Skinny Pointer Questions.... Pancreatic Cancer??

Post Reply
User avatar
RoostersMom
GDF Junkie
Posts: 1755
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2011 2:42 pm
Location: North Central Missouri

Skinny Pointer Questions.... Pancreatic Cancer??

Post by RoostersMom » Wed Mar 02, 2011 4:33 pm

Hey guys,

Need a little advice. We've got a 2 year old skinny pointer (female and spayed) that we got about 5 months ago. She has gained a few (like maybe 5) pounds since then, but she is severely underweight. She weighs under 30lbs and should be about 40lbs - maybe a bit more. Stool samples come back worm free, no tapeworms, treated twice in the past two months with Panacur to be sure there were no parasites. Heartworm negative. Stools good. Eats o.k. (not great, but o.k.). Switched to TOTW because it's one of the only foods she'll eat with regularity.

I recently did a full blood panel to try to get to the bottom of this.... results showed a really low blood glucose reading (11, when the range is 70-148), low triglycerides (25 when range is 29-291). The vet says it might be a pancreatic tumor or pancreatic cancer. Of course I'd rather believe not... but I would like to know for sure. He was not sure with this diagnosis and he said I could go to the vet school to get another opinion but that it would be pricey. I know pricey as we had our older pointer in there the year before last for a week in ICU - and we're still paying on that one. I will take her in to have her looked at there, but I would rather rule out as much as possible before I head down there.

Has anyone had the same issues with their dogs, or have any other ideas about what I need to have her tested for?

User avatar
Cajun Casey
GDF Junkie
Posts: 4243
Joined: Sun Aug 01, 2010 9:59 pm
Location: Tulsa, OK

Re: Skinny Pointer Questions.... Pancreatic Cancer??

Post by Cajun Casey » Wed Mar 02, 2011 8:23 pm

Tick borne illnesses. There are a bunch. Check out "Ticked Off" on the Illinois Birddog Rescue site.
Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and annoys the pig.

User avatar
sully511
Rank: Senior Hunter
Posts: 110
Joined: Thu Jul 15, 2010 8:26 pm
Location: Ohio

Re: Skinny Pointer Questions.... Pancreatic Cancer??

Post by sully511 » Wed Mar 02, 2011 9:53 pm

I would question the glucose level.....If it was really that low, she would most likely be in a coma having seizures. Sometimes what happens with that is the blood sits in the tube too long without being spun down and the red blood cells "eat" the glucose in the blood so the level, when it's read by the lab the result is low. All of my dogs have low triglycerides, but they are all nice and lean. I think that's fairly normal in a healthy lean dog but again can't say for sure, I'm not a vet.

User avatar
Cajun Casey
GDF Junkie
Posts: 4243
Joined: Sun Aug 01, 2010 9:59 pm
Location: Tulsa, OK

Re: Skinny Pointer Questions.... Pancreatic Cancer??

Post by Cajun Casey » Wed Mar 02, 2011 10:07 pm

What does the stool lipid check look like? Maybe it's simply exocrine pancreatic insufficiency. Do you know her background? Was she ever given heavy NSAIDs?
Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and annoys the pig.

MikeB
Rank: 5X Champion
Posts: 853
Joined: Thu Jan 04, 2007 2:20 pm
Location: So. California

Re: Skinny Pointer Questions.... Pancreatic Cancer??

Post by MikeB » Wed Mar 02, 2011 11:20 pm

I am sure if your dog had cancer it would be very sick.

If you haven't used a digestive enzyme supplement on your dog I would try it for at least 3 months and I am sure you will see a difference.

Animal Naturals has two great new products that I would be using on your dog.

K9 Digest Forte - http://www.k9power.com/animal-naturals- ... forte.html

K9 Healthy Gainer - http://www.k9power.com/animal-naturals- ... ainer.html

User avatar
phermes1
GDF Junkie
Posts: 1510
Joined: Fri Jun 09, 2006 7:15 pm
Location: Tampa, Fl

Re: Skinny Pointer Questions.... Pancreatic Cancer??

Post by phermes1 » Thu Mar 03, 2011 5:56 am

I don't know much about pancreatic cancer, but there's a saying about hoofbeats and thinking horses first rather than zebras. I'd definitely get some follow-up tests done somewhere else.
I agree about tickborne illnesses. A friend of ours had a dog that was in really bad shape and took a while to diagnose. Once they did, a round of antibiotics did wonders. They too were also told that cancer was on the list of possible causes.
Get more info before you freak out too much.
http://www.socovs.com
DC AFC Valley Hunter's Southern Comfort CD MH NA NAJ, UT Prize II, "Shooter"
DC GCH Lagniappe's Chosen One MH, "Buffy"
DC AFC SoCo's Enchanted One JH, "TomBoy"
CH SoCo's Independence Day SH, "Patriot"
SoCo's Twist of Fate JH, "Emma Jane"

User avatar
birddog1968
GDF Junkie
Posts: 3043
Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:40 pm
Location: Wherever I may roam

Re: Skinny Pointer Questions.... Pancreatic Cancer??

Post by birddog1968 » Thu Mar 03, 2011 6:55 am

tider tests are so vague i would just do a round of Doxy (10-15 dollars) and try the pro-biotics and see where you pan out....Then go from there.
The second kick from a mule is of very little educational value - from Wing and Shot.

Hunters Pale Rider

Hunters Branch Jalapeno

User avatar
mcbosco
GDF Junkie
Posts: 3577
Joined: Wed Jun 10, 2009 6:22 pm
Location: Monmouth County NJ

Re: Skinny Pointer Questions.... Pancreatic Cancer??

Post by mcbosco » Thu Mar 03, 2011 7:24 am

The enzymes & probiotics should be fine but check with your vet. If your dog does have some abnormality with its pancreas your vet will likely recommend a specific blend of digestive enzymes. These are normally very expensive from the vet but much cheaper from others sources. One thing you don't want to do with this type of dog is feed too much fat. Coconut oil is often used in dogs with pancreatic deficiencies because it is metabolized more like a carbohydrate. The stool lipid check is a great suggestion.

User avatar
jlp8cornell
Rank: 4X Champion
Posts: 664
Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2010 2:29 pm
Location: Ithaca,NY

Re: Skinny Pointer Questions.... Pancreatic Cancer??

Post by jlp8cornell » Thu Mar 03, 2011 8:09 am

I had a GSD with EPI in the 90's. He was very hard to keep weight on. Once he was diagnosed, I put him on Science Diet ID and Viokase. He did well on that until he was 13 and he was diagnosed at 2. Viokase is darn expensive. I cannot remember who was telling me recently, but they have a GSD with EPI as well and they buy a similar product from a Canadian source. It is a fraction of the cost of Viokase.

I would take the trip to your nearby vet school and have the dog properly diagnosed. If it is a case of EPI, as long as you follow recommended feedings, you should be able to put weight back on her.

User avatar
RoostersMom
GDF Junkie
Posts: 1755
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2011 2:42 pm
Location: North Central Missouri

Re: Skinny Pointer Questions.... Pancreatic Cancer??

Post by RoostersMom » Thu Mar 03, 2011 8:26 am

Thanks folks.

I learned a few things from you guys today! I sure didn't know the glucose could be low because of a time-lag in processing. Next step is the vet school, where I will do the tick-borne tests on top of everthing else. Dog's background is relatively unknown, though I do have her vet records and did call them yesterday - no abnormalities - she had ringworm as a pup and had a visit to the vet for stitches at one point, spayed relatively early (6-7 months) but shots, wormer and frontline applied on a schedule. She was flea infested when I fostered her from the shelter and had tapes at that point. She was a "farm dog" but they had to give her up because she kept "running away." I tell you, what is a person to do with all the dummies out there?

I appreciate you guys taking the time to give me some possible scenarios.

Elsa

User avatar
dog dr
Rank: 5X Champion
Posts: 1295
Joined: Sun Jun 11, 2006 12:02 pm
Location: Pike County, IL

Re: Skinny Pointer Questions.... Pancreatic Cancer??

Post by dog dr » Thu Mar 03, 2011 8:46 am

your vet should be able to draw blood and send it off for the tick born illnesses testing, at a much lower cost than taking her to the vet school. might want to rule that out first before the expense at the school.

in my experience, the dogs that have a pancreas issue dont have normal stools. but there are always exceptions to the rule.

how is the dog doing otherwise?? happy and healthy, normal energy?? can you post a picture of her?

User avatar
RoostersMom
GDF Junkie
Posts: 1755
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2011 2:42 pm
Location: North Central Missouri

Re: Skinny Pointer Questions.... Pancreatic Cancer??

Post by RoostersMom » Fri Mar 04, 2011 2:16 pm

Image

Here is the dog (finishing up an empty peanut butter container - which is a no-no from now on if I'm keeping the fat low). Not a great picture, but you can see some of the weight issues especially to the back of the dog. I'll run the tick-borne tests locally and then head to the vet school for follow-up.

User avatar
mcbosco
GDF Junkie
Posts: 3577
Joined: Wed Jun 10, 2009 6:22 pm
Location: Monmouth County NJ

Re: Skinny Pointer Questions.... Pancreatic Cancer??

Post by mcbosco » Fri Mar 04, 2011 2:24 pm

LOL bad dog!!!!! :lol:

User avatar
birddog1968
GDF Junkie
Posts: 3043
Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:40 pm
Location: Wherever I may roam

Re: Skinny Pointer Questions.... Pancreatic Cancer??

Post by birddog1968 » Fri Mar 04, 2011 2:40 pm

Hard to tell from the picture, his front end looks pretty good, back end looks a little thin or he has lack of muscle mass. Got any better pictures of him?

For comparison, hows your look comparatively?

Here's a picture of one of mine after 6 weeks in the dakotas and another 5 months guiding, this is before i put him on the feed he is on now, and he had
what I believe was shipping stress prior to this.
http://marshtown.net/photo_gallery/phot ... 709006.jpg

Some dogs like mine above are just hard keepers, they can quickly burn off any gains you make with their weight. It took me awhile to find a feed he does well on. They can also loose alot of muscle if not exercised judiciously.

I just went thru some trouble with him a couple months ago, he was getting thin again and was even crying out in pain when he would run and make a sharp turn. It seemed to be back pain....took him in , had his hips and back xrayed. Talked with the vet about the options, she could send his blood off for a full tick panel (160'ish) or because he had been treated for lyme induced pain before , a 10 dollar bottle of Doxy. I chose the doxy route first and since then he has been right as rain, put his weight back on and runs and turns without pain.

Maybe its just that picture but i don't see alot to make me think he looks overly thin.
Last edited by birddog1968 on Fri Mar 04, 2011 3:00 pm, edited 4 times in total.
The second kick from a mule is of very little educational value - from Wing and Shot.

Hunters Pale Rider

Hunters Branch Jalapeno

User avatar
Vonzeppelinkennels
GDF Junkie
Posts: 2079
Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2010 9:14 pm
Location: Amelia,Ohio

Re: Skinny Pointer Questions.... Pancreatic Cancer??

Post by Vonzeppelinkennels » Fri Mar 04, 2011 2:43 pm

I was thinkin the same thing from that pic.Just looks like a typical pointer in that position.

User avatar
dog dr
Rank: 5X Champion
Posts: 1295
Joined: Sun Jun 11, 2006 12:02 pm
Location: Pike County, IL

Re: Skinny Pointer Questions.... Pancreatic Cancer??

Post by dog dr » Fri Mar 04, 2011 4:52 pm

RoostersMom wrote:Image

Here is the dog (finishing up an empty peanut butter container - which is a no-no from now on if I'm keeping the fat low). Not a great picture, but you can see some of the weight issues especially to the back of the dog. I'll run the tick-borne tests locally and then head to the vet school for follow-up.

i would say let her have all the peanut butter she wants, as long as she isnt allergic to it. those are good extra calories.

User avatar
Munster
Rank: 5X Champion
Posts: 972
Joined: Thu Jul 02, 2009 6:16 pm
Location: La Porte City, IA

Re: Skinny Pointer Questions.... Pancreatic Cancer??

Post by Munster » Wed May 04, 2011 10:26 pm

What did you find out about the dog?

My experience EPI is the stool is often loose and has a grainy or oat smell to it. Is this a genetic issue with pointers?
http://www.huntwithamunster.com

Dealer for Dogtra, Ruff Tuff and Mud River Need a product, just ask.

User avatar
RoostersMom
GDF Junkie
Posts: 1755
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2011 2:42 pm
Location: North Central Missouri

Re: Skinny Pointer Questions.... Pancreatic Cancer??

Post by RoostersMom » Sat May 07, 2011 9:38 pm

After 3 vet visits and $500, the consensus is that she's skinny. Nobody knows why. Liver, kidney and thyroid levels normal. She did have crystals in her urine, but I don't think that has anything to do with being skinny.

User avatar
VizslaGirl
Rank: Junior Hunter
Posts: 53
Joined: Fri Dec 17, 2010 4:23 pm
Location: Atlanta, GA

Re: Skinny Pointer Questions.... Pancreatic Cancer??

Post by VizslaGirl » Mon May 09, 2011 5:17 pm

Did your vet run a mal-digestion profile? This case sounds like it could be EPI or some other digestive disorder.
CH Barben's Miss American Pie - "Mimi"
Barben's Chianti CD, RA, MH - "Cali "
Barben's Rob Roy SH - "Robby"
Barben's Summer Fling MH - "Summer"
Barben's Dizzy Miss Lizzy - "Lizzy"

BlueMoon Vizslas - http://www.bluemoonvizslas.com

User avatar
k2k
Rank: Senior Hunter
Posts: 159
Joined: Tue Apr 22, 2008 12:58 pm
Location: Washington - East of the mountains

Re: Skinny Pointer Questions.... Pancreatic Cancer??

Post by k2k » Tue May 10, 2011 8:02 pm

Some dogs (and people) are just skinny. I had a wirehair who, if she hadn't been coated the way she was, would have looked just like your pointer. She was just very atheletic and thin. Every time I took her to the vet for her routine visits, he was pleased with her condition (he had working BC's).

Kes always seemed too skinny to me and I tried to put weight on her, to no avail, during the 11 years she was with me. I finally came to the conclusion that I was wasting my time, she was always going to be a thin dog. It may be that is just how your dog is as well. I hope that's all it is.

Karen

carolchill
Rank: Just A Pup
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue May 17, 2011 9:59 pm

Re: Skinny Pointer Questions.... Pancreatic Cancer??

Post by carolchill » Wed May 18, 2011 6:59 pm

I don't think you really have anything to worry about unless the dog is not eating well or showing other signs of illness. Our pointer is extremely thin, and we're trying trying trying to get him to gain weight. In fact, this is the story of his life. And when I say thin, I mean, his ribs and hips show. He is bony. The vet wants to keep running tests and see if there is anything we can do to help him, but I'm beginning to wonder if maybe he is just this way. Not only that, but I come to find out from the breeder that our dog's sire was thin like this his whole life. He was a happy healthy dog, lived 15 years and hunted well and never did put on weight. I think this might just be a common problem with the breed.

Post Reply