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    Alty's Avatar
    Alty Posts: 28,318, Reputation: 5972
    Pets Expert

    Mar 14, 2018, 10:36 PM
    Our Rascal is very sick
    I know none of you can diagnose or treat. You also know that if I'm asking here, I'm desperate for any bit of advice I can get.

    Here's the history:

    On Monday my 6 year old border collie Rascal started vomiting green foamy bile. He vomited around 5 times that day. I wasn't too concerned at that time.

    Tuesday he stopped eating other than munching on grass in the backyard, which he promptly vomited. I even made his favorite, rice and chicken, and he turned away from it.

    Wednesday (today) we took him to the vet. The initial thought was a blockage, so they did an x-ray. The x-ray is clean but they're sending it to a radiologist for a more thorough look. We'll find out what the radiologist thinks tomorrow morning. He was given fluids under his skin because he's a bit dehydrated. We go back to the vet tomorrow, if the x-rays are clean then the next step is a blood test, and antibiotics.

    Now, those on this site that know me well may remember our dog Jasper, also a border collie. Jasper died 6 years ago. Jaspers symptoms were exactly the same as Rascal's are, except one difference, Rascal isn't drinking or eating, Jasper drank excessively but vomited up every bit of water he drank. Jasper had every test done that we could think of and 5 days after he first showed signs of illness, he was dead, we never got a diagnosis. I'm terrified that we're going to lose Rascal too.

    Right now Rascal is sleeping, he has been since we got home from the vet, they gave him a light sedative at the clinic in order to do the x-ray. I made rice and chicken again, at the advice of the vet, and he won't even look at it. I even tried hand feeding and he just turns his head away.

    So my question is this. What should the vet be looking for? What further tests should we be doing? I have very little faith in vets. This is a different vet than the one we took Jasper to, but still, I don't have a lot of faith. I've researched online and found tons of possibilities, but I need a second pair of eyes.

    A bit of info: Rascal is an indoor dog, he hasn't been off our property (inside the house, or in the backyard) in months, it's been too cold to go for walks. His diet hasn't changed. He hasn't travelled anywhere. We don't use any poisons in the house or yard. As far as I know he didn't get into anything he shouldn't have.

    I welcome any advice anyone can give.
    Alty's Avatar
    Alty Posts: 28,318, Reputation: 5972
    Pets Expert

    Mar 16, 2018, 09:42 PM
    Thank you for the overwhelming response to this post. I'm so grateful for all the heartfelt messages of support. Ya, this site is truly dead.

    Since I can't delete this thread I'll update. Rascal had a second trip to the vet, spent the day on IV fluids and meds, had blood tests, was sent home yesterday with 5 different meds and he seems to be on the mend. He's eating, and he's a bit more lively. He's not out of the woods but he's doing a lot better.

    Don't know why I'm bothering to update since not one person bothered to post.
    joypulv's Avatar
    joypulv Posts: 21,593, Reputation: 2941
    current pert

    Mar 17, 2018, 04:34 AM
    Alty, I didn't post because I'm following the story on Facebook.
    You did get a bird recently. I remember feeling a bit worried about that, given that bird mites are hell, and bird borne diseases can be too. But I don't know enough about birds to say anything helpful.
    talaniman's Avatar
    talaniman Posts: 54,328, Reputation: 10855

    Mar 17, 2018, 11:17 AM
    Hi Alty, sorry I'm no animal expert, but my question is what are the meds Rascal is taking for? I can count the regulars on one hand, but this is still HOME.
    Alty's Avatar
    Alty Posts: 28,318, Reputation: 5972
    Pets Expert

    Mar 17, 2018, 02:21 PM
    Sorry guys, I was feeling a bit frustrated yesterday and this thread got the brunt of it. Rascal is doing much better. He's on two different types on antibiotics, probiotics, and other meds. He's eating and drinking now, and he's much more lively. I think we can safely say he's going to be OK. :)
    teacherjenn4's Avatar
    teacherjenn4 Posts: 4,005, Reputation: 468
    Education Expert

    Mar 17, 2018, 04:47 PM
    Sorry, Alty. Certain times of the year are so busy at work that I hardly have time to sleep. I’m sorry about your dog. We had an issue like that with our Scottie a few years ago. The vet told us that sometimes they get an inflammation in their stomach and that antibiotics take a few days to kick in. We don’t use chemicals either, but we sure have a lot of squirrels. I often wonder if they caused some of the illnesses we’ve had with the dogs over the years. They run across the ground, grass, bury seeds in the yard, etc. I don’t know if that’s an issue in your area, but just a thought. I hope you are doing well and that your family is happy and healthy!!
    Alty's Avatar
    Alty Posts: 28,318, Reputation: 5972
    Pets Expert

    Mar 18, 2018, 06:48 PM
    Thanks all.

    I'm really sorry for my little passive aggressive rant. I saw 90 views of this thread and just thought, really, not one person that just posts "hope your dog is ok?"

    Rascal was close to death. If we had waited a day I'm sure we would have lost him. If we had gone to another vet, like the vet we went to with our Jasper that died 6 years ago with the same symptoms Rascal had, I would be posting a very different post.

    We got lucky. We went to the vet at the right time, and we went to the right vet. They didn't mess around, they gave him what he needed, and that's the reason he's recovering now. We weren't so luck with our dog Jasper 6 years ago. The vet we went to at that time, which had been our vet for a few years, did all the expensive test, and then just sent him home. We went every day of the 5 days he was sick, and every time they talked us into more expensive tests, and then said, "don't know what's going on, try this pill that he'll throw up because he can't keep anything down, and if he doesn't improve bring him back". We trusted them because hell, they went to school for this, they know what they're doing, we don't, so we trusted that they cared and that our dogs life mattered to them. Not once, after vomitting for days and days did they ever suggest putting him on IV, giving him anti-nausea meds, and we didn't know enough to demand it. Jasper died.

    With Rascal the vet talked to us, not at us, they told us the possible things that could be going on, they gave us options for testing and prices because sadly we're not rich, and they told us which tests they'd do if we can't afford to do them all. They also immediately gave him fluids.

    We opted for an x-ray first because most times it's a blockage, or twisted intestines. The x-ray was clean, no blockage. So the next morning they called, said come in, he needs to be on IV all day, we need to do bloodwork, he needs to be started on meds.

    The bloodwork showed no bug, so nothing contagious, nothing that he could have just picked up. He's now on meds that are working, because even thought it's only been 3 days since he started the meds, he's almost 100% back to the dog he was before he got sick. He's eating, drinking, playing.

    On this site whenever someone asks for advice about a pets health, the response is to see your vet. I agree with that, and I advocate that. But I have learned, just because someone is a vet, doesn't mean that your dog is in good hands. I've finally found a vet I trust, and frankly, this is the first time in my 47 years on this earth, and 47 years of having pets, that I finally have a vet I actually trust.

    I think we need to research, we need to have a set of questions to ask potential vets, we need to also trust that even though we're not vets, that doesn't mean that they're right and we're wrong. Jasper died because I didn't have enough confidence about my gut feelings to demand that they do what I thought needed to be done. Who am I to question someone that went to college for 8 years to do what they're doing? We need to educate ourselves, we need to go with our guts, and we need vets that listen to us and our concerns and take them seriously. So glad I finally found that vet, because they listened, and because they talked to us, Rascal is on the road to recovery :)
    tickle's Avatar
    tickle Posts: 23,800, Reputation: 2674

    Mar 19, 2018, 02:11 AM
    Sorry Alty. I haven't been on here in quite a long time and just read your post. Good you got it all solved and Rascal is on the mend.

    Alty's Avatar
    Alty Posts: 28,318, Reputation: 5972
    Pets Expert

    Mar 19, 2018, 03:08 PM
    Thanks Tickle,

    It was really scary, we thought for sure we'd lose him. I'm so glad it went the other way. He's back to being full of pee and vinegar, we're so glad. :)

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