veterinary challenges 3 – the confusion grows

I’ve been doing my best to be a good a patient for my dog and follow doctor’s orders. Only feeding Hubbell the Royal Canin HP and Hill’s Hypoallergenic treats. And it’s killing me! This diet isn’t of the quality that I’m used to giving my dogs. (Jagger’s diet is unchanged.) It is now day 19 and there is no change to Hubbell’s bowel movements. Add to that challenge some new facts: his coat is no longer looking healthy – the groomer told me that “his coat is thin, not as much under coat and the over coat guard hairs are brittle,” and he has lost weight – down 6 lbs since 8/28.

Jeff and I are getting more and more worried. Let’s add this all up:

  • Hubbell has had diarrhea for 19-20 days now. The need to go isn’t urgent and the frequency of his bowel movements hasn’t increased. When he goes, it’s diarrhea. (Sorry for the detail!)
  • His coat is showing signs of possible nutritional issues. Maybe because he doesn’t have regular bowel movements? ┬áSure. Maybe some other underlying issue? Probably more likely.
  • He is scratching more frequently; especially his paws and legs.
  • He has lost weight.
  • His appetite hasn’t changed – good.
  • His activity level hasn’t changed – good.

I am impatient. I admit it. Waiting 2 – 4 weeks to determine if the new diet is working and there is a food allergy requires a level of patience I don’t have. Why not do blood work to ensure that things are working they way that they should? Off to our vet we go!

Last night my vet did a blood draw for a full thyroid panel (see Subclinical Hypothyroidism) and a resting cortisol. The thyroid panel will take about a week for results, but… the resting cortisol results show him in low-normal range. Tomorrow, back to the vet he goes for a 2-3 hour blood test that will further look at his cortisol levels and attempt to stimulate them. What is my vet looking for? Addison’s, though he has no symptoms other than diarrhea. Why stop there? Blood work will also be done to look at his pancreas enzymes, and this one scares the hell out of me more than the others.

The saga continues. We still have quite a ways to go. I am fortunate to have a select number of professionals to advise me, especially Wendy at The Pet Campus who is always just a text message or phone call away.

My sanity is being held by the big, 70 lb. goof ball who demands all of the play times he can get, sleeps with his head on my pillow, regularly doles out kisses, taunts his Cockapoo big brother, and has no idea that he’s worrying his human parents.

Bookmark and Share


  1. jane montana

    Hang in there Mare. IMO, you can’t do any more than you already are. Just love him and try to be patient. Good luck and Love to all of you.

Leave a Reply