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Dr. Bob
Dr. Bob, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 7938
Experience:  35 years of veterinary practice in small animal medicine
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My mom's dog recently had a severe bacterial infection -

Customer Question

My mom's dog recently had a severe bacterial infection - bovine strep throat. He's 3 years old. The diagnosis was missed for 2 weeks, then he was on augmentin for 2 weeks - now he's in the hospital getting iv antibiotics and fluids. His wbcs are only 60 after 2 days of treatment. They want to start him on steroids. They did an US to look for lymphoma, negative - but they are convinced there must be a cancer somewhere. They have convinced my parents that there isn't much chance of survival. I think 3 days is too short to tell.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
His fever broke, he's eating a little bit now. LFTs and Kidney function tests are normal. Isn't it too soon to give up on a recovery?
Expert:  Dr. Bob replied 1 year ago.

Hello, I'm Dr. Bob. I'm sorry to read of Milo's condition, and I agree with you that this is far too early to give up on him, especially in light of the recent improvement. Cancer in a dog 3 years of age is extremely rare and, unless I actually saw the laboratory report identifying bovine strep as the cause of the infection, I would be highly skeptical of that diagnosis. (Google "bovine strep in dogs)

I would encourage your mother to immediately seek a second opinion, smething is not right about this situation as you've described it. If I can be of any further assistance, please let me know.

Kind regards, *****

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. Today was a better day for Milo. He ate something for my mom. She took him a treat. He wagged his tail. And then he was so tired, he had to lie down. They did another blood test today. His white count and platelets are low - but they see little spots on the smear so they are hopeful it is new cells. The vet and I have convinced them to wait until Monday to make any further decisions. This way, they can wean him off iv fluids and see how he does on pills. I think that's a good plan. Any other thoughts? I'd like them to test him for Ehrlichiosis but they seem resistant. He has had pretty much all the symptoms except possible joint pain and swelling.
Expert:  Dr. Bob replied 1 year ago.

Hello again! Yes, I definitely agree that Milo needs more time to allow his body to try to fight off whatever is causing his symptoms. A test for Ehrlichiosis is a very good idea. If this would be Ehrlichiosis, a simple titer test would prove it one way or the other. You can read a number of excellent articles about Ehrlichia online by googling "Ehrlichiosis in dogs". Joint pain and swelling may only manifest later in the course of the disease, if at all.

The antibiotics most effective against Ehrlichia are tetracyclines and doxycycline. Unless one of these are used, Milo will not improve, and his condition will continue to deteriorate in the long term. Kidney failure is a very real possiblitily unless the disease is properely diagnosed and treated. Perhaps after studying up on Ehrlichiosis you'll be able to persuade your mother and father to ask for the test to be performed. It could very well mean the difference between life and death for Milo. Please let me know if you should have any further questions, I'll be more than happy to answer them for you. Best regards, *****