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Discussion Starter #1
Hello Everyone. I sure hope someone can please give me some suggestions of what I might be able to do for my sweet little doggie. She is a 13 year old mixed golden/spaniel who has gained 7 pounds in less than 2 months. (35 to 42) All of her life she has been a picky eater but back in June she suddenly started starving. She can't get enough to eat. I have taken her to 2 vets. Neither can find out what the problem might be. She has been xrayed and had blood work. The only thing they have found is that she has a lot of arthritis throughout her neck and spine...but that has been bothering her for a while.

Has anyone here had a similar experience? Please help!!!!!

Thank you.
 

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Is she on any meds? Did they run a full thyroid panel when they did the bloodwork?
 

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Has anything else about her changed? Also, I second the thyroid thing; get that checked out.

What food are you feeding? Have you switched recently?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you both for your replies.

I switched foods at the request of one of the vets hoping it would fill her up better. I started using Blue brand. It has not helped at all.

When the blood work was done I do not think thyroid was checked. One liver enzyme was elevated but not enough to alarm the vet. We then took her for a Cushings syndrome check because she has gotten the "pot" belly look. But that came back negative???? She has most of the Cushings symptoms which also includes some of the thyroid symptoms. I can't believe they would not have checked thyroid, so I will double check on that. I believe her hair is in very good condition so I wouldn't consider that as a symptom. So I am very very very confused and really want help for my little girl:((((((

Nothing else has changed.

Thanks again.
r
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Yes, she is getting the recommended amount for her size and still trying to get the other dogs' food from their bowl!!!! She has never ever done this in her life. In fact, I have always had to coax her to eat before.

I realize now I forgot to answer about her medication. She is taking Previcox for the arthritis. But the vet doesn't see that causing any of these issues.

I am calling the vet's office today to check about a thyroid panel.

Thanks so much for your advice.
r
 

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Also ... besides the thyroid ... have them check her pancreas. My dog had similar symptoms ... starving because he was literally starving at the end of his disease. He also had the pot belly look.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Abbylynn,
How is the pancreas checked? Her belly was x rayed because the vet was concerned she had cancer in her belly. He didn't see anything.

Thanks for the info.
 

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Abbylynn,
How is the pancreas checked? Her belly was x rayed because the vet was concerned she had cancer in her belly. He didn't see anything.

Thanks for the info.

They will run a panel (bloodwork) for testing the pancreas. I will have to look through the hospital records to remember what it was called.

Here you are ................ My ER initial exam ... they ran a CBC, GHP, lytes and cPL

This is how he was found to have pancreatic neucrosis ... something the vets missed. No one could find out what was wrong until I took him to an actual ER vet hospital.
 

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When you have thyroid checked - ask for a full panel, not just a T4 which is all some vets will check unless you request otherwise. Also, understand that most dog food bags tell you to feed more than most dogs really need. You can cut back gradually, and add a little cooked frozen green beans which are low cal, but make her feel fuller. For some reason the process of freezing breaks down the cellulose in the beans and allows the dog to use them a little. But definitely get thyroid checked. You might also ask for a referral to a vet internist.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I know they checked the CBC, but I am not sure about the other tests. It really bugs me that I have to tell the vet to check and find out what is wrong with my baby girl. They went to vet school not me. I don't know about this stuff. Thank the Lord I have found this forum!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks Pawz for the info on the full panel. It probably would have happened here. I still haven't called yet because I am getting my mom home from the hospital today.
 

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These shouldn't be an issue ... but ask about diabetes and for parasites... the Vet should already have ruled those out fairly quickly... but just in case.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks for your reply. We have an appointment Monday morning. I am asking for all the blood work mentioned by everyone here. Her glucose was checked but not her GHP. Do all parasites show up in bloodwork or stool checks, do you know? I am thinking I must be aware of every possibility myself and be super prepared for tomorrow's visit. I am worried about her.
 

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Thanks for your reply. We have an appointment Monday morning. I am asking for all the blood work mentioned by everyone here. Her glucose was checked but not her GHP. Do all parasites show up in bloodwork or stool checks, do you know? I am thinking I must be aware of every possibility myself and be super prepared for tomorrow's visit. I am worried about her.
I am not sure about the parasites and bloodwork ... but they do bloodwork for heartworm for sure. I have always taken a stool sample to the vets office with me.

I know you have a lot on your plate and are trying to be prepared. I am assuming you have it all written down. :) If you are not satisfied with the results and still have no answer after the test results ... be sure to ask for a referral for that vet internist. It was my next step to find the cause of my boy's illness like was mentioned ... but I was too late ... and Pawsk9 was spot on about my dogs pancreas.

Be sure to keep us updated please! Good luck tomorrow! :)
 

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Hi Ronni,

Which tests were done to rule out cushing's? It is very difficult to diagnose cushing's and if only one test came back negative, I certainly wouldn't rule it out. There are very few conditions that cause a life long picky eater to develop a voracious appetite, which is one of the hallmark symtoms of cushing's. Excessive drinking and peeing shares top billing with increase appetite for the most common symptoms.

Can you share the results of the tests that have been done so far? Common blood chemistry abnormalities would be elevated liver enzymes (ALKP and ALT). The usual pattern is moderate to severe elevation in ALKP with mild to no elevation in ALT. Also cholesterol and triglycerides are elevated. Depending on the lab, blood chemistry can also include T-4 (thyroid hormone) and dogs with cushing's quite often have low T-4; however, this doesn't mean the dog has primary hypothyroidism. Most cushingoid dogs experience something called Euthyroid Sick Syndrome which is the medical term for a transient abnormality in T-4 which normalizes once the underlying cause has been remedied.

Urine abnormalities would be low specific gravity, possible proteinuria as much as 2+ protein and a good number of dogs have a urinary tract infection at time of diagnosis so a culture should be done. There is a very simple urine test called a urine cortisol creatinine ratio (UC:CR) which can be done to rule out cushing's. If the results are normal, you can pretty much rule out cushing's but if it's high, you need to do additional testing. You would have to collect a urine sample at home, preferrably prior to a meal and meds and get it to the vet as soon as you can. If you can't get it there within an hour or so, keep it refrigerated until you can.

If you want to learn more about cushing's and why it is still very possible that your dog has some form of cushing's, please visit www.k9cushings.com. Many of the members there are familiar with all of the conditions which have overlapping symtoms like the ones you mention. My own dog has cushing's and hypothyroidsm. Others have dogs with cushing's and diabetes mellitus and most of us have had experience with pancreatitis as dogs with cushing's are predisposed. FYI, dogs with pancreatitis are diagnosed with a test called a cPL. I doubt that's what your dog has as dogs with this don't eat, are usually vomiting, have diarrhea and can become dehydrated quite quickly. There is another condition called exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI) and dogs with this condition are definitely hungry most of the time but they are skinny and also usually have chronic diarrhea and gas.
 

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Thank you both for your replies.

I switched foods at the request of one of the vets hoping it would fill her up better. I started using Blue brand. It has not helped at all.

When the blood work was done I do not think thyroid was checked. One liver enzyme was elevated but not enough to alarm the vet. We then took her for a Cushings syndrome check because she has gotten the "pot" belly look. But that came back negative???? She has most of the Cushings symptoms which also includes some of the thyroid symptoms. I can't believe they would not have checked thyroid, so I will double check on that. I believe her hair is in very good condition so I wouldn't consider that as a symptom. So I am very very very confused and really want help for my little girl:((((((

Nothing else has changed.

Thanks again.
r
Yeah, Cushings is what comes to mind for me as well, Thyroid panel (T-4) can give an indicator.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I took her to the vet on Monday. They did a lot of blood work. I am still waiting to hear from the vet about the results. I mentioned to her again how surprised I was that the Cushings test came back negative the other week. She said sometimes there are false negatives?????? She also said she is concerned maybe something neurological is going on and maybe she had a stroke or maybe there is senility going on in her brain....maybe her brain isn't relaying the message that she her tummy is full.

I will let y'all know what the blood results are as soon as I hear.

Thanks again for all your input.
r
 

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Did your vet mention any blood abnormalities (see my post above) that are consistent with cushing's? Can you get copies of the bloodwork and post the abnormalities here? What cushing's test was done that came back negative?
 

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I immediately thought of diabetes but I have no experience with Cushings... I know in humans blood glucose is not an accurate indicator of diabetes unless it is done as a fasting test, I imagine it would be the same in dogs but the fasting period is probably different. Is she drinking/peeing more often than usual, and was there any indication of kidney failure (e.g. high ketones). Have you had any urine tests done? Urine tests are often used to detect diseases that might not be detectable in a blood test alone (such as diabetes).
 
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