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Worried about Milo


MaryP
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Milo is my oldest dog. He's 11. I'm not sure if I'm just paranoid because of his age or if there is really something going on. A couple of odd things have happened in the last couple of days and I can't shake the feeling that there is something wrong. Last night, Milo woke me at 3:30 AM and was obviously not comfortable. I finally got up and let him outside and he obviously had to urinate very badly. This is NOT like him. I can't even remember the last time I had to let Milo out in the middle of the night to pee. I don't think that has happened since he was a puppy. I thought that this was very odd. In any other dog, it might not make me think twice; but this is not like Milo. I tried to not make too big of a deal about it, though. Then, tonight, he puked up A LOT of water shortly after eating his dinner. It's possible (probable, really) that he puked up his dinner prior to that. He was outside after he ate his dinner and he may very well have puked it up and then drank a lot of water afterward. I was in a different part of the house at the time, so I don't know what all went on. I asked my bf if Milo drank a lot of water after coming back in from outside, but he didn't remember. We suspect that Milo puked up his dinner, though, because the puke in the house was almost entirely water, and it was a lot. Steve hustled all the dogs outside while we cleaned up the puke. When Milo came back in, he went to the water bowl and drank, though he only drank a little bit. I probably wouldn't have even noticed it, if I weren't already in a state of high alert.

 

I know that I'm paranoid because of Milo's age. He's not that old and he is quite healthy right now, but I'm always scared that that could change at any moment without warning. My bf isn't really all that concerned - or, at least he's not showing it - but, I just feel like something is not right. I'm going to call my vet in the morning, but I'm just wondering if these signs/symptoms sound familiar to anyone. I want to have some ideas about what I'd like my vet to be looking for before I bring Milo in. The only thing that has occurred to me so far is diabetes. What else?

 

I'm praying that my paranoia is totally unfounded.

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Take a deep breath Mary. It could be nothing at all. Dogs puke often enough--after eating grass, after eating bones, after eating ick. Having to get up in the night to go pee isn't a bad sign either--sometimes my dogs don't bother to get off the porch when I let them out at night and then the little suckers will get me up in the middle of the night.

 

Eleven isn't that old. If you're going to the vet in the morning, you'll get bloodwork done and then you'll have some answers. Till then try not to worry (easy to say, I know).

 

Chances are it's not something serious.

 

J.

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If that were my dog I'd be doing bloodwork to check the kidneys, check for diabetes, and check the urine for infection. But then again, I'm a paranoid owner as well and if my dog did those things it would make me concerned (however the aussie I wouldn't be). X-rays to rule out anything weird in the abdomen wouldn't hurt...always a possiblity of bladder stones or something. I know some dogs can vomit if they drink too much too fast (our aussie will do this if he drinks a lot and then does any sort of running around). The vet I work for has also said some dogs will drink excessively if their stomach is irritated to try and soothe it a bit. Does he tend to eat or chew on things? Another possibility is that for some reason he had a huge drink right before bed and just couldn't hold it until morning. Hannah has done that once allthough it was a huge drink in the am and she peed in the kennel at work (not sure why she didn't whine or anything...)

 

 

 

 

My dog had a vaguely similar thing happen in January and it was the start of something more (allthough not necessarily related to her vomiting) and I almost lost her. The initial thing she had was vomiting on an empty stomach a few times, and then she started drinking more water. We anesthetized her and looked down her stomach with the endoscope and found an irritated area they took a biopsy of. They diagnosed it as lymphocytic plasmacytic enteritis (sort of a form of IBD) and recommended pred. I put her on pred for a week and then went to recheck her blood one day and as I made her lay down, she started freaking out, eyes twitching, flipping over because she couldn't get her balance. I held her there for a bit and then the worst of it seemed to pass. I got her back up and she had a head tilt and no sense of where to place both left legs - she was really high stepping and almost falling over. My vet thought maybe a stroke. We phoned the specialist centre and they said do blood, x-rays and ultrasound and I booked an appt with their neurologist the next day. Bloodwork was ok, rads ok, but ultrasound showed fluid in her abdomen. Next day I went down to the specialist and they examined her - she was almost normal neurologically but they noticed an arrhythmia when they listened to her heart. We did an abdominal ultrasound and heart ultrasound. The fluid in her abdomen was almost gone and they found a large blood vessel near the spleen that had a blood clot in it. They also noticed irregular beats in her heart so we did an ECG. That showed premature ventricular contractions which can be a sign of damage to the heart. The neurologist figured she had some sort of clotting event and had a clot in her brain, in the vessel near her spleen, and on her heart. I went back home and we rechecked the ECG the next day - it was almost all PVC's and only the odd normal beat. If the heart continues like that for long, the dog can die. We put her on IV meds to help that and contacted a cardiologist who after hearing the whole story thinks that possibly something irritated or poked her stomach (which was why she was vomiting) and caused bacteria to get into her bloodstream which in turn went to her heart and caused an endocarditis. She suspected that caused her to go into a mild form of DIC which caused the clots to all form. DIC (known in the vet world as death is comming) is not usually a good thing. She said put her on antibiotics for 2 months so I did and so far she's back to normal and seems fine.

 

Anyways, after that long story...if I hadn't been paranoid about her when something was a little off, I may not have caught things in time....and I'd way rather spend some money and be on top of things, than leave something too late and feel guilty about it. It wouldn't hurt to have a baseline for blood etc to future reference anyways.

 

Hannah is 12 and I know I'm paranoid that something will suddenly happen to her and I'll lose her so I'm always one to say to get the dog looked at for peace of mind.

Sarah

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Hi, Mary--I hope you are able to get some answers from your vet tomorrow, and (having a pair of oldsters here) I totally understand the paranoia. :rolleyes:

 

I don't really have any good ideas to offer, but the "waking people up in the night to go outside and urinate" is a classic sign of diabetes insipidus. However, based on my experiences with Johnson, I would think you would have also noticed Milo's drinking more water and peeing more at other times of the day, too, if he were developing DI.

 

I hope you and Milo are both able to get some rest tonight, and I will cross my fingers for a quick and easy diagnosis for both your sakes!

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Another thing you could do is check to see if he's actually drinking too much. I'm in Canada so sorry its not in US units but the limit for normal water intake in a dog is 66ml/kg. I think it equals out to 1oz/lb if I remember correctly. We tell people to put down a measured amount of water and keep track of how much is left exactly 24 hours later...only trouble with this is making the dog be the only one to drink from there and nowhere else. You can also quickly check the colour of his first morning urine...if its almost clear its most likely too dilute, if its yellow, its more likely to be normal.

 

If he's acting totally normal other than those 2 incidents, I doubt anything serious is wrong with him.

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I don't think Mary needs to be borrowing trouble. She'll find out soon enough when she goes to the vet tomorrow. Milo had gotten her up *once* to go outside. That doesn't sound like diabetes to me. It sounds like a dog who might have drunk too much water for whatever reason and couldn't hold it all night long.

 

I have 10, 11, 13, 14, and 15 year olds. The 13 and 15 year olds are on PPA to help with incontinence. They still sometimes get me up in the night. I don't take it to mean they've got some major illness. Old dogs sometimes do funny things. If you freak out over every little thing, you'll run yourself ragged. We all know our dogs best, and I think Mary that in your gut you'd know if it's an emergency.

 

Getting up to urinate and once instance of vomiting are not necessarily reasons to panic. And lest anyone think I'm making light of Mary's cocncerns, I'm not. But I also don't think there's any reason to add to her incipient feelings of panic.

 

Mary,

If you're really scared, consider going to the emergency vet. Personally, I think you'd be fine to wait till morning.

 

J.

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Getting up to urinate and once instance of vomiting are not necessarily reasons to panic.

I agree, and I certainly didn't mean for my post to add to Mary's distress. I apologize if that's the way it came across.

 

But Mary specifically asked if Milo's symptoms sounded familiar to anyone, so I mentioned that they were familiar to me--but also said that I didn't expect a single episode to signal DI, either. However, since DI is not something that, in my experience, is on most vet's radars, I did think it was worth mentioning on the off chance Mary ends up needing to investigate further.

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Mary, I don't know that I would panic. It could be the weather change or any number of things. If it was me I would mark it on the calendar and wait and see what happens. If he's acting fine, go on your merry way and just keep it in the back of your head. Has he been swimming a lot lately? In the ocean? I might also consider fasting him for 24 hours as well. Anyhow, hope all is fine and do let us know!

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Well, Milo just puked up his entire breakfast (on the carpet in my bedroom :rolleyes: ). But, I just got a piece of new info. After Milo puked, I called my bf who is on his way to AL to help with the oil spill and told him that Milo just puked up his breakfast. As we were brainstorming what might be the cause, he said, "I wonder if it's the antibiotics?" And I said, "You're still giving him those?"

 

I wasn't aware that Steve was still giving Milo antibiotics. Milo had ripped a dew claw a couple of weeks ago. We took him to my rescue vet to have it clipped off, since they were still open and I didn't necessarily want to have to pay an emergency fee to get a dew claw clipped and cauterized. They only vet that was there was the only vet that I typically wouldn't let lay hands on one of my dogs, but I thought, how bad can she screw up clipping a dew claw? Milo has had claws clipped before because he has ripped them and he has never had a problems with it. But, this time, he just wouldn't leave it alone and he licked the toe until it was raw. So, we sprayed Wound-Kote on it and wrapped it so that he'd leave it alone. But, his bandage would fall off or he'd pull it off and start licking the toe again. So, I told Steve that I'd like to give him some antibiotics for a few days to see if that helped (in case the toe was infected). I didn't realize that Steve would continue giving them for more than a few days. So, Milo has been on them (Doxy) for at least a week.

 

So, I'm now wondering if they might be causing him to have an upset tummy.

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Has he been swimming a lot lately? In the ocean? I might also consider fasting him for 24 hours as well. Anyhow, hope all is fine and do let us know!

I thought about this last night too. If he had ingested some salt water before the two incidents, it could have caused both. I have to watch Kat like a hawk at the beach because she likes to bit the surf and in the process ingests water. This is followed by puking, drinking, and having to pee a lot.

 

J.

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At this point you'll be at the vet's office soon enough today to start ruling out things. I guess I would ask you, how is he acting otherwise?? Is he lethargic, does he still want to play, etc? How long after eating breakfast did he vomit?

 

Hopefully you'll be at the vet soon and can put your mind at rest. Let us know if they find anything at the clinic.

 

Kathy

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We just returned from the vet. Milo's physical exam was unremarkable and the vet said that he appears very healthy. But, the bloodwork showed elevated liver enzymes, which is probably the cause of the vomiting. The vet thought it was possible that the elevated liver enzymes were caused by the Doxy, or it could be something else. She said that she didn't palpate any masses on his liver, but his blood serum was a little jaundiced.

 

This, of course, didn't do much to quell my paranoia because I just went through this with a good friend of mine right before Christmas when she lost her dog to liver disease. But, the vet told me to try not to jump the gun and that Milo appears very healthy otherwise and that the elevated enzymes may just be temporary.

 

So, Milo is on a medicine called SAM-E, which is supposed to help bring the liver enzymes back down. He also received an injection to help with the vomiting and was given some sub-q fluids. Cha-ching =>$400+ He'll go back in a month to have the liver enzymes checked. If they are still elevated, then we will do an ultrasound and some other diagnostics. I'm praying that the issue was the Doxy and that there's not anything more serious going on. I'm not ready for "more serious."

 

The good news is that Milo is back down to his target weight of 48 pounds, the weight he was at 3 years old when he was a young, svelte guy. All my dogs have been on a diet for the past couple of months and they are all finally hitting their target weights. Milo is also in good spirits and was practically skipping as we were leaving the vet - he was very happy to be leaving. So, I'm going to try not to worry too much, but that's always easier said than done.

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Glad to hear this update, Mary. :D It sounds like Milo was feeling good at the vet's (or at least gleeful to be leaving the clinic) and that you got many positive pieces of news, including that he's back to his youthful figure. :rolleyes:

 

I remember my vet recently mentioning SAM-E as an excellent choice for liver support, and I hope it helps Milo's enzymes get back down where they need to be so that both of you can feel better.

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Glad to hear that nothing serious was found, Mary. I've heard good things about SAM-E, so fingers and paws crossed that next month's labwork shows the enzymes back within normal range.

 

Also, I know how hard you've worked to help them lose weight, so that's great news! :rolleyes:

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I am with going with your instincts. If everything checks out okay- your fine. If you ignored your instincts and something was wrong you would never forgive yourself. Glad to hear Milo is okay. It is really heating up here in Florida- could he have overheated then gobbled his dinner? All in all, good luck.

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My previous post never made it.

 

Anyway, you can't put a price on peace of mind and I'm glad things are OK. You're like me, Mary. Anything out of the ordinary, I hit the panic button, especially with my senior dogs. I'm glad there are voices of reason out there, and I have gotten better, but any change in behavior, warning flags start popping out. I did it with Owd Bob last week. Few kibbles left in his bowl---warning flag. Didn't get up to greet me --- second warning flag.

 

I'm glad you took him to the vet and you can, for now, save some wear and tear on your nerves.

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Willow's liver enzymes and bilirubin were through the roof recently. She never vomited--just stopped eating. One of the things I did to help her liver was give SAMe. She's still on it 5 weeks later. Her second bloodwork, after two weeks on antibiotics and SAMe was much better, though still elevated. She'll go back next week for a recheck and I'm hoping that this time all will be completely normal. So, I thin SAMe is a great product for liver support. I know lots of folks who have used it successfully.

 

Doxy has been known to cause a rise in liver enzymes. Poodles, if I remember correctly, are one breed that can suffer these effects more so than other breeds. So yes, doxy treatment could have resulted in the elevated values.

 

I'm glad that everything, although not entirely normal, does check out on the side of Milo being okay.

 

J.

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