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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 24387
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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My Maltese is 8 years old. Her stomach is very bloated. The

Customer Question

My Maltese is 8 years old. Her stomach is very bloated. The vet ran blood tests, X-ray and ultrasound of stomach but everything was fine except her blood pressure was high. They put her on a weight mgmt diet and blood pressure medicine. After six weeks she is still bloated and she weighs more. At night time she snorts and her breathing is very loud.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 11 months ago.

I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. I'm concerned that Coco was found to be hypertensive yet her testing to date hasn't determined why hypertension exists. In dogs, the diseases most commonly associated with systemic hypertension are chronic kidney disease (especially proteinuric - loss of protein through the urine - kidney disease), hyperadrenocorticism (Cushing's disease - an important consideration when "bloating" and weight gain are seen), diabetes mellitus, and pheochromocytoma (a rare adrenal gland tumor).

Is Coco polyphagic (increased hunger)? Is she polydipsic (increased thirst)? Is she polyuric (increased volume of urine)? Can you upload a copy of her test results to our conversation? I understand that you might not have a copy of the results at home but her vet should be able to give you one which you could scan into your computer and give me the link or you can photograph the page(s) and upload the images by using the paperclip icon in the toolbar above your message box (if you can see such an icon) or by using an external app such as dropbox.com.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
She does have increased thirst and urination. The vet thinks that is because of the blood pressure medicine but she has been on a really strict diet and weighs more than when she started the diet. She has gone from 8 lbs to over 12 since Aug. She was also seen by an eye specialist because she has some vision loss but the eye doc said that her physical eye is fine and it could be an autoimmune disease or brain issue. The problem is the treatment for those is steroids which will make her appetite increased. I am concerned and wanted to see if I should get another opinion.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 11 months ago.

Thank you for the additional information. 8 to 12 lbs in 4 months is a 50% increase in weight. Coupled with her polydipsia/polyuria and hypertension, Cushing's disease is an important differential in a Maltese. I very much want to review her test results and it would be prudent to discuss the possibility of Cushing's with Coco's vet. The low-dose dexamethasone suppression blood test is the test of choice for Cushing's disease.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 11 months ago.
Hi Cathy,
I'm just following up on our conversation about Coco. How is everything going?
Dr. Michael Salkin