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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 23827
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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My dog is old and has a known liver problem; he has begun to

Customer Question

my dog is old and has a known liver problem; he has begun to urinate large amounts often; he also is drinking large amounts of water and seems to have lost his appetite. What is happening to him? Is he in pain?
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 4 months ago.

I'm sorry to hear of this with Eddie. Drinking more than usual (polydipsia) and urinating a higher volume of urine (polyuria) are danger signs for quite a few disorders. These include both hepatic and renal failure, urinary tract infection involving the kidneys, diabetes mellitus and Cushing's disease (both will also cause increased hunger (polyphagia), hypercalcemia (increased serum calcium level), electrolyte (sodium, potassium, chloride) imbalances, and the rarer Addison's disease, diabetes insipidus and brain tumor involving the hypothalamus. Because Eddie's appetite has also waned, his known liver problem is likely to have worsened and/or his kidneys are now in failure. Either liver or kidney failure can cause his swollen tummy which is likely to be effusive - full of fluid. This occurs because a failing liver can't produce enough albumin - a small protein needed to keep fluid in vessels and out of spaces like his abdominal cavity; or he's losing albumin through his urine or bowels.

Graves disease (hyperthyroidism) is a rare disease in dogs and causes a ravenous appetite yet profound weight loss. Perhaps the vet said that Eddie had a grave (life-threatening) disease, instead? He may be painful but I believe his overall feeling is one of malaise - "feeling like a dishtowel". Can you upload a copy of Eddie's test results to our conversation? I understand that you might not have a copy at home but Eddie's vet can give you one which you can scan into your computer and then give me the file link or you can photograph the pages and upload them by using the paperclip icon (if you can see that icon) or by using an external app such as

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Thank you. We can't spend a lot of money but we want to be sure eddie,'s not in any pain.I will get fil ed s tomorrow.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 4 months ago.

You're welcome. I meant to say "feeling like a dishrag" but you knew what I meant. I'lll watch for your next post. I can't set a follow-up in this venue so please return to our conversation - even after rating - with an update at your convenience. You can bookmark this page for ease of return.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 4 months ago.

I'm just following up on our conversation about Eddie. How is everything going?

Dr. Michael Salkin

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