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Seven Year Old BC Not Herself


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On Friday my seven year old female started acted listless. We had just returned from spending a few days at my parents' house ... since they also have a border collie I thought she might just have been tired, or maybe the heat was getting to her. But by Sunday I realized it was something more than that. She literally barely moved the entire day- she just laid on my living room floor all day. She didn't want to go outside, she barely ate, etc. I took her to a 24 hour vet Sunday evening because I started to get worried about her. They did an exam and ran blood work but everything came out normal. She was running a slight fever and her abdomen was really tense. Other than that nothing was out of the norm. They also did some abdominal x-rays and nothing came up. They gave her some antacid and fluids and sent us home. She seems a tiny bit perkier today (and was eating and drinking normally) but still definitely not herself. The 24 hour vet said that if she did not get better in another day or two to go back to them or go to my regular vet and have a sonogram done and maybe some other tests. Thoughts? I would rather not spend hundreds of more dollars on testing (I already spent $600) if this is something that is not that unusual. The vet mentioned that it might be pancreatitis or gastroentitis but wouldn't those things have shown up in a blood test? Does anyone have any thoughts on what could be wrong? She has not vomited or had diahrrhea at all, at least as far as I can tell and since she has not really gone outside I think I would know.

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I think I'd be concerned enough to take her to the regular vet. Obstructions don't always show up on radiographs, and bloodwork doesn't always point to the problem. (And if she's not going out to go to the bathroom then something is surely amiss.) If it's an illness, her immune system may not have had time to react to a point where it would show up on bloodwork. Splenic masses, pancreatitis, obstructtions and other things can cause a tender belly. Frankly I think such a significant change in behavior warrants further checking. I understand worrying about cost, but be open with your vet about money issues and then decide with him/her what diagnostic course to take that will give you the most bang for your buck. For example, perhaps an ultrasound, while not cheap (but certainly not the costliest diagnostic tool) could show everything you'd need to see in her abdomen to at least rule out some things (splenic mass, obstruction). That's how I'd approach it.

 

J.

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I agree with Julie, better to be safe, and your regular vet shouldn't cost as much as the twenty-four hour vet.

I have one that had a little diarrhea and then quit eating. She spent eight days with my vet before she decided to do an exploratory. She had an innaceception(spelling?) The small bowel had telescoped in on itself and twisted. She had to take out a couple of feet of her intestines. Nothing showed on the tests, but if she hadn't done the surgery she would have died. She was six then and is 12 now and still going strong.

Cindy

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They don't necessarily vomit or have diarrhea with pancreatitis. The specific blood test is not available at every hospital and is not always positive early in the course of illness. General bloodwork (CBC and chem panel) can also miss early pancreatitis.

 

Given her drastic change in behavior you should pursue this further ASAP.

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