How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dr. Ellie Your Own Question
Dr. Ellie
Dr. Ellie, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 330
Experience:  emergency and critical care resident
95200773
Type Your Dog Veterinary Question Here...
Dr. Ellie is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

We moved here 12 weeks ago. I have been very sick in the

Customer Question

We moved here 12 weeks ago. I have been very sick in the hospital and she can sense this. She eats well . Her labs prior to Lea Bing Charleston,sc twice indicated she was dehydrated with a high Hct and Hgb. They were checked twice in two months. I have not gotten her to a vet yet. However, I am with her 24/7 and never see her inking water. We have tried everything. All sorts of bottled water trying to set her food and water exactly like it was in Charleston where we came from. I am I the medical field and understand how important this is. Could you help me figure out what she needs or what is wrong. All her other vital geriatric labs ares normal.
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Drhollowayvet replied 9 months ago.

Hello this is Dr. Holloway but you can call me Dr. H for short. I understand your concern that your pet is not taking in enough water. This can potentially lead to dehydration and urinary problems. So to get around this I would encourage you to have your pets water tested or make sure to use filtered/distilled water.

You can also add water to the food to help water intake. There are no specific disease processes that would cause this; however, it can cause dehydration and most definitely lead to elevated Hct and Hgb. However like I said they are nonspecific to any particular disease process. - Dr. H

Expert:  Drhollowayvet replied 9 months ago.

Hi Mary, I see that you had a chance to review my response but I have not heard a response from you as of late. I wanted to check in to see how things are going with Saddie?

I also wanted to make sure that I answered your question for you and to make sure you don't have anymore questions or concerns for me. Just drop me a line to let me know. Thanks!- Dr. H

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Expert:  Dr. Ellie replied 4 months ago.

Hi there, I see that you requested a new answer and after reading about your dog's situation I have some thoughts I'd like to share if I may. While it is true that a high HCT and HGB can indicate dehydration, another thing that can causes these to be increased is a condition called polycythemia (many cells). It also helps to know the degree of the increase of these numbers because as with most things in medicine, the art is in the interpretation of the lab results.

When the blood work was done was your dog clinically dehydrated and did she have a concurrent condition that would be expected to result in clinical dehydration? Was she having any clinical signs or was this routine blood work?

Was a urinalysis performed? If so do you have the results (specific gravity of the urine can tell us if she is conserving water or not and help determine her hydration status when taken into account with other factors).

Was a chemistry panel performed with this blood work? If so were there any abnormalities? Dehydration is often accompanied by an increase in the BUN as well as an increase in the total proteins.

Was her physical exam unremarkable? Does she have a heart murmur or any other pre-existing condition?

In the absence of physical exam findings consistent with dehydration, a reason that she would be dehydrated (excess losses above ad beyond that which she can make up for such as vomiting, diarrhea or heat exhaustion) or other lab values that support dehydration or evidence of excess losses it is hard to make a case for dehydration as a cause of the increase HCT and HGB.

Assuming that she has a normal thirst response, if she were dehydrated she would want to drink water and lots of it. Since she is not wanting to drink a lot, the 2 possibilities remain that she either lacks a thirst response (which is la very uncommon situation) or she is not dehydrated and the increased HGB or HCT is caused by something other than dehydration. Have you considered consulting with a veterinary specialist?