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PitRottMommy, Veterinary Nurse
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 9156
Experience:  15 yrs experience in vet med, 8 in emergency med. Founder of a non-profit animal rescue
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My dog was just diagnosed with hookworms. She is currently

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My dog was just diagnosed with hookworms. She is currently in the hospital because she will not eat and vomited the worm medication. They did x rays and said the result is ambiguous. They want to do exploratory surgery but I don't know that this is the answer. I have read that it is a common side effect for dogs to vomit and lose appetite. What are my alternatives to surgery?
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Hopefully it didn't make a mess. Did your dog eat anything unusual?
Customer: She did not and she has been on a grain free diet with the same food for ever a year now
JA: What is the dog's name and age?
Customer: Her name is ***** ***** she is 5.
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Sloopy?
Customer: She does not have any other issues. She was treated by the same vet 1 year ago because she swallowed her bone. No surgery and she passed it normally

Hello, JACustomer. I have been a Veterinary Nurse for over 15 years and would be happy to help you today. I'm reviewing your question right now.

Can you tell me what symptoms you were seeing prior to Sloopy being diagnosed with hookworms?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Hi. She was vomiting for 24 hours and was depressed. She could not eat or drink. I took her to the vet after 24 hours and they gave her fluids under the skin and an anti nausea medicine. She threw up the medicine. They did x rays and said that that did not see a blockage. They gave her a de working medication and sent her home with me . The next day, she continued to vomit and groan. I used peppermint oil and lavender on her belly and the vomiting stopped for about 10 hours. She then had a bowel movement and I noticed the worms (first time I have seen them). I took the stool sample and brought her to the vet the next morning. They confirmed hookworm and gave her medicine. They gave her an anti nausea shot. She kept down the first deworm treatment. The next morning I awoke to her vomiting. Note*She has been drinking water on her own. She threw up another anti nausea pill and then the second dose of de worm medicine. I took her to the vet that same day and when I dropped her off her breathing was labored, she was panting, and shaking. They did another x ray and said that the results were ambiguous. They could not say for sure if there was a blockage and suggested exploratory surgery.

Have there been any changes to the diet? New food, including a change of flavors or protein source within the same brand? New treats? Bones? Has any human food been fed? Torn up trash? Stressful changes to the environment?

Do you know of anything for certain that she might have eaten like tampons, condoms, toys, etc?

Have they performed a barium series yet? This might also be known as "contrast x-rays" and would be a series (usually 4+ x-rays over a few hours time) to detail the intestines from the inside?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Same food for over a year. I keeo the garbage in the cupboard because she likes to eat everything. After she swallowed her bone last year I have been very vigilant. I can't see obvious signs of eating anything she shouldn't. We did just have Hurricane Irma and although it wasn't bad she noticed the change. They have not performed the barium series. It wasn't even an option. Is this a normal reaction to a bad infestation? They also did a blood test and did not see anything alarming. Slightly elevated white blood cells.
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
The vomiting happened the morning after the storm

Did they mention any anemia on the bloodwork? Usually with a profound hookworm infestation we see, also, profound anemia. Perhaps less in an adult dog, but usually worth mentioning if they're having major symptoms. That said, yes, we can see severe GI complications from hookworms but I'd anticipate she'd be on the mend following the dewormer.

Also, if your vets have not discussed the barium series, push for it. This may keep her out of surgery or confirm her need for it.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
I left a message asking about testing for anemia. I am concerned that they're not treating the side effects of the hookworm. They did bloodwork but didn't say what they tested for. I am assuming that the bloodwork would test for this? I left a message asking this as well. She should have had her 3rd dose of the deworm medicine today and they said she is feeling better and has more energy but she still refuses to eat. I am going to ask about the barium series.

If they ran a CBC, this should tell them if she's anemic. It should be the same test that gave a result for the white blood cell line elevation. It sounds like they are treating for the lack of desire to eat. Anti-nausea medication should help to give her appetite back and treat the vomiting. The fluids will help to hydrate her, as well, which can suppress the desire to eat. I'd also ask about checking for pancreatitis, for good measure.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Will do. Thank you for the alternative options. Surgery is a big deal and I will do it if it will save her life. Do you have any thoughts on holistic therapy if she is able to be stabilized? Food and herbal treatments?

I give more credence to western medicine when it comes to a point that a dog potentially needs surgery. That said, bland diets like boiled rice and chicken breast can be very useful in these types of situation not only to get a dog back to eating but also to move stuff through the GI tract that might have been consumed. She may need a diet like this to help her GI heal following the hookworm infestation.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Ok. Thank you very much!!!

Sure thing. I hope she does well!

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