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Please read. Has anyone experience or advice regarding strange, recurrent and frankly downright worrying illness?

(5 Posts)
topbannana Sat 03-Nov-12 20:37:23

I am really after any advice or experience that anyone can offer smile
BlackDog is a rottweiler bitch, now a little over 12 years old and been with me since 8 weeks old. In this time she has had not a days ill health apart from hotspots (which I believe the breed is prone to anyway)
Around 18 months ago she got really ill, mostly just dreadful lethargy that led to all her vital signs dropping off (the vets took blood and told me they "hoped they would be back in time") culminating in her collapsing on the surgery floor. In all, this episode was around a week long.
Anyway she pulled through and was right as rain in a matter of hours, bounding about as though nothing had ever been wrong. Blood tests were inconclusive and it was left as "one of those things"
A couple of weeks ago the same symptoms appeared, coupled with confusion and a slightly swollen belly. All in all this was about a week as well.
She was sedated, bloods were taken and x-rays done, which showed nothing abnormal in the abdomen. Blood tests all within the normal ranges. Again another miraculous recovery thank God
Now though we still have no answers and this latest episode has left her a markedly different dog to the one we had 4 weeks ago in terms of fitness and general alertness. Stomach cancer has been bandied about as a faint possibility (though I am sceptical that this could have been the case 18 months ago?)
My real issue is that BlackDog hates the vet with a passion, requiring muzzling for the most minor of examinations. She has full insurance with PetPlan so cost is not really an issue WRT to her treatment. The vets however seem happy to pass this off as another "one of those things" and I am not sure whether that is because of her age or because they would rather not deal with the cantankerous old hag her. Either way I worry that another episode could be really detrimental to her.
So does anyone have any pointers, experience or ideas? I am aware that her age is a factor in any health issue and DH and I have already spoken about how far we would pursue treatment, even with the insurance but we do want to do the best for her and TBH the vets response seems quite lukewarm at best hmm
Thank you for getting this far and for any info you may have smile

dreckly Sat 03-Nov-12 20:49:18

speaking as a vet nurse

noone can offer a diagnosis without meeting your girl and looking at her test results. please dont take any heed of people who may come on here offering you a diagnisis or even "advice" that could be completely wrong for your girl and her condition.

you are insured but not tied to a particular practice. if you are not convinced by your vets diagnosis or you would really like a more through examination of your girl done nomatterhowcantankeroussheis then go somewhere else for a second opinion.

it all really depends on how invasive you want the diagnostics or treatments to be, and that is a decision you need to make with your vet, whichever vet you choose.

if she is an old lady, as long as she is comfortable, are you happy with that? or are you desperate to know what is wrong and if it can be cured completely? neither way is wrong or right and its your decision.

you need to have a vet you can happily discuss the options with, maybe one of the vet nurses at your practice could have a chat with you. sometimes we are better at explaining things simply and being realistic with treatment options.

whichever path you go down, the very best of luck.x

Booboostoo Sat 03-Nov-12 22:03:57

Ask for a referral to a specialist centre, they really know a lot more than local vets who need to treat a wide variety of animals for many different conditions.

Hope it turns out to be nothing.

topbannana Sun 04-Nov-12 19:49:19

Thank you and sorry for the delay in replying smile
dreckly I appreciate what you mean about a diagnosis over the net. I really wondered if anybody would pop up with a theoretical "Ooh yes my friends dog was like that and it turned out to be x, y,z" that may give us something to work on.
As for referrals, we are very torn about the process of sending any 12 year old dog regardless of its breed through a veterinary referral (I had an ESS referred once and it was quite traumatic for him, I don't think at 12 that sort of experience would avail any of us much)
I also spoke to her breeder in case she could shed any light and she advised a second opinion. I suppose if I did that I would need to wait for another episode and my fear was that it could be too late. We have always got on extremely well with our vets (I have used them for over 12 years now) they cover their own OOH clinics which is very important to us and they are also more understanding about payment issues which has been a Godsend in the past
I just get the impression that it would be easier not to really get to the bottom of this as the outcome has always been positive. Unwilling as I am to rock the boat I do not want her to suffer because it is easier for them.
Ideally I WOULD like to know what it is (even if it turns out to be cancer) and we would base our decisions on the information available at the time. The likely outcome would be low intervention but if it is something that can be treated then I would like to have the option of giving it a go.
As I type she is laid at my feet pissed off as it has rained all day snoozing. She is happy, mobile and not in any pain so that is all we can ask at the moment.

Lonecatwithkitten Sun 04-Nov-12 20:06:07

I agree with dreckly the symptoms you describe could be a very wide variety of conditions ranging from orthopaedic, through endocrine and beyond.
Without seeing dog doing thorough exam and seeing blood results it is difficult to eliminate things to establish the way forward.

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