Just off to collect my dog from the clinic...(21 Posts)
He had a transfusion overnight
He's 13.5 and has been bleeding due to stomach and/or gut inflammation since November. The vet gave him non-steroidal anti-inflammatories late September which caused him to react badly. I'm so cross with them, I said to them more than once I was worried how he'd react but they said with anti-sickness pills he'd be fine, wrong!
I knew this was a risk as his guts are really sensitive and he's had bleeding there in the past, which was why I said I was worried.
So fast forward to now - he's been on a bucket load of pills in the interim, sometimes hourly, and seemed to get better and then regress again.
Yesterday his red blood count was 15 (ideal is 46 apparently). His gum and tongues are white instead of pink.
He's now with a gastro-intestinal specialist who did the transfusion yesterday. Which apparently has gone well and his blood count is up to 28.
Apparently we now have 4 weeks to stop the bleeding.
I feel wrung out emotionally. It feels like an eternity since he first starting going downhill and I've barely been able to leave him in that time due to difficulty for him holding on to poo and the sometimes hourly pills. I'm now starting to fret about this 4-week window we have to stop the bleeding, as we haven't managed in all this time.
They scanned him and found nothing. I'm hoping it's the remenants of the anti-inflammatory in his system and he might now start to recover.
I'm off in a mo to collect him, can't wait to see him
Sorry for long post, I found it therapeutic and thanks for reading if you have...
tongue not tongues, he only has one tongue!
Oh no, you poor thing. Sounds similar to what my whippety boy had last year. He picked up an infection which turned into hemorrhagic (spelling?) gastro enteritis which caused him to bleed from the rear. His gums and tongue were white. He developed sceptacaemia (spelling) and liver failure. Went into the specialists hospital, on a drip, antibiotics, steroids, blood platelet transfusion (twice) and was not expected to live.
He did pull through, but it was a long, slow road.
In fact, the only thing that worked was steroids. It was a last ditch attempt, the vets had given up on him, but they worked.
I sincerely hope that your dog can be helped too. I vividly remember how traumatic it was (and we had only adopted him a few months earlier, you have had your dog for a long time...)
Thinking of you, enjoy bringing him home and I will keep everything crossed the bleeding stops x
Hi Behindlock, thank you for posting
God what you've been through with your boy sounds all too familiar. Yes, bleeding through rear leading to severe anaemia. I'm so glad yours pulled through. You are sweet to post as it reassures me there is hope when it all feels a bit hopeless x What a worry for you all so soon after getting him. The same happened with mine weeks after first getting him from Battersea, but we got him through it last time without having to go for a transfusion. He's been on daily antibiotics ever since which have managed it until he was given the anti-inflammatories.
The specialist hasn't mentioned steroids at this point, but I may ask them about them when we go back for the follow up in a few weeks, all things being good.
He seemed like different dog when we picked him up, so much brighter and more chipper. But we had to stop the car on the way home and he did the most horrible poo, bright red and liquid (sorry if TMI - all I seem to talk about at the moment is his poo).
It's such an awful time as you have a few days when you think they're recovering, and then it all goes downhill again.
But, I'm going to be positive that quiet, routine and more pills will work their magic, Christmas hasn't helped with changes to his normal life right at the time he was at his worst.
Aw, just had a quick nosy at your profile pics, is Sam who you were talking about? He's adorable
I have some pics of Fred on my profile too...
Yup, Sam, the one and only
We now manage to keep his condition at bay. It took 6 months to wean him off the steroids, each time we reduced the dose he would relapse for a week. At one point the vet said he would never be completely off the steroids but he came off them last March. Had a relapse in August (he snaffled two sausages when my back was turned AND managed to drink from a puddle full of algae on a walk in the space of 3 days) and he went back on steroids for 10 days which cleared him up. Since then we have been super careful with his diet. He is only allowed Natural Instinct raw dog food, and only the turkey or turkey / tripe options. He has very few treats, only 1 small pilchard in a spoon of tomato sauce (tinned )and a few raw beef treats or dried liver treats from Natural Instinct. We keep a close eye on his poos and if he does more than two runny ones in a row we put a teaspoon of Tree Barks Powder (Slippery Elm) through his food . So far this seems to firm things up nicely within 24 hours.
I hope Fred is on the mend, thinking of you both
Oh my word, just looked at Fred on your profile and my heart went 'thunk'. He is gorgeous!! What a lovely lovely dog. Sending him a squidge x
Have uploaded another picture of the Pointy One...
Oh he's such a sweetheart He looks like a proper character! I'm so happy for you you've worked out how to manage the problems, which sound all too similar! We've managed successfully for 10 years until this disaster with the pills.
Fred's been on Canine DD, hypoallergenic biscuits and limited treats for 10 years too, but thanks for letting me know what you're giving Sam - I might look into it as he may have changed tolerance due to what's happened.
I've never heard of Tree Bark Oil but I will be off now to google, I'm certainly willing to give it a try as what's coming out really can't get worse at this point...
It's such a massive tightrope walk isn't it?
They want him to take iron supplements, but said don't give them to him if he reacts. Erm, he's one massive reaction at the moment so I'm going to keep him off them for a few days and see where we are then.
They started him off on a huge dose initially (my vet not the specialist) - and it went straight through him and the whole house smelt of iron
I'm sitting here and know things aren't right due to the smell! I may invest in a gas mask ...
Thank you so much BehindLock, it's so nice to have a chat with someone who understands a bit what you're going through
Sending a squidge back to Sam too, bless him xx
I really hope you get Fred sorted, he looks just so lovely.
Tree Barks is a powder (also called Slippery Elm) and the one I buy is made by Dorwest Herbs. It really does work for Sam.
I hope we can keep him going steroid free for the forseeable future but I am aware that any pill mix up or bad batch of food or something he forages whilst on a walk could set him back big time.
They are such a worry, aren't they.
Please keep me posted, keeping everything crossed he makes a good recovery x
Behindlock - could you tell me where you got the Tree Barks, and also where you buy Natural Instinct - it is widely available?
(I hope you don't regret answering my first post!!)
Of course not
Natural Instinct is a producer of human-grade raw food. My vet recommends them (and I know not many vets recommend raw food so I was pleased he approved)
They sell online (but I think you need to order 12 1kg packs per order so you'd need a big freezer.
I also know my local garden centre stocks them. So you may well find a stockist near you.
However, I live within a 20 minute drive of their factory outlet in Camberley (Surrey) so I go and pick up 7 packs once a fortnight. (a 1kg pack lasts him four meals, he is fed twice a day)
Their website is here: Natural Instinct
I buy the Tree Barks (slippery elm) powder from an online veterinary site called VioVet. Their website is here: Viovet
Type Tree Barks Powder into the search bar and it will come up.
Hope that helps
Sorry I saw we x-posted before... I've ordered the Dorwest tree barks from their site, special next working day delivery! And I will look further into Natural Instinct...I have a feeling it might not suit Fred though but it's good to have another option to consider.
I will bump this thread in a few days and let you know how he's getting on
Thanks so much
Hello again and hi Behindlock
My Tree Barks powder has just arrived - thank you so much for the recommendation - and I was wondering if I could pick your brains a bit more?
Did you give it to Sam when he was bleeding? And taking other pills?
I'm wondering whether to hold off until he is off the prescribed stuff, and until he stops bleeding, but when that would be who knows.
He's so much better since the transfusion, bless him, I'm seeing glympses of the funny boy he usually is, and his poo is definitely browner but there's still blood at the end (mostly at the end of his 2nd poo of the day).
It's still very runny though so would love to try this out... It doesn't say anything on the tub about not giving it in conjunction with anything else, but you know how it is, it's always terrifying trying something out when they're so volatile
I mentioned the steroids to the specialist when she called this morning, and unfortunately if Fred still has the non-steroidals in his system (which caused this problem) apparently they can make things worse. Gah!!
Hope you and lovely Sam are doing well
bumping to keep thread near the top! (sorry )
I did not find out about the tree barks until after we had managed to get Sam home. By then he was no longer bleeding (the steroids had sorted that) but he was having what can only be described as chocolate milk poo. It was sooo runny. And he was having malabsorbion issues (hence the runny poo)
When he had his relapse in August I gave it to him alongside his steroids. And that was fine. He was off the steroids in the space of a week and I am sure that was because the tree barks was doing such a good job.
Everything I have read tells me that it cannot cause any problems and that even if the body cannot benefit from it, it passes through without causing any issues. I was also told it is impossible to overdose on.
That would make me think you can use it now, alongside his other meds. HOWEVER, I am not a vet and not medically trained. Perhaps give Dorwest a ring for advice? I have heard they are very good at answering questions like those.
Glad to hear Fred is picking up though, still keeping everything crossed for you both x
That is a great idea - I'll ring them tomorrow and I'm sure they'd give me some advice as I purchased direct from them...
(I did mention it to the vet (my normal vet) today but they'd never heard of it so no real help there.)
I totally get that you're only going by your experience with Sam. I understand completely x
He's doing pretty good all things considered I love him so much and will mend him by sheer stubbornness if nothing else
Thank you a million times Behindlock
(will post again when I have willed him better!)
p.s. I meant to say that a number of people (family, friends) have said he's 13.5, he's an old boy, perhaps this is his time to say goodbye, he's had a wonderful life...
...but before this he was a 13+ year old who bombed round the house like a puppy, played until he dropped, regularly did 5 mile walks and loved life.
I honestly think if I can sort this he has a number of good years to come. I really don't think it is his time yet.
Feels good to write that down as it reassures me that I'm not doing this hopelessly. There is so much more life in the old dog
Update for you behindlock!
I spoke to a lovely guy at Dorwest who said it would do no harm at all to give Fred the Tree Barks powder. (He ended the call by saying give Fred a cuddle from me, aw!)
It's been 3 days now and his poo is firm!! And this morning, for the first time in weeks, there was no trace of blood - I couldn't believe it
It's early days as this happened before a number of weeks ago and he relapsed, but I feel so much more hopeful this time - I think because he's had a transfusion and has more energy now generally. Also there's no prospect of Christmas / New Year approaching so I can continue to keep him routine as normal...
If I can keep him on track from now I think the future looks bright!
I'm so grateful to you for pointing me in the direction of Dorwest, I'm sure sure sure it's helped with Fred's recovery
Big thank you and a woof from Fred to Sam xxx
Woohoo!!! Yes, yes, yes, I am sooooo pleased
Way to go Fred, here's to many more years of running around like a pup and being healthy and bouncy and fun!!
I have gone all goose-bumpy, fantastic news!!
Sam sends Fred a sniff and a tentative lick (Sam is a bit shy...) and I am sending him a huge hug!
I hadn't seen your reply Behindlock, sorry
Just came on here to bump this and let you know that we had the follow-up with the specialist today and...drum roll...he is officially Getting Better
His blood count is now 35 (was 28 after the transfusion) . He's lost even more weight, but she said she wasn't too worried as he's been through a hell of a trauma.
They've signed us off and all being good back to my normal vets for another checkup in 3 weeks time, yay!
Fred says a big thank you for your advice and listening ear! Sam sounds like a complete love (when you said he was shy I went aw, bless!) - wishing you all many more healthy and trouble free years
All the best
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