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Rebecca, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 13024
Experience:  More than 30 years of companion animal practice.
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K, My dog Chloe is about 9.5 years old. She was recently

Customer Question

Hello Dr. K,
My dog Chloe is about 9.5 years old. She was recently diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver. For about 7 weeks she's been on Denamarin, and about 3 weeks urisdiol (sp). For the last week her behaviors/habits have changed drastically. Lethargic, got finicky with her food, til she couldn't really eat anything and in the last 2 days she has been vomiting. Been in contact with the diagnosing vet, and yesterday we took her to our local vet for a consult and possible fluids in case she was dehydrated. They said she didn't seem dehydrated so they didn't admitted fluids. They also in their better lighting noticed and showed me how jaundiced she was (eyes, ears, and anemic gums), and suggested follow up blood work to see her new liver levels. (She was due to have follow up blood work w the diagnosing vet to see if the meds were working after another week on the meds.) We were given an anti nausea med for her. She still threw up overnight and in am. Got the results today. Some liver levels were down but as suspected bilirubin was through the roof, and white blood cells were increased, red blood cells down. Sent and spoke to the diagnosing vet with the new blood work and after much discussion and consulting, he suggested fluids and overnight stay with the emergency specialist who previously did the biopsy and had determined that it doesn't seem to be cancer but cirrhosis. That's the point we are at tonight. When we brought her in, they ran more blood work and found more of the same in respective increases and decreases just in that short amount of time. The vet on duty thinks she saw on the ultrasound today a ruptured tumor on the edge of the liver, and found that Chloe is bleeding internally in the abdomen. Tonight she is there at that clinic getting pain meds and fluids. We are meeting with the doc/surgeon in the morning to see if the liver is resectable. We have been given a guarded prognosis. They are prepping us for the worst. So, what's my question?? I don't really know. Just today a lot has been thrown at me: additional potential issues like kidney disease (we think the urine is just concentrated, will find out in morning), bone marrow issues, cancer, tumor that we didn't even know was there?? I guess I'm wondering the following. 1) Did they miss the tumor on the first ultrasound we had done where they noticed multiple objects in the enlarged liver, and did a biopsy but said its cirrhosis and doesn't seem cancerous? Has it been there for 4-7 weeks and getting way worse instead of being treated? 2) Or could a tumor have developed and ruptured that rapidly, and that's truly why it wasn't noticed?
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Rebecca replied 7 months ago.


I am sorry to hear that Chloe is so sick with liver disease and other complications. She is only 9 years old; that is young to be so sick.

My name is Rebecca. I am a veterinarian and will do my best to help.

It would help if you have copies of the blood tests, the actual numbers. Since I can't see and examine her, the more information I have, the better. For instance, it would help to know what her albumin level is since that gives us an idea of liver function.

I see she is bleeding into her abdomen. If they could use ultrasound to get a sample of the blood in her abdomen for microscopic analysis, that might tell if the bleeding is from a tumor or not. Cancer cells might be seen, if they could get some of the fluid.

Did they miss the tumor on the first ultrasound? Possibly, but it may not have been there then, or may have been smaller and harder to see.

If there is a tumor on the liver, has it been there and getting worse for 4 to 7 weeks? That is possible as well. Seeing that biopsy report from the original ultrasound would be helpful for me to tell you more.

Yes, a tumor could have developed and ruptured that rapidly.

Have the ultrasounds examined her spleen? It is next to the liver, and also can develop tumors that rupture and bleed into the abdomen.

Chloe sounds very sick, and I think your vets are being fair and honest to give you a guarded prognosis. Cirrhosis often does not get better, and now it sounds like there is concern about her having cancer. I am so sorry. You must be so worried. Please let me know what other questions I can help with. Rebecca

Expert:  Rebecca replied 7 months ago.

I hope you were able to see what I wrote. Please let me know if I can help with or answer anything else. Rebecca

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