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Old 02-13-2013, 10:18 PM
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Question A snotty mess.... what's going on?

I'm writing this mostly to vent... but if anyone has any ideas as to what could be going on, feel free to chime in! Warning, this is going to be a LONG one!

Jersey, who has always been a very healthy boy, has recently had a string of issues that we can't seem to pin down. This started back in October. At the time, I noticed that his eyes were tearing quite a bit and seemed to be irritated (one more than the other... I think it was his right eye that was worse, but I don't even remember at this point and I don't think it's relevant). He was also having these MONSTER sneezes... where he shakes his head 5 or 6 times while it's still going on. I tried giving him some Benedryl which seemed to help but didn't solve the problem. So I brought him to the vet to get things checked out. His eye pressures were normal. The stain test showed no tears in his cornea. We felt pretty strongly that it was being caused by some sort of allergy. Jersey has shown some very mild seasonal allergies... usually a little sneezing, maybe an episode or 2 of reverse sneezing, usually for about a week in early spring. Though this didn't follow his usual pattern at all.... the pollen levels were really high at the time after absolutely no "winter" last year and a very mild fall up until that point. The vet prescribed a steroid eye drop and told me to give it to him for a week. They cleared up wonderfully within the first few days. While we were in for that checkup, the vet found a cracked tooth and a lump -- both of which she recommended removing (the lump cytology came back as a probable basal cell tumor with signs of inflammation). We scheduled that appointment for mid-December.

So about 1 week after finishing the eye drops, his problem came right back. I gave it a few days, and when it was clear it wasn't going to resolve on its own we went back to the vet. Did a quick check on his tear production, which was normal. Still leaning toward allergies, she prescribed Temaril P -- a combination of prednisone and an antihistamine. Gave it to him over the course of 10 days or so (it was a tapered dose), finishing about 4 days before his scheduled procedure. Everything cleared up beautifully. We went in to the vet on the big day... and his lump was gone. The vet tech had asked me to help her find it so she could get him shaved. After 30 minutes, I was late to work and had to give up looking. The vet couldn't find it either... not with him standing on the floor, lying on the table, or sedated. We think the steroid cleared up the inflammation and what is remaining is either too small to find or was able to be processed by the body. So they went ahead and removed the offending tooth. It showed some signs of beginning to get infected so they put him on an antibiotic for 1 week. I had to put his food through the blender for about 2 weeks and wet it down so it was like eating soft food. All went well.

About 4 days after the procedure, I started noticing that Jersey was getting a bit... well... snotty. It was subtle at first. The discharge was clear, but he just seemed to have more of it than usual. This got progressively worse over the next week to week and 1/2 and the monster sneezes came back. I felt that he was perhaps inhaling some of his food (it kept getting stuck in the corners of the bowl and he was really digging in with everything he had to get to it). I stopped the soft feeding about 2 days early as his mouth looked well healed and the stitches looked to have dissolved. I had hoped that the problem would go away when he was back to normal feedings but it didn't. I tried Benedryl, which again seemed to help but only a little. After a couple of days we went back to the vet again. We decided to treat with 2 antibiotics (cipro and amoxitabs) since the tooth had showed some signs of infection (it was a deep rooted top tooth that could have affected the sinuses) and a steroid could be dangerous if that were the problem. I also gave him a low dose of Benedryl for the first couple of days to try to hit all angles, but stopped that after day 3. About 1 week in he looked GREAT! Had more energy than he's had in a while, bright and clear in eyes and nose. He was back to being my overgrown puppy. Unfortunately, about 3 days before he finished the round of antibiotics, the problem started to come back.

So we went back to the vet again. Since the problem was going on while he was still taking meds, we felt pretty confident we were safe to give the Temaril P another shot. He did great for the first few days (while getting it 2x per day), sniffled a bit when we went down to once per day and is now a mess having just finished the last few days of every other day. The monster sneezes came back and just last night his eyes started to get irritated again too. So now, for the first time, he has both problems at once.

I'm at a loss here. The problem doesn't improve when we hit below freezing (which sort of makes outdoor allergies seem unrealistic) or when we travel for the weekend (which leads me to believe it's not something in my house). Everything we try seems to work at first but then the problem comes right back.... which only confuses me more. Why would they all seem to work at first? If they are working, why is it coming back before we finish the meds? We are scheduled to go back to the vet again this Friday. I'm afraid that our only next step is to do a scope... though the vet really doesn't seem to think this is a growth or tumor. But it's the only way to rule that out, I guess. We have been to the vet almost as many times in the last 5 months as we have been in the past 7 years and I'm getting frustrated and hate seeing him feel crummy. The poor boy can barely breathe through his nose... he frequently compensates by breathing in through his mouth and out through his nose, making these sad little snot bubbles. He's still chipper and playful, though maybe slightly less than usual. It's been so long since I've seen him "normal" that I'm having a hard time discerning how badly he may actually be feeling. In short, it stinks.

Anyway, like I said... most of this is just me needing to vent a bit but I more than welcome any suggestions or sharing of similar experiences. Really hoping we get to the bottom of this soon. Thanks for listening.

Julie, Jersey and Oz
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Old 02-13-2013, 10:25 PM
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Reaching for straws here, but it sounds like he has something stuck up in his sinus cavity. Grass spears or seeds, fungus something in the sinuses, the medication is reducing the irritation/inflamation but what ever is causing it is still stuck up in there.

Can they do a sinus flush?
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Old 02-13-2013, 10:32 PM
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If it does not appear to be environmental- my thoughts would turn to what is he eating? Assuming the one common denominator whereever you go, would be his food - worth considering? Maybe?
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Old 02-13-2013, 10:33 PM
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I'm sorry to hear you are having issues with your boy.

My brothers german shepherd has been having issues. His nose has been snotty--and antibiotics didn't touch it. Then they noticed he had a bump come up over the bridge of his nose--and then one on top of his head. His nose got snottier to the point where one nostril was completely clogged. (and I'm giving you the cliff notes version here). So they did a scope last week and didn't find a growth or tumor, thank goodness--but did find an infection--so sent it off for a biopsy. Results came back yesterday and he has aspergilliosis (sp??). Basically it's a fungal infection, which I'm reading is quite common in GSD's and other long nosed breeds like collies, etc. Now I wouldn't think goldens would fit in that group, but who knows. I only mention it because fungal infections are hard to treat--and I know this first handed from a horse I had that we struggled with for years--literally.

But I also know from experience that a bad tooth can also wreak havock (same horse--bless her heart, she was my vets dream). She had one break off and push in her gum--causing a severe sinus infection that did get better with removal of the tooth and several rounds of antibiotics. I know he's not a horse--but I believe some things can still present themselves in the same way, so think it's worth mentioning. Snotty nose, foul smell and eventually swelling under the eye were her symptoms.

So if he was mine--I'd seriously look at that tooth problem further, first. If nothing is found, I'd consider a scope if the problem persists because if it is fungal, quick treatment is crucial--and even then, very hard to treat. I will warn you though..my brother just paid $800 for the procedure--and for antibitocs (that ended up being the wrong ones they found out once the tests came back) and he had to pay another $110 for antibiotics.

I would also seriously consider pumping him full of some probiotics regardless--to help boost his immune system to help him fight whatever. I don't think it can hurt to be proactive since something is off...and if it's not fungal, it won't hurt.

Please keep us posted...and I hope he feels better soon. I hope it's a simple fix whatever it is.
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Old 02-13-2013, 10:35 PM
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I had the same thought as Mylissyk....

Hope the poor guy feels better.
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Old 02-13-2013, 10:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mylissyk View Post
Reaching for straws here, but it sounds like he has something stuck up in his sinus cavity. Grass spears or seeds, fungus something in the sinuses, the medication is reducing the irritation/inflamation but what ever is causing it is still stuck up in there.

Can they do a sinus flush?
I think this may be one of the things they would be looking for with a scope... but I'll be sure to ask on Friday. Great suggestion, thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charliethree View Post
If it does not appear to be environmental- my thoughts would turn to what is he eating? Assuming the one common denominator whereever you go, would be his food - worth considering? Maybe?
I had thought of that, but Jersey has been eating the same thing since he was about 1.5 years old (he's 7 now). There haven't been any formula changes in the last few months that I can tell from looking around online. No new treats... in fact, Jersey gets very few treats in the course of the week. He's my play motivated dog and in most cases will choose a good game of tug over most morsels I offer. Thanks for the suggestion!

Julie, Jersey and Oz
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Old 02-13-2013, 10:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wagners Mom View Post
I'm sorry to hear you are having issues with your boy.

My brothers german shepherd has been having issues. His nose has been snotty--and antibiotics didn't touch it. Then they noticed he had a bump come up over the bridge of his nose--and then one on top of his head. His nose got snottier to the point where one nostril was completely clogged. (and I'm giving you the cliff notes version here). So they did a scope last week and didn't find a growth or tumor, thank goodness--but did find an infection--so sent it off for a biopsy. Results came back yesterday and he has aspergilliosis (sp??). Basically it's a fungal infection, which I'm reading is quite common in GSD's and other long nosed breeds like collies, etc. Now I wouldn't think goldens would fit in that group, but who knows. I only mention it because fungal infections are hard to treat--and I know this first handed from a horse I had that we struggled with for years--literally.

But I also know from experience that a bad tooth can also wreak havock (same horse--bless her heart, she was my vets dream). She had one break off and push in her gum--causing a severe sinus infection that did get better with removal of the tooth and several rounds of antibiotics. I know he's not a horse--but I believe some things can still present themselves in the same way, so think it's worth mentioning. Snotty nose, foul smell and eventually swelling under the eye were her symptoms.

So if he was mine--I'd seriously look at that tooth problem further, first. If nothing is found, I'd consider a scope if the problem persists because if it is fungal, quick treatment is crucial--and even then, very hard to treat. I will warn you though..my brother just paid $800 for the procedure--and for antibitocs (that ended up being the wrong ones they found out once the tests came back) and he had to pay another $110 for antibiotics.

I would also seriously consider pumping him full of some probiotics regardless--to help boost his immune system to help him fight whatever. I don't think it can hurt to be proactive since something is off...and if it's not fungal, it won't hurt.

Please keep us posted...and I hope he feels better soon. I hope it's a simple fix whatever it is.
You know, I never thought of a fungal infection before you and mylissyk mentioned it. Will definitely put that on the list. I'm really leaning toward doing the scope (though my bank account may disagree ) for 2 reasons: 1) If it were an infection from the tooth, considering how much improvement he made on the antibiotics I would have expected the symptoms to return after finishing the meds... not while still on them. 2) Like you said, if it's fungal (or really, regardless of what it is) it really needs to be treated sooner rather than later and it's already been about 3.5 to 4 months (just realized my bad math on the first post... oops). Thanks for sharing your experiences!

Really, thanks everyone. I'm writing all of these things down and I'm going to sort through them 1 by 1 with the vet to see what tests to do and how to best figure out what this could be.

Julie, Jersey and Oz
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Old 02-13-2013, 10:52 PM
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If you can swing the scope, I would go ahead. I know financially it hurts, but it can tell if something is stuck/growing or if it's an infection--I hope someone else can chime in, but I think it's a sure-fire way to find out what is going on. I *think* if I remember right, my brother said antibiotics helped his dog a little--but when they were done, it came right back. He is already feeling much better after two doses of the new stuff...and praying it fixes him. He is on two for 30 days, but I don't know the name of them.

I also just realized you are in NC also (don't know why I never realized it). Makes me wonder if it does turn out to be fungal.....coincidence, I'm sure...but strange, none the less. HUGS to you both.
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Old 02-13-2013, 10:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Wagners Mom View Post
If you can swing the scope, I would go ahead. I know financially it hurts, but it can tell if something is stuck/growing or if it's an infection--I hope someone else can chime in, but I think it's a sure-fire way to find out what is going on. I *think* if I remember right, my brother said antibiotics helped his dog a little--but when they were done, it came right back. He is already feeling much better after two doses of the new stuff...and praying it fixes him. He is on two for 30 days, but I don't know the name of them.

I also just realized you are in NC also (don't know why I never realized it). Makes me wonder if it does turn out to be fungal.....coincidence, I'm sure...but strange, none the less. HUGS to you both.
Conditions around here have been pretty damp this winter.... not sure how much of a contributing factor that could be but I had originally thought perhaps I had mold somewhere that was causing the problem. I've yet to find any signs of it though and like I said the problem seems to follow us wherever we go. I may gripe about the money but in the end all I really want is to get my boy feeling better.

Julie, Jersey and Oz
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Old 02-13-2013, 11:00 PM
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Yes, unusually wet. And from what I've read about his fungus...it can be on grass, grains, etc. So very possible the wet is not helping, at least. I know you want him better and I do too, for both of your sakes. HUGS.
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