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Ask Dr. Laura Devlin, DVM, DABVP Your Own...
Dr. Laura Devlin, DVM, DABVP
Dr. Laura Devlin, DVM, DABVP, Small Animal Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 1801
Experience:  DABVP, Specialist in Canine and Feline Medicine, Veterinarian since 2000
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Our irish terrier is throwing up bile and has been sick for ...

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Our irish terrier is throwing up bile and has been sick for about a day and a half . she has been treated for skin allergies with cortisone for 2 weeks she has been urinating and has passed a stool we have called our vet who said to not to feed her and give her only small amounts of water We will go to the vet in the morning . Any suggestions, please help

Beth Ann:

Cortisone can cause GI upset like you are seeing..along with ulcers which can also be the cause of your dog vomiting up bile. It can also effect the kidneys if used long term. I am guessing that your vet is considering that your dog may have developed an ulcer or is having gastric upset causing this, which is why he told you to not feed her and just keep her hydrated. You can also use plain pedialyte mixed in with the water to aid in hydration. I would certainly suggest that you make sure you do see the vet in the morning so this can be treated. Some vets will treat with Pepcid and a bland diet, but yours may or may not. He knows your dog's history and will treat accordingly. :) Discuss with him maybe using an antihisthamine like benadryl if you have not already tried it. And, if this is a food allergy, a more holistic diet may be the key. :) Duck and oatmeal or venison based foods usually work pretty well. Good luck and do let me know how you make out with her and hope she feels better soon. :)

Gina, Breeder and Health Care Specialist
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 5880
Experience: 20+ years experience in animal health care. Hobby breeder of Olde English Mastiffs and owned by an English Bulldog.
Gina and 3 other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Thank you for your words of wisdom and we will let you know how we make out in the morning. I know it will be a long night! We love our dog Blaze and will do anything for her she is our second daughter! I will let you know how we make out with the vet and will print your advice to take with us. Again we are only thinking this is the cause along with eating something in the yard. I had a conversation this morning with the vet and suggested we see how she does for the next 24 hours. We just want her better and happy again. Thank you for your help ! Beth Ann

If she ate something in the backyard he may be thinking pancreatitis..again, by not allowing her food which is very common treatment for that. :) You can read more about pancreatitis below:

I will look forward to hearing from you and what your vet diagnosed Blaze with. Give her hugs from me and hope she feels better soon. :)

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Reply to Gina's Post: Gina:
Thank you for your support and professional and caring words of wisdom , my husband and I thank you. I will let you know in the morning his diagnosis and treatment. I feel so much better you provide a great service! Thanks and have a great evening. Beth Ann
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Dear Gina:
We came back from the Vet, Blaze liver levels have been found to be high ( 2400.) He believes due to eating something and not the possibility of the Cortisone. He gave her an antibiotic and something for her stomach. I have been giving her Pediltye and we will continue to watch her. I will let you know how she progresses. Thanks for all your wonderful advice. Beth Ann

Beth Ann:

Thank you so very much for letting me know how Blaze made out and do keep me posted on her as the days go on. :) I am so glad she is being treated by your vet :)

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Our dog has been recently diagnosed with malignant melanoma . She has had this so called tumor as a watch and wait see basis for over a year and a half. She received surgery last week and it came back of course as noted above as malignant melanoma cutaneous on her left shoulder. Should the vet have taken a cell/blood sample ?
Also we had a meeting with a oncologist who took and xray and lymph node test and both are clear but was concern on the narrow incision of the surgery and concern all the cancer tissue has been removed also he wants to start the melanoma vaccine at 2000.00 What to do heartbroken and beyond concern and searching for truth and answers.

Hi Beth Ann:


I'm so sorry for your poor boy but honestly, this is a bit beyond my knowledge so I am going to opt out of this question and try to find someone to help you. I wish you all the best!

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
is there another vet to help ?!
I will try to find a vet to help but, just so you are fully aware, as I tried to show in my profile, I am NOT a veterinarian. I just didn't want you to think I was but I will surely try to find you a vet for this one as you requested. Sit tight, you'll get an email when someone responds. Thanks!
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
thank you for your quick response please have a vet respond
My pleasure :) I've sent this to a couple vets so hopefully one will be with you shortly.
Hi folks,
Beth asked if I could help with your question.

I wasn't certain about your question. Did you want to know if he should have taken blood work, or are you searching for more information about the melanoma vaccine?

If there were narrow surgical margins, then I would consider a second surgery if possible to take larger margins. If local lymph nodes and x-rays are clear, and there is no evidence of metastatic (spread) of the cancer, then the melanoma vaccine, although expensive, can signficantly increase life expectancy in some patients.

The melanoma is about to be available to general practitioners, as I understand it. You will not want to delay, but there may be less expense if available to your regular vet soon.

I'll check on that now, if you don't mind to let me know how exactly I can help.

I'm sorry to hear about your pet's diagnosis. She's very lucky to have you looking out for her, though. Hang in there, and let's see what we can do to help.
Dr. Devlin
Dr. Laura Devlin, DVM, DABVP, Small Animal Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 1801
Experience: DABVP, Specialist in Canine and Feline Medicine, Veterinarian since 2000
Dr. Laura Devlin, DVM, DABVP and 3 other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
It doesn't look like it will be available to general practitioners in the very near future.

Do you live here in the states? Can you tell me where you live?

Dr. D.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Our concern is if the vet should have done an initial blood test and early intervention. Also with the size and concern why did he do such a narrow incision. The tissue report says " Histologic features are consistent with an intermediate to high grade melanocyte malignancy. Recurrence at the surgical site , development of additional neoplastic cutaneous melanomas away from the primary site and regional lymph node metastasis are possible sequelae. " Again the results of the lymph nodes and xray is clear . What to do second operation and vaccine at 2000 dollars and cost of second surgery ?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Doctor Notes of the tumor reference are fatty tumor 8/15/08 number 15
February several fatty tumors and in August were we have no showing about the tumor and then in November large enough to remove upcolpor im or m 100 ? doctor notes on vet note references , just thought this might help ...
Thank you for your answer.

Malignant melanoma if very locally aggressive. It can be very difficult to get clean margins because the cancerous cells infiltrate the local tissue so rapidly. It is difficult to treat for that reason, and also because there is such a high metastasis rate.

Even though lymph nodes and x-rays are currently clear, it does not, unfortunately, rule out microscopic spread that may already be there. It just means that there is no obvious spread yet. This is good news for you and your dog.

I can't speak for your veterinarian. I would encourage you to discuss this with him/her. Maybe the tumor recently changed in appearance, or started growing quicker. Maybe it was there all along. I can't be certain. It is unfortunate that it wasn't sampled earlier if present for such a long time.

Personally, I recommend aspirating all masses, because even if something looks benign, there is no way to know 100%. Even biopsies can be wrong some time.

More good news is that melanoma from haired sites tends to act much less aggressively then that from the oral cavity or feet (in dogs). At this point, I would discuss the biopsy findings and perhaps have the oncologist consult with the pathologist on how aggressive this tumor is behaving. There is further testing that can be done on the biopsy sample to help tell how it will behave: ki-67 and ag-nor are two such tests that can help predict behavior.

It will up to you and your finances on what to decide, based on the behavior of this cancer, and your personal finances. If financially able, and if aggressive, as the initial description states, it would be safest to have another surgery and the vaccine performed, and that is what I would recommend. I know here at the UT vet school, the vaccine is $400 each for a series of 4, and then recommended again every 6 months.

I hope that helps.
God bless, and good luck with her.
Dr. Devlin
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thank you Dr. Devlin ! We Live in NJ and will take your advice and recommendations to our vet tomorrow and discuss our next options for Blaze she is a soon to be 10 year old Irish terrier who is such a loving and important member of our family ! Your advice and blessings are helpful to my husband and I . I will let you know what the vet recommend next. Warmest Regards XXXXX XXXXX Bless you and all that you do ! Beth Ann Moor
You are welcome. Thank you to G for putting us together.

Where in NJ do you live? I'm from Salem County - my family is still there. I'm hoping to get home again soon. :) I miss everyone.

I hope everything is going to be ok for all you. It sounds like you are doing everything you can for her. I would definitely talk it over with your oncologist. I don't know if U. Penn vet school is an option either, and if they would be less expensive as a teaching school, but may be not. If you are North, that may be quite a drive, too.

Give her lots of hugs and pets from her new friend in TN.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
We live in Point Pleasant NJ , we will look into the UPenn option -thank you ! Cold day and winter here and can not wait for warmer weather . I hope you see your family soon , I am sure they must miss you :) Further , I am sure they must be proud of the work you do and sound advice you provide to people and their pets! Thanks and we appreciate all the love and hugs from you and your pets in TN! Beth Ann Moor
PS I am a third grade teacher and know how people can make a difference to others and you are one of the people who do each day ! Hugs:)
You've definitely made my day. Brrr- it gets cold in NJ! We actually have snow here tonight, so maybe a snow day tomorrow! :)

Just Answers has been great - I've been able to cut back my work hours a bit so I can spend time with my new son! He's 8 months old and such a joy. We love him so!

My mom and sister are both teachers - my sister teaches 1st grade near Elmer, but I can't remember the name of her school. Teachers are amazing - thank you for all you do!! It's hard hard work from what I see, and talk about making a difference!

Please keep me posted on her progress - we can't give out our personal info, but you can find me on face book!

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