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Canine clostridial enterotoxicosis - a nearly fatal event this past week.

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  • Canine clostridial enterotoxicosis - a nearly fatal event this past week.

    Late Friday night when I was grocery shopping, one of the dogs upchucked several times. Given the amount of barf I had to assume it was my seventy pound black Lab Ellie. The little French Brittany couldn't puke that much without collapsing from dehydration. It was almost entirely clear yellow stuff and very smelly. Ellie seemed to be uncomfortable that night. She groaned quite a bit and was restless. The next morning she ate well but immediately afterwards cried to get out and very quickly lost her breakfast. I just figured she ate too fast. Waited a while and gave her smaller portion which she seemed to keep down. Saturday evening company arrived. Ellie seemed to be a bit less enthusiastic than usual. And she didn't eat all her dog food which I'd NEVER seen before. And she was constantly wanting out to eat on grass. She clearly had an upset stomach. By Sunday afternoon Ellie was in trouble. She wouldn't eat anything and just wanted to be held all the time. I called the vet but the soonest I could schedule an appointment was Wednesday. Ellie still seemed fairly chipper so I figured we could wait. Then when I took her for a walk she pooped out a stream of black tar. She was obviously bleeding internally. The vet said come and hang out and they'd fit her in. Turns out Ellie had picked up a bacterial bug, clostridium, that had progressed to Clostridial Enterotoxicosis and pancreatitis. The testing and meds added up to $700! But she didn't improve. By the next evening she still wasn't eating and now had red blood coming out her butt. Poor gal had lost eight pounds in just a couple days. And she's regularly very slim to start with. She was in rough shape and getting worse by the minute! I rushed her in to the on call vet who ran blood tests to see if she needed IV intervention and hospitalization. While I was waiting for the test results, Ellie suddenly expressed an interest in the dog treats vet kept on the counter. That was encouraging. So I broke off a small piece ... and she ate it! Gave her the rest of it and she ate that too. And didn't throw up. The blood test was borderline, especially her hydration level. I decided to take her home. It seemed she might be over the edge into recovery. No one would be at the hospital overnight anyway. The vet added another liquid antibiotic to the regimen and gave me a large syringe to inject it and low-salt chicken broth. She told me the pancreatitis would likely be a recurring thing for the rest of Ellie's life. I would need to change her to low fat diet and no sweets.

    I suspect Ellie picked up the bacteria chewing on rotten sticks that fell off the neighbour's tree (four years old and still chewing on stuff when she's bored). It's a sneaky bug. She only seemed to have a mildly upset stomach at first. Then her condition crashed in a matter of a few hours. The first vet said Ellie could easily have died in the night had I not brought her in when I did.

    From now on I'll be more attentive to my dogs getting upset stomachs. It might be something serious.

  • #2
    Ever thought about adding some soluble fiber and a probiotic?

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    • #3
      Lots of different specie of Clostridium. Wasn't it Clostridium that poisoned the water supply of Chicago years ago ? My Sister is a Microbiologist at the Cleveland Clinic (just retired after teaching and as Microbiologist for 40 years.) they culture the worst of the worst that other Hospitals can not identify and consult with the CDC on a daily basis. Interesting but scary stuff. Jim

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Amflyer View Post
        Ever thought about adding some soluble fiber and a probiotic?
        She is getting a probiotic supplement every morning now. It's a powder made by Purina that comes in packets I sprinkle on her food. Must taste good. Ellie sure works her bowl over. Licks up every speck of it. Unfortunately the stuff can't be bought over the counter. For whatever reason it is only available through vets. For now anyway.

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        • #5
          Getting about time to get after geese isn’t it? Sounds like she’ll be ready to go.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by fitch270 View Post
            Getting about time to get after geese isn’t it? Sounds like she’ll be ready to go.
            It won't stop raining here so farmers can get the crops harvested. No field hunting till then.

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