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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 30399
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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I have a long-haired chihuahua (7 years old) with no prior

Customer Question

I have a long-haired chihuahua (7 years old) with no prior health issues except for the following:
3-4 weeks ago started having intermittent anorexia (lasting usually 24 hours) followed by some vomiting of bile and bloody diarrhea. Blood tests for parasites were negative. Treated with metro and resolved. Two incidences 2 weeks apart. He does board but has been boarding at the same facility for over 5 years. I have three other dogs who have had no issues. I have started giving him a probiotic and pepcid, but we just started having another incident (he has not been boarded since Thursday afternoon). All other blood tests were normal, save for a slightly low albumin which was normal upon retest (when the diarrhea was resolved.) I am taking him to our vet again this week, but could use some help with where to go next diagnostically.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 1 year ago.
Hello and thank you for your question. I am a Veterinary Nurse with over 15 years experience and I have assisted in the care of many pets with this particular medical concern. It would be my pleasure to assist you today. Is it possible for me to obtain some additional information from you about your companion?1) Has any blood work been performed? If so, when and do you have a copy to share? 2) When he boards, what food is he eating? Do they serve any treats? Is he close enough to another boarder to any any of their food that might be spilled from a dish? 3) Do you see this happening at home when he doesn't board? 4) Is he a high anxiety dog?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
1) Additional blood work revealed the following - normal glucose levels but elevated sugars in the urine. No anomalies in the GI tract on X-ray, but liver (may) be small (liver enzymes and further blood work due back tomorrow). Liver size could be genetic or due to shunt. We are ruling that out, though it seems to be unlikely that both would be presenting (I hope)! No other issues with exams, x-rays or blood work.2) Food is Annamaet (organic, USA, no other treats, they are fed at home and when boarded like clockwork from their food only...I am best friends with the owner of the facility and I know the staff really well...I do trust them and this is a recent, recurring issue while they have been boarding for over 6 years.3) Happens over the last month and a half, mostly at home, 2-4 days after boarding. No correlation to the yard treatment or anything else I can find (I called my yard guys and the dog food manufacturer to verify nothing had changed with what they were laying down or the dog food ingredients or sourcing).4) All my dogs are hyper but he is not highly anxious.IF I was feeding him food from China or rawhides, "1" would make sense as it is similar to what many owners saw with their pets, but this is not the case.
Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 1 year ago.
Hi Rayandra, thanks for your question. I will be signing off for a short while so I am going to open your question to other experts.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.
I'll follow up for PitRottMommy for you. Can you upload a copy of all of his test results to our conversation? I understand that you might not have a copy at home but his vet can give you one which you can scan into your computer and then give me the file link or you can photograph the pages and upload them by using the paperclip icon above your message box (if you can see the icon) or by using an external app such as I need your confirmation that a specCPL blood test was performed - the most sensitive for detecting the presence of pancreatitis. I also need to know if glucosuria (sugar in the urine) has been a repeatable finding in subsequent urinalyses. You alluded to a Faconi-like syndrome secondary to Chinese treats but stress, acute kidney injury and primary renal glucosuria need to be considered as well. He appears to be suffering from a hemorrhagic gastroenteritis which is an umbrella term that refers to hemorrhagic enteritis or colitis associated with a number of infectious and non-infectious causes. A few dogs will harbor Giardia, whipworms, and hookworms but ova and fecal exams might be negative. Because of so many false negatives it's prudent to treat these dogs presumptively with at least 3 days of fenbendazole (Panacur) which addresses all of the nematodes as well as the protozoan Giardia. The bacteria Clostridium perfringens, Clostridium difficile, Campylobacter, and Salmonella are often incriminated in this disorder and can be tested for in a number of ways. Many reference labs offer a gastrointestinal diagnostic panel such as IDEXX's diarrhea realPCR panel which his vet is likely to discuss with you. To answer you directly, that would be my next diagnostic of choice unless testing returning tomorrow is confirmative. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.