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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 24468
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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My dog drinks excessive amounts of water, only eats human

Customer Question

My dog drinks excessive amounts of water, only eats human food occasionally, will not eat dog food (unless forced to with a syringe), and has lots way too much weight.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Problems with drinking can be serious. I'm glad you noticed it. The Veterinarian will know what to do. What is the dog's name and age?
Customer: His name is ***** ***** her is a 6 year old American Bull dog miz. mix.
JA: OK. Got it. The Veterinarian is ready to discuss your question in more detail after you submit a fully-refundable {price} deposit. Anything else you want him to know?
Customer: Loki has recently had a blood panel done. Nothing really showed up except a slight bacterial infection in his bladder which he has been treated for.
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Loki has also had some discharge coming from his eyes. It was consistently green, but now is only occasionally so.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 months ago.

You're speaking to Dr. Michael Salkin. Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm currently typing up my reply.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 months ago.

Loki's polydipsia (increased thirst) and profound weight loss suggests a life-threatening disorder that hasn't been identified in the blood panel. Can you upload a copy of her test results to our conversation? I understand that you might not have a copy at home but Loki'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 dropbox.com/

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 insufficiencies, urinary tract infection involving the kidneys, diabetes mellitus and Cushing's disease (both will also cause increased hunger (polyphagia), pyometra (infected uterus if she's unspayed), hypercalcemia (increased serum calcium level), electrolyte (sodium, potassium, chloride) imbalances, and the rarer Addison's disease, diabetes insipidus, and brain tumor involving the hypothalamus. Loki's vet may need to perform more advanced diagnostics unless I can spot something that was missed in Loki's blood and urine tests - something overlooked or a test not performed but which needs to be.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
He tested negative for diabetes, and cancer cells, his kidney function was elevated, but still within normal ranges
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 months ago.

Thank you. I need to see all of his test results, please. Even normal values can be important clues and there may be tests that should have been performed but weren't.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
I will try and get his labs
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 months ago.

I appreciate it. Is Loki neutered?

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
It's just very difficult. I've already spent a fortune on a dog with cancer, one with an embolism, and one that had to have a TTA.
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
he is
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 months ago.

Oh my. You've been through the ringer. These dogs are lucky to have you. Thank you for the additional information. I'll watch for your next post.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
How do I upload the labs
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 months ago.

"...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 dropbox.com/"

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
I just spoke with his vet's office. They are faxing me the records. They mentioned maybe doing an ultrasound.
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
I have uploaded his labs
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Just want to make sure you received the file.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 months ago.

Thank you! There's evidence of a urinary tract infection which when involving the kidneys can cause polydipsia/polyuria (increased thirst/increased volume of urine). That doesn't explain his inappetence and profound weight loss, however. The only abnormal biochemical marker is a mild hyperphosphatemia (elevated phosphorus level) which can arise from quite a few disorders:

renal failure - not evident in his testing

primary hypoparathyroidism - uncommon; hypocalcemia is usually seen as well - his serum calcium is normal; no symptoms of hypoparathyroidism

hypervitaminosis D - easily ruled out

osteolytic bone lesions (bone destroying cancers)

metabolic acidosis - blood is too acid; can be caused by a multitude of metabolic disorders

hemolysis - no mention of significant red blood cell breakdown on the lab report

laboratory error - it would be prudent to repeat a serum phosphorus level test

An ultrasound of his abdomen is a very good idea at this time. Please continue our conversation if you wish.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Is there anything else that you would suggest having done?
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 months ago.

Other than repeating the serum phosphorus level, I would culture his urine to make sure that his urinary tract had been sterilized by the cephalexin. That should have been done two days after the course of antibiotic was completed. An abdominal ultrasound, then, would be predicated upon this further testing. I would be pleased to review any additional test results for you.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Thank you so much. I have an appointment to take him back into his vet's office today. I really am at my wits end. I've tried everything I know to do. I have had him since the day he was born and even had to bottle feed him as his mother was unable to fed him.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 months ago.

You're welcome to share our conversation with his vet. I understand how frustrating this is for you. We're looking for something serious in such a patient. 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.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
I have printed it out and will take it with me today.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 months ago.

Sounds good. I'll watch for your next post.