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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi
I'm new here - introduced myself on the UK forum but was told most people hang out here so am posting hoping for a little advice.
We recently got our first Golden Retriever puppy, Hector, who is now just over 13 weeks old. He has had diarrhoea on and off since we brought him home at just under 8 weeks old. At first the vet said it was just the shock of moving, but as it continued we had a stool sample tested and it came back positive for Campylobacter. This was before he had gone out for his first walk so the vet said he either picked it up in our back garden or got it from his mother. He had a week of antibiotics and seemed all better. We had to take another three day stool sample over the Easter weekend to check that he was all clear and, just as we started to do that, the soft stools started again. Today we got the first set of results (Campylobacter takes another couple of days to show) and he has tested positive for Gardia, Coccidia and has horse tapeworm eggs in his system! None of these things showed up on the last test so the vet says he must have picked them up since the first test two weeks ago from eating horse poo. Thing is, we don't have any horses and haven't been near any. As Hector is only little, our walks are very short and local. He has been to the big park a couple of times but only off lead for 20 minutes and almost all of that time was trotting along next to us and there were no horses or horse poo in sight!
It seems an incredible run of bad luck for him to be catching so many different things in such a short space of time and with such limited access to the outside world.
I should say that he is up to date with worming, seems healthy and happy although a bit thin, and has bags of energy.
The vet says she has never seen a set of results like this before. Has anyone else experienced anything like this? Or have any advice, please?
thank you
emma
 

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Noreaster
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Where did you get him? I bought a Bichon from a pet shop once--like an idealist I figured I would "save" him, and he came with mange and giardia...we were in the emergency vet every weekend for the first few months and the regular vet nearly once a week. Giardia is a tricky thing to get them past, I remember it too well.
As a former vet tech who did a few stool tests in my tenure, it's pretty easy to get a false negative especially on something like tapeworm eggs.
I'm sorry you're going through this--she's lucky to have you caring for her.
 
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I think your vet is mistaken. All of those things can be, and probably have been, in his system for a long time before they show up on a fecal test. If your vet is making you feel like you have done something wrong, try another vet. I hope the vet has given you medicine to treat the infections.

You could ask the breeder you got him from if other puppies are showing up with these parasites, if they will tell you, or maybe ask if you could contact the other puppy owners and find out. My bet is that the all the puppies were exposed to these while at the breeder and the infections are just now identifiable on a fecal exam.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for all the advice. We got him from a breeder and met the mother but it turned out it was a commercial breeding kennels (we didn't realise the difference at first) on a diary farm rather than a "hobby breeder". We visited once when the puppies were 4 weeks old and then when we collected him at 8 weeks and everything seemed very clean and the breeder was really helpful. I've been in contact with the breeder about the diarrhoea and he advised me to stop feeding for a day and then reintroduce food slowly. He said none of the other puppies were ill. His method worked for about a week but then the soft stools started again. That is when the vet did the first stool test.
The vet insists that the all these other infections weren't there on the first test when the Campylobacter showed up but she agrees that she can't see how he can have picked up the other things - particularly the horse tape worm eggs - where we have been taking him. She didn't really make me feel I'd done something wrong, rather just that this was a complete mystery which I know it can't be! My feeling is that he has either picked up all these things at the breeders - they may have had horses but I didn't see them - or these are false test results.
I've got to go and pick up some worming medicine for the Giardia today but she said she doesn't need to treat the Coccidia or do anything about the tapeworm eggs. We are still waiting for the results on Campylobacter and he will have to have more antibiotics if that hasn't cleared.
I will try phoning the breeder again today and see if he can tell me anything about the other puppies in the litter - although I don't think he'll admit to any problems, somehow!
Thanks again for all your comments - it really helps to speak to others out there!
emma
 

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Hi Emma,
Youre not far from me! Im so sorry you are facing this. It sounds as if it was all present when you got him, imo he will need some quite aggressive antibiotic treatment to get it cleared. We had to deal with campylobacter with Chester and it took three courses, flagyl is a must if it's still present and hasn't been tried. It'll be hard to believe he was the only pup affected, how many in the litter? Are they KC registered? It's so sad to think there could be lots of families out there with poor pups struggling with these issues.
I hope the next tests come back negative and he recovers very soon.
By the way, we tend to hang out on the main page of the UK page, I think that's what was meant, in the UK Golden Lovers group there's a thread called UK Golden Lovers..we are there and post everything in there rather than starting subsections like 'what to feed a fussy eater' etc. and we use this main board too :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hi Elly
glad to hear from a neighbour! Thanks for the tip about the other location to chat - will look for that later.
The breeders are KC registered as a commercial breeder - that's how I found out there was a difference. Feel a bit stupid now but we were only aware of avoiding puppy farms - my partner almost phoned one but we spotted the signs in time. By the time we realised they were a commercial breeder we had chosen and fallen in love with our little puppy. But we didn't see any signs of ill health or dirt and the breeders continue to be very helpful when we phone them for advice so, although not ideal, it doesn't seem like a bad place. However, if he has picked up all these infections at the breeders that puts it all into a very different light. I think I'm going to write them a letter rather than phone them, then I can give them all the details properly. It's difficult to accuse them when the vet says Hector has picked up all the second lot of infections in the last week or so but, as you say, it seems much more likely that he had them all along.
thanks again
emma
 

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Noreaster
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Dairy farm...as hard as anyone can try to keep a place clean, cows tend to have one primary hobby--pooping. I second the theory that your pup came home with these parasites and I would predict that mom has them, especially if she's had the run of the farm, and that's where your boy got them. I also would be surprised if other pups in the litter don't have them as well--either the owners haven't told him or the breeder may be lying about it to avoid any liability.

I'm sorry you're going through this. Please sit Hector down and explain to him how very fortunate he is to have a family who is taking such wonderful care of him!
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks Noreaster
We didn't see any cows but the breeder said he had some, and also sheep, and I do remember him saying that he didn't know exactly how much exercise his dogs needed because they had the run of the 30 acre farm. I am getting more certain that Hector arrived with these parasites but the still vet insists that he has picked up everything apart from Campylobacter since the last stool sample test. I've just met another dog owner from our road who said our vet is fantastic and to trust them - however there are four vets in the practice so I might try to speak to another one and get a second opinion.
Hector is getting lots of love and is now on the Panecur for the Giardia. No more test results in today but they will ring me as soon as more results come in.
I'm going to write a letter to the breeder listing everything that has happened and ask for a proper reply and for him to pass this information on to the other new owners. I hate to think that Hector's little brother and sisters are all suffering the same way!
thanks again
emma
 

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I am sorry you and your pup are having to deal with this. I am so curious as to why your vet thinks she doesn't need to treat the coccidia and tapeworm.
 

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Noreaster
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Okay, I did some research and to be completely fair, apparently it is possible for adult dogs to have asymptomatic giardia and coccidiosis and still shed the cysts, so maybe the mom wasn't showing any symptoms. Or maybe she's a stealth pooper and would run off to do her thing, so he hadn't seen the evidence. Or maybe since he's a bovine guy, he thinks all animals' poo looks like that!

Regardless, I hope your little guy is feeling much better soon.
 
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I think parasites can be a bit of a mystery myself. Shala had coccidia when I brought her home, but I don't think she got it through any fault of her breeder's. The place was **** and span, she is a phenomenally careful and caring breeder. But Shala is supremely curious, and I think the most likely scenario is that she drank from a puddle somewhere in the yard - no one's fault. Puppies do that. She did seem to think puddles were for drinking when she was a baby! It happens - and we treated it. It was tough for the first little while - before it was diagnosed, and on top of it, she had a bad reaction to one of the meds - but once we knew it was coccidia, I was so relieved because we could finally treat it right. It cleared up. All was fine.

Then she got Giardia. Then she got roundworm. Seriously. I think some pups are just more susceptible for some unknown reason. It wasn't like I was exposing her to filthy conditions or other infected dogs. And when her fecal came back positive for Giardia, she had no symptoms. (It was a routine fecal re-test - actually, I think she had the roundworm (she ate deer poop) and then the re-test identified the Giardia. It was all really weird. And I live in a nice area, with really well-cared for dogs around. People pick up (for the most part) after their dogs. My vet said most pups' systems are stronger and able to fend off infections or deal on its own with a parasite by 6 months, but probably Shala's just needed a bit more time to catch up. She suggested that probably many more pups have parasites than we ever know about because they show no symptoms.

So while it sounds reasonable that because your pup grew up on a dairy farm there was some unintentional cross contamination, it really could have been from anywhere. I'd definitely seek out a vet who will treat it. Diarrhea can be really hard on their little systems - Shala's intestines were so inflamed and her belly was really painful. And there IS a treatment for Giardia. Both coccidia and Giardia can also go dormant for a few weeks and then come back, too, so you might need to treat twice. Good luck - I hope your pup feels better soon.
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks everyone.
The vet said that the horse tapeworm eggs will just pass through his system and I think she said the same about the Coccidia (although what I've read online indicates this should be treated). Maybe she is waiting for the rest of the results incase he needs more antibiotics if the Campylobacter isn't cleared yet. It was a confusing phone call as I had to spend so much time convincing her he had not been anywhere near horses!
Hector does eat and drink everything he can get his nose into so I wonder whether he has drunk from a dirty puddle and picked something up there.
I don't think it is worth accusing the breeder of anything because it did seem like a very clean place and the animals well cared for. But I will let them know. Maybe Hector is just one of those pups that are more susceptible to getting these infections.
 

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I also agree with everything posted above. We've had 5 out of our 6 puppies in our life come home with or develop Coccidia. In no instance did the vet not treat them for it. Many times it took a couple of rounds or meds to finally get rid of it. Hopefully, as you say, the vet is just waiting for results before prescribing any more meds. If she is going to leave the Coccidia untreated, I might be looking for a new vet. As Sweetgirl mentioned, the pups are so miserable until everything is finally identified and treated. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
OK, so I just phoned the vet to ask why she isn't treating the coccidia and it turns out that she wants to wait for the campylobacter results on Monday. Phew!
Also, after the mention of giardia infection from water I did a bit of research and have found that fish ponds can be a source and we have a small pond in our garden. Just took Hector out for a play and he was trying to jump in so I think that may be the source of this particular parasite. I will get a cover for the pond tomorrow to keep both puppy and fish safe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
We finished the Panecur treatment for campylobacter and still no change. Hector was looking miserable and his eyes looked weird - third eyelid seemed to be getting stuck - so I took him to the vet again yesterday and saw a different one. Vet said he is underweight, dehydrated and in poor condition because of chronic diarrhoea (other vet said his weight was average) and needed immediate treatment. So glad I didn't wait for the rest of the test results! She gave him a vitamin B injection to help him absorb nutrients from food and took blood samples. He has an inflamed bowel so she thinks he might have an allergy to something in his food - suspects chicken but could also be wheat - so we have to change his food again. Vet thinks that he is picking up all the infections that a healthier dog would be able to fight off and that is why he keeps testing positive for all these things - they are not the main cause of the illness but a symptom of him being weakened by something else. She decided not to wait for the rest of the test results before starting him on another course of antibiotics that are also anti-inflamatory so will help his bowel. It is all quite worrying and, luckily, although my kids were with me they were mucking about a bit so missed how worried the vet looked. We've got another appointment in 10 days to weigh him again and check on the situation. In the meantime, the vet will phone me to discuss the test results as soon as they come in. Hector is sleeping lots but still full of energy and mischief when awake. But he has been refusing to walk down the road (fine when we get to the park) so the vet thinks he might need less exercise for a few days so the back garden it is for us! Very limiting for our activities as I still can't take him out and about with me but I will just have to work around that for a while longer. Really glad I decided to see this other vet (she was the one who asked for the first feacal sample test) and will only see her from now on. All rather worrying but I feel like this more aggressive approach to treatment is what is needed and, hopefully, will finally get this sorted and our sweet little puppy will feel better.
 

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Poor pup, poor you! Sending hopeful and healing thoughts from across the pond.
 
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I'm really glad you went to another vet. Did they put him on an IV to rehydrate him? When Shala was dealing with all of her tummy issues, she also got very inflamed inside (don't panic if you see blood). But the vet put her on a very bland food which helped to calm things down while she was being treated. It helped a lot. I hope you get some answers about your guy soon.
 
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Me too, it was just lucky that the other one wasn't in so they sent me back to the original one I'd seen a few weeks ago - she is much better. She didn't give him any fluids but said the vit D injection would help him absorb what he needed and the antibiotics would stop the diarrhoea so, as long as he keeps drinking, he should rehydrate on his own. I'm keeping a close eye on that, though. We did have him on the bland food before but, because we now suspect a chicken and wheat allergy, the vet recommended a food called Wafcol that is fish and potato based. I've ordered it and should have him on it by tomorrow dinner time. He does seem a lot better today so am hoping that the new food will really make a difference. Thanks all of you for your support - it really does make a difference to me!
 

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Dear me, thank goodness you saw her. Please be sure it's treated aggressively, Im even concerned she's not rehydrating him. My dog had a whole puppy hood of tummy trouble, allergies, parasites and inflamed bowel. Please take it from me, there's no room for wait and sees, treat treat treat :uhoh: Chester can't have chicken and in fact he's on a duck only diet, its the only thing that helped him. Fish 4 dogs is great kibble, he may do well on just fish, Chester did for a while and it's excellent quality. Laughing dog do a great biscuit / mixer that's wheat free. Really good. Wainwrights at Pets at home is excellent food too, both wet and dry. The vet may suggest a Hills special diet but these other foods are excellent, just be vigilant it doesn't have chicken in and that it's a one protein food and hopefully you will see a big difference. I hope he improves quickly.
 
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