Dog Health Questions? Ask a Dog Vet for Answers ASAP
Hello. This is Dr. Christian
Has she had any coughing? Did your veterinarian do any blood work? Did your vet mention if she had fluid in her belly on the x-rays?
Yes, she has been coughing....more like a gagging sound. He did blood work a month ago and said it was fine. He said the most recent blood work, 2 days ago, was "not as good". I believe he said she had fluid build up somewhere, but I'm not sure if it is around the heart, the belly or both.
Okay. Thank you for that information.
I can understand why liver cancer is a concern in this case. Certainly that is a possibility in this case.
In these situations diagnosing over the internet is difficult at best but I would also be concerned about heart disease for Pepper.
Heart disease will cause a cough, difficult breathing and fluid buildup in the belly like you are seeing.
In addition, the fluid buildup from the heart can make the liver look bigger on x-ray
Heart disease is not curable but can certainly be improved with medications and a good quality of life can be achieved.
I'd recommend talking to your veterinarian about possible referral to a specialist for an ultrasound. It is a great test to assess the condition of her heart. It is also excellent at diagnosing problems in her abdomen such as cancer in the liver or whether this is just fluid buildup from a heart problem.
Heart enlargement on x-rays is also a common symptom of advanced heart disease.
My vet stated that because both the heart and the liver are enlarged, it's difficult to treat both simultaneously.
If the liver is enlarged because of congestive heart failure then treating the heart failure should improve the liver.
O.K...............thank you doctor!
While x-rays are great at assessing the size of a liver, they are very poor at determining why the liver is enlarged. If there is a very large liver mass then they could be helpful but ultrasound is definitely your best option.
You are welcome. I hope everything works out well for you and Pepper