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Dwight Alleyne
Dwight Alleyne ,
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 658
Experience:  Veterinary Associate at Acres Mill Veterinary Clinic
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We have an active 12 yr old Chocolate Lab who lives and

Customer Question

We have an active 12 yr old Chocolate Lab who lives for swimming and retrieving her frisbee in the water. We have just come back from 10 days at our favorite lake where she swims and chases her frisbee hard every day. We noticed she started losing interest in retrieving her frisbee the last few days, even though she would bring it to us barking for us to throw it more. The last day we were swimming her and she suddenly coughed, stopped and could barely walk. She collapsed on the ground panting. We had a long drive back home, in the mean time we gave her a recovery drink, but she was so lethargic she could barely get up. Today she has more energy but it still lethargic and panting with minimal movement. She is drinking lots of water, not showing her usual interest in food. She's not showing any visible external swelling or injury, no whelping or whining, just lethargic and panting. We're not sure what happened to her and we're trying to avoid an expensive vet visit unless absolutely necessary. Suggestions?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dwight Alleyne replied 1 year ago.

Hello my name is***** and I am a licensed veterinarian with over 9 years of experience. I am hoping I can help you with your Chocolate Lab today. Does she have any history of relevant health problems?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
She had a bad contusion on her front leg / shoulder about 2 wks ago from jumping in our car, she had a limp that resided after 3 days. We saw a vet and he gave her some anti-inflammatories. Other than that, no ailments.
Expert:  Dwight Alleyne replied 1 year ago.

Okay thanks for the additional information. Does her belly seem distended? Does her gums or mucous membranes appear pale or do they look pink?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Belly not distended, her gums were more pale yesterday, pale pink now.
Expert:  Dwight Alleyne replied 1 year ago.

Okay based on what you are describing with the pale mucous membranes and the lethargy, one thing I would be concerned about would be internal bleeding. With the breed your dog is one common cause of internal bleeding is often a tumor on the spleen called a hemangiosarcoma. These tumors can bleed then stop which could explain why she may seem a little better. When the tumor starts bleeding again then she will get worse. These tumors are often diagnosed by x-rays and ultrasound. Another cause of lethargy I would be concerned about is immune mediated hemolytic anemia. This is when the body starts attacking its own red blood cells. Lab work can help confirm this condition. With the pale mucous membranes and the heavy panting, I would recommend that she sees a veterinarian to rule out an emergency.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
If she has any of the above disorders, can she recuperate naturally? And would this rule out exhaustion or dehydration?
Expert:  Dwight Alleyne replied 1 year ago.

Unfortunately not. Those above disorders all require intensive care if they are to be corrected. This could include hospitalization with intravenous fluids, blood tranfusions, and even possibly emergency surgery if a tumor is found. Anytime you have pale or pale pink membranes associated with the signs you are describing it usually indicates a very critical and urgent health situation. With exhaustion you would expect her to recover quicker. Since you mentioned that she is drinking excessively it is very unlikely it is due to just dehydration. She may be feeling thirsty because of possible blood loss.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok, she seems to be improving, so we'll wait and see since it doesnt seem theres much else we can do anyway.
Expert:  Dwight Alleyne replied 1 year ago.

Okay I would also keep an eye on her gums, if it gets more pale then I would have her seen as soon as possible. If you concerned about your budget you may still want to take her in somewhere to check her blood count. They can do a simplified test called a hemotacrit or packed cell volume which will tell you if she is anemic. That shouldn't cost you more then $100 even with the emergency visit. At least that will tell you if she is in a critical state and needs emergency treatment

Let me know if you have any further questions or want to update me on how she is doing.

You can still update me even after you rate me and accept my answer.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Last, would the extreme activity have brought on this condition? Giving that she was a very healthy dog only few days ago.
Expert:  Dwight Alleyne replied 1 year ago.

If she has been an active dog most of her life and hasn't had any issues in the past I would think it is unlikely. Something significant would have had to change for her to all of a sudden have a problem with extreme activity. So basically she would have to have an underlying condition whether it is a heart condition, blood loss, or problem with the lungs that would not allow her to tolerate this activity.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
If we had to choose financially between a blood test or an xray, which would you recommend we start with?
Expert:  Dwight Alleyne replied 1 year ago.

That would depend on what the veterinarian finds on the physical exam. If a mass is felt in the abdomen during the exam then a abdominal x-ray would be the most crucial if you had to choose. If the veterinarian just find pale mucous membranes then lab work would be the most crucial to r/o blood loss. Ideally both should be done but when deciding between the two you have to think which will give you the most information to help you make the best decision for your dog.

Expert:  Dwight Alleyne replied 1 year ago.

Keep in mind you may have a little more flexibility in options regarding blood work so depending how much money you have to work with, you may still be able to do both.

Expert:  Dwight Alleyne replied 1 year ago.

So you may able to do a lower end blood test and still take an x-ray and find out enough information.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Her recent vet visit, not 2 weeks ago, the vet gave her a thorough exam looking for any suspicious masses due to injury, would think there would have been some detection?
Expert:  Dwight Alleyne replied 1 year ago.

It depends, I have seen tumors grow very quickly especially that type in some instances so that can't be completely ruled out. So it could have been still too small to be felt. Sometimes they may not be detected until a x-ray is performed. If it is an issue where the blood cells are being attacked by their own body then that would not have been detected on the physical exam at that time and that condition could come on suddenly

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok. Thanks for your help.
Expert:  Dwight Alleyne replied 1 year ago.

No problem. Let me know if you have any further questions. Hopefully you can find out what is going with her quickly and you can find a easy solution for it.

Expert:  Dwight Alleyne replied 1 year ago.
Hi,
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Dwight Alleyne
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Our beloved dog Sasha passed away today.
Expert:  Dwight Alleyne replied 1 year ago.

So sorry to hear about your beloved dog Sasha :( My condolences to you.