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Hi this is Dr. Dani, I'm a small animal veterinarian and I'm happy to help with your lab. What is your pet's name? Is he/she currently taking any medications? What were your pet's symptoms? Was a sample of the fluid obtained and submitted for analysis? Please give me any additional information you have and I'll be happy to offer some suggestions.
Ok thanks for the additional information. Was there fluid in the chest area or just the abdomen? Usually when there is fluid it is either from heart disease (sounds like your vet does not feel there is a problem with the heart?); low protein in the blood (this would show up on bloodwork and I assume bloodwork was run?); and unfortunately tumors or cancer. If nothing abnormal was seen on xrays, then I strongly recommend an ultrasound of the abdomen as a next step. Has your vet suggested this or any other follow up tests? I also recommend submitted the fluid for analysis - even if it looks clear, we can sometimes get useful information from the fluid itself (although it sounds like the fluid has resolved which is good). Please let me know your thoughts on this info so far and any other info you have, and we'll go from there.
Exploratory surgery is certainly a very reasonable next step. Surgery is helpful because it will allow your vet to look at the entire abdomen, as well as take biopsies of the tissues to try and get a diagnosis. Sometimes ultrasound is done prior to surgery, but this is not always available. This is great news that so many tests are normal so far. I'm sorry you and Buddy are going through this.
Ok yes that is sometimes an unfortunate reality. Not all vets have ultrasound and referral can be be expensive. Your vet sounds very thorough. They have done the noninvasive tests so far, and if they are suggesting exploratory surgery and it is financially doable, then I think it will give you a good chance of getting an answer. Some things may be found that can be treatable such as intestinal disease, or a mass that can be removed surgically. Other things may not be as readily treatable such as an aggressive cancer. Either way, surgery may get us an answer. Are you thinking of going that route?
You're welcome. I hope you are able to get an answer. It sounds like you love him so much! I really think your vet is leading you in a good direction. Sometimes exploratory surgery does not give us any answer but at this point it seems like a very appropriate next step. I hope all goes well for your Buddy. In the meantime, try and get him to eat high quality protein to prevent further weight loss - boiled chicken or lean ground beef, prescription a/d diet is also a good choice.
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