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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

As some of you know, I have been having a heck of a time with my Sibe, Hurley. The first 18 months of his life, he was a happy, healthy energetic pup... he was a monster, and a joy.

Last August all three of our dogs reacted to their yearly combo vaccines. Aiyana developed AIHA and we lost her, Dream just had some stomach difficulties and was fine in a couple of weeks, Hurley had stomach difficulties and began having seizures. Last October Hurley was started on phenobarbital, he has done well, no seizures since.

Three weeks after starting the pheno, he developed a dry patch on his ear, we fought this for months, then it started to spread. I thought zinc deficiency or thyroid immediately. My Vet just thought allergic dermatitis and put him on prednisone, etc. When that did not work, he wanted to do a skin biopsy.. I did not feel comfortable with that until he tested for thyroid and other concerns. He did not feel it necessary so I found another Vet. She agreed on zinc deficiency, tested his thyroid, did tons of blood work, skin scrapings etc. but no biopsy. Hurley started Zinpro April 1st.

Mid July he started having stomach difficulties...they all seem to want to just put a bandaid on it... even though fecals are all negative... one vet wants to keep worming him (hello,his stomach is already off). One vet thinks the pheno is causing the problems the other thinks its the zinc.. poor Hurley can't seem to win here.

One Vet says he is not losing weight, just leave him be, the other is talking scopes even though she does not believe she will find anything.. ummmm no thanks. It seems the more they try to help Hurley, the more they mess him up.

When do you tell them.. that's enough already? I have decided to slowly wean him off the pheno... and as of today even though he is in the middle of a horrible ZRD flare up.. to take him off the Zinpro. I will do my best to treat his flare up, with his ointments, and a party hat if necessary. I will add some omega 3's to his diet, but only in pill form, cause if you have to put it in his food he will not eat. I need to get his stomach healed up... and have my happy boy back. He has been miserable, and it is not fair.

Thoughts?

Julie
 

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I don't think I can help you but I want to offer a hug for your plight. So hard to know. I hope you find a solution and can get him back on track. It is not fun to see them not well.
 

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Brady Aedan Finch and Wren
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Hi - I am sorry to hear of Hurley's problems especially since they are a reaction to vaccinations!! I cannot offer you any medical help, but I do know you need to listen to your instincts. You know your dog way better than the vets.

There is another topic going on about your dog matching his name: I believe this does happen so I might also consider changing Hurley's call name :)

I do know a few people who have had success switching diets for dogs that seized. Usually to a home made or raw diet. This eliminate preservatives (BHT, BHA and Ethoxyquin) as can preseravative free kibble.There is probably tons of info on the web about anti-seizure diets.

Good luck :)
 

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I'm not much help either, but I did have a similar situation with my boy Maximus and had to switch vets so many times. I hate the band-aid treatment! Vets either don't do anything or do so many (expensive) things that don't matter!! All I can suggest is to do what you feel is best for him. I did and got fireballed for it, but Maximus is fantastic, happy and healthy!

Also, I am sorry you lost your girl. *Big hug*
 

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I'm so sorry your dog is having so many problems. At this point, if it were my dog, I'd want to have a total work up by a holistic veterinarian. They have the same basic credentials as all vets, but have done further training in some other areas such as nutrition, acupunture, herbal medicine, etc. Their perspective is to look at the total animal and how it all relates as opposed to trying to zero in and focus only on a specific problem.

As always, I think nutrition plays a key role in many problems.

Here is a link for locating holistic vets in your area:
http://www.holisticvetlist.com/.
 

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In the Moment
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Is there a vet school close to you??? If so, they are the best at "connecting the dots" with complicated cases. Sending warm healing thoughts your way.
 

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Humankind. Be both.
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I'd find a naturopathic vet. I'm all for allopathic medicine, but sometimes, it's just not the best approach for the job.

Hugs to you and your boy!
 

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Missing Tasha, Sky, & Ral
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I know what you are going through. My Tasha has lymphoma, skin issues, ear infections and UTI's. I feel each vet that we see does not treat all the problems. I can't help but think the problems are all related. I feel like Tasha is a science experiment and am in tears several times a week. I have contacted Dr. Jean Dodds, which many members from GRF recommended. I am also looking for a holistic vet to work with locally.

I am sorry you and Hurley are going through this. Sorry I don't have any better advice.
 

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chew chew chew
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I agree, find a holistic vet asap. Strongly suggest a raw diet to work on improving his health, and please don't vaccinate him again!!! Can't stress that enough, if he's reacted to the shots before, it's not worth it to do them again.

My human son reacted to his first set of vaccines and we have been vaccine free here ever since, my daughter has not had any. Both are pretty darn healthy overall and have not come down with any strange diseases...

Lana
 

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I am sorry you are going through this with Hurley. I love sibe's, they have such an amazing spirit and sense of mischeif. I can imagine how you just want your happy boy back.

I went through a similar experience with my vet and without a real diagnosis everything he did made my girl feel worse. After a bit I thought enough is enough and I sought the opinion of an internal medicine specialist (vet hospitals are few and far between in Canada or I might have tried that). Although Mad's issue can't be cured at least there is now one solid plan for making her feel better.

Follow your gut. We do know our dogs better than anyone. I hope he's feeling better soon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thank you all for your words of encouragement.

Hurley is a great dog, and I just can't stand to see him so miserable anymore.
I will be consulting with a holistic vet soon, at this point I just kind of would like to get him back to where he was... Ya know what I mean.

I have tried a raw diet with him.. no success there. I have decided to put him back on what he was eating before (which our vet suggested I switch at the time of the vaccine reaction) Hurley ate Evo red meat for over a year and was thriving...the vet said the stomach problems were from too high fat, too high protein, but he had never had the problem before the vaccine reaction. Now that he has stomach issues again, it was suggested that we try a lite or senior food - no luck there either.

I know with his seizures, and skin problems I need to stay with a grain free food... Dr. Dodds told me absolutely no wheat, corn or soy for him at all...I also need to watch the calcium levels, but with grain free foods, they are all pretty high in calcium... as is raw. We are really in a catch 22 to when it comes to his diet, which is why I decided to go back to basics at least for a while, and tweak where necessary LOL.

The way I am looking at this... the skin issues are one of two things, zinc deficiency or discoid lupus... he has been treated for both, and did not respond. He responded for a short time to the zinc supplementation, but that is upsetting his stomach. I even tried feeding him oysters the other day... very high in zinc, that was a definite no go.. LOL.

I am hoping that getting him off all of these meds, and supplements makes him feel better, then we can start dealing with his skin problems again, with a fresh take on it.

thanks again all, and blessings to those of you also struggling with these kinds of problems...

Julie
 

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I know with his seizures, and skin problems I need to stay with a grain free food... Dr. Dodds told me absolutely no wheat, corn or soy for him at all...I also need to watch the calcium levels, but with grain free foods, they are all pretty high in calcium... as is raw. We are really in a catch 22 to when it comes to his diet, which is why I decided to go back to basics at least for a while, and tweak where necessary LOL.

I think highly of EVO, but it does have the highest calcium at 2.55% of all the grain-free kibbles. Canidae's Grain Free has only 1.2 %, and Orijen's is 1.5-1.7%. Something to consider discussing if you see a holistic vet.
 

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I agree that you need to be Harley's advocate and if you dont think the meds and all the tests are helping then go back to what you think was working. Unfortunately the vets do not see your dog everyday and see how bad things are. a vet college or a holistic vet. Good luck and give Harley a big hug!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I think highly of EVO, but it does have the highest calcium at 2.55% of all the grain-free kibbles. Canidae's Grain Free has only 1.2 %, and Orijen's is 1.5-1.7%. Something to consider discussing if you see a holistic vet.
Yes, thank you, actually EVO red meat is a bit lower at 2.09% but higher in zinc. He did well on it before, which is why I want to try it again...I have tried some other grain free kibbles, and have had no luck with them.
Evo is a food all of my dogs did well on, for a time we could not give Layla grain free kibble - she needed more fiber, but she seems to have outgrown that, so we will try her on the EVO too...

Maybe just wishful thinking on my part, but Hurley ate well tonight (ok I did doctor it up a bit LOL)... but he is acting more like himself, which was normally an antsy fool in the evenings. I gave him his pepcid tonight just in case, and tomorrow he will get no zinpro at all (he had two this morning).

We will cut his pheno back starting on Sunday ( I already filled his pill container for the week). I picked up a natural anti itch, skin thing today that we add to his water...and some Lipiderm to start. Off to **** him up with his ointment before bed - can't do it earlier cause Layla loves to lick it all off of him.
 

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Seizures, skin infections...

For what is is worth, let me tell you my experience. My dog Cassie had seizures when he was about 7-8 months old. He was put on Phenobarb immediately by my vet (now, ex-vet). 2 months later he had a bout of bad staph infection (hotspot) and had to shave a portion of hi back and treat him. Then around that same time, he had his annual shots (rabies, distemper, etc). Then he developed ear infection in one ear. Pretty nasty and smelled bad. Then he developed red sores on his paws. And then red bumps in his belly. His hair on the belly and genital area was so thin that he reminded me of my grandfather in his 80s with 4 hairs on his head. Seriously! And he started itching, scratching. You know it.

I am always skeptical of all the chemicals that go into the shots, medicines, etc. Not to mention, the first week cassie was on phenobarb, he acted like he was drunk and smoking pot. At this point, I was seriously doubting if I was doing the right thing by following my vet's advice. All they did was put him on anti-biotics. And more anti-biotics. And the bills piled up (thank god for embrace pet insuance!). His tail had all of 10 strands of hair. I tried my best to figure out what the heck was going on with him. Then I talked to a friend who also had a golden and she said there was definitely something wrong with either his food or his medicines. Cassie was eating a high quality protein food (Wellness Core) and so the vet suggested we change to prescription diet (zd). That was the pinnacle for me. It smelled bad and my dog hated that food. I went back and asked my vet if there is anything else that could be done with his skin infections, allergy etc. They suggested I go to the dermatologist hospital....a light bulb went inside my head. This seemed like a money extracting machine. I talked to my friend about this and she suggested I get a second opinion with her vet. THAT started the path to change all my dog's nightmares.

I had his case history faxed over to this new vet. She read through all that was done and when we went it, the first thing she suggested was doing a skin scrap to test for mites. And within minutes, she determined and said cassie was infected with mites and that is exactly what was causing his bumps and all the allergic reactions and itching, etc. He was put on a course of ivermectin and slowly things started to change. In 2 weeks, his red spots lessened. In a month, they totally disappeared. In about 6 weeks,his ear infection was gone and his rashes under the paws diminished.

In the meanwhile, I transitioned him to TOTW high prairie and he seemed to be doing good on it. My vet suggested I keep him on that food and said she truly believed the mites were the reason for his skin issues. Fast forward, 3 months later and less than 300 on Vet bills in total, cassie does not have any more red bumps, rashes, sores, and his hair started filling nicely on his belly. This tail started becoming bushy and his feathers started to fill in really nice. He still had some sores in his paws, but a month later those were gone too. And as an added bonus, he increased his weight from 55 lbs for a 14 month puppy to about 65+ for a 20 month puppy.


Now Cassie is over 2 years old and no more skin infections and irritations. My new vet recently did a bloodwork on him and said his phenobarb levels were well below therapeutic levels and since he did not have any seizures after the first one a year ago, we should wean him off it. From 1 phenobarb tablet a day to half a day and now he just has one a week (my vet thinks its safe to wean him off completely).

I would say try checking for mites. I never thought that was the issue with my dog, but I am glad I did it. With that taken care of, all his other issues with not gaining weight, his energy, the golden demeanor, everthing else took care of itself.


Hope your puppy does well too. Good luck!
 

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Is there a vet school close to you??? If so, they are the best at "connecting the dots" with complicated cases. Sending warm healing thoughts your way.
I agree with Penny& Maggie's Mom. A board certified internist, dermatologist, and neurologist all one one team . . .

I am so very sorry this has happened to you and your dogs. Were the vaccines contaminated?
 

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I also agree about the mites- there are two kinds, and sometimes they are hard to diagnos(even on skin scrapings.)
 

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I hope Hurley feels better quickly. To wean off phenobarb - be sure to do it VERY SLOWLY. Like 1/2 pill down for 2 weeks, then 1/2 pill for both feedings, etc. for 2 weeks. It's very dangerous to do this without a vet being aware and maybe some rectal diazapam on hand.

When you say stomach issues - what do you mean by that? Vomiting alot, no appetite, runny stools or what? Just curious. My boy is very sensitive to this kind of stuff too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thanks all,

Just to update you... at the end of September out of total frustration I took Hurley to an herbalist, holistic practitioner...He agreed that weaning Hurley off the pheno would be a good idea (both Vets had agreed on that also). He thinks Hurley is suffering from mercury poisoning and auto immune problems due to his vaccines, and reactions to them.

Hurley has been off the zin pro, for 5 weeks... he is on bovine colostrum to rev up his immune system, bio vet antioxidants, and a homeopathic minerals supplement (which he can't take yet). His skin has completely cleared up, all the fur has grown back... he is eating a whole lot better, no more occasional vomiting (this dog hardly ever vomits but has been more often since July)...and no more runs. He is occasionally turning his nose up at a meal, but I think more because he is spoiled now and knows he can hold out for something better LOL. Most of the times he is gobbling up both meals like he used to.

After all the meds, skin scrapings, wormings etc... I was really beginning to worry that he would never be well again.

My crazy boy is back... I missed him so much... now it is back to no longer being able to watch tv at night, cause ya know we need to watch him. He serenades us always during our favorite programs... yup he's back to his goof self LOL.

Thanks again,

Julie
 
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