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Hello all,
I thought some of you fellow basset owners might be able to see a pattern, or lend some advice to help me get my doggie back to health. And I thank you in advance for reading this- I could really use some input from some knowledgable fellow Basset owners.

I have an almost 3 yr old female, spayed Basset Hound. Just the most magnificent, amazing dog. Yet throughout her life, she's been plagued by seemingly out-of-the-blue health emergencies.

First: I am by no means a negligent owner- she gets routine vet care, loads of love, she goes to work with my daily, she sleeps on my bed nightly. I notice if she is even a bit off, or feeling warm. And often, its been these little things that have led me to take her to the vet, whereupon I realize its something serious. I feed her AvoDerm dry dog food, she takes Dasuquin supplements, and regular flea/tick/heartworm meds.

Essentially, I"ve felt that she hasn't been 100% right for a number of years, but the critical symptoms are always absolved by a few nights at the vet receiving fluids and often antibiotics. Yet this keeps happening again and again and again. I feel that there is a deeper issue at play here, but I'm not clear on what might be significant. I want to get to the bottom of it, but I don't really know what tests to ask for, what symptoms might be significant, and if this might be something that could be Basset-specific, or just common to dogs in general. I would greatly appreciate ANY input anyone here can offer.

I want her to be her happy, healthy, sweet and spunky self. I hate that this keeps happening, that the episode is always resolved, but we never have an answer as to WHY it happened.

So here's a very brief summary of her various health problems:
- when I first brought her home as a puppy, she was found to have a serious lung infection (kennel cough that had progressed into pneumonia) and she received loads of treatment and nebulizer breathing treatments for quite awhile.

- From age 1-2 she had a number of extreme vomiting / diarrhea episodes that were resolved by an overnight or few nights at the vet, receiving fluids plus antibiotics.

- She's always been somewhat of an 'urpy' dog: easily upset stomach.

- Around that time, after having tolerated all her routine puppy shots and such just fine, she had a near-fatal reaction to a number of vaccines she was given. The vet didn't tell me she was receiving these shots, and I wish I had asked what specific shots she was receiving when they said 'oh its time for all her annual shots!' Lesson learned. Anyway. The emergency vet singled out the Giardia and Lyme disease vacccines she had received, as being particularly prone to causing adverse reactions. THe episode began with vomiting on the way home, progressed to diarrhea. I turned around, took her back to the vet, where she received steroid injections and was sent home. Later, we made it home, whereupon she began pacing and scraching her nose. Then she began breaking out in hives all over her entire body and having trouble breathing. It progressed to full-on Anaphylactic shock and me breathing into her snout en route to the emergency vet.

Since that occured, every vet has been told about it and she's been carefully watched after receiving vaccines. Thankfully, there hasn't been another occurance of this.

- She's since had 3 more of these random vomiting / diarrhea episodes that were severe enough to warrent 2-3 days stay at the vet for fluids.

- The last stay was the worst in recent history. I took her in because she was lethargic and felt very warm to the touch. She had a 105+ degree fever, and at the end of it, after a weekend stay at the vet, I had a number of curious, half-explanations. Among them: she was found to have 2 types of UTIs, abnormally shaped kidneys, a number of fine stones in her bladder, and a recessed vulva. She was also screened for Addisons Disease because her bloodwork had all the common hallmarks.

There were a few other values on her bloodwork that were out of range- II can elaborate on the nitty-gritty later if anyone wants. In regards to Addisons, her first baseline test indicated a likely diagnosis of Addisons. Then the more thorough test, where she was given cortisol and her reaction was monitored, proved that she did react to it. So they ruled out Addisons. But frankly, I'm wondering if a dog can exhibit something along the lines of a 'pre-Addisons' reaction. I've heard that it is something that happens in humans. And having Addisons would certainly explain a whole lot.

After her latest hospitalization, she was on antibiotics for 30 days. She just ended the antiobiotics about a 2 1/2 weeks ago. And she's been almost like a puppy again- its been beautiful. All perky, happy, eyes shining, ears popping out.

But tonight she's gotten sick again. She's vomiting and lethargic. I gave her some Prilosec AC, leftover from her latest health situation- the vet recc'd it. That seemed to stop the vomiting and now she's been curled up in her chair sleeping for a number of hours. I've booked an appointment for early next week with a vet internist, and I'm watching her, ready to take her into the vet if she gets worse.

I'm tired of this, and I hate it for my dog. There must be something more significant leading to these ongoing episodes of lethargy, nausea, vomiting. But I'm not sure what to look into, what might be significant, or how to get to the bottom of this.

I KNOW this is a long message. And thank you again for reading this far, and for any help you might be able to offer! Bassets are just the most giving, loving, hilarious, sweet dogs. She's my 2nd Basset, and they have always just been such incredible dogs. And they have certainly mastered the art of looking pathetic when they don't feel well- which makes it all the worse!

And seriously- thank you for any help and input you can offer to help me get her back to a solid, healthy place. I think sometimes owners can pull together common themes and it can just be really helpful. I'm hoping to get some hints, some ideas of what be hurting my gal, so I can sort it out, ask the right questions, and get her to a place where she's always healthy.
 

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Boy, you certainly have been through the ringer! I wish I had some solid advice for you. I hope someone here can direct you more specifically. I wonder if taking her to a vet school might be helpful -- often times they see the most serious cases and might be able to help you out.
 

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If you are having a Vet Internist see her I'm thinking this a specific Vet for internal organs,would this be correct? If so and she has not been to one before first get copies of everything you have had done concerning any of her problems. This person may have better answers for you I hope. Has there been stressful situations before she would get sick,like arguments between anyone in the house? It sounds like there is an on going infection and it is possible having kennel cough at such a young age has lowered her immune system so that she is affected by things a normal immune system would have no problems with,just a thought. Let us know how things go.
 

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have the vets consider IBD inflammatory Bowel Disease. there does seem to be a common thread linking everything to immune system

INFLAMMATORY BOWEL DISEASE
It is important to consider IBD to be an immunologic reaction to some kind of immunologic stimulation. In other words, IBD is more of a symptom than an actual disease in and of itself. In a perfect world, the source of the stimulation, be it dietary, bacterial, or parasitic, could be removed and the patient would return to normal without further treatment. Unfortunately, in most cases treatment centers on managing the immunologic reaction and consequent symptoms.

.... There is simply a chronic problem with vomiting, diarrhea or both. Inflammatory bowel disease is probably the most common cause of chronic intestinal clinical signs and would be the likely condition to pursue first.


...The first step in dietary management of inflammatory bowel disease is fat restriction. Fat prolongs the time food spends in the stomach, which tends to promote nausea. There can also be undesirable interactions with fats and the bacteria of the intestine.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease in Dogs



If not already done I would have a complete thyroid panel done. Even if the results come back low-normal I would treat. Hypothyroidism has been linked to a host of mysterious symptoms.
 

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I afraid I can't help with the diagnosis, but I just wanted to mention that if she were my dog with such a history she would not be vaccinated again, ever! Vaccines should only be given to healthy animals and this dog is obviously not healthy. Check the earlier posts on vaccinations for more info on how log the vaccinations REALLY last.
My Pepper had a reaction to her second set of shots, fortunately not as severe as your case. I did get her third set of the shot that were absolutely necessary, but - waited until she was six months and gave the rabies separately. She will never have vaccines again.
 

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If I were you I would stop getting these vaccines.... we don't get our children done every year so why should the poor dogs suffer having all these chemicals put into them every year/every other year? Children have one booster before starting school and that's enough for them!

We have had discussions on here before and other dog websites I go on and a lot of people (me included for my current Bassets) are not having all these vaccines any more because I'm sure they just weaken the dog's immunity and cause far more problems for our dogs. I have read that after 6 months of age they serve no purpose and after a lengthy talk to my vet, she admitted that the majority of vaccines offered have from 7 years to lifelong protection.

My family/parents have always had two or three dogs at the same time, mostly Bassets and when I was growing up, our dogs never had injections and they all lived to at least 15/16/17 years with no problems and certainly never all the vet visits that my own dogs have had over the years, when I would have them jabbed every other year... often they got lumps at the injection site or weren't themselves for a few days afterwards, so for myself, I am not having my dogs done other than the ones at 9 and 11 weeks.

Even several breeders who show their dogs for many weeks of the year say they don't have adult dogs done and the lady who clips my Spaniel breeds and shows Retrievers and she also has kennels (mostly for her current grooming clients) and she thinks dogs are better off without all these vaccines after their initial ones.


PS: I think it's a money-making racket for vets... my vet charges £58 for injections yet my brother's vet in the south west of England charges only £16 and says anything over £3 is profit for them!
 

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I'm sorry your girl is having so many problems. In another thread I'd said that a lot of women take very high levels of vitamin C, or drink 100% cranberry juice, to prevent UTIs, and I wondered if there is something for dogs along that line. Turns out there's a supplement called crancaps, which some people who have UTI-prone dogs give them as a preventative. I didn't do much research into them, so I would suggest you do that. Also, I wouldn't expect your vet to know about or have cran caps. I have to say your vet doesn't sound too good. I'd also recommend finding a different one. Good luck and please keep us informed.
 
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