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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Barkley has made it to the ripe age of 11 1/2 but now we are at a crisis situation. It started with a limp that came on suddenly and was accompanied by shivering or shaking. I took him to the vet right away and two things were discovered, and infection in the form of bacteria in the urine and an ultrasound that revealed irregularities in the appearance of his spleen. The blood work showed normal levels for blood cells and platelets. There were some elevated levels for kidney and liver, but if I understood the doctor correctly it didn't indicate anything specific. They sent me off with two kinds of anabiotic's, and antinausea medication and nutraceutical product to support the liver. That was last Wednesday. I missed a vet appointment on Friday morning because I don't sleep for fear that Barkley will choke or stop breathing. They were unable to reschedule until Monday, which would be tomorrow as I am writing this. The big problem is that Barkley stopped eating as of Saturday morning (yesterday) and only had a light meal on Friday night when he was already turning away from a lot of his normal food. For the last five days, he has been very weak in his legs and seems to be getting weaker. He's very shaky when he's standing and is too weak to get up off of a smooth floor. He's also been losing weight, having lost 4 pounds just last week. His average adult weight is about 85 pounds. He is down to about 70 right now. I called the vet on Saturday morning, yesterday, and they told me to take him off the amoxicillin. They said that his loss of appetite may be due to amoxicillin, which could be upsetting to his stomach. It's been 24 hours and there's no sign that his appetite is returning. I won't get into the vets office for 24 hours more. Is there something I can do to get some nutrition into him. He drinks water with no problem but turns his nose away from any food. away from any food. He's drinking a lot and urinating frequently and so I'm worried that just plain water might leave him short of electrolytes, so any ideas about that will be welcome too. I should also say that he moves from looking like he might expire at any minute to looking fairly alert and happy.


 

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I'm sorry to hear about your boy.

Have you cooked any food for him such as chicken and rice? At this point, you may want to try to feed him whatever he'll eat.

If he gets worse before his Vet appt tomorrow, call or go to an E Vet.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yes I've tried everything. I started with cooked chicken and rice and he loved that for about a day. I've tried cooking him hamburgers and steaks. Tortillas with cheese melted on them were good for about half a day. And then Friday was a real slow eating day, until his last food Friday evening which came in the form of pizza from his favorite joint. How about something I can add to his water for electrolytes. He's drinking a lot and I'm afraid he'll wash out.
 

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I am so sorry you and handsome red Barkley are going through this. I agree with the others, I would call or take him to an emergency vet. They could at least give him an IV.
 

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a visit to an ER vet is called for. How do his gums look? I think what stood out to me was the US result with the irregularity to his spleen. I wouldn't wait till tomorrow to have him seen.
 

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I'm so sorry. Barkley is a handsome sweet looking boy. It sounds like you are doing everything you can. I would try to cook him any comfort food that might tempt him to eat and try to keep him as happy as possible and try to love him every minute.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks to everybody for the feedback. I just gave him his anti-nausea med. I have been wrapping his pills in a little bit of cheese and then I open his mouth and throw it in the back and then hold his muzzle until he signals with his tongue that he swallowed it. That went so smoothly that I have started taking flour tortilla and wetting it with yogurt and kneading it into little balls, which I throw into the back of his throat. He seems to be getting used to it and doesn't resist much and doesn't seem unhappy when it's done. I am going to give him one about every ten minutes and see if I can get some nutrition in him.
 

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I agree with seeing a vet quickly. You can put plain Pedialyte in his water to get electrolytes in his fluids.
 

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I wish they hadn't told you to stop the antibiotic. If there is an infection, it is no longer being fought. I would have just added an anti-nausea. It's true, the meds can be making him nauseous, but so can an infection, and that is so hard. It's so sad when they won't eat. Some very tasty and smelly foods to try - liverwurst, tuna, peanut butter. It might be worth a call to the ER vet today if he's not better.
 

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Some dogs are very sensitive ( almost on the allergic degree) to antibiotics. He 's been already week, I wouldn't go back to oral antibiotics but injections. Some dogs need also a stomach protector such as Lansor before giving antibiotics. I hope the best for tomorrow.
 

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My Odin didn’t do well taking antibiotics orally. He would be okay for about a day and a half and then just gradually stop eating. He would turn up his nose at everything but at different times he needed those antibiotics. So we did them in an injection that would last for a bit. Cost me quite a bit more but worked like a charm.
 

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How is your dear Barkley today? I first got to the forum today... So I'm hoping he is still hanging in there.
If you are still attempting treatment with your vet I can only suggest the following since you are in southeast Wisconsin I would take him to the University at Madison Vet Clinic. They are exceptional and caring. If your vet would get him on an IV you could get him there as soon as possible.
I have been where you are with my very first Golden Parker. And have lost subsequent Goldens so I know the pain you are experiencing.
Listen to Barkley carefully...animals will always tell you what their wishes are...
 

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My Golden girl Eden passed on July 5th 2018 after a 2 year fight with Hermagiosarcoma. It started with a fatty tumor on her left hind leg. The last week she was alive she stopped eating and she was lethargic. Her last walk, she just followed me around where ever I went. No chasing rabbits, just following me wherever I went. It tore me up. We called the vet. She had a tumor on her leg the size of a softball, full of blood.


You better GET TO A VET HOSPITAL RIGHT NOW!!!!!! Preferably one with a cancer doctor on staff. Why, better safe than sorry. Hermangiosarcoma has two types of tumors. Internal as in organs, heart, liver, spleen and external as on the skin. Eden's was a Subcutaneous hemangiosarcoma, skin cancer.


Irregular shaped Spleen is NOT a good sign.


God I hope it ain't cancer for you.
 

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I have not seen a response from yesterday (Monday 4/22) as to what your Vet has said. I pray that a change of antibiotics will do the trick, that your sweet Barkley is doing better today and rabidly coming back to full health. I agree that there's a good chance he is allergic to the antibiotic.
A note on my sad experience with my sweetheart Indy but also an encouragement how well peanut butter worked in her situation of not eating. In early Dec. just 2 wks after losing my heart dog Bree (a cert. Therapy dog), Indy (also a cert. Therapy dog and Bree's real sister) began limping. After a bloodtest and xrays she was diagnosed with sever arthritis. Over 2 months, when numerous arthritis shots and pain meds had no effect, her limping worsening, I became demanding asking for more xrays plus this time an ultrasound but still the diagnosis was sever arthritis. Indy (my chow-hound) basically stopped eating in Feb so I would give her a large tsp of peanut butter about every hour (with pain meds when applicable) placing it on the roof of her mouth. If you've ever tried you can't spit the PB out and it worked like a charm for Indy too. With the PB Indy stopped losing weight, began gaining strength and with pain meds and a newly prescribed appetite simulant began to eat on her own. Though slower, Indy again had a quality of life doing the things she loved. But the arthritis limp continued to worsen so more xrays and more ultrasound, but this time her Vet sent ALL tests out to an actual radiologist who returned a correct diagnosis on Feb 14th....osteosarcoma. Sadly Indy passed on Feb 20th at 9yrs old, just 3 short months after her sister Bree died. Indy is in the forefront (Bree behind) of the picture I posted
 

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When these symptoms were shown by my boy I had him drink chicken bouillon (no sodium) which he did. He refused everything. Even liverwurst and peanut butter which usually worked. Staying hydrated more important than food but obviously he’ll need some nutrition. I’m so sorry. It’s so scary.
Gail
 

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Discussion Starter #18
The most recent trip to the vet revealed that Barkley had lost another 4 pounds or 5 pounds putting him down to 67. They administered hydration fluid subcutaneously, took blood and prescribed an atypical antidepressant called mirtazapine, which is known for stimulating appetite. The vet promised to call with the results from the lab tests as soon as they came in.

At home that evening we experienced quite a roller coaster of events and emotions. In the early evening, it seemed that the new medication was having a positive effect. Barkley looked better and had more energy. Instead of lying flat on the floor he was laying with his head erect and seeming quite alert and attentive. He cooperated with my force-feeding, which consisted of placing ping-pong ball size bundles of food that I made and then placed in the back of his throat. Although he wouldn't eat anything on his own I found something that he really enjoyed. It was ice cubes. One cube at a time, he went nuts chewing and licking It was a beautiful sight to behold. I imagined myself going to sleep, for the first time in weeks, with the comforting knowledge that my dog was getting better. Then he lay down and began shaking. At first, I thought he might be having a stroke or a seizure, but he remained alert and responsive throughout. And then as quickly as this episode had come it was gone and he was once more the subdued dog with the weight of the world on his shoulders. In the morning there seem to be signs for hope again. He appeared to be a little more interested in food. At least he wasn't recoiling on the presentation of things that he would normally love to eat. He even licked at some liquid I poured from a can of sardines, but he couldn't bring himself to actually eat anything. After his morning force-feeding I left the kitchen for a minute and returned to find him standing at the back door waiting to go out. It was a pleasant surprise. I had figured that he was done getting up on his own. Then even more good news. While walking out in the yard with the help of the sling I had under his hindquarters, he had a bowel movement. Something that he hadn't done for a couple of days.

In the mid-morning, the vet called (Tuesday, April 23) with the grim news. Barkley's numbers were all trending in the wrong direction. He called it multiple major organ failure. He named half a dozen different chemistries that he said were all bad which would include the liver and kidneys and he said he believes the pancreas. He said that if Barkley were to continue to receive the care it would have to be on an in-patient basis at a facility with more resources than this clinic could bring to bear. I asked him what could be done if his care was elevated to that level. He replied by saying that he didn't recommend it, saying that the odds were not good and that Barkley would suffer and he would suffer without me, being poked and pricked by strangers. And then the awful alternative was presented, euthanasia at my vet's clinic.

This is such a shock for me. Just as recently as February he was galloping around chasing after my neighbor's kids with the adults looking on saying "How old is that dog? Eleven-and-a-half! No way"
 

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I am sorry to hear the results of your visit. I can tell you love Barkley and will do the right thing to keep him from suffering; hard as that may be. You will be in my thoughts.
 
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