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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 24350
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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15 year old dog, has swollen legs and she can't stand on her

Customer Question

15 year old dog, has swollen legs and she can't stand on her back leg. Have to carry her out to yard to go to bathroom, have to hold her up so she can go.She has had a problem with her liver for a couple of years now but seemed to be doing ok but now with this problem. Not eating very much either.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.
Aloha! You're speaking to Dr. Michael Salkin
I'm sorry to hear of this Abby. When a liver fails further, it can't produce enough albumin - a small protein necessary for keeping fluids inside vessels and out of "third spaces" such as the subcutaneous tissues and the abdominal cavity. When the subcutaneous tissues of the legs fill up, we call this dependent edema. You might also see fluid collect under her abdomen.
Her crying and barking all night suggests hepatoencephalopathy - a failing liver will intoxicate the brain because it allows ammonia to build up in the bloodstream and ammonia is toxic to the central nervous system. As a liver continues to fail, anorexia, seizures, and obtundation/coma may develop.
Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

I'm just following up on our conversation about Abby. How is everything going?

Dr. Michael Salkin