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Doc Sara
Doc Sara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 952
Experience:  I am a dog and cat veterinarian with a lifetime of experience in our family veterinary hospital.
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I have been taking my cocker to the vet every two weeks

Customer Question

I have been taking my cocker to the vet every two weeks since the first of December. He is loosing weight, he had vomiting but that is much better. His appetite is good. His blood work showed some anemia. We are going back tomorrow he has been leaving red blood spots on the sheets this week. It is coming from his anus. He had a swollen anal sac two weeks ago he cleaned out. His stool is normal no blood in stool. I am worried sick he has cancer
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Doc Sara replied 10 months ago.

Hi there, I'm Dr. Sara. I'm a licensed veterinarian who works exclusively with dogs and cats. I'm really sorry to hear that Bailey has been so ill. I will do my best to help.

It's definitely reasonable to be concerned about cancer based on the description you've given me. When I see older dogs who are ill and losing weight but their blood work is fairly unremarkable, I do become worried that the problem could be cancer somewhere inside them. Anemia can sometimes be a primary problem (like excess red blood cell destruction or lack of production), however it can also commonly be what we call an anemia of chronic disease, which is where the bone marrow just produces less red blood cells in response to some other disease process in the body. In that case, the anemia is just one of potentially many vague symptoms that really don't help us diagnose the issue. Based on the list of diagnostics you've given, a next step might be to have an abdominal ultrasound performed - frequently problems that aren't visible on X-rays can be quite apparent on an ultrasound. If they haven't X-rayed his chest yet, that would be another step in looking for the problem.

The blood spots that you're seeing could definitely indicate that the anal gland issue either never resolved fully or has returned. While it may be related to the other vague signs you're seeing, it also could be its own separate problem. Anal gland infections are quite common in dogs. When your vet expresses the anal glands, he would be able to feel if there was a mass in the actual anal gland or anywhere accessible on a rectal examination, so if he's had his anal gland expressed by the vet recently, then it's likely that they didn't feel anything too concerning at that time or they would have brought it up to you.

Please let me know what other questions I can handle for you - we can chat until we've discussed all of your concerns.

~Dr. Sara

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