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We have a 13 year old full sized dachshund. She hasn’t been…

We have a 13 year...
We have a 13 year old full sized dachshund. She hasn’t been eating or drinking, has thrown up whatever she does eat over the last few days, and is shivering at times. She has also had a terrible odor and seeps some kind of fluid from her skin which has some lesion like places. The odor and lesions have been a problem for at least a year and we have been to the vet numerous times and tried some solutions to no avail. Is it close to the end for her, or is there something we can do?
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Answered in 45 minutes by:
11/23/2017
PitRottMommy
PitRottMommy, Veterinary Nurse
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 12,263
Experience: 15 yrs experience in vet med, 8 in emergency med. Founder of a non-profit animal rescue
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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.

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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 toys or trash? Stressful changes to the environment?

When was bloodwork last performed?

Have any abdominal x-rays been run? An ultrasound?

Can you share pictures of the lesions?

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
No changes to the diet for some time. We had gone to grain free because of a suspected yeast issue causing the smell, but the smell remained and she got to where she wouldn’t eat the food. We changed to a moist food and she has been on that for a while, but stopped eating almost at all in the last month. It’s been a while since blood work was recommended by the vet, but the only thing she had back then was a thyroid issue. No X-rays or ultrasounds have ever been run. I will attach some pics.

Is she currently taking any medication for the aforementioned thyroid problem? If so, what and how often?

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
No, she took some for a while, but it caused her to stop eating. So she hasn’t been on it for at least a year.
Customer reply replied 8 months ago
She resumed eating normally until recently

The pictures strongly indicate that she has a yeast infection. Unfortunately, you've got a catch-22 going here. Without the thyroid supplement she's going to be predisposed for skin problems. This is probably why you're concerned about the abnormal condition of her skin. Now, your vet can get her started on anti fungal medication to help get the thickened, dark skin under control but she's going to need to have the underlying thyroid problem addressed or you'll wind up back where you are now.

Bloodwork should also be run (CBC, Chemistry, Electrolytes) to check organ function, complete blood count, look for infection, etc. as this may be part of the reason she's not wanting to eat and vomiting. At her age, it's not uncommon for dogs to have liver disease, kidney disease, diabetes, pancreatic issues, etc. I'd address this before presuming that it may be her time. It's very possible an underlying condition may be present and treatable.

In the meanwhile, I can give you some steps to take at home to help restore her appetite. However, if you do not see a marked improvement from your pet or you see worsening of symptoms, they absolutely must be examined by a veterinarian.

The first step is to administer a dose of regular pepcid (famotidine) every 12-24 hours. This should help with GI symptoms. You will want to give 0.5mg/pound of body weight (a 10# ***** would receive 5mg, a 5# ***** would receive 2.5mg, etc). For this, you can visit any human pharmacy and buy the OTC brand name Pepcid, or you can use the cheaper, off-brand “famotidine” that’s available. Either will be useful. If your companion is avoiding taking medication, you will likely need to using a pilling technique like this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-P6NfbxeLX0 (this video is of a dog as it shows the finer details of how to complete the action, this method can be used in dogs, cats and other mammals needing oral medications). [Note: once symptoms have resolved for at least 48 hours, discontinue the famotidine.]

2 hours following a dose of famotidine, the time needed for the medication to begin working, you can offer a bland diet. To make this, you’ll combine white or brown rice, boneless, skinless chicken breast and sufficient water for cooking in a stock pot (note: if your companion is allergic to chicken you can use a protein source they can have such as ground turkey, a filet of salmon, etc). Boil on medium until it turns to mush and the breast is easily flaked. To avoid nausea, start with small amounts to begin with and offer the amount every 2-4 hours. A few teaspoons to start is typically sufficient and you can work your way up every 2-4 hours in incremental increases until you’re sure no vomiting will be seen. If your companion requires a more palatable food, try adding in pureed baby food in chicken, turkey and similar flavors. Avoid those that contain onion or garlic in the ingredient panel. Work up to feeding exclusively until at least 3 days following the resolution of symptoms. After this, work on slowly switching back to the regular food that your companion typically eats over 10 days. My recommendation is a 10% switch every day. Day 1: 10% new food, 90% old food; Day 2: 20% new food, 80% old food; Day 3: 30% new food, 70% old food, etc. This slow switch process should minimize any risk of GI upset from changing food.

I will be standing by if you have other questions. Let me know if I can help further. Also, before signing off today, please take the time to use the star rating system at the top of the page to leave a rating for me. Until this is done, the website will not compensate me for helping you. You will still be able to chat with me even after issuing a rating.

I will also check in with you over the next few days for updates on your companion to be sure you don’t need any additional assistance. Letting me know how your companion is doing would be greatly appreciated. If you would like to request me in the future for pet-related questions, you can do so by accessing this page: http://www.justanswer.com/pet/expert-pitrottmommy/?rpt=3800

PitRottMommy
PitRottMommy, Veterinary Nurse
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 12,263
Experience: 15 yrs experience in vet med, 8 in emergency med. Founder of a non-profit animal rescue
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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Thank you, I will give it a try. She was put on something for yeast at one time, but it didn’t help at all. As for the thyroid medicine my biggest concern is her appetite, she originally was on it for overeating, but she isn’t eating at all now.

Your vet may be able to try a different dose, a different medication or even (in some cases) using transdermal medications to bypass the oral route which might help with the vomiting. Keep me posted on your progress. Good luck!

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
We have been unable to get her to eat, drink, or move at all. She just stays curled up and shivers. She will barely even lift her head to look at us. We attempted to give Pepcid, but even when forcing the medicine into her mouth she would not swallow and eventually just drops it out of her mouth. I held her mouth shout, massages her under the neck, but to no avail. I’m afraid that if she doesn’t eat or drink soon soon she will die. You can see her physically withering. I know it’s Thanksgiving and I’m sorry to bother you, I just wondered if you had any other advice. Thank you.

I would highly recommend a vet visit at this point. She needs diagnostics. I would start with bloodwork to check organ function, a complete blood count to look for infection, etc. as this may be part of the reason she's not wanting to eat and vomiting. At her age, it's not uncommon for dogs to have liver disease, kidney disease, diabetes, pancreatic issues, etc.

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Thank you

You're welcome.

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Hi Chad,
I'm just following up on our conversation about Ruby. How is everything going?
Customer
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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
We took her to the emergency vet Thanksgiving night and she had to be euthanized. Thank you for your help with her, but sadly we lost her.

I am so sorry to hear this. Thank you for the update.

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