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Biopsy Results For [Late] Sarge


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Sarge had a biopsy/endoscopy on 5/27. The results came back after TWO WEEKS, but I lost him in the meantime. Still trying to understand exactly what he had. Internist didn't explain it well, and she caught me while I was getting ready for an interview... so I couldn't take notes.

Can someone decipher the medical jargon and explain in laymen's terms what he was dealing with? He was throwing up for almost three weeks. He was leaking bloody diarrhea for two weeks. One full day after the biopsy, he was worse than before and had to be hospitalized for 3 days, given iv meds and fluids, but nothing helped. He was was getting no protein, lost too much blood, and was finally too weak to stand, when I had to help him cross the bridge... but I still struggle with wondering if there was anything I missed... anything I could have done to save him...

mostly: I wonder how he could have lived in his former home, for 7 yrs, with almost NO vet records to speak of, and developed a severe case of IBD within 4 days of coming to live with me. his former vet record is half a page long, for 7 yrs total... it looks like he went once a year, and for Prozac for separation anxiety.... went he come home to me, I weaned him off Prozac over 10 days, but he started the diarrhea and inappetence right away... and I couldn't do anything to improve it.... was he perfectly healthy for 7 yrs and did I make him sick by taking him off prozac??? did I kill him??? what the hell happened to him??? how could he have no sign of IBD before he came to live with me, and overnight develop symptoms that would haunt him for the rest of his life, until his body could fight no more (almost 11 months)???

This is his 7 yr vet record..... insane???
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This is page 1 of the Biopsy results
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And this is page 2 of the Biopsy results
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Any ideas as to what happened to him? any input would be welcome.... the best I can tell his biopsy results say he had severe IBD.... and that's what caused his doom for 11 months??? that's it??? how can that be??? with all the drugs we treated him with, putting the feeding tube in b/c he wouldn't eat... and did it come on suddenly, out of nowhere, when he came to live with me??? all I can tell from his old records is that he lost 1 lb per year.... but nothing else is mentioned about food habits, inappetance, vomiting, or diarrhea... why did it all start with me??? did I cause it??? did I kill him???

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Guest Scouts_mom

NO, you did not kill him! I'm not a vet and don't have a medical background, but I do have inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis specifically. Losing 1 lb per year is not normal for a dog--its a sign that something may be wrong. I suspect he did have mild IBD, but his owners' didn't pay enough attention to his bowel movements to notice. In an ideal world, they would have noticed and been getting him some help so it was under control. The move to a new home and new food probably stressed his system and made his IBD become acute. And I can speak from experience that it can be very hard to get under control once it becomes acute, At his age, it may have been too much for his body.

 

It is not your fault. It would have happened at any home he went to. You gave him love and care for the last months of his life and he knows that.

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He developed SA in 2012, after he'd been in a home for 5 years? (Was it really SA? Or was he showing intestinal trouble that they attributed to stress and SA when it really was IBD?) And was he on thyroxine when you got him? It looks as if they'd started thyroxine in October of 2012 (but there's no evidence of lab work to justify that). He lost 8 pounds between January 2007 and September 2009 (which might have been deliberate slimming down of a dog that had put on weight), but there's no useful weight info (that I can see) after that.

 

I'd think he had some upset in his home situation by late 2012, and they tried Prozac and Thyroxine, although it's not clear how much testing might have been done or whether those drugs were appropriate for his problem.

 

But Sarge was 12 years old, and he managed to fight for eleven months: you gave him that much. I had an 8-year-old girl go from healthy at a checkup (with lab work) on a Tuesday to hospitalized three days later and put to sleep three days after that, with a platelet count that dropped from 200,000 to 17,000 in the first three days. We had a diagnosis as unsatisfactory as Sarge's diagnosis of IBD, but no actual cause for the problem and no way to turn it around. The odds were in her favor, but I lost her anyway.

 

It's not likely Sarge grew into full-blown IBD in four days with you, and it looks as if he was starting to have trouble in late 2012. You did what you did out of love, and you gave him what he needed--peace and your love--at the end.

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Kathy and Q (CRT Qadeer from Fuzzy's Cannon and CRT Bonnie) and
Jane (WW's Aunt Jane from Trent Lee and Aunt M); photos to come.

Missing Silver (5.19.2005-10.27.2016), Tigger (4.5.2007-3.18.2016),
darling Sam (5.10.2000-8.8.2013), Jacey-Kasey (5.19.2003-8.22.2011), and Oreo (1997-3.30.2006)

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Looking at the former vet record, he was 78 lbs in Jan '07 (same as his racing weight in late '06).

In June '08 the vet note separation anxiety, though doesn't write anything about medicating it, and weighed him at 75 lbs.

In Sept '09 we was down to 70 lbs.

There are no more weight readings after this, as I'm guessing he maintained his 70 lbs. (He was 70 lbs of skin and bone when I adopted him in July '13).

There are only annual shots after this, and Prozac was started in Oct '12.

I don't understand who takes their dog to the vet once a year for shots and nothing more, if he has separation anxiety the entire time.... and dropped 8 lbs in 2 yrs.

 

My belief is that he was crated while the owner(s) worked b/c he absolutely DID NOT like being contained, and his teeth were so ground down, his canines were little more than stubs. His teeth were the worst I have ever seen in my life, and he definitely had separation anxiety if you crated him, or even kept him in a room with the door shut. So I dealt with it by leaving him out in the house, free to chose where he wanted to lay down, and weaned him off the Prozac. He was perfectly happy being out, and sat on the same dog bed in the living room the entire time I was at work (I watched him thru my internet camera). He did not display anymore SA symptoms, but the IBD did rear it ugly head after the first 4 days, and it never went away.

 

So you think the initial 8 lb loss in the first 2 yrs, was an early sign of IBD that went untreated? And 5 yrs later, when he lost his home, the stress of it all progressed his IBD to acute stage? From what I can tell in the biopsy results, there is no trace of any type of stomach cancer, or lymphoma, which the internist thought was likely. How could acute IBD kill him in 11 months??? Is that normal or did I contribute to his speedy downfall??? :brokenheart :brokenheart :brokenheart :brokenheart :brokenheart

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one more thing that kills me with the vet records... this one, and the vet he saw when he was returned to the rescue (before I adopted him), both wrote in big block letters, and circled "MUZZLE FOR NAILS"..... yet I trimmed his nails myself every month, while he slept thru it... how ridiculous is that? :youcrazy

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Acute IBD can kill a younger and stronger dog in much less than 11 months if it can't be brought under control. And if a proper diet can't be found--and the proper diet will differ from dog to dog--the problems are just compounded.

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Kathy and Q (CRT Qadeer from Fuzzy's Cannon and CRT Bonnie) and
Jane (WW's Aunt Jane from Trent Lee and Aunt M); photos to come.

Missing Silver (5.19.2005-10.27.2016), Tigger (4.5.2007-3.18.2016),
darling Sam (5.10.2000-8.8.2013), Jacey-Kasey (5.19.2003-8.22.2011), and Oreo (1997-3.30.2006)

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I feel for you. Please don't take the whole burden of responsibility for Sarge's illness and death onto your own shoulders - he had a previous home, where they did not love him enough to keep him during a house move, and where he clearly was NOT blissfully happy since he was stressed enough to need muzzling for nail clipping whereas with you it was no problem. The reasons for the separation anxiety can only be speculated about, but you could well be right.

I don't know that much about IBD, but from the little I do know, there's a strong belief that in some individuals it can be triggered by vaccination, or by stress. Seems to me that Sarge may have been subjected to both triggers in his previous home, and I also agree with those who said that maybe his separation anxiety was not pure SA but panic/discomfort/accidents caused by his IBD - which he already suffered from but which was not being recognised or treated.

Bottom line is that you can't know for sure. All you can know is that during the eleven months you had him, you loved him dearly, and gave him the best possible care and the best possible chance for recovery. The very fact that you didn't need to muzzle him for nail-clipping tells me that you and he had a bond of love and trust.

DO NOT beat yourself up. Been there, done that (took on a dog with early stage kidney cancer and lost her five months later after a failure on my vet's part to dx properly or refer us to a specialist) and it's destructive and serves no purpose. Quite apart from the fact that you clearly did all you could think of doing, it's the vet's responsibility to diagnose and treat. It's your responsibility to be vigilant and get the dog to the vet, then follow directions - which you did.

 

I don't say that there's no room for questioning our vets (I do it all the time ;)). Vets are neither superhuman nor all-knowing, but they are skilled professionals who do their best. The plain facts are that our families, friends and beloved animals do seem to have a habit of falling ill and dying despite our best efforts. It's part of life and it's tough, but sometimes there simply is nobody at fault. It just happens. :grouphug

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The plural of anecdote is not data

Brambleberry Greyhounds My Etsy Shop

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Guest alannamac

Hi, I just lost my 5 year old grey, Red, in exact same circumstances.....he'd even had a vet appointment 4 weeks previous and the vet noted he was in remarkably good health.....

 

I went out of town for a week and upon return he exhibited the EXACT same symptoms you're talking about. A week and a half of hetastarch and plasma transfusions and no way to reverse it. I haven't posted his death here because I was waiting for autopsy results before the original illness thread was locked because of his death.

 

Please keep all treats etc that your pup had. I am highly suspicious that we've got another food poisoning issue going on.

Red did not get any jerky treats but something took him down in a hurry.

This is a list of the foods he ate in case any are in common with yours:

treats first:

Milk bone regular flavor

Jif peanut butter

Milk bone trail mix

Zuke's Z filet's

Zuke's carrot crisp bones

Newman's own peanut butter treats

Nutro Lamb and Rice canned

Purina One Beyond Chicken and Barley

Purina One Chicken and Rice

 

 

I'm going to post a thread asking if others are going through the same thing to see how often this is occurring.

The internet is a powerful tool. If there's something going on here, let's get together and try to stop it before more pups lose their lives.

 

I am so sorry for your loss. You are not alone.

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Here is a reasonably easy-to-understand summary of the lymphangiectasias: http://marvistavet.com/html/intestinal_lymphangiectasia.html

 

I'm sorry you lost your boy in such a miserable way.

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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Thank you Scouts_Mom! I had no idea how serious this disease it. I hope you have it under control.

Thank you so much Silverfish!!! You brought me to tears with your kind words.

And Batmom..... that article read like it was written about Sarge. It is EXACTLY what he dealt with for too long... and exactly what his three ultrasounds and biopsy showed... all of it: "Protein-losing Enteropathy, severe muscle wasting, severe inflamed and thickened intestinal walls, pitting edema and wound seeping, the duodenum was grossly abnormal with a patchy granular appearance, the lacteals were severely dilated and there were areas of yellow fibrinous material adhered to the surface, the duodenum bled easily and had erosions" Unreal.... these were exactly his symptoms and the same mentioned in the article, which also states how severe this diagnosis is...

 

I am feeling better about not causing his disease or death.... but so saddened that he obviously showed symptoms of it 5-8 yrs ago, yet his former owners did not take it seriously and help him.... he had such a horrible hand dealt to him.... makes me so sad for him.... he deserved so much better.... poor pup.... I know how bonded he was to me, and how happy to not be caged/contained, and we had some good months.... but he had a hard life and it will forever haunt me.... :crying :crying :crying

 

Thank you everyone for your input and kind words... as someone else on here says all the time: "hug your hounds" ........ and don't sweep symptoms under the rug... diagnosing them early on can give them a fighting chance....

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You surely did not kill Sarge. It sounds like his problems stemmed from the home before you, and that you gave him the best possible time of his life. How happy he must have been to find himself with you. In a loving home, and no nasty crate. Just love, and care, good food and happiness. Please, please do not bear the burden of what took him from you.

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... we had some good months.... but he had a hard life and it will forever haunt me.

 

Please do not do this. So many times with our seniors, most especially those who join our families late in their lives, the time they spend with *us* is the best time of their lives. This is what they will remember and take with them, not what happened in their "other" life. Our hounds live in the moment. The moments Sarge spent with you were his best. :grouphug

Old Dogs are the Best Dogs. :heartThank you, campers. Current enrollees:  Punkin. Annie Oooh M. 

Angels: Pal :heart. Segugio. Sorella (TPGIT). LadyBug. Zeke-aroni. MiMi Sizzle Pants. Gracie. Seamie :heart:brokenheart. (Foster)Sweet. Andy. PaddyALVIN!Mayhem. Bosco. Bruno. Dottie B. Trevor Double-Heart. Bea. Cletus, KLTO. Aiden.

:paw Upon reflection, our lives are often referenced in parts defined by the all-too-short lives of our dogs.

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... we had some good months.... but he had a hard life and it will forever haunt me.

 

Please do not do this. So many times with our seniors, most especially those who join our families late in their lives, the time they spend with *us* is the best time of their lives. This is what they will remember and take with them, not what happened in their "other" life. Our hounds live in the moment. The moments Sarge spent with you were his best. :grouphug

 

:cry1 What an awesome thing to say.

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Annabella and Julietta, The Cats
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... we had some good months.... but he had a hard life and it will forever haunt me.

 

Please do not do this. So many times with our seniors, most especially those who join our families late in their lives, the time they spend with *us* is the best time of their lives. This is what they will remember and take with them, not what happened in their "other" life. Our hounds live in the moment. The moments Sarge spent with you were his best. :grouphug

Amen.

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Tricia with Kaia the wolfhound-schnauzer mix
Always missing Murray MaldivesBee Wiseman, River, Hopper, and 
Holly Oaks Holly
“You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.“ -Bob Dylan

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My angel Miss Carrie's vet record when I got her was pretty similar. She'd had a stroke about a year and a half before I got her. Her owner hadn't ever taken her to the vet. Just let her have the stroke at home and never ever took her in to have her checked out! :riphair

Kristin in Moline, IL USA with Ozzie (MRL Crusin Clem), Clarice (Clarice McBones), Latte and Sage the IGs, and the kitties: Violet and Rose
Lovingly Remembered: Sutra (Fliowa Sutra) 12/02/97-10/12/10, Pinky (Pick Me) 04/20/03-11/19/12, Fritz (Fritz Fire) 02/05/01 - 05/20/13, Ace (Fantastic Ace) 02/05/01 - 07/05/13, and Carrie (Takin the Crumbs) 05/08/99 - 09/04/13.

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