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Lab/hound puppy with chronic illness

Lola is an 11month old lab/hound mix. On May 10th she started sniffling and sneezing. Over a few days she developed hives on her snout, swollen glands under her arms, and congestion. After two weeks of cephalexin the hives went down, as well as her swollen glands. However, she became extremely lethargic, loss of appetite, weight loss, and hair loss/skin lesions. She was then started on a two week dose of doxy followed by two weeks of zenaquin. she has lost over 6lbs and was only 35lbs to begin with. She was just put on another two weeks of zenaquin. Her blood tests revealed high WBC, low RBC, and low T4. It is now about two months from the start of her symptoms and she is still very sick with little improvement from the meds. She is extremely lethargic, very achey, some refusal to eat, mucus secretions, pale discoloration of nose and mouth, continual loss of hair, and rapid heart beat. In all honesty, I don't think the vets have a clue as to what is causing this. I have had three opinions thus far. I feel completely helpless and so sad for poor Lola. Any insight is greatly appreciated!
11 Responses
462827 tn?1333172552
Hi Melinda & welcome....
I'm thinking about all this....Let me ask..Think back.... Did she get any better while just on the 2 weeks of Doxycycline? Maybe a few days toward the end of the 2 weeks? ANy days in there that you saw improvement?

Some of this sounds like an allergy, too.  And a severe one at that!  Let me know anything else you can think of...

Was the rest of her bloodwork alright? Kidneys & Liver Enzymes?
What does she eat & drink out of? What kind of bowls?
What does she eat?  Has she always eaten the same food?  Thanks, Karla
Avatar universal
Thank you for your response!

In all three treatments she showed progressive improvement over the first four days or so then began to slump back down again. Some days she seems to be improving and then the next day she seems awful again...there has not been any consistent improvement.  

The rest of her bloodwork was all normal. I only listed those that were flagged. She has been eating and drinking from the same bowls since I adopted her in December, as well as my other dog. Both dogs have always eaten Beneful Playful Life. About a cup and a half twice daily with several mile jogs every other day. Ofcourse, since she has been ill we haven't been jogging and have only been having short walks to the park several times per week. It seemed as though the dry food was irritating her throat when she first got sick so I started mixing bite sized dry food with wet and she had been eating it more easily. When she started to have a loss of appetite and weight gain I fed her homecooked meals of ground beef, rice, potatoes, and mixed vegetables - as much as she will eat throughout the day. This has been for about three weeks now.

The only other details I can offer is that a few days before she got sick we walked through a wooded trail in Philadelphia where both dogs were not on a leash and meandered through the bushes and such. I also found a tick on her the next day, though her Lymes test was normal. My other dog has not shown any sign of illness at all and they are very close - sleep together, clean each other, etc. So I'm assuming that whatever it is is not contagious. I offered the suggestion of allergies to my vet, but she didn't think it was. She diagnosed her first with a bacterial infection, then lower respiratory, then pneumonia.

I really appreciate your help!  It's so disheartening to see her not able to be a playful puppy!  She won't even do the stairs anymore and I haven't seen her run in the longest time!
Avatar universal
I meant weight LOSS not gain - she hasn't been gaining any weight at all even with additional feedings and a more fatty, high protein diet. She has lost alot of muscle mass and is very thin!  

Also, I only walk her on days that she seems up to it. And only as much as she will go.
462827 tn?1333172552
Melinda...I have alot of info. to relay to you.....I have to be somewhere for awhile, but will get back w/you when I can....Hang in there....I think we can resolve this!    Karla
462827 tn?1333172552
Another question: What does his stools (PooP) look like? Soft, hard, loose, stringy, etc.
What is the color? Black, brown, white, red, orange, yellow, etc.....Anything odd?
974371 tn?1424656729
A young dog to be having so many problems. I'm sorry for you and her.
Hate to say it, but the food you are feeding is not of the best quality.  I would suggest you switch to another food and, like I often do, add a good cooked food to the kibble. I've had good results with the Natural Balance food and suggested my daughter try the Blue food with her dog and she has noted a marked improvement.
Reading the test results you do have, I would ask that a panel be done for tick borne diseases and probably a T3 and T4.  If I remember correctly (it's been a while) I used to have my Vet send them out to Michigan State for analysis. Also, in regards to thyroid, a good contact is Dr. Jean Dodds at Hemopet in So. Calif.
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