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Old 04-06-2009, 07:35 PM   #1
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Default The Vet Just Rifled My Wallet

So...my (douge de Bordeaux) french mastiff Huey has not been feeling well since Friday evening. He'* gotten progressively worse and decided to stop eating Saturday, but has been drinking lot'* of water which is good. I was able to get him into the vet this morning. My main concern was that he had ingested something and might have a blockage, or in the case of big dogs like him, early on stage of bloat.

So....1 hour later, three blood test, two x-rays, poking and prodding and a prescription for some antibiotics there is no definitive diagnosis - just a possible suspected intestinal bacterial infection. However, I do know something...my wallet is now $453 dollars lighter.

I love the guy and would do whatever I could for him...but, I sure would feel better knowing what it is than not.
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Old 04-07-2009, 11:43 AM   #2
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Hopefully he starts feeling better soon. I feel your frustration with vet costs.

A few years back my daughter had a miniature guinea pig named Buddy. He was fine one day, and the next day couldnt open his eyes and was just laying around. I took him to the vet, a shot and $235 later we got sent home. He died 4 hours later. He was only a year old. He had a upper respratory infection.

Another one.. took the cats for a annual checkup and shots. $300 each. Yeah... $600.00

But I love my pets, and they are like children to me.
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Old 04-07-2009, 12:05 PM   #3
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Today'* Vet medicine is far advanced from the not so distant past. Blood work, xrays, and even ultrasound are things people have moved clinics to provide. These items and the training to use them drive up the prices. Still not as much as if he was a person.

As a Vets husband, the first question is how old? And given a definitive blockage wasn't found, my first gut feeling is food allergy. As dogs age, and it doesn't have to be long term aging; they develop food allergies. What was the protein level in the blood test. Does he have vomiting and/or diarrhea The first things in commercial dog food that causes intolerance is two main items. Non-Hydrolyzed corn and wheat, and red meat. For some dogs, they become intolerant to any corn, wheat, or other grains. Regardless of if hydrolyzed or not.

A simple way, economical test/procedure you yourself can do is to mix 2 cups of rice with 4 oz of olive oil. Boil this with 1 whole large chicken breast till tender. Add 4 eggs just before done. Feed him this at about half the bulk he normally eats. Give a vitamin a day with it. This will give food intolerant relief within 2-3 days. Usually by the second day. If it does, then you are going to have to switch the dog to a food allergy specific dog food. Purina HHA is about the best out there. Wean him off the homemade food half and half with it. And supplementing it with the dog food long term will help. But not alone. He needs the balance and nutrimental supplements homemade cant give. A mastiff with food allergies is going to drive up the cost of maintenance, I guess it really depends on your economic situation and how much the dog impacts your life. Sorry to hear you having this time of things.
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Old 04-07-2009, 12:21 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GXP Venom View Post
As a Vets husband, the first question is how old?
Huey will be four later this month.

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And given a definitive blockage wasn't found, my first gut feeling is food allergy. As dogs age, and it doesn't have to be long term aging; they develop food allergies. What was the protein level in the blood test.
I asked the vet about this and she didn't answer one way or the other. I'm still waiting on the blood tests results. They also drew some fluid from the prescapular lymph nodes which were slightly swollen, but no other lymph nodes were affected.

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Does he have vomiting and/or diarrhea?
Nope none of it and he'* not eating grass. I will try the food suggestion and the cost is not an issue...he'* my boy!

I may PM you Venom and If you don't mind maybe you can bounce some stuff off Mrs.Venom.
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Old 04-07-2009, 12:25 PM   #5
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But I love my pets, and they are like children to me.
I'm with you Pearl! Huey'* my fourth dog. His predecessor, Bruce; was a french mastiff and he unfortunately didn't live beyond 9 months. He had a congenital heart defect and as his body grew, his little heart couldn't keep up with it. In a three month period of time I dropped close to $2000 on him for office visits, test'*, diagnostic work and medication. I would do it again if need be.

Thanks for you kind words!
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Old 04-07-2009, 12:37 PM   #6
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Sure Kevin. A dozen things could be going on here, food allergies are just the most common diagnosis for what you have explained. Usually though, but not always, the diarrhea and vomiting are present. One sure sign of this would be a low to critical low protein level in the blood. My wife thinks so much of blood testing, her clinic has the lab equipment in house, so the results are read and a better understanding of whats going, before the pet goes home. A bit cheaper that way as well. One great help is if you could scan the results and send to me for Diane to look at. Mastiffs are prone to mysterious ailments and her partner has one at the present time that has been up and down for months, eating, then not. It sad to see them spend the money they have, and a clear answer to the problem not found. They love theirs very much as well. In my opinion of their case, all available normal testing has been exasperated, the dog has suffered along long term, further testing is expensive and grasping at straws. It'* time for them to consider the dog'* quality of life vs. their want to keep him alive. Mrs. V wont be home tonight till 9, she has the late slot today. But I will have her read through this and whatever else you can send me when she gets home.
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Old 04-07-2009, 01:49 PM   #7
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I've got through it with a couple pets and the pet insurance they offer sure starts to sound like something to look into.

Is it wrong that Im on my third cat in about a year?
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Old 04-07-2009, 01:55 PM   #8
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Pet insurance is in the same league as aftermarket used car warranties. You really need to study the offerings and the fine print. Cats got it rough in the East these days. Lepto, rabies, and feline luekemia are running rampant. I wonder if Barney has anything to do with this ???
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Old 04-09-2009, 04:40 PM   #9
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Default Update on Huey

The diagnosis came into this morning for Huey. It'* lymphoma.

Of all the cancers for a dog to get, this is the one that is very responsive to treatment. I have elected to go with the Madison Protocol which is chemotherapy treatment, with additional support medication. The treatment'* are once a week at a minimum, for six months. This of course will put additional Bonnie modding on hold for a while as I reallocate the finances into the battle.

The treatment decision is based on the fact that it'* 90% of the treatments result in 2+ additional years of longevity that is quality, and the fact that dogs do not respond poorly (like humans) to chemo.

He'* at the hospital right now and will be for a few days as they try to figure out where the cancer originated at and to get his calcium level down below a life threatening level.

Thanks for allowing me to share and thanks for the kind words and support!

Special thanks to Venom and Mrs. Venom for their interest and counsel.
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Old 04-09-2009, 05:44 PM   #10
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I'm glad to hear they found out what'* wrong. And I am even more glad to hear that he has good odds of getting better.

Keep us updated on his progress.


Oh and Bill. Yes 3 cats in a year isn't all that great. But yours left home and never came back, they didnt get sick and die luckily. Hopefully they are both alive out there somewhere. Either that or someone saw a couple oh so cute kitties and decided to keep them for themself.
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