Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Taking A Break From Orthopedic Issues To Deal With Inappetence, Diarrhea And Listlessness That Come And Go

"Sometimes a change is as good as a holiday," they say. Well, that depends on the kind of change, doesn't it?

It all started last Monday.

We took Jasmine to the horse farm, which made her very happy. The whole day went well and safely enough, everything was good. Later that evening Jasmine threw up and looked a bit under the weather. Mostly bile, with couple bits of undigested jerky. That was not all that strange or alarming; it happens sometimes but not often enough to truly worry about it.

After that she didn't want her dinner, which wasn't unusual either.

Jasmine would say it was unfair to have an upset belly without even getting a chance to munch on any horse poop that day. You know, like getting a hangover without the party that is supposed to come before that. Not that horse poop munching is typically behind her occasional belly upsets.

She didn't want to eat until Tuesday afternoon; still not alarming.

Then her appetite came back but the stool wasn't all that great. We figured whatever upset her stomach was making its way out. Again, nothing that hasn't happened before. Since the appetite has returned, we thought things were going to sort themselves out.

Instead, the stool got worse and then on Wednesday evening she refused food again. On top of that, this time she actually LOOKED ill.

Normally, when she gets her typical belly upsets, she still acts and looks her usual happy self.

By next day she looked better again but I called her vet anyway, because this was not following the normal pattern. We discussed it in detail and he felt that it's probably from the prednisone, and since she's being weaned off it, the symptoms should resolve along the way.

She looked OK the rest of Thursday and the stools have improved somewhat. Friday her appetite and disposition seemed normal. We were hopeful that things were sorting themselves out. We went for a walk, the stool looked quite good.

On the ride home, though, my heart jumped into my throat.

Suddenly she looked very wrong. For a moment I thought we had another relapse with the neck. She laid there, her head lowered by held couple inches from the floor, ears straight back. Something was not right at all! When we got home, she literally crashed on her bed and looked completely listless. Again, she refused food and later that night the diarrhea returned once again.

First thing in the morning on Saturday I was calling the vet to bring her in.

She still didn't want to eat but otherwise looked a bit better but was running a low fever as well. Didn't want her breakfast but accepted couple treats.

Wouldn't you know it, the vet was out some place for continuing education and wasn't coming in at all that day. I've put up the latest updates to his online messaging system, hoping he might check it through the day.

Meanwhile, we had to make some decisions.

We have a standing prescription for Metronidazole, in case her IBD flares up; though I always consult with him before starting it. This time we had to decided whether to start her on it or not ourselves.

It's always helped in the past, but these recent events were nothing like what Jasmine's had before. I was worried about the up and down pattern and particularly about the crashes. Starting the meds might interfere with diagnostics later.

We could, of course, take Jasmine to the emergency, but, while ready to do so if we had to, we would rather avoid it. Last time we took here there we spent $700 on a total misdiagnosis and recommendation to euthanize. Needles to say, we weren't eager to repeat THAT experience.

We did start her on the Metronidazole.

I spent the rest of the morning watching her like a hawk and monitoring her temperature. By noon she seemed to have bounced back (again) and started looking for her lunch. That was a good sign which would normally make me feel relieved. This time, though, twice she bounced back and twice crashed again. So her feeling better didn't mean as much as it usually would.

Holding my breath I was waiting to see what happens Sunday afternoon, which, following the pattern would mean another crash.

Thankfully, this time it didn't happen.

I was quite sure this was not her typical flare-up and we were looking at something else.

Too many things didn't fit the pattern. But what WERE we looking at? That was the question.

There are some scary conditions that come with wax and wane symptoms like this. My biggest concern was Jasmine's spleen. A splenic tumor, even if benign, could still be deadly if it ruptured. Some of the symptoms did not exactly fit in with that but some of them did. Brother in law just lost his dog to hemangiosarcoma early this year.

The other nasty thing that has symptoms that come and go is Addison's disease. The big pretender, the early symptoms can be just about anything, can even mimic neck and joint issues. It has been on the table before, but was ruled out. Did we add on the fire with the prednisone treatment?

Even though Jasmine still looked good on Monday, we went to see the vet anyway.

I didn't want to take any chances; there were things about this that really worried me.

Jasmine's vet checked her out and he's quite confident it is neither splenic tumor or Addison's, though we'll test resting cortisol once she's off the prednisone for a while. We'll run a full blood panel then too. Right now, having been on the prednisone, the blood levels wouldn't be diagnostically very useful.

He is still convinced that what's been happening IS from the prednisone treatment.

Either result of the treatment alone, or in combination with a normal flare-up. I can live with that and hope he's right. Since Jasmine had her last quarter prednisone today, I'm hoping she remains feeling well. Fingers crossed.

A change is as good as a holiday? I think not.


Related articles:
A Time Bomb Ought To Go Off At Some Point, I Guess: Jasmine's Neck 
Jasmine's Disc Injury(?) Day Two 
Jasmine's Disc Injury(?) Day Three 
Jasmine's Disc Injury: Mom, Why Can't I Go For A Walk?
Jasmine's Disc Injury: The Parole Hearing  
Jasmine's Disc Injury: Spanking New Ramp 
Back To Where We Were Last May?
Elbow Problem Or Root Signature? 
Jasmine's Neck Setback Update
Positive Update, Though Little Clarity 

OK, I Am A Sucker: We're Going Through With The SLIT 
Jasmine's Episodes: Back To The Allergies Dilemma 
This Is What Jasmine's Episode Looks Like
Gotta Try Everything Once (Or Twice): On The Quest To Figure Out Jasmine's Episodes 
Thundershirt vs. Jasmine's Episodes
Jasmine's Mysterious Swelling And Another Experience With VetLiveThe Diagnosis Is In: Jasmine Has An Interdigital Cyst
Jasmine's Mysterious Swelling And Interdigital Cyst Update  
Is Crawling Under Things Some Kind Of Secret Physical Therapy?  
Is There No Place Safe? Jasmine's Acupuncture Session
Senior Sensory Systems Function: Zero Defects  
It Looks Like A Keeper: Jasmine's New Integrative Vet 
Jasmine's Acute Lameness
Jasmine Doesn't Like "Doing Time"
Our Of Jail Free Pass
When It's Looks Too Good To Be True … The Lameness Returns
The Day Of The Treatment
First Time For Everything: A Healing Crisis(?)  
From Zero To Sixty In Four Days: Stem Cells At Work
The Calm After The Storm 
If It Was Easy, It Wouldn't Be Jasmine
Practicing What I Preach: Jasmine's Semi Annual Wellness Exam  
No Skimping On Oral Care 
Our Own Emergency Vet Horror (Part I)
Our Own Emergency Vet Horror (Part II) 
Meet Jasmine
I'm Still Standing! (Happy Birthday, Jasmine)
How Dogs Think (Well, Jasmine Anyway)
How The Oddysey Started: Jasmine's ACL Injury
Jasmine is Vet-Stem's poster child!
Rant About Quality Of Life Versus Quantity, And Differential Diagnoses
Jasmine Is Headed For Her Next Stem Cell Treatment
Jasmine's Stem Cells Are In
Arthritis? What Arthritis? 
Guess Who Is An Ever-Ready Bunny And Really Liking The Bit Of Snow We Got? 
Don't Knock It Until You Tried It: Animal Chiropractic 
Jasmine's Fur Analysis
Back At Chiropractic Care


  1. Wow. She really is giving you a run for for it, isn't she? Glad to hear that she is feeling better and that the vet thinks it is due to the pred and nothing more sinister. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you both!

    1. Thank you, keeping fingers crossed too.

      Run for the money - try a marathon *sigh Hoping at least this issue will go away easy.

  2. Thinking of you all --- you are a great dog mom!

  3. Thank you, Carol. Really could use a break from the constant challenges, though.

  4. It's so hard to keep them comfortable and worry about what damage we are doing to their bodies, isn't it? I'm sorry you are having these challenges and hope she is feeling better soon. As far as I can tell, the Adrenals are seriously affected by the steroids, so whatever we can do to support them is good.

    I hope you get some answers and your baby is feeling better soon!!

  5. Very scary. I hope she continues to be well with no more nasty flare ups. My fingers are crossed the vet is right and it is just that dastardly prednisone. I wish you no changes for the next while, unless they are positive ones.

    1. Thank you, Kristine, and thank you for the wish. I wish so too! Unfortunately, we had increased drinking in last couple days, which again doesn't make sense as she had last prednisone on Monday ... :-(

      So will need to start with yet another urinalysis to start detecting what the heck that is from.