Thursday, December 11, 2008

Extreme Ike

As I mentioned in a previous post – Ike was ill on Friday. He seemed better Saturday and Sunday. Then had me out every three hours all night long Sunday-Monday.

Tuesday I took him to the vet to have some blood work done. Ike has been having (EXTREME) bouts of diarrhea every two months or so. In February – the first major bout – his GGT levels were off in his liver. I wanted to make sure things were still the same or better.

Due to the frequency in which these bouts are occurring I hypothesized that Ike might have some form of Irritable Bowel Disease and wanted to discuss it with my vet. Unfortunately my vet was not available. The other vet I saw at the practice closed his ears once he heard I feed raw. Let’s just leave it at the appointment and follow-up call regarding blood work were an utter disaster. Once the vet gave up lecturing on raw it was suggested that Ike has Addison’s Disease, an adrenal gland disorder. Whatever. (Note: the blood work did not indicate Addison’s either time.)

Yesterday afternoon I spoke to my regular vet about the blood work. Ike’s bilirubin levels (liver again) were elevated, but the vet didn’t think it was indicative of anything. He felt it was most likely a result of Ike being sick and that Ike’s liver appears healthy.

My vet was slightly concerned that Ike had elevated levels of lipimea in his blood (fat) after eating boiled turkey with rice for four days. We did not do a fasted blood draw, so the blood work could still be a bit off and a fasted draw might be in our future.

The concern is because Schnauzers are predisposed to idiopathic hyperlipedemia. They have defect in lipoprotein metabolism; i.e. they do not process fat well. Hyperlipedemia can also be acquired based upon other factors like diet. Given that Ike only eats lean meat, it suggests idiopathic hyperlipidemia.

I do not want Ike to continue to suffer through these extreme bouts of GI distress. Nor do I want to stop feeding him a diet that I feel is better for him. I asked my vet if he knew of any vets that were comfortable with raw and he recommended I contact the vet-nutritionist at Angell to discuss Ike’s diet.

If Ike has IBD a lower fat diet is going to be key to controlling it.

If Ike has idiopathic hyperlipidemia a lower fat diet is going to help in controlling it.

He currently only eats lean meat (as I am well aware of the Schnauzer propensity for pancreatitis and hyperlipidemia). I am not sure what else I should/could be doing….

So, we have a consultation next Wednesday with the nutritionist at Angell. I will keep you all posted. In the mean time I am going to start with being more diligent about the fat content of treats I use and freebies that he gets from dh, myself, and the in-laws.

I am pretty sure this takes string cheese off the easy treat list! It also makes me that much more interested in a food dehydrator.


Joanna said...

I am (all too) familiar with Addison's and it can look like MANY other diseases. The only definitive test is the ACTH challenge test, so if that hasn't been done then the bloodwork can't rule it out. I'm certainly not saying it is Addison's - but if that's coming up as a possibility (from more than one insane vet) that's the test you should ask for.

Hope he's feeling better soon!

Joanna Kimball

Cat, Tessie, & Strata said...

Aww, poor Mr. Ike. I hope you get to the root of this problem soon! :(

Jules said...

Hi Joanne, His sodium and potassium level ratio is normal and his only sympton is intermittent diarrhea - that's why I think it is kind of a shot in the dark. I do understand that Addison's is not as uncommon as I initially thought, though. It sounds like the treatment for it is fairly easy and successful. Has that been your experience?

If we do not have success and it comes up again a a serious possibility from another vet I will definately do the ACTH.

We also did a fecal, but nothing came up - of course. :)

I have to go spend some time on your blog. I saw a cardigan in your header photo!!

Thanks, Cat.

Jinnie said...

Hope it is just a bad tummy and he feels better soon.

Blue said...

Poor Ike! Ah, I can guess how the raw conversation went... I hope the nutritionist can help you figure out something to help Ike.