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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Kaizer, as always, is my hot mess express. My million dollar dog. As always, this will be incredibly long, the actual question is at the end.

He was drinking a lot of water on Wednesday, he is not usually a big water drinker so it stuck out to me. Thursday/Friday, he was off, I just couldn't pinpoint how. Still drinking a lot, some loose stool, and he vomited Friday morning (if you've read Kaizer threads in the past, you know how Kaizer vomiting goes). Saturday, he still seemed off. Took him to work with me, he was lethargic and panting. He had a hunched back and just looked super uncomfortable. At one point, he was standing over the water bowl and just staring into space. He was refusing to lay down, and just generally looked in really bad shape. Saturday night, I considered taking him to the emergency vet cause I was worried. He was refusing to lay down, kept pacing around the house (wouldn't settle), still drinking a lot of water, and lethargic. He would eat if offered food, but wasn't losing his mind over food like he usually does, so he also had a decreased appetite. I didn't end up taking him Saturday night, but I woke up every couple of hours to check on him, and every time I woke up, he was sitting on my bed, panting heavily. Sunday morning, he wouldn't get up out of bed. I had to physically lift him off my bed, so I made the decision to bring him into the emergency vet.

In true Kaizer fashion, everything was perfectly fine. They did bloodwork, a urinalysis, and x-rays. Everything came back perfect. The vet was confused, because clearly he was in pain and uncomfortable, it just wasn't from a health issue. He actually had me, my family, and all my dog friends/trainers worried that it was the big C - that's how bad he was acting. Anyway, it was a very (very) expensive visit for them to tell me I had the healthiest unhealthy dog in the world LOL.

Today, he still was not feeling well. I woke up to some muscle twitches on his side, twitching so hard you could physically see it vs just feel it. I took him to work with me again, where he proceeded to lay on his bed and did not move for literally 2-3 hours. Like, point blank refused to get up to see anyone. He didn't try to steal any treats, didn't wag his tail, nothing. So I took an appt with his rehab vet, thinking that maybe he messed up his back or something. She also did not find anything super wrong. The only signs of pain was when she tried to stretch out his hip - he almost put teeth on her when she did that (!). But if I gave him a treat, he let her stretch his hip out just fine. So she thought maybe he was having some kind of gas/excess air issue. She had a previous client whose dog presented with the same symptoms and after weeks of trying rehab with no luck, her GP vet suggested prilosec and the dog was magically fixed. I bought some prilosec for the boy and sent her his x-rays from yesterday. The x-rays clearly show that he has a lot of excess air in his colon. Kaizer's x-rays for any interested parties: Keystone Omni

So my question - what causes excess air? How do I prevent him from intaking all this air? He is not a quick eater (he does chew), I always soak the dogs kibble in water. He eats in a generic stainless steel bowl. He is a big chewer and does chew quite a bit throughout the day. He is still fat.
 

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Bless your heart- he is going to be your educator on all things canine, isn't he?
I'd probably fast him for a day.
I see a ton of poop in him- maybe it is fermenting in there? Fermentation/degredation makes an incredible amount of gas. Does it stink? Has he had more carbs than usual?
Pancreatitis makes the hunched back/hip pain symptoms. Has he had unusual fatty foods?
 

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From someone with a dog with Megaesophagus elevate his food and water bowls. I would also give a Pepcid AC once or twice a day just to see if it would help. I don't think Kaizer has ME, but dogs with ME don't swallow efficiently and get a lot of air in their GI tract. Simply elevating the food and water makes a dramatic improvement. Duke eats off a standing bench, think of him putting his feet on the seat of a standard picnic table and the bowl being tilted at a comfortable angle from the table top. It forms a straight line down the GI tract. You may see an improvement with simply elevating the bowls off the ground a foot or so.

Not sure this will work, but it's easy to try. I know how hard it is to have a healthy appearing dog that is really sick.
 

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This probably has NOTHING to do with what's going on with Kaizer, but for what it's worth....

My first dog, Molly, had an odd tendency to "bloat" (abdomen noticeably filled with gas) immediately after eating (like even before she stepped away from the bowl). Like you, I had extensive tests done that never turned up any explanation. This was over 20 years ago now, so I don't remember the details, but for some reason my vet chose to put her on Tylosin. As long as she got her Tylosin, instances of "bloating" were fairly rare, though I was often tempted to take her off of it and see if the bloating returned (I never did - true bloat scared me too much to risk it). She had no other health issues that I remember (except early-onset arthritis) and died essentially of old age at 13 1/2.
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
How about a slow feed bowl to prevent him from gulping? or feeding him via a treat dispensing toy, would that help?
I have lots of all of that! LOL I stopped feeding him in those cause he's not a super fast eater, but it's possible he's taking air in nonetheless. When he goes back on kibble (vet has him on chicken/rice for a week), I can try feeding him in a puzzle or a toy again.

Bless your heart- he is going to be your educator on all things canine, isn't he?
I'd probably fast him for a day.
I see a ton of poop in him- maybe it is fermenting in there? Fermentation/degredation makes an incredible amount of gas. Does it stink? Has he had more carbs than usual?
Pancreatitis makes the hunched back/hip pain symptoms. Has he had unusual fatty foods?
Yeah, I don't call him my "hot mess express" for no reason LOL. He was fasted on Sunday for about 22-24 hours. He did have a lot of poop in him! I was surprised since he pooped right before we left for the vet and he is yet to poop all that out. He was pretty gassy the week before last week. I also thought Pancreatitis cause he kept getting into the cat food. But his bloodwork on Sunday came back perfect, and if he had pancreatitis, there would've been something in his bloodwork that indicated it.

From someone with a dog with Megaesophagus elevate his food and water bowls. I would also give a Pepcid AC once or twice a day just to see if it would help. I don't think Kaizer has ME, but dogs with ME don't swallow efficiently and get a lot of air in their GI tract. Simply elevating the food and water makes a dramatic improvement. Duke eats off a standing bench, think of him putting his feet on the seat of a standard picnic table and the bowl being tilted at a comfortable angle from the table top. It forms a straight line down the GI tract. You may see an improvement with simply elevating the bowls off the ground a foot or so.

Not sure this will work, but it's easy to try. I know how hard it is to have a healthy appearing dog that is really sick.
I could definitely try elevating his food and water bowls! It wouldn't hurt. I usually do Pepcid for him, but his rehab vet suggested Prilosec since the Pepcid hasn't been cutting it.

This probably has NOTHING to do with what's going on with Kaizer, but for what it's worth....

My first dog, Molly, had an odd tendency to "bloat" (abdomen noticeably filled with gas) immediately after eating (like even before she stepped away from the bowl). Like you, I had extensive tests done that never turned up any explanation. This was over 20 years ago now, so I don't remember the details, but for some reason my vet chose to put her on Tylosin. As long as she got her Tylosin, instances of "bloating" were fairly rare, though I was often tempted to take her off of it and see if the bloating returned (I never did - true bloat scared me too much to risk it). She had no other health issues that I remember (except early-onset arthritis) and died essentially of old age at 13 1/2.
Interesting!! I'll definitely keep this in mind as a next course of action.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Update on the Prilosec: Kaizer had little to no improvement today after the Prilosec and actually got a little bit worse. I have to lift him off the bed in the mornings now. I also had to carry all 90# of his fat butt down the flight of stairs at my house and then again down the deck stairs. His hind end kinda collapsed under him when he tried to pee, so he kinda sat and lifted his butt like 5" above ground to pee (we did not have any peeing issues after that). He promptly then laid down, and I had to help him up. He actually almost bit me when I accidentally squeezed around his hip area!! I wasn't thinking and didn't pay attention to where I was touching him, so I don't even know what part of him caused that reaction. Thankfully, he seemed to get it together after that and could move a little bit better. Usually once he gets up, he's OK. Definitely uncomfortable, but he can at least move. I took him to work again today where he proceeded to lay on his bed for my whole shift and basically didn't move at all. He did stick his head in the trashcan and at least wag his tail for my coworkers!

The good news: his pee is a normal color and his appetite is still mostly there (won't turn down food, but certainly isn't looking for it). His drinking seems to go in waves now vs always drinking a lot of water - I almost wonder if he's just not drinking cause he doesn't want to get up and go to the water bowl (he barely drank any water today). I'll have to see if bringing him some water will have him drink.

I know that Prilosec can sometimes take a couple days to work, so I'm continuing the Prilosec for another couple of days. However, Dr. Lauren says I should see some improvement by tomorrow (Wednesday) if gas is truly his issue. If I don't see any improvement tomorrow, she'll give me some Gabapentin. If I don't see any improvement (or enough improvement) with the Gaba by Friday, she recommends that I see an internist. She rightfully does not want to keep throwing meds if we don't know exactly what the issue is, and I totally agree with her! We're hoping for the best but preparing for the worst.

I just feel so bad for him :( This is the quietest he's ever been in his entire life. He won't even be 6 for another couple of months, I feel like he's too young for some kind of serious health crisis.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
guess i spoke too soon! Kaizer had a slightly rough morning but has been acting perfectly fine ever since. Hopefully this continues, but I’m really glad my boy is back to normal
 

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I had to bring Kaizer to the emergency room last night at 4am. He was spewing liquid poop all over the place (literal cannon butt - he was doing his pacing and panting thing and it would just come spraying out) and right before we got into the car, he sprayed straight blood. No appetite, he refused to take even a banana from me (his absolute favorite food). They kept him overnight and called me in the morning to tell me that he did finally have an appetite and ate everything they gave him. Called me again around 4pm to tell me he had more liquid diarrhea episodes throughout the day and it contained a good amount of blood, so he's going to be staying another night. Thankfully, it seemed like he was in good spirits and she told me how much they loved him. We're checking back in the morning to see if he needs to go straight to internal med for an ultrasound. I hope my sweet boy is okay.
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thank you!! Me too. My poor boy
 

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That sounds so scary and awful. I'm so sorry. Poor Kaizer. I hope they figure out what's going on.

It actually sounds almost exactly like when Shala had coccidia (and then giardia) as a baby puppy. It is pretty rare for an adult to exhibit the symptoms of a parasite, but perhaps possible? Shala, too, had liquid diarrhea, way worse at night, explosive, and with blood from her irritated colon. She was lethargic at one point because she became dehydrated from the diarrhea and she lost her appetite on one of the treatments. Most adult dogs can fend off intestinal parasites with no symptoms, but I know your poor guy has had some issues, and maybe his system isn't quite as strong right now? If they haven't tested for coccidia and giardia, might be worth it. (Though as I am writing this, I am thinking I can't imagine that they haven't, so perhaps this is entirely unhelpful).
 
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
oh boy I haven't updated this in awhile.

We hoped Kaizer had atypical Addison's so we tested his resting cortisol level when I took him into the emergency vet. 3 years ago, we did this exact test and his cortisol level came back a 1.4 (with 2.0-6.0 being the normal). I was just told then that it was a "low normal" and nothing to be concerned about, but the vet in charge of him last week said that 1.4 was too low and we should've been told to do further testing. Unfortunately (or fortunately), Kaizer's resting cortisol level came back a 2.8 this time, which eliminated Addison's as a possibility.

Our next step was an ultrasound. Long story short, I ended up having to take him through emergency for an ultrasound so we could get one done on him ASAP. Kaizer's ultrasound showed that he has enlarged GI tract lymph nodes and an enlarged spleen. He also has a small splenic growth and "something" in his bladder. Currently, our options are GI lymphoma or IBD. I think Kaizer's non-GI symptoms make lymphoma more likely than IBD, but honestly we don't know enough to know for sure. We put him on Hills Z/D, hoping that a long-term bland diet will help reduce the inflammation in his GI tract and maybe help us see what we're dealing with. I have an appt with my vet next week and then an appt with internal medicine at the end of the month. Depending on what happens (if he gets worse or gets better), either one of those appointments may be bumped up.

Thankfully, he's doing better in the last 2 days than he has been all month. His appetite came back in full force last night (he'd been leaving food in the bowl), he's gathered enough energy to have one (1) play session with Eden for the last 2 days - he takes frequent breaks, but he was pretty much a lump for the whole month of March so any improvement is fantastic. He's been on a high dose (I think) of metronidazole for the last 3 weeks and his poop finally started to improve on Monday. It's still orange and "sticky" (not easy to clean up), but there's clear shape and it's no longer a mush puddle or liquid. The blood in his stool stopped last Thursday too! He lost 4-5 pounds in 3 days, but has maintained at that weight for the past week, so he's no longer actively losing weight! I think I'm still going to take him weekly for a weigh, just in case. He's got new bumps appearing, but they feel like sebaceous cysts, so I'll keep an eye out but I'm not terribly concerned.

So overall, he's improving!!! My poor boy, he's too young to potentially have cancer!!!
 
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So sorry to hear you've had so many issues, but trust me I understand. I hope you find the answers you need and he continues to improve. Sometimes these boys worry us to death. I just started Duke on seizure meds. The diagnosis is either a brain tumor (most likely) or sudden onset of seizures. They don't feel it's in his best interests to sedate for an MRI so I'm stuck praying for the best.

Best wishes for you and for Kaizer!
 

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Ugg. So sorry to hear that Kaiser may have something major going on. I lost the boy in my avatar to intestinal lymphoma, but he was older (11) and seriously ill before he was correctly diagnosed. Fingers crossed that you will get a definite diagnosis and treatment plan in place ASAP. I'll definitely send good thoughts your way!

FWIW, my holistic vet says that, out of all the cancers, she has had the best success with Lymphoma. It wouldn't hurt to get a holistic vet on board to see if there is something "complementary" to help in his treatment, whatever the end diagnosis is.
 
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I'm hoping for the very best outcome for your sweet Kaiser. I hope he continues to improve.
 
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Thank you all!!

When it rains in Kaizer land, it pours. He has a pretty severe ear infection in one ear, there was blood and pus in it on Saturday night. Thankfully, my vet was able to squeeze him in today. Turns out, he's got 2 different types of bacteria and his usual yeast. One of the bacterias is a rod-shaped bacteria, so my vet's culturing it and sending it off to a lab to make sure we have the right antibiotic. In all of his ear infections ever (and there have been a lot of them), he has never had rod-shaped bacteria in his ear. Poor guy is having a rough time of it.

I also didn't realize how badly he was feeling until this weekend, he was so good. He's had so much energy and a zest for eating that I haven't seen in him in a couple months and I had just chalked that up to him getting older and getting tired. He played tug with my brother, played with the puppy while I wasn't home, ran around and did his excited spins for dinner - all things that haven't happened in the last couple of months. The flip side is that his stool still has some blood-tinged mucus, but it's finally a normal consistency and color. He's also been a little nauseous and threw up on Saturday.

The internal medicine specialist is able to fit him in tomorrow instead of waiting until April 20! Hopefully I'll get an answer soon on if his deal is IBD or lymphoma. My poor guy, I just want to know what his deal is so we can get him comfortable again.
 
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