March 8, 2013 § Leave a Comment
Slate turned out to be fine, in the end. Coming off the antibiotics, sometimes a few strange things go on and that turned out to be one of them. Everything now seems sorted again, thanks to the metronidazole.
Meanwhile, we decided to spay Grey – who will be 6 yo next month. As dogs get older, the risk of pyometra increases. It is actually not too great a risk up to the age of about 10 yo: According to research done in Sweden (where dogs are not routinely neutered), 75% of females left entire to the age of 10 yrs old don’t get pyo. (25% do – 1 in 4). Recovery from an op is a bit tougher when the dog is an oldie, so we didn’t want to spay when she was coming up for 10yo.
I found a vet near us who does laparoscopic spays (keyhole surgery). Instead of a massive cut up the tummy, this ends up with only two small 2cm incisions only. It has a much faster recovery time (days), less pain, fewer complications, no buster collar needed and less of a major operation: Only the ovaries are removed, not the uterus. This doesn’t mean the dog can still get pyometra, though, as pyometra needs hormones to occur and these are removed with the ovaries. (There is no higher incidence of pyometra with only the ovaries removed than with ovaries and uterus.)
So, Grey went in for her op yesterday and it all went fine and she’s now out and recovering. She is whimpering a little bit, despite the pain killers.
I’m opposed to the routine spaying and neutering of young dogs which goes on: If you are a responsible dog owner, it’s perfectly possible and not much trouble to keep your bitch intact without unwanted pregnancies. You don’t have hoards of male dogs howling outside your house. You don’t have dogs targeting you from hundreds of yards away, on walks. And there is even a morning-after injection (called Alizin) should something happen.
For anyone interested in reading more about the dangers of early neutering and the health implications for dogs, have a read of these links:
- Early Spay-Neuter Considerations for the Canine Athlete: One veterinarian’s opinion
- Long-term Health Risks & Benefits Associated with Spay/Neuter in Dogs
- A Healthier Respect for Ovaries
- Exploring Mechanisms of Sex Differences in Longevity: Lifetime Ovary Exposure and Exceptional Longevity in Dogs
- Behavioural & Physical Effects of Spaying & Neutering Domestic Dogs
- Bladder & Prostate Cancer: Neutering Male Dogs Increases Risk
- Scientific Research Studies that found that Spaying & Neutering do not reduce Aggression in Dogs
- Golden Retriever Study Suggests Neutering Affects Dog Health
February 12, 2013 § 1 Comment
So: Slate was perfect on the metronidazole. Firm poos, no vomiting – her normal self.
After a 10 day course, we stopped the metronidazole 3 days ago. All was ok at first. Then last night she had us up 3 times to take her out. Where she proceeded to do cowpats. No blood or mucous or vomiting. Just runny cowpats. Like unpickupable cowpats which the neighbours are not going to thank us for.
Now we don’t know what to do. There is a faint hope that her body is just adjusting to the metronidazole ending, especially as it’s just runny poo. I’m going to give it 24 hrs. Starve her. Chicken and rice Chappie or Nature Diet. I also have some Panacur in the cupboard, which is effective against giardia.
This is all very stressful because I end up worrying I’m going to come home and find explosive poo everywhere. And we get woken up about 3 times a night.
I also worry that she has had this so many times in the past, and the reason it comes back is that we’ve never completely gotten rid of it from her system. And each time we treat it with metronidazole. So perhaps it is getting resistant to metronidazole. If that happens, I don’t know what we do.
January 31, 2013 § 1 Comment
Can’t believe it’s the same issue we’ve had so many times in the past, with Slate.
She is doing well on the metronidazole: No poops so far and no pukes either. And a full night’s sleep for us last night. Phew.
But I am worried the pancreatitis will come back when we come off it, as happened last time.
January 30, 2013 § Leave a Comment
After about 3 nights of us getting up at 5am to let a pacing Slate out to do a sloppy poo, things took at turn for the worse last night with her getting us up about 4 times and the bloody poos returning.
So, as suggested by the vet we saw, we have started her on the metronidazole. Let’s hope this fixes things…
January 29, 2013 § Leave a Comment
Slate is doing much better.
She didn’t vomit anymore blood after Saturday morning, and she didn’t poop anymore after Saturday early afternoon.
However, her poo is still soft – but no longer runny. Hopefully things will continue to improve…
She’s on chicken & rice Nature Diet.
January 27, 2013 § 2 Comments
I came downstairs yesterday morning, to be confronted by this carnage:
This was Slate’s vomit… I phoned the vet and described this and was advised (as always, it seems), to come in with her.
On the way to the car, she did a poo which was explosive and bloody.
The vet we saw wasn’t our usual vet, it was the emergency vet – who was a young and relatively inexperienced vet who we’ve seen before and not been very happy with in the past. He felt her abdomen and said he couldn’t feel a blockage, her gums were pink and her temperature was normal.
He wanted to give her an anti-nausea jab, although by then she hadn’t been sick for over an hour and wasn’t being sick to the point of dehydration or loss of blood. After he’d filled up the syringe, he said ‘this one does sting a bit, I’m afraid’. Slate screamed blue murder and leapt away as soon as he started to inject it. To which the vet said ‘oh, I’ll just get a little muzzle’(!?). Slate hadn’t attempted to bite him or shown any aggression, she’d just screamed and jumped away, so I’m not sure what use a ‘little muzzle’ would be. There was quite a substantial amount of ‘stuff’ in the syringe and the thought of her screaming and continuing to scream whilst all that lot was injected into her was just hideous, to me.
So, at this point I flatly refused the jab. I pointed out that she hadn’t been sick for over an hour and I didn’t want to put her through that. The vet did try to press the point, saying ‘if she were my dog, I’d give her the injection’ – but I still politely refused.
Next, he wanted to prescribe her a course of metronidazole (antibiotic) ‘just in case it is a bacterial infection’. Slate does frequently get giardia and bacterial infections, but we’ve never had blood in vomit before and it usually starts gradually with a loss of appetite and poo problems – not with a sudden onset of vomiting blood. This seemed very different. In addition, the last time she had metronidazole, she got pancreatitis when coming off it. So I was reluctant to use it unless necessary. I pointed this out, and the vet agreed we could wait and see if it continued.
Finally, he prescribed some capsules called ‘omeprazole’ which were supposed to address the bleeding in her stomach. When I got home, I googled these and it turned out there can often be some side effects – including nervous system side effects, vomiting and runny poo. Plus they seemed to be used for dogs with stomach ulcers or long-term bleeding issues in their stomachs, not this sudden onset.
By evening, it was clear that Slate was much better and there had been no more vomiting or runny poo after about 1pm. So I decided not to give her the omeprazole.
Anyway, I don’t understand why some vets treat so symptomatically rather than figuring out what the cause of something is and addressing that – or waiting to see if any treatment is necessary. Sometimes I think it’s that they’re reluctant to send you away without doing anything, because they want you to think they helped. But I’d be quite happy to pay for a vet appointment and have nothing done other than getting my dog checked over – and I’d actually trust the vet more if they didn’t appear to be trying to foist every medicine available on to me.
Slate seems much better today, no more vomiting or pooing, and she has eaten 2 small meals of a wet food, too.
January 24, 2013 § 2 Comments
I keep coming across people who think that the product called ‘Advocate‘, manufactured by Bayer, is some sort of cure-all for any parasite which exists. These people think that, with a monthly spot-on of Advocate, they need treat their dog with nothing else. Being someone who is quite opposed to the use of spot-ons unless they are absolutely essential, to clarify…
Advocate protects against: Fleas, lice, ear mites, mange, heartworm, lungworm, roundworm (2 types), hookworm (2 types) and whipworm.
Advocate does NOT protect against: Ticks OR tapeworm.
Now, the thing is, you don’t need to treat your dog preventatively for fleas, lice, ear mites or mange. Because very few dogs will contract lice, ear mites or mange – and those few which do, can be treated then. Same goes for fleas: More dogs will get fleas than the previous parasites, as they’re more common – but you can still wait until your dog contracts them, and treat then. Fleas won’t do lasting damage to your dog. In 8 years of no flea treatments, we have found them twice, treated for them, and that’s that. That could have been 8 years of using a monthly spot-on, to prevent something which would only have happened twice and which is no great disaster if it does happen. Do you treat yourself monthly with a product for lice, pubic lice, or skin fungus? No. You would think it very strange, if someone did. The same goes for treating dogs monthly for lice, ear mites and mange.
What is far more concerning is that Advocate does not treat for ticks. And ticks are far more prevalent and far more of a concern than fleas, lice, ear mites or mange put together. Because ticks can carry dangerous and incurable diseases. I have met many, many people who wrongly believed they were treating their dog with a tick preventative when they were using Advocate.
The problem is that, if you do want to prevent against ticks, you’re then going to have to use another second spot-on product – or an Advantix collar (which also contains pesticides) – so you are doubling the amount of pesticides you put on your dog. (By the way, not all dogs need treatment against ticks. Again, you need to assess the area you live in, the time of year, where you walk your dog and the length of your dog’s coat, to determine your own dog’s risk factors.)
Finally, tapeworm, one of the most common worms which dogs contract, is not covered by Advocate. All dogs should be routinely wormed for tapeworm, so you’re going to have to use another worming product anyway.
Heartworm and lungworm (which are extremely similar, with lungworm being called ‘the french heartworm’), I’ve written extensively about elsewhere on this site. I’ve detailed alternative products you can use besides Advocate, if you want to.
The fact is: Everyone should be treating their dog for tapeworm. Which means you’re going to need to use one of the oral wormers, like Panacur, Milbemax, Drontal+ or Plerion. These wormers also cover roundworm, whipworm and hookworm. So you’re covering all of that with your oral wormer anyway. Lice, ear mites, fleas and mange are not issues for the vast majority of dogs, throughout their lives and can be treated when contracted.
That leaves the ONLY reason to use Advocate being heartworm or lungworm. However, as I wrote above, there are alternative (oral) products for these…