The DogPeople Blog
  1. Health update on Murphy

    dog resting in back of estate car

    Murphy in the car


    Things have moved on since our last blog post on 28 September. The hypoallergenic diet Murphy was prescribed didn’t suit him and he refused to eat after a few days. His vet decided this threatened his well-being so he was allowed some freshly cooked white fish or chicken to help the food down. This encouraged him to eat but it wasn’t long before it became clear the hypoallergenic food wasn’t going to work. His diet was switched to a gastro-intestinal product. He was happy to eat it for ten days or so with virtually nothing else but, sadly, he still suffered bouts of diarrhoea as soon as his antibiotics finished. This went on for some time with a couple of repeat prescriptions of Metrobactin 500mg tablets and a tube of Logic ‘firmer’ (which seemed to quickly help with the diarrhoea). Murphy also had weekly injections of Vitamin B12 to ‘top him up’ following low levels shown in his blood tests. Unfortunately, none of the tests or medications helped with Murphy’s bleeding or regular straining on morning and evening walks. If anything, the bleeding has increased.

    A review consultation suggested three possible ways forward:
    • Refer Murphy to The Royal Veterinary College for specialist advice on possible small bowel problems (indicated by malabsorption of vitamin B12) and on his condition generally;
    • Examine his bowels and rectum via and endoscope and take small biopsy samples if appropriate – but Toachim House doesn’t have the equipment at present and;
    • Perform an operation to allow larger scale biopsies to be taken.

    Murphy was mid-way through a course of antibiotics at the time of this consultation. Happily, the diarrhoea has not returned since completion – so maybe the underlying infection that caused his loose movements has been beaten for the time being. Hopefully this might overcome malabsorption too?? Because there has been no let up in rectal bleeding, and straining seemingly associated with it, Murphy saw a new vet at another practice (Whitstable Bay Veterinary Centre) today. He had to ‘suffer’ another rectal examination and a mass was discovered. This appears to be a further regrowth of a pedunculated polyp reported and surgically removed twice previously (see post on 2 August and our About Murphy page). It is thought this is the source of Murphy’s bleeding rather than any deeper bowel problem. It is not thought the bleeding and loose bowels are connected. We discussed at length options for dealing with the polyp – much along lines previously considered by Toachim House. However, it may be alternative, less invasive, treatments are available, so Whitstable Bay will research possibilities and get back to Alan. Any recurrence of loose bowels will need to be dealt with separately – fingers crossed this doesn’t happen too often!

    Once Whitstable Bay’s research is complete a decision will have to be made about Murphy’s polyp; it might be it is best left alone. If so Alan will have to continue scooping multiple motions and Murphy will have to accept all the straining trying to pass it (it doesn’t seem to worry him overly).

    To end on a high, Murphy is now eating a mix of the gastro-intestinal dry food and Chappie. He’s getting his ‘good boy come back’ biscuits and a few other treats again. He seems much happier in himself as a result.

    dog rests during a holiday walk

    A happy Murphy on a recent holiday