Ask a Dog Vet and Get Answers to Your Dog Health Questions
Hello. Thanks for writing in. My name is***** and I would be happy to help you. I do have a couple more questions, though, to see if I can better assess your situation.
Did your vet run any blood work on him?
Any vomiting or diarrhea?
Does his abdomen seem distended or painful?
Thanks for the information. I am hoping that your vet ran a urinalysis with the blood work as well. There may be some things they can pick up from there, such as a urinary tract infection. I do have a concern that it may be something that he ate or swallowed. Make sure your vet ran a CPL test with the blood work. This more specifically evaluates the pancreas. If after the fluid therapy from your vet, he is still not eating well or drinking; you can talk to them about prescribing an appetite stimulant, such as mirtazapine, but I would seriously consider getting an abdominal x-ray and/ ultrasound done. I would want to make sure there are no foreign bodies he could have swallowed or any potential masses in the abdomen. Please let me know if you have any other questions or concerns. Hope this helps.
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What diet is he eating?
Well, I think there is still some lab work that probably needs to be done before determining the exact cause. You mentioned the x-rays, but that doesn't always rule out a mass in the abdomen. If a mass is large enough and causing the size of the organ to enlarge, it may be seen on an x-ray, but smaller masses within the organ itself, won't be visible on an x-ray. I think the next step would be to pursue an abdominal ultrasound. That way they can see the inner architecture of the organs, which would include evaluating the lining of the intestinal tract, which you cannot do with an x-ray either. You also cannot evaluate the gall bladder or pancreas very well with an x-ray. With normal blood work, I would even consider getting him on something to stimulate appetite. Mirtazapine would be a good choice, but you can also talk to your vet about prednisone. That usually increases appetite, but can also treat for a variety of immune system issues that may not show any abnormalities on blood work either. This can include an immune mediated arthritic condition to something going on in the brain. I would also make sure they did a full thyroid panel on him with the blood work as well. Please let me know if you have other questions or concerns.
An x-ray of the sinus cavity may not be very useful, unless he is very congested or has nasal discharge. Measuring sense of smell is just about impossible with dogs. At least there is a test for measuring hearing in dogs (although it is not a widely available test). There isn't anything like that for sense of smell, but it also tends to be the sense that they never loose. If he had lost his sense of smell, though, it would affect his eating more than drinking. They don't really rely on smell for drinking. What I find odd is the fact that he was previously drinking excessively before this started. If he is eating a food with more moisture in it, whether it is a canned food or you are adding it yourself, they will drink less water because they get more moisture with the food, but he should still be drinking. My concern is that there is something that is affecting his thirst centers in the brain. Usually that ends up being a tumor, but you won't be able to diagnose it without an MRI or head CT. It would probably be a good idea to have your vet check his hydration status and see how well he is concentrating his urine. If he is truly not drinking all this time, he should be a lot more sick than he seems like. Is it possible that he has been drinking from somewhere else, whether it be a potted plant or a puddle in the backyard? Is water out for him 24 hours a day? If so, could he be drinking more at night? You should notice that the water level was lower in the morning but just checking. Hope this helps.
Well, he may be getting enough water with his food, but I think that getting his hydration checked by your vet would be very important. If he is well hydrated clinically, then he probably is getting enough with his diet. Hope this helps.
Just a sudden change in personality and energy level? All the time. The problem is finding the underlying cause because it is not a specific sign for any certain disease process. You can see it with many, many ailments. That is why your vet may need to run multiple tests to find the answer. You won't always find it with routine blood work, fecal sample and an x-ray. That is just a start. Let me know if any further questions arise.