Since the fur ball has been back on his hypoallergenic kibble there have been quite a few issues. He’s been to the vets seven times in almost a month, and Merlin is still on the mend.
On a walk we noticed bloody mucus in his stool, so we took Merlin to the vets where he was initially diagnosed with colitis, inflammation of the intestines.
The fur ball was prescribed with this pink solution to settle his stomache, which was difficult to give to him. You had to shake the bottle and get the solution out via a syringe and then somehow insert it into his mouth – Merlin was having none of it! We had pink floors, pink walls, and a pink chested dog for a bit – especially when he sneezed in the middle of administering the medicine.
In the end we managed to get Merlin to eat his kibble with some of his old wet food and we’d sprinkle in his pink concoction. And we thought that was that, he’s on the mend. Nope. One morning he wasn’t interested in his food at all. The only thing he was wanting to eat was cheese, which is a very high value treat for him.
We took him to the vets for the second time and on the way there was some diarrhoea. Told the vets of Merlin’s issues, he was then sedated for some scans. He was tested positive for pancreatitis, which might have explained the bloody mucus in his stool before. He was put on an IV drip to help ease the work the pancreas wasn’t coping with.
I came home that day to find a whining dog with a patchy neck, no tummy fur, and a bandaged paw. Some of his neck fur was razored off for sedation and his tummy fur was shaved off to do the scans. A cannula was put in his left paw and he had to go back the next day for another round of IV dripping so the vets thought it best to just bandage it up instead of inserting another cannula the next day.
He was on a concoction of drugs: one to firm up his stools and reduce his bloating and gas, one to settle his stomache (the pink stuff), and a painkiller that made him drowsy. We managed to put all of this into his new vet prescribed dog food, and he ate it all, drugs included.
Vet visit number three was Merlin going back for some IV dripping to treat the pancreatitis. The vets prescribed a low fat diet to prevent another case, and we have to ensure his diet is very controlled and low in fat. So we threw away the hypoallergenic diet we only started him on a month ago and we’re still thinking of how to give away his old wet food. Since restricting his wet food to just the vet prescribed food he has been licking his paws less, a sign of allergies. And now we are not feeding him any wet food higher than 3.7% fat (dry matter 14.2%) or dry food higher than 13%fat (dry matter 14.1%).
It was all fine and then just before his check up he vomitted, which was odd so soon after being treated for pancreatitis. So on vet visit number four he was tested for Addison’s disease as it fitted with his history, but this came back negative. So then we had Merlin on an anti-vomitting solution, which is administered via syringe into his food, and pro-biotics sprinkled onto his food.
Vet visit number five was a check up, and to get the second batch of pro-biotics.
So then we really thought that was it.
Last weekend Merlin wasn’t eating his food, and he had bloody mucus in his stool again. Deja vu. He really wasn’t looking himself and we thought it was another case of pancreatitis so took him to the emergency vets, vet visit number six, thinking he may have to be left there for some IV dripping.
Thankfully he didn’t. Merlin had more blood taken from him, but everything was fine. It was an agonising wait for the blood test results, the only amusing thing we found was that he was the biggest dog at the vets that day. In the end he was injected with painkillers to ease his discomfort, there was some tenseness in his tummy but nothing to indicate he had swallowed something he shouldn’t have.
We have really been keeping an eye on him on our walks to make sure he doesn’t eat anything he shouldn’t. We took him home and for a few days he was almost back to his jaunty self. And then the anti vomitting drugs finished. This morning he didn’t want to eat anything, and he vomitted some bile with flecks of blood.
On vet visit number seven blood was taken to check his pancreatic enzyme levels, which was normal, so the pancreatitis wasn’t back. The vet said one of Merlin’s enzymes was high, but due to intestinal inflammation this wasn’t surprising. As Merlin’s issues aren’t calming down on their own he’s now been booked in for a biopsy. Until then we have more anti-vomitting solution and pro-biotics. It’s all a bit chaotic, Merlin obviously suffers from ongoing bowel issues, but we don’t know for certain whether they’re caused by food allergies like we thought or bacterial or genetic causes.
Hopefully the biopsy can shed some much needed light on the cause of all of Merlin’s woes. It’s upsetting to think that we may have been feeding him something he cannot tolerate, be it wet food he’s allergic to or the hypoallergenic kibble that is too high in fat, which might have then led to all these bowel issues and pancreatitis. But we’ve had him for almost three years now, before then Merlin was a stray for God knows how long, so this could have been rooted from his earlier life or even prone to his mixed breed, who really knows?
We just have to think that we are giving him a good life, with plenty of physical stimulation (walks), mental stimulation (training), and plenty of ownership (he pees a lot). We just can’t give him a varied diet, or cheese.