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    Thread: Sam is Sick

    1. #1
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      Sam is Sick

      I've posted before about Sam and his coat looking poor, gas and poop eating. Initially we looked at thyroid and a complete panel done and his tests were perfect all around, so the vet suggested food or environmental allergies. I tried everything food and supplement related and I also added allergy pills and nothing changed. I had been working on getting his weight down, so any weight he lost was on purpose. Because his output is massive compared to his input and he was hungry, I thought maybe he was not absorbing nutrients, so I tried enzymes and probiotics, went back to raw and added raw fermented goat milk. He stayed the same for a long time. However, starting in mid-December, he started looking a little rough, and I took him back to the vet this week. I felt like I did everything I could and it was no longer just poor coat and some bad habits, but weight loss even though he should have been maintaining. He's also gone from eating just Linus' poop to also his own (when he gets a chance, which is not often).

      I did some research and thought I'd ask the vet about Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency (EPI) and Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO). When we went in earlier this week, her first thought based on what I told her was also EPI. However, both EPI and SIBO typically include vomitting and diarrhea, both of which he does not have. So, she did both blood and full GI panels. I also purchased a crazy expensive and seriously complete fecal test but needed to drop off some poo this week.

      She left me a voicemail today saying that preliminary results indicate that we should be ordering a tick profile for him. I don't have details because by the time I called back, she had left for the day. But, that is SO WEIRD. It's not like I've never seen ticks, he's had a few. He's on tick preventative. But, also, ticks are pretty rare around here and tick disease is also very rare. I know it takes just one...but his symptoms not only don't match, but they are pretty much OPPOSITE of any tick disease that I have found online (OK, Google, DMV does not exist, I know) such as depression, soreness, swelling, lack of appetite, lack of energy, etc. He's just as active as ever and initiates rough play with Linus, loves hikes and long walks, swimming for hours, etc.

      It's going to be a long night and I'm in a meeting all day tomorrow... Keep your fingers crossed that it is nothing serious.

    2. #2
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      Good luck! I hope Sam will be o.k! Please keep us posted.......

    3. #3
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      Oh dear, how frustrating to not be able to speak with the vet today! I hope you figure things out and his health turns around soon. I'm glad he still acts playful and happy.

    4. #4
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      Update via email. Sounds like it could be SIBO afterall. Hard to tell. No estrogen cream or anti-convulsants here.


      Hi Julie,
      I called and left a message and wanted to quick touch base with you regarding Sam's diagnostic and treatment plan.
      His blood report findings that were significant were a low white blood cell count and evidence of bacterial overgrowth in his small intestine. (His cobalamin is below the standard and his folate is high)
      The neutropenia can be caused by exposure to estrogen creams (dogs licking humans on estrogen cream), anti-convulsants and a few other odd ball toxins. It can be from sepsis (not in his case) or bone marrow disease. Another cause is tick borne disease.
      I spoke with an internal med specialist, and they recommended the following:
      1. Tylosin treatment
      2. A low fat hydrolyzed diet like Purina HA
      3. B12 supplementation
      4. Instead of a fecal pathogen screen, we perform a tick panel.
      5. Recheck the white count in about 2 weeks.


      This is a quick summary. I am happy to talk with you further. I am out the rest of today and will be in again tomorrow morning.


      Please feel free to email or call at your convenience.

    5. #5
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      Similar to some of the things in Oban's history, very short, that led to a diagnosis of Lymphangiectasia. Maybe read up if the tick panel comes back clean?

    6. #6
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      Quote Originally Posted by Snowshoe View Post
      Similar to some of the things in Oban's history, very short, that led to a diagnosis of Lymphangiectasia. Maybe read up if the tick panel comes back clean?
      Chronic diarrhea though? He doesn't have that.

    7. #7
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      They don't all have the same symptoms, though diarrhoea is common. Oban had acute diarrhoea. In hindsight (where's that old roll eyes emoji?) he had some signs well before the diarrhoea. Low albumin is a key symptom and we found that three years before but because he showed absolutely NO other sign of ailment (we thought) it was dismissed. His poor coat and itchiness though, were concommitant with the low albumin and are also symptoms; but symptoms as well of so many other things.

    8. #8
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      Poor Sam. Hoping a definitive answer can be found along with treatment. Sending prayers.
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    9. #9
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      More email:

      Sorry I missed you. He’d have to be exposed to estrogen daily for a while so that’s off the list.


      His maldigestion profile test came back as consistent with small intestinal bacterial overgrowth and not EPI. The TLI test was normal, ruling out EPI but his cobalamin and folate levels were off which is characteristic of a small intestinal absorption problem.


      The low white count is believed to be a separate problem. Neutrophil levels below 1500 increase risk of infection for him. He is at 1480. Normal is 2500 to 8500. I’m not sure if the low count could be the reason he has GI bacterial overgrowth. The specialist thought the two findings were unrelated.

    10. #10
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      All good thoughts headed your way for Sam's accurate diagnosis recovery.
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