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stumped on health problem

3967 Views 24 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Erin
Ok... this is going to probably be a long post regarding Daisy's health problem that no one can figure out...

We got her from the Jacksonville Humane Society last September (almost a year ago to date). When we looked at her they told us that she had some snorting problems, including the whole reverse sneeze thing. We just figured she had some minor allergies and didn't give it much thought. She seemed healthy and happy other than the snorting sound she would make occasionally.
About two months after we got her she, out of the blue, began having what we called fits. The following links will take you to videos of what she does, but I will try to explain it also:

Daisy's Problem: Video 1
Daisy's Problem: Video 2
Daisy's Problem: Video 3

There are no common threads to when she has these problems. She could be outside playing or inside sleeping. She will be acting perfectly normal and then out of the blue she'll frantically start licking the floor, couch, or anything she get can her mouth on. She'll also try to eat fuzz, grass, even my hair! All things she wouldn't normally give a second glance to. During this fit she tucks her tail, licks, swallows, snorts (not reverse sneezing), and coughs up white mucus. Nothing we do makes her stop. These fits can literally last for HOURS, even all night long once they start. We have had many sleepless nights preventing her from eating things, cleaning up mucus, and just trying to comfort her. If we crate her she'll lick the sides of the crate, bottom, and try and eat/lick the comforter that we have in there, especially if there's a small thread sticking off of it. These fits began in Nov. of 2007 and have been sporadic since then. Sometimes she's had them once or twice a week, and sometimes once a month or once every two weeks. When she isn't having fits, she licks her feet a lot as well as her belly, and sometimes even has a small rash on her tummy which our vet attributed to a contact dermatitis. We're pretty sure she has skin allergies, but she has not been tested. Listed below are all of the things we've done to try and figure out what the problem is and the one thing that seems to work
(although we don't know why):

Things we've done that don't work, tests that came back normal:

Antihistamines (various types and dosages)
Throat wash
Chest X-rays
Valium (during the episode, which didn't really work)
Spoken with 5 different vets, including an internal medicine specialist
Anti-nausea medications
Phenobarbital (one vet thought it might be a partial motor seizure)
Food change (from Pedigree to Eukanuba: Natural Lamb and Rice to Blue and back to Eukanuba)
Full blood panel
Throat Scope (the specialist put a camera down her throat and also back of her nose)

The ONE thing that seems to help:

Temparil-P (I believe each pill has 5mg of antihistamine, 2mg of Prednisone)

She has been fit free for 3 months since being on one pill per day. We've recently cut it down to half a pill per day and she seems to be doing ok. She still snorts but has had no episodes. The problem is... no one knows WHY it works! I'm thinking she's having some kind of reaction in her throat that's causing inflamation and making her feel like she can't swallow. All the licking builds up some mucus and she has to cough it up. But I'm not a vet, and the vets don't know. Any ideas??? Our current vet wants to keep her on 1 pill/day or 1/2 pill/day for six months and then try to take her off, hoping the tissue that was getting inflamed has been given time to heal. If that doesn't work we'll probably end up at Auburn University's vet clinic. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! It's been a LONG year trying to help her.

Thanks and sorry the post was so long!!
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Ok - I am a member over at Beagle Bay which is where I first saw this question. I'm moving what I posted over here too-

Ok - this suggestion is coming from way out there but I'm wondering if it could be some kind of behavioral thing?(I read your earlier posts about contacting the behaviorist but I still have to wonder) Is there something different going on in Daisy's environment and this is her way of coping with it? I'm wondering this because of her incessant licking of all kinds of things - sort of like a person's answer to an increase in their anxiety level may be a compulsion to pluck their hair or when a person is so obsessed with being safe in their house that they feel compelled to make sure that the house is locked securely before they go to bed at nite - repeatedly check locks before going to bed. As for why this one particular med works, maybe somehow it helps to alleviate Daisy's increased anxiety (if that is what it is)

I also have a question about the food - is Eukanuba the same as Iams? That is what I see when I Google it (I have never done much research and pay little attention to any other than what I feed the Beaglebratz). Ok - the med appears to be working well but I wonder if they could really cut down the med if changed to a different brand of dog food - one with absolutely NO corn product whatsoever? I haven't checked every variety of Eukanuba yet but so far the three I have looked, all have corn of some kind listed early in the ingredients - one has it listed as #1.

Now as for what the behaviorist said about there being a physical componet (throwing up) - when a person's anxiety level becomes high enuf it can cause a panic attack and the person may experience sweaty palms, sweat profusely, headaches, heart palpitations, rise in blood pressure
blurred vision, experience nausea, dizziness - the person may even be convinced they are having a heart attack.

Just some thoughts of mine.


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