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Our 7 mos old puppy has had repeated episodes of colitis.

Our 7 mos old...

Our 7 mos old puppy has had repeated episodes of colitis. She has been prescribed pro biotics, metronizadole, and prescription food. Through all of this, while on meds her stools become formed but 24 hours off meds her diarrhea comes back. She has had several episodes during this time with her right hind leg spasming. She kicks it out to the side. Sometimes just a little kick, sometimes it seems to affect her walking and she will sit down and the leg will get stiff. Within minutes it clears up. She eats and drinks as normal and is very active

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'm sorry to hear that. Have you looked to see if there is a wound on their foot?

Foot is fine. Vet felt her back and legs on last visit a week ago and said she looked great She gained 5lbs this week which is her largest weekly gain to date she was 2.8lbs at 8 weeks and 31 lbs at 7 mos

Veterinarian's Assistant: What is the dog's name?

Could this be growth related? Oreo

Veterinarian's Assistant: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Oreo?

We found seeds in her poop this morning that appear to be from a cherry tree in our backyard

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
She has had her stool tested each visit and it has come back negative for parasites. She has also had bloodwork done within the past three weeks that came back normal. The leg spasm happened once when she was much younger and came and went so quickly. It didn't happen again until a few weeks ago. She eats roughly 1100 cal/day (allowable by her vet) and she is pretty hungry all the time. She, from 8 weeks on, has had frequent bowel movements/day even when formed and even while on high protein/grain free food.
Answered in 8 hours by:
6/4/2017
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 32,298
Experience: University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. There appears to be two different problems present concomitantly. I'm first going to post my synopsis of how I address chronic colitis in dogs:

1) Presumptively treat for gastrointestinal parasites with 7 consecutive days of fenbendazole. Fenbendazole is effective against all of the common nematodes (roundworms, hookworms, whipworms) as well as the protozoan Giardia. It's available over the counter in pet/feed stores as well as at Oreo's vet hospital. Routine fecal ova and parasite exams are too often falsely negative; hence, the need for presumptive treatment. If a positive change isn't seen...

2) Have a diagnostic panel of blood/urine tests performed. The panel should contain a specCPL blood test which is the most specific of the blood tests for identifying the presence of pancreatitis. It should also contain a TLI blood test which is the gold standard for detecting exocrine pancreatic insufficiency - a failure of the pancreas to produce enough digestive enzymes (maldigestion). To be very complete, serum vitamin B12 and folate levels should be performed as well. Malabsorption disorders (digested food isn't being absorbed properly) are suggested by lower than normal serum levels of these micronutrients. If nothing untoward is found...

3) Consider a food intolerance. Food intolerance/allergy is addressed with prescription hypoallergenic diets. These special foods contain just one novel (rabbit, duck, e.g.) animal protein or proteins that have been chemically altered (hydrolyzed) to the point that Oreo's immune system doesn't "see" anything to be allergic to. The over the counter hypoallergenic foods too often contain proteins not listed on the label - soy is a common one - and these proteins would confound our evaluation of the efficacy of the hypoallergenic diet. The prescription foods are available from Oreo;s vet. There are many novel protein foods and a prototypical hydrolyzed protein food is Hill’s Prescription Diet z/d ultra (my preference because it avoids the possibility of her being intolerant to even a novel protein). A positive response is usually seen within a few weeks if we’ve eliminated the offending food allergen. Food intolerance can arise at any age and even after our patient has been eating the same food for quite some time. If such a dietary trial isn't helpful...

4) Abdominal ultrasound (which is particularly sensitive in evaluating the gastrointestinal tract itself) and/or scoping and biopsy of her gastrointestinal tract is indicated. We don’t perform scoping and biopsy soon enough in too many of these patients. We're mainly looking for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) or lymphangectasia - a protein-losing enteropathy (intestinal disorder) but need to be concerned with infiltrative malignancy such as lymphoma and solid tumors such as gastrointestinal adenocarcinoma.

It's unclear what her leg spasm represents. Sporadic myoclonus should be considered - a known tremor syndrome which defines sudden contraction of a muscle group such as facial twitch or limb jerk. It may be benign or represent focal seizure activity. I would X-ray her leg including the hip on that side of her to see if there's any evidence of a bony lesion that might be painful.

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Thank you for the thorough options to discuss with our vet. She is on a prescription diet for high energy puppies with G/I issues and seems starving all of the time. I will call our vet in the morning.Do I need to be concerned that she is eating the cherries that fall from the wild cherry tree (including the seeds which are coming out in her stool). I was told they contained cyanide.

I understand your concern but it would take a wheelbarrow full of crushed seeds to intoxicate a pet with the cyanogenic compounds in those pits. You're quite welcome. Please continue our conversation if you wish.

Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 32,298
Experience: University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
Verified
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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Thank you so much! That takes one worry off the list!

It's my pleasure. Thank you for your kind accept. I appreciate it. I can't set a follow-up in this venue so please return to our conversation - even after rating - with an update at your convenience. You can bookmark this page for ease of return.

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Satisfied Customers: 32,298
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Experience: University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience

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