the past 2 weeks she has really developed a ‘rat tail’ where she is losing hair on her tail. I had her thyroid checked last June and her T4 was 1.62 in the normal range of 1.0 – 4.0. Then the allergist had her thyroid levels checked in November, and they were normal. She is also really slowing down on our walks and not as energetic. Can anyone please suggest anything I can do? I don’t want to give her more medications, but is there any special diet, vitamins, supplements, anything I can give her to help her stay strong and prolong her health and her happiness? None of the vets I have seen have been able to help, so any advice you can provide is appreciated! Thank you!

Princess and the- Pea
Barked: Tue Feb 17, '09 7:40pm PST 
Have you sent the thyroid to Dr Dodds? She specializes in thyroid problems I believe. Bunny's test is low normal and medication could help. There are the adrenal problems that are possibly a problem as well. A fresh pair of eyes looking at the history may help!

Kayak- "Mighty- Moose Angel"-

Barked: Wed Feb 18, '09 7:39pm PST 
Hi there, have you been referred to a endocrine specialist or an internal specialist? 1.62 is not considered low thyroid, I may have read that incorrectly in your post. What bloodwork has been done besides t3/t4? We see dogs with huge allergies to certain foods which causes so many other problems (pancreatitis, IBD, skin problems, ear infections etc.) When we don't get a good grip on what is going on or we think an underlying throid/endocrine problem may be going on we immediately refer out to the internal guys. If you cannot get answers from your local vets it may be time to find a larger hospital with specialists or a vet school close to your home.
I do agree with getting in touch with Dr. Dodds, she is doing outstanding work with endocrine problems in dogs, amazing really. Your vet should be able to make things happen or if you cannot get your vet to do the work, contact Dr. Dodds from her on line site and find out if you can get things rolling.
I do hope you find out what is going on. Poor pup.
Best wishes.


Barked: Thu Feb 19, '09 7:54pm PST 
Kayak & Sassy, thank you for responding! I am going to call an internist tomorrow because her thyoid TSH, T4, and one other (I have to check it) were all normal. I will also try Dr. Dodds. If you think of any other suggestions, I am all ears! Thanks!