Things have moved on since our last post about Murphy’s health concerns. He had a sedation to enable a thorough ultrasound scan and a couple of X-Rays. Happily, neither gave cause for concern. He also had a series of ‘in house’ blood tests, all were within normal parameters other than cholesterol and kidney function that were both a little lower than expected. More detailed bloods and stool samples were sent away for laboratory analysis.
Blood tests to measure vitamins which indicate small bowel performance have worrying results. One, with an expected range of results between 8 and 13, showed 3 for Murphy. Another, with a normal range of 275 plus, showed less than 150 for Murphy. This indicates ‘malabsorption’ but not the cause. Stool sample results were OK so don’t help diagnosis but the spectrum of possible causes include bacterial overload, food allergy and bowel cancer.
Murphy is about to start his third course of antibiotics and will be restricted to a prescription diet for at least eight weeks. This is going to be a testing time for him and Alan. There will be no chicken or sausage pieces to get the antibiotics down (and the drop into the back of the tongue and stroke his throat until he swallows method has always been difficult – and can only get harder over several weeks without treats!). There will be no ‘good boy come back treats’ other than pieces of the special kibble food (and he will have to be watched like a hawk on walks to make sure he doesn’t pick things up or bully other dog owners into treating him). For the next eight weeks there’ll be no after dinner tit bits – Murphy is going to feel very unloved.
We can only hope the restrictive diet overcomes whatever the cause of his problems is. If so Alan will be able to carefully reintroduce selected food and treats. Murphy might be able in time to return to a non-prescription food.
Murphy has put a little weight on since he started on the antibiotics so we hope the cause of his blood loss and irregular motions is not at the extreme end of possible problems.