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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Everyone!!

I'm new here... I'm trying to solve a mystery that has been going on for over a year now.

Our dog Chops is a 10 year old lab/collie mix and for whatever reason about one day a week just won't eat or drink anything for most of the day. Sometimes he'll kick out of it around 3PM, 6PM or even later and then he wolfs everything down fast.

While he's not eating his stomach sometimes growls loudly, he's super lethargic and then the day afterwards he is super stinky and has very bad bowel movements (no blood though).

We've taken him to the vet 3-4 times since this started and they've run blood panels and done thorough exams with no answers. They're only suggestion is to put a scope through his intestines, but they think that's not going to help and its expensive and very invasive for a 10 year old dog.

For extra info we feed him Wellness Senior Formula dry food and we've also tried doing the yogurt 2x/day to help his digestive system which doesn't seem to have helped in any noticeable way. :(

Just curious if anyone has any ideas? I'm going to try and get him to a second vet too for another opinion. Just so frustrating since basically he has two days a week where he's not feeling too good and every time we think we're making progress he falls back into the same cycle.

Thanks everyone!!
Josh and Chops
 

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Have you considered a food allergy? Dogs are frequently allergic to both proteins and grains, commonly chicken, wheat and corn. Maybe his allergy isn't too bad, but after 6 days of eating things he's allergic to, the allergic reaction builds up, makes him feel sick and then he doesn't eat until the feeling passes.

There are two ways to figure this out. 1. Get an allergy test done. This is the easiest way to go, if you have the money for it. The test will tell you definitively what he is and is not allergic to. 2. Read the ingredients on the Wellness food. Try to find another, equally good food with a different protein and no grains. (So if the Wellness has chicken, go to lamb, beef, fish, etc.) Switch the foods properly, slowly adding more new food and less old food until it's all new food, then wait 2-3 weeks to see if it helps. If it doesn't help, that's not definitive, it could just be that you happened to pick a different protein he is also allergic to.

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
We've done a full skin-test on him which only came up with being allergic to certain grasses/molds that are more common in the late summer. Nothing for food came up unfortunately.

We've tried a few different foods too, although I think we might try a different one again just to give it on more shot.

I guess that's what is so baffling about this - we've run his blood a few times, we've switched his food three times in the last year and we still can't figure anything out. We were going to look for a specialist but since we don't know what's wrong its hard to even know where to start. :(

Thanks!!
Josh
 

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Discussion Starter #5
It varies... it sometimes can be 5 days apart, sometimes 10-12 (a few times even a little longer)... but on average its like 7-8 days apart almost like clockwork. :(
 

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Was wondering if it might be something environmental happening that is stressing him on particular days. Like the garbage truck coming or a neighbor mowing the lawn.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
We really don't think that's it -- its really weird that way. Like sometimes you can tell the night before he's not going to eat the next day - he's more restless, eats more, etc. Then the next morning he doesn't come down for breakfast. :(

I've been surfing the web since last year and 4-5 vet appts and just nothing works.. so weird. We might try seeing an internal medicine vet specialist just to see if they have anything, but since its 10+ we don't want to put him under for tests/scopes if we can avoid it -- especially if there's something we cna feed him or he can take to help with it. Poor guy!
 

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Maybe a different vet would help, even if you're vet is great. Sometimes a fresh perspective is necessary.

Please do let us know if you learn anything. I'm sure it could help someone else in the future.
 

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My dog Leeo was like this the majority of his life. He would have days where he would eat like crazy and then not eat for two days and seem lethargic and only chicken and rice would help to settle his tummy ... but not always. He also had bad gas on those days. As soon as the gas was over ... it seemed as if he could eat again. And then he seemed starved.

The vet and I also thought allergies. After a few years of this with the upset tummy, anal gland issues, and a misdiagnosis it turned out to be pancreatic issues. Unfortunately I wish I would have caught this early on and maybe a proper diet would have saved him.

I would ask for the panel test to see if his pancreas is working properly if it were me ... especially due to his aging. :) The test is a blood test.
 

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I would try a raw diet with limited ingredients for a few months to see if there's any change. No grains etc. so at the very least he shouldn't be as stinky and have the digestive issues as bad (one would hope!)

Have they done a barium series on him? Ultrasound would be another option, doesn't show everything as well but might show something without being too invasive. I'd also do the bloodwork for everything else mentioned.

I know of a dog who ate a racketball, he'd be fine most of the time then have a bad day and not want to eat, throw up once in a while.... it caused some strange things to happen and in the end they opened him up too late, he was too sick to fully recover. But it was four years of ongoing issues leading up to that.

Hope you find some answers!
 

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A good idea on the internist. They can often come up with answers your GP vet might miss. For some reason I thought of giardia when I read your post,.
 

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Has he been vomiting or diarrhea? Has he had a dental cleaning done recently?
 

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I like the blood panel test that abbylynn suggested, as well as the barium X-ray, and maybe ultrasound that bordermom suggested... I don't think those would be as expensive... even though a dog is usually sedated for Xrays.
 

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Strange...but try feeding from a raised surface. He's getting older and may have arthritis in his neck. Could be that maybe he overdoes it occasionally and is sore. Stomach growling could be from not eating. (is it the day after trash pickup, where he may have been excited barking at that? Or does a neighbor cut grass the same day each week, so he barks/runs the fenceline. Maybe something like that makes him sore the next day).
 

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Discussion Starter #15
So we went to a specialist today. They did an ultrasound which luckily turned up nothing bad...

They ran two blood tests - one broad panel and then another which tested the GI absorption. They are also sending out a stool sample to test for parasites.

HOPEFULLY we get an answer with all of that. Otherwise I will cry for the amount it cost to not have an answer.

Very happy to hear the ultrasound was clean -- at 10+ you just never know so that was nice to hear.

Thanks everyone for suggestions - hopefully we'll get some answers next week. Holiday weekend means we won't hear back until Wednesday at the earliest.
 
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