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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just a quick question for other breeders out there.

Has anyone experienced what I did on Monday? I had a healthy, vibrant 47 day old male puppy on Saturday, and a dead puppy on Monday.

He showed no signs of illness except becoming listless and wouldn't eat or drink on Sunday. I separated him from the litter to give him some LTC. Got him to take fluids from a syringe. Temp was normal, no other symptoms. No nasty poops, no vomit, normal urination.

Monday AM temp was down and mouth and tongue very light in colour - shocky? He had vomited up some food, but no blood or anything unusual in it. Took him to vet. Vet after careful examination suspected telecoping large intestine. Barium administered, xrays followed. No sign of that.
Further palpation and all of a sudden, blackish, bloody discharge from rectum. Nasty!!!

All kinds of tests performed on discharge, no parasites, no bacteria, nothing. Blood extracted. doesn't look normal, very watery. Pup is in trouble, bleeding out. Administered fluids, morphine and prepared for transfusion. Long story short, pup expires before we can get extra blood into his frail little body.

Autopsy shows absolutely nothing unusual except his large intestine is full of blood and clots. Samples of tissue from all areas taken for further analysis, but no apparent cause for internal bleeding into intestinal track.

Needless to say, this was a very harrowing experience for all involved. My vet and his staff were as devastated, as I was.

Has anyone else experienced anything similar to this? What was the end diagnosis? I will keep you posted to let you know if we find out anything. I could just kick myself for not getting him to the vet on Sunday, we might have been able to save him if medical attention was received earlier. He just didn't seem sick enough to go Sunday evening. Guess I was wrong, and he paid the price!

Carol
 

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I am no vet, and I have never had any experience with that in a puppy, but sadly I have seen similar symptoms in my mother before she passed away. She had a bad liver and that made her very bleeding proned. She had an ulcer and esophogeal varicies(oversized veins in the esophagus). They couldn't stop the bleeding so she kept bleeding into her digestive tract. I say all that painful stuff to say this, he could have had a clotting problem that caused the bleeding, but you would think something like the liver would take longer than that to mess up. I think I have heard that hook worms will sometimes not show up in the poop, but can cause intestinal bleeding. I am sorry about your puppy.

tt
 

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Carol, we are so sorry about the loss. It is never easy to accept when a pup that appears to be healthy and all of a sudden begins to fade and then dies.

Did your Vet consider the possibility of rat poison? The main ingredient in most rat poisons is warfrin (sp?) and this causes internal bleeding and the rat dies. As you know, pups will eat anything and usually when we are not looking. Cleo
 

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Coccidia

Sounds like coccidia, at least the symptoms.

Symptoms:

Bloody diarrehea, abdominal pain, listlesness, dehydration and weight loss, Puppies are most at risk.

This is associated with whipworms and is contractable in young dogs.

Attacks the intestinal track - then goes to the liver - then the brain cells.

Hope some of this helps.

Sorry for the sudden loss.

Regards

TN Duck hunter
 

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I agree, sounds like coccidia. They become anemic but you don't necessarily see diarrhea. They can eat and be normal and go down 4 hours later. However, they should have seen it on autopsy of the intestinal tract but it sure sounds like it. I had it happen to me. I attribute it to quick spring thaw of snow when cysts come alive and are actively multiplying and bitches running through the run-off. My backyard is now pea gravel. You are lucky it was only one.

"Coccidia or Coccidiosis like you never knew before.

Isospora Coccidia are parasites (single celled organisms) that infect the intestines of dogs. They are microscopic parasites detectable on routine fecal tests in the same way that worms are but coccidia are not worms and they are not visible to the naked eye. Coccidia infection causes a watery diarrhea which is sometimes bloody and can even be a life-threatening problem to an especially young or small pet. Isospora Coccidia is very simple to catch. Coccidia spores an item called oocysts in the host's intestines. Oocysts are passed in stool. In the outside world, the oocysts begin to mature or “sporulate.” After they have adequately matured, they become infective to any host (dog) that accidentally swallows them in some form. To be more precise, coccidia come from fecal-contaminated ground. They are swallowed when a pet grooms/licks the dirt off itself, eats off the ground, etc. In some cases, sporulated oocysts are swallowed by mice, birds, etc and the host is infected when it eats the mouse, bird, etc. Coccidia infection is especially common in young puppies housed in groups (in whelping boxes, kennels, dog yards, etc.) since this parasite destores animals once the quanitity hits large numbers. Though, older animals can contact this disease with out signs and thus pass it on to other young dogs including their own off sping. This is a common parasite and is not necessarily a sign of poor conditions. One contamenated stool left on the ground for a few hours with correct temperatures can easily contamenate the area.

Once the oocyst is swallowed and digested, it breaks open and releases an estimate of eight sporozoites. The parasite is asexual meaning it only requires one to spread and cause a coccidiosis disease. Sporozoites are other Isospora Coccidia parasites (still single celled) that have "reproduced" from the orginal Isospora Coccidia parasite. These sporozoites each finds an intestinal cell and begins to reproduce inside it. Ultimately, the cell is so full of what are called “merozoites” that it bursts releasing the merozoites which seek out their own intestinal cells and the process begins again. It is important to note how thousands of intestinal cells can become infected and destroyed as a result of accidentally swallowing the first single oocyst. With this parasite being able to multiply is such vast and large quanity, it is now understood why a puppy can die in a matter of days. A puppy can die within 4-5 days after the first ingestion. Though, the puppy will not show signs of infection until the last 2-3 days. Of course this estimate various due to age, immune system, and overall nutritional health of the puppy. As the intestinal cells are destroyed in larger and larger numbers, intestinal function is disrupted and a bloody, watery diarrhea results. The fluid loss can be dangerously dehydrating to a very young or small pet. Possible Anemia can form causing the situation to worsen and less likely to resolve. Anemia is the lose of red blood cells and blood content. Anemia can cause weakness, loss of appetite, low immune system, and death from it alone in severe cases. It can cause infection if the puppy starts to win the battle against Coccidia and lives longer than a few days allowing the bacteria to mature in the intestine. A secondary antibiotic is well worth while if the puppy appears to be recovering from the Coccidia. A routine fecal test is a good way to confirm the diagnosis of Coccidia in the host. Whether there are signs of diarrhea or not as youngsters are commonly parasitized by one or more parasites. This sort of test is also a good idea for any patient with diarrhea. Coccidia are microscopic and a test such as this is necessary to rule them in. It should be noted that small numbers of coccidia can be hard to detect so just because a fecal sample tests negative, this does not mean that the pet is not infected. Sometimes several fecal tests are performed, especially in a young pet with a refractory diarrhea; parasites may not be evident until later in the course of the condition."
 

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Carol,

So sorry to hear of the loss of this young pup.

Betsy
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hi everyone, thanks for your input!

The histopathology (sp?) came back on my puppy.
Aside from partially digested blood in his large intestine and colon, and short term shock in his liver, everything was normal.

No sign of disease, infections, parasites, bacteria, viruses, poisoning, adverse reaction to first set of puppy shots or injury. Only the large intestine contained the partially digested blood, and there was no damage to the intestinal walls.

The pathopogist has no idea why the pup died. They recorded cause of death as profound shock, but have no idea why he bled out!
I guess it is a CSI mystery.

I am just so glad that the rest of the litter is vibrant and healthy. I am also very lucky that he hadn't found a home yet. I can't imagine having to call a client and tell them that their puppy had died or what I would have done if a client had taken him home and this happened. Either circumstance would have made this event even more tragic.

Carol
 
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