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Old 11-27-2012, 03:35 AM   #1 (permalink)
Dog's Name: Violet
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 1
Unhappy Mystery Maltese Illness?

My puppy Violet is 11 months old and she has been in heat for almost a month now. I have been reading a lot of the forums on here today.

During Thanksgiving I took her to my family's house where she played with my mom's yorkie poo and my brother's shitzu. After two full days of all-day play she came over and pawed at me to pick her up. While she was sitting in my lap she started to do something really weird, her head started to bobble. It would last about 10-20 seconds and then stop and it happened a few times sporadically over about 15 minutes. After that she started to fall asleep in my arms. The head bobbling scared me and I thought it may be a seizure however the rest of her body did not shake.
My mom said that she looked a little thin and I have noticed that she is a little thinner than usual. My mom gave her some turkey which she scarfed down.
I feed her Blue Buffalo regularly and try not to feed her human food, so as to prevent her from stealing food off the table or begging.

I took her to the vet when I got home. He said that she is 4.7 lbs and very underweight. I can feel her ribs but she acts like a happy puppy. I have noticed her slow down slightly though. I promise I don't starve her, I leave food out for her all day long but it looks like she is eating less now that I am paying more attention...... Also, she drinks a lot of water, at least 2-3 small stainless steel bowls a day. I feel awful. I don't want her to be sick.

I was sick for almost 4 weeks with pneaumonia and she would not leave my side. She wanted to be on the bed with me constantly. I had to take her in the kitchen and sit her in front of her bowl because I was afraid she wasn't eating enough. I also tried to supplement her eating with extra treats like blue buffalo and the purina oral care and other "healthy" organic treats.
During this time she also started to vomit a little, it was yellow-green. My friend said it might be because she is not eating enough.

Also, the vet said that she has two baby teeth that have not descended and that in about a month or so when she should be ready to spay he can get them out. They are a little rotten he said. He showed me and they are not black but yellow. I brush her teeth at least once a week.

Also, I read through the forums and threads and saw the comments about Rosemary poisoning. She has been eating these cherry flavored bones that she adores and they did have rosemary in them. The pet store had run out of the little ones and only had the big ones. I unknowingly gave her one of the bigs ones and she was thrilled. Now I am wondering if this could have contributed.

Help! I feel like an awful puppy parent and I don't want anything bad to happen to her. What do I do? Does it sound like something serious? Is this fixable?
I do not want her to continue to lose weight or get sick.
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Old 11-27-2012, 07:15 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Hello there how are you?

i was just wondering what did your vet say about the head wobbling???? have they done bloodwork on her tyo check her liver ??
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Old 11-27-2012, 07:42 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Name: Deborah
Dog's Name: Laurel (maltese), Dewey, Violet and Hardy and Dewey
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Central Ohio
Posts: 15,839

There is definitely something wrong, the low weight, head bobbing, and drinking a lot of water. Your vet should be running some blood tests on your fluff and checking for liver function.
Deborah and my Fluffs, Laurel, Violet , Hardy and Dewey!

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Old 11-27-2012, 08:07 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Name: Marisa
Dog's Name: Obi (Bellarata's You Better Believe It) & Owen (Aria Maltese)
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Location: Southern California
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Hi~ I'm sorry to hear about Violet-- as Debbie mentioned, Violet's symptoms do NOT sound normal at all. In fact, it sounds quite serious. If she were my pup, I'd go to the vet and have blood work including electrolytes/metabolic panel, liver functions tests, as well as a bile acid test (screening test for liver shunts). They may choose to run any toxin screens as available. Please get her to the vet today- if it is toxin related, time is of the essence! Head bobbing can be neurologic in nature as well so a vet should evaluate her closely.

Last edited by hoaloha; 11-27-2012 at 08:11 AM.
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Old 11-27-2012, 09:16 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Dog's Name: Lady Bella (and Katie & Lucky at The Bridge)
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Location: Virginia
Posts: 5,783

I am so sorry that your little one is not feeling well. I agree with the others, immediate Vet attention is necessary. Complete labs and neuro. eval. were my thoughts also. Please keep us posted. Lifting up a prayer.

"A weed is just a plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered."
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Old 11-27-2012, 09:27 AM   #6 (permalink)
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NO sure what your little one's problems are but as the rest have advised, more tests should be taken to get to the bottom of what is wrong with her. You mentioned that she is underweight at 4.7 pounds and don't quite understand why that is considered underweight??? There are a good number of little Malts here on the Forum that weigh less or around the same. Hope that your Violet starts to feel better and please keep us posted.
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Old 11-27-2012, 09:49 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Name: Marj
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As the others have said, she needs more testing. I would ask for a referral to an internal medicine specialist.

She definitely needs a bile acids test. Maltese are genetically prone to liver shunts and she has some of the symptoms.

What are the clinical signs of a liver shunt?
Clinical signs are often seen at a young age and include small stature, poor muscle development, behavioral abnormalities (circling, disorientation, unresponsiveness, staring into space, head pressing), seizures, and quiet demeanor. Other less common signs include drinking or urinating too much, apparent blindness, diarrhea, and vomiting. In some animals the signs are associated with eating protein.

Portosystemic Shunts FAQ

Dr. Center's Bile Acid Test Procedure
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Old 11-27-2012, 10:12 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Name: Barbie
Dog's Name: Zoe (Kyra my Angel in Heaven)
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: New York
Posts: 5,480

So sorry about Violet not feeling well. I agree that she needs to be taken to a vet right away and have the proper tests done for liver shunt and bloodwork to try and determine what is wrong. Please keep us posted!!
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Old 11-27-2012, 11:51 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Name: sandi
Dog's Name: Kitzel & Liesl
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Be sure & have glucose checked as well---all that playing could result in low blood sugar!
Qui me amat, amet et canem meum. (Who loves me will love my dog also.), - St. Bernard
"Life without a maltese is like summer without ice-cream." - St. Edelweiss

"Wag more Bark less"
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Old 11-27-2012, 01:09 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I forgot to ask you which Blue Buffalo you fed Violet. If it is one of their grain free formulas, it is very high in protein. Dogs with liver disease can't process that much protein so toxins can build up causing seizures and other neurological symptoms. The head bobbing you saw Violet do might have been a partial or focal seizure. With that type of seizure only one part of the brain is involved so just one part of the body is affected. Dogs do not lose consciousness with partial seizures.

I hope you are able to get Violet to a specialist soon. Do you have a vet school in your area?
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