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Looking for boxer is not well!

3750 Views 21 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  Izzy
My one year old boxer puppy is not doing well.  This is my replacement puppy as my last one was full of cancer at only 18 months so I'm devastated watching my second boxer being ill.  Templeton has been having problems with soft stooles for a few months now.  The vet has done a few stool samples with clear results each time.  So next he started to treat him for colitis, again with no results.  So we have changed his food from Origin Puppy to Medi Cal Gastro Diet which is suppose to be easier on his stomach.  I switched him slowly and he loved the food but now he has a lack of apetite and lack of energy.  He chooses not to eat until late at night and now early in the mornings he is vomiting bile.  The vet has tried different medications with no success and he has also had a good dose of panacur to clear him of any parasites if that was a case (which it wasn't).  He has bloodwork completed last week which confirmed he has an inflamed pancreas.  So I am now waiting on some more test results to come back.  In the meantime my little boxer looks so depressed and is loosing too much weight.  I'm soo nervous and concerned for him.  Any advice would be much appreciated.  Has anyone had similar issues?
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I am not sure if this could be your pup's problem but my Lucy was diagnosed with Giardia after numerous fecal samples and the vet could come up with nothing. Evidently, there is a separate test for Giardia. After two months of my poor pup suffering with horrible diarrhea, my pet sitter asked if she had been tested for Giardia - I had never heard of it and asked my vet to test. Sure enough, it was positive...Not sure about the vomiting bile as she did not do that but maybe Sharon will have some advice on that. But I know Lucy looked like she didn't feel well and was not gaining weight like she should have been while she was ill.
I can't really help with any medical problems, if the vet cant' find any I certainly won't.  But I will say that loose stools are a common problem for boxers.  This in itself does not necessarily indicate a medical problem.  I commend you on going to the vet and doing the necessary tests to rule out as much as possible.  Vomiting bile in the morning is another common boxer occurrence, it usually is a result of an empty stomach.  It would seem odd that he eats late at night and then vomits in the morning, but I don't know how much time passes between these two events.

Orijen certainly has quality ingredients but it's protein content is far too high, in my opinon, for a puppy, and maybe even an adult dog (this is debatable of course).  Correct me if I am wrong but the ingredient list I found for Orijen large breed puppy gives 42% for the protein.   I think most people on here agree not to exceed protein levels beyond the high 20's.  

While Medi Cal gastro is supposed to be bland to calm digestion, it's very first ingredient is Corn, which is a known boxer allergen.  The main protein is lamb and while this is not always the case, I personally think a lot of dogs have trouble with that protein. Chicken protein would seem to me to be the safest to start with.  

Short of any new medical news on the tests, I think you should keep searching for a food.  In the food section there are sticky threads on some of the best foods available.  Canidae, Chicken Soup, Innova, etc are favorites  to try, but again every dog responds differently and the key is to keep trying until you find one that suits your dog.
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Thanks Sylar and Sully.

I am taking Temp back to the vet tomorrow so I will mention Giardia to him.  The symtoms seem to match but would Giardia cause an inflamed pancreas?

Sully, I do agree with you on the high protein content as I have been doing a great deal of research lately.  Temp has been put on the Medi Cal as per the vet's recommendation but again with no successful results.  I will continue to slowly change him to another food or maybe even make my own.  My breeder has suggested the Purina One Sensitive Skin and Stomach but again there's corn in the ingredients as well.  I'll continue to research.
I am not sure about the pancreas and Giardia...Hopefully, someone like sharonL (she is a vet) will see this post and offer some advice.
you also have to remember that even though the vet recommeds something they are still profiting from it. They are paid by the company who supplys them with the food they carry in their their might be something else out there better suited for your baby...especially since the first ingredient is corn.
Just an FYI...
If you are so concerned about corn, the Pro Plan Extra Care Sensitive Skin and Stomach Formula does not have any corn in their formula.

Salmon, brewers rice, canola meal, oat meal, beef tallow preserved with mixed tocopherols (source of vitamin E), tuna meal, salmon meal, brewers dried yeast, natural flavors, salt, potassium chloride, vitamin supplements (E, A, B12, D3), choline chloride, zinc sulfate, ascorbic acid (source of vitamin C), ferrous sulfate, riboflavin supplement, niacin, calcium pantothenate, manganese sulfate, biotin, thiamine mononitrate, folic acid, copper sulfate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of vitamin K activity), calcium iodate, sodium selenite.
And if it was me, I'd boil up some chicken and rice and see if he eats it and digests it.  That's a pretty bland meal that dogs generally love so sometimes that gives you the confidence that the dog is ok, its just the food that is the issue.
Just becareful not to feed anything fatty.  That can cause more inflamation.

Sorry my mistake.  Your right it does not contain any corn.  I've been looking at soo many different foods that I'm starting to get them mixed up.  Again thanks and my apologies.


Once again thanks.  My vet has been extremely kind to me in the past especially with all the finances I have put out on my last boxer, Blu.  So I do trust that he is not out to make a profit on me when recommending particular foods for Templeton.  I do agree on finding something better suited for him but it's hard to do when we haven't came to a diagnoses.

Thanks again guys!
Well...first let me say I am sorry you are having such a rough time with your boxers.

The main symptoms of pancreatitis in dogs is vomiting, weight loss, lack of appetite, painful stomach and loose stool sometimes very greasy looking.

There are many things that can cause the inflammation and there are other health conditions that can also contribute to it, these include.....hypothyroidism and diabetes.  This is because they alter the metabolism in the body. It can also be an injury to the pancreas.

The pancreas when inflamed disrupts how the organ functions and the enzymes that keep everything working well.
This is why a low protein low fat food needs to be used.  The pancreas has to work overtime with a high fat and protein food.

The way I do treatment.....First, I have the owner withhold food and water for 24 hours.  When they dont eat or drink it  stops the pancreas from producing the enzymes. From there food can be started again, usually feeding several small  bland meals and stuff that is VERY low in fat.. A few days to a week the size of the meals can be increased and the amout per day decreased.

Food plays a key role in this and it is possible that to find a food that is low cal, low fat and low protein that it may have to be a perscription diet and also something that your dog may have to stay on from here on out, you may be able to switch to a previous diet once everything is going well again...that part is a wait and see.

The yellow bile vomit in the morning is from the enzymes working overtime and has nothing to do with hunger pukes that are common in boxers. Your dog may eat late, but he is not digesting right at the time.

It has all the symptoms of pancreatitis.  I would have the vet rule out giardia just in case though, but no giardia wont cause an inflamation to the pancreas.

I generally use a med called metronidazole and it can take treating for a period of 6 weeks....Again.....discuss all this with your vet and good luck!
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Thank you Sharon for taking the time to explain all of this to me.  I will speak to my vet tomorrow about this.  Is the metronidazole a medication to treat Pancreatitis or Giardia?  Could cancer also be a concern?
I spoke with my breeder and she suggested feeding him rice and lean hamburger for a few days as this is easy on the digest system...any thoughts or past experiences?

Thanks again,

Kim and  Templeton
I don't know if I can help but my 5 year old boxer was having vomiting problems for a month after I switched his food. He needed to lose weight so I changed his food to wellness and it caused loose bm's, then I switched to Canidae and he started vomiting every night. This went on for almost a month, a week ago we went to the vet for blood work and x rays and the vet felt he had an irritable bowel or an allergy to the food. He changed his food to prescribtion diet Z/D a food for allergies and gave him steroids and pepcid for his belly. It will be a week tomorrow and he has not vomited. I hope your dog begins to feel better, I know how hard it is when our puppies are ill.
I'm really sorry your little guy is having so much trouble, I don't know what to suggest here I've been pretty lucky as far as all my boxers go, never had any serious issues as far as food goes and health concerns go, the only real trouble I had was near the end with my 10 year old girl Sexy due to cancer....I did look at your album in the photo gallery, Temp is sooo cute, I really hope he gets better soon, Gaby sends boxer kisses and hugs his way!, keep us posted on his status
Aww thanks guys!

Well I just got back from the vet and now I'm even more concerned.  I just can't bear the thought of having another ill boxer especially at such a young age and so close together in time!  The vet ruled out Giardia and is quite concerned about the inflamed pancreas.  He has droped 2.6 pounds in less than a week.  So my vet has given him two different medications to try.  The first one is Amoxicillin 500mg that Temp will have to take 1 capsule three times a day for the next 14 days.  The other is a very large pill by the name of Sulcrate in which he will take 1 tablet twice a day for seven days.  The good news is that I finally got him to eat this morning with the lean hamburger and rice I made for him.  I purchased some pill pockets to assist me in giving him all these meds...should I be concerned with giving him soo many Pill Pockets?  Any other advice would be much appreciated.  Even though I'm a skeptic I have also booked a session with an animal communicator...anything is worth a shot at this point.

Thanks again,
Kim and Temp
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Did the vet tell you to give the Sulcrate to Temp before he eats? Should be given one hour before food because this medication is meant to
coat the GI tract to serve as a pretective barrier for any ulcers that might be present. I know these tablets are pretty big and might be hard to
give to Temp. I'm sure that two of the Pill Pockets would be alright in the run of a day. I can't find anything in my literature saying not to cut the tablets in half or crush them but I'm not 100% sure. You might want to call your vet or even a pharmacy to ask if you can split the tablets in half to make it easier.
(there is also a Sulcrate Suspension that is also available -If not available to your vet it is available through a pharmacy.)
Keep in mind as well that this product is Aluminum essentially and a property of aluminum is that it has the possibility of being constipating so watch out for that.
No the vet didn't make mention of feeding the Sulcrate prior to feeding.  I will do that.  As for splitting the pills in half I will make a phone call to the vet.  Thanks!
Is this "replacement" from the same breeder?
Carifate (sp?) is the liquid form of sulcrafate.  It is messy to put in a syringe, and I think tastes yukky.  Walgreens has both kinds.  Some people add a little water to the sulcrafate, it turns to liquid quickly, and then give it with a syringe.  Antibiotics are rough on the stomach, they also have to be given at least an hour after sulcrafate.  I think gastritis is commen with pancreatitis.  Also some dogs will have reflux acid.  The sulcrafate also protects the esophagus from inflammation.  I just wrapped the pill in white bread, and shoved it down.  He got a piece of bread later as a reward.  Other antibiotics we used for pancreatitis were Baytril.

My Internist was in touch with Dr. Jorge Steiner at Texas A & M for regular consultation.  It's a puzzling disease.
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