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Senior Pitbull not eating, breathing heavily

JoaquinH

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Jul 22, 2022
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Hi! Much love & blessings - I recently relocated to Las Vegas and am staying with family, prior to my visit, our dog Bundy (Pitbull/10+ yr/Male/70+ pound?) was eating only generic dry foods (Purina etc.) Upon my stay (2 months ago) I started feeding him Natural balance brand sweet potato recipe, organic watermelons, carrots, berries, potatoes & grass fed beef, he adjusted amazingly and ate it all gladly! As well as our other senior pups, a Jack Russell (Crackers/15 yr) and Chihuahua mix (Felicia/10 yr) I also started to take him on more consistent walks as he was much bigger than when i last saw him and enjoy doing so.

Upon entering our home after a walk one evening, (7.2.22) he got into a bad fight with the newest dog of ours named Hank (American bulldog/Male/5- yr?) resulting in a deep wound in arm above paw & a nail gone. This has occurred before as there is healed scars in general same area /: My parents used a product called Wonderdust & Dermaplast to close wound & i cleaned with hydrogen peroxide daily. They also gave him human grade penicillin for pain ( I did not necessarily agree on products as we do not see eye to eye on holistic care and he has been in their home for several yrs) During the first week or so of recovery he continued to eat well despite appearing a little down. I sense he is aware of favoritism towards Hank as my father stays with hank in bedroom and is separated by gates which Bundy often waits outside of when not with me. I think this creates more anxiety & tension between them. However, I try to love him, pet, hug, kiss and play with him often.

Since then the wound is nearly healed and he is walking just fine! However, these past 1-2 weeks he hasn't wanted to eat, even turning down warm grass fed beef, steamed potatoes or kibble with Wild salmon oil. He at times can be stubborn and will eat some only when hand fed. But now this past week or so he turns everything down. I was able to feed him a small portion of beef with Zinc & B12 the other day but he does not eat on his own. The cut seems to be healed but his appetite has been low or next to little and he now breaths in short loud spurts and pants at night, I give him rescue remedy to ease him when need be. He does drink water. On his walks now he doesn't care to go very far only barely up the street compared to our longer walks to parks in the month prior. During this time he has seemed irritated, growling often.

Now his stomach also seems firm, bloated and stiff and his feces in runny. I also believe him getting his cone off during recovery and licking wound with Wonderdust/Dermoplast was very toxic to him. We tried to schedule a mobile vet apt for him but they declined and we are trying to get him booked somewhere else for an apt ASAP. We are aiming to take him tomorrow for a check up and tests as we have been becoming more and more concerned. Unfortunately the vets will not be holistic. I will update thread accordingly.

I look forward to any guidance or support in this matter!

@Dr. Jeff @Dr. Christina @Dr. Sara

Much appreciated!
Joaquin H.


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GinnyW

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He's a lovely boy! I'm sure that the friction between him and Hank is helping create a situation where he likely feels he is being displaced. There's probably nothing to be done for this other than changing it somehow. And of course you are right about the damaging effects of conventional drugs as well. Without determining a cause, he does need to be checked over: bloodwork, urinalysis, a stool sample would be a start. He needs his heart and lungs listened to, and teeth and gums inspected. Then, no drugs, perhaps some digestive support like enzymes or slippery elm powder, and simple wholesome raw food, mostly meat and organs.

Once you have results on his exam we can figure out what's next. It's wonderful that you are so supportive of him!
 

JoaquinH

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Hi community! & Thanks for the reply Ginny! So i went to the vet with Bundy yesterday and was met with quite uncertainty even after tests were done. The vet mentioned several possible reasons including cancer, tumors, blood loss, anemia, & something in regards to cells. However nothing concrete in the matter.

We are to to go back Thursday 7.28 for a full body X ray/scan. He was also given a steroid shot yesterday. He seems to be in better spirits and ate a small portion of beef with Zinc & B12 yesterday, and I am looking forward to trying Turkey/Chicken Heart & Beef in the snuffle mat. I have included the test results and receipt to provide as much info as possible.

I truly look forward to any further assistance or support!

@Dr. Jeff @Dr. Christina @Dr. Sara

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Dr. Jeff

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I have included the test results and receipt to provide as much info as possible.
Thanks Joaquin.

Were there any abnormalities found on exam?

You may want someone to ultrasound his spleen.
 

Dr. Sara

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Dear Joaquin,
I would also like to know what the physical showed, particularly the exam of the lymph nodes.

Bundy's lab work shows a mild anemia. He does not appear to be making extra red blood cells to reverse this, as there is no notation that reticulocytes are present. However, this is an in house analysis, and some of those can't look for the young cells. In any case, his red blood cell numbers are low. This can be due to excess destruction or inadequate production.

Bundy's calcium and phosphorus are both high. The most common cause of hypercalcemia in dogs is cancer, often lymphosarcoma, though other cancers can also cause hypercalcemia. This is not an ionized calcium, so it would be best to repeat it with a reference lab, not an in house lab. High phosphate levels (optimal 4.5 and below) are often related to kidney disease, though the BUN is normal and the creatinine is borderline.

ALP (alkaline phos) can increase with many systemic diseases, so that is non-specific

The low thyroid hormone could be true low thyroid function, but it is more likely to be low because he is ill. This is called a euthyroid sick situation.

Bundy's big concerns here are the high blood calcium and the anemia. Your vet, with good reason, thinks these are likely to be related to an internal concern, possibly cancer, which is the reason for the x-rays. As Dr. Jeff alludes, an ultrasound can give better results for many internal masses, though it may not be available.

Conventional vets often give steroids to help dogs feel better. They can have negative side effects, of course, though right now I imagine you are relieved to see Bundy eating.
Stay well,
Dr. Sara
 

JoaquinH

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Thanks Joaquin.

Were there any abnormalities found on exam?

You may want someone to ultrasound his spleen.

As we did not get to be in a room with Bundy due to overcrowded office, and vet examined alone for an hour the above info was all I got verbally and quickly at that. I had to call today and get test results to include here. I do recall the vet saying his gums are very light and his tail had little fur (which has been this way since I've been with him for 2 months, not sure when this initially occurred) and that his stomach is swollen and very firm. Aside that the info provided was all I was given. He is due to for radiographs, X-ray and ultrasound scan this Thursday so I will be sure to ask about his spleen and lymph nodes and will update this thread accordingly.

@Dr. Jeff @Dr. Christina @Dr. Sara
 
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Dr. Jeff

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Thanks for the extra info and thank you Ginny for your prayers.

Joaquin, how is Bundy's BEAM today?

Regardless of a diagnosis you may want to start working virtually, right away, with a trained vet homeopath like @dr_ judy herman or Dr. Sagrera:


 

JoaquinH

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Jul 22, 2022
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Hi Dr Jeff! Yes much thanks to Ginny for her insight & prayer and Dr. Sara for her informative response -

Bundy's BEAM is as follows:

B: Neutral, will wag tail a bit here & there, but overall same
E: Neutral, not energetic but not completely down, will walk around home fine & get excited about faucets & water pressure. He was more energetic yesterday, possible due to B12, Zinc & steroid shot.
A: He successfully ate some freeze dried turkey heart in snuffle mat yesterday, and gladly ate a good amount of freeze dried chicken heart/liver in snuffle rug today, much more than than the turkey, it appears he likes the chicken more. But doesn't care for beef, kibble or anything else as of now (Video included 7.27)
M: A little down, but overall neutral, not barking or growling too much (less aggressive) & but not completely sad. Did show more of a perkiness and awareness while using snuffle mat alongside good breathing.

As this is new to me, May I ask what services those vets mentioned provide that I am unable to attain here? I will be paying out of pocket tomorrow for further x-rays, ultrasound etc. as payments plans were not available and unfortunately I did not qualify for CareCredit.

Thanks so much! This community & guidance given is much appreciated!

@Dr. Jeff @Dr. Christina @Dr. Sara
 

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Dr. Jeff

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ay I ask what services those vets mentioned provide that I am unable to attain here?
Sure!

Individualization of Bundy's treatment based on an extensive evaluation and continual fine-tuning of his life force.

However, you can activate very similar mechanisms just by doing more snuffling as your video shows him doing so well. Therapeutic Sniff Walks in nature are super helpful as well.
 

JoaquinH

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Hi Community! Thanks for reaching out Ginny -

Unfortunately, we were told about a probable cancerous mass in the mid abdomen on his right side. No reason or causes given. They did mention surgery which will cost $3-4k and that is not something we can afford at this time, the vet also stated 2/3 come back even after surgery. We are currently awaiting further test results in regards to the x-ray, blood work & cbc i believe, in which we should receive by Monday 8/4 or so. They sent us home with Prednisone. They also mentioned less white blood cells and a decrease in platelets.

Bundy doesn't seem to have much of an appetite, but drinks water. I will be sure to update thread with results once received.

Best regards,
Joaquin


@Dr. Jeff @Dr. Christina @Dr. Sara
 

JoaquinH

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Jul 22, 2022
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Hi HA! Community! I know its been a while -

Due to the local vets office phone line being down & being unresponsive via email, i just finally received the test results for Bundy. its hard for me to tell but i hope everything is there, I have attached them below. Aside that Bundy had actually been doing great! Going on walks, eating full nutritious meals with vitamins & in an energetic mood. Just starting yesterday or so i noticed a revert to how he was prior, not eating and down. I can say he recently ran out of his steroid Prednisone, so i am sure that played a part. I have a strong feeling we will be making another vet apt soon, but held off since options were a $3-4k surgery w/o any financing or payment plans. Any feedback or support in the matter would be greatly appreciated! Thank you so much!

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@Dr. Jeff @Dr. Christina @Dr. Sara
 

Dr. Jeff

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Hi Joaquin-

I'm super glad to hear that Bundy has been doing well!

Since he seems worse, now might be a good time to fine-tune the amount of time he spends having his Therapeutic Sniff Walks, snuffle mat use, what he eats, etc.

At this moment what is his daily schedule like?
 

JoaquinH

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Jul 22, 2022
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Thank you! I was very grateful to see the improvement as well, that's why its so hard to see him digress again as such. Past couple weeks he was eating around 2 pm, playing with toys, sleeping around home and going for nightly walks every other day or so. Happy & energetic. He was eating watermelon, sweet potatoes, grass fed beef, wild berries, carrots & either natural balance or merrick potato & salmon kibble. But as stated this week since steroid has ran out, he has reverted back to not eating again even if just warm beef & sweet potato & kibble.

He was snuffling with freeze dried chicken heart/liver & beef during these weeks, but i ran out and am waiting the next order. Recently his days are spent resting, sun bathing in backyard & maybe a stroll a night, but pretty stagnant during days since so hot outside. There isnt much grass here in vegas, so he doesnt tend to sniff much outside. Do the results provide any insight into the matter?

Much appreciated!

@Dr. Jeff @Dr. Christina @Dr. Sara
 

Dr. Jeff

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Do the results provide any insight into the matter?
The results seem consistent to me with the diagnosis.

3 or 4 10-15 snuffle mat sessions/day for the next few days should help Bundy feel better.
 

GinnyW

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There is a quality of life issue here, with the steroids. They WILL make him feel better and behave more normally. To some extent, they will allow healing. But, as you know, they are not a solution, so what Dr. Jeff suggests is the most "authentic" way to improve his condition. I think, were it I - which it is NOT - I would keep him on a low dose of the prednisone. But I am not your doctor, just concerned about his quality of life and the pleasurable minutes in each day. "Feeling better" is the goal here, no matter how. Bless you and Bundy!
 

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