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Pet Doc
Pet Doc, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 7157
Experience:  Veterinarian - BVSc
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My 9 yr old Shar Pei is drinking a lot of water and seems

Customer Question

My 9 yr old Shar Pei is drinking a lot of water and seems lethargic. She doesn't have a fever and had blood work done a few months ago prior to a teeth cleaning. Her blood work was "perfect" they said but I don't know what kind of panel they ran. I called the vet this morning, (Sat) and have an appt for her at 4:00 on Monday. Her stomach area seems swollen but doesn't hurt her. She is eating normally. Any thoughts?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Pet Doc replied 1 year ago.

Hi there,

Thanks for your question regarding your Shar Pei girl Lizzy. I am currently typing up a response and will have something for you in the next 5 - 10 minutes.

Thank you for your patience.

Kind Regards,

Dr E

Expert:  Pet Doc replied 1 year ago.

Hi there,

Thank you for your patience. These symptoms Lizzy has been having today are definitely quite worrying, and there are quite a number of potential conditions that could cause these symptoms. It is great to hear that her recent check up and blood work (at the time of her dental) were all within normal limits. The combination of lethargy and increased water intake does worry me (with a normal temp). These symptoms could be due to anything from a toxicity, to a kidney issue, an infectious cause, an endocrine problem (such a diabetes or Cushing's disease), or due to bloat/gastroenteritis, to name a few potential causes. Because there are such a range of possible causes for Lizzy's symptoms, you are going to have to continue to keep a close eye on her for now if you can.

In particular, please keep an eye on her mucus membranes, capillary refill time and respiratory rate today as follows (do be careful that your girl doesn't try to bite you):

Mucus membranes - flip her lip and look at the color of her gums. They should maintain a nice salmon pink color. Get her to the emergency Vet if they appear white or very pale pink, or if they are a dark deep red color.

Capillary Refill time - this measures blood perfusion and test this by putting your thumb on her gum to apply pressure. After you release your thumb you will see the gum blanch. Capillary refill time is the amount of time it takes (in seconds) for the gum to return to a healthy pink color from the blanched white color. If 2 seconds or less don't worry - if it is taking significantly more time, again - off to the emergency Vet.

Respiratory Rate - if she seems to be panting or breathing rapidly throughout the day, this is a sign of shock and or pain and a signal for a trip to the emergency Vet.

Definitely follow up with your vet on Monday, however if these symptoms continue today, or if any of the parameters mentioned above aren't right, then you need to play it safe her and have her checked over by your local ER vet. Also continue to keep an eye on that swollen stomach. This could potentially be a sign of bloat, fluid in the abdomen, or even a stomach twist, so if she becomes any more lethargic, or if her abdomen appears any more bloated, definitely get her seen straight away. In the meantime, although she is drinking more water than usual, don't restrict her water at all - keep on encouraging her to drink. If she is eating ok and not vomiting, then there is currently also no need to with hold her food.

Best of luck with Lizzy and hopefully these symptoms settle. As above - if not, you are best following up with your local ER vet either today or tomorrow rather than waiting until Monday in this particular instance. I hope all of the above makes sense? If you have more questions or if I can help in any other way, please do not hesitate to ask! If you would like to accept my answer, please press RATE OUR CONVERSATION (I am not compensated in any other way). Bonuses are always welcome. Thanks! I hope to work with you again soon!

Kind Regards,

Dr E

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