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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 28008
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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Our one eyed dog - whos skull was noted to be abnormal - a

Customer Question

our one eyed dog - whos skull was noted to be abnormal - a year ago by the vet- we had taking him in for a cough - turned out to be his trachea was in c position from a cyst- which went a way weirdly- as fast as it came- I really thought it was going to .... i cant even type it
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Coughing can be worrying. The Veterinarian will know what you should do. What is the dog's name and age?
Customer: however he is old - 11 to 12 years we think - rescue - don't really know why he lost his eye- they told us a cat did it when he was a baby
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about rescue?
Customer: they know everything however his only eye has sunken into is head - more noticeable skull deformation even the groomer noticed the change ( within weeks)
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Dog
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
I realize he's he's a senior n getting close to end of life.. we barely made it passsd last year with the trachea issue.. I don't want him to suffer however I am nor really ready yet., I ❤️my puppy ..
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
He still smiles however we noticed he is having a hard time with stairs today ., questioning if he's going blind
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
He's known to be covered in large bumps .. lymphoma over 20 the vet said .. he's lived with them for a while
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Could that be causing his sunken skull n eye ?
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
He does breath heavy the last few weeks
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
What are your thoughts
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
When will someone let us know what there thoughts are?
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 5 months ago.

You're speaking with Dr. Michael Salkin. Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm currently typing up my reply. Please be patient. This may take a few minutes.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
This was with groomer a day before Christmas
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Today
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Today different view
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 5 months ago.

I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. Please give me a moment to look at the photos...

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
No worries ., I know our vet will say put him down .. I just want a second opinion
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
He is having to do steps one at a time today ..
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 5 months ago.

Thank you for the excellent photos! There's bilateral facial muscle wasting giving the skull-like appearance of the head. This occurs from quite a few possible disorders including masticatory myositis (an autoimmune disease), idiopathic (unknown cause) polymyositis (inflammation of more than one muscle), and bilateral trigeminal nerve dysfunction. Practically speaking, if these patients don't respond to an antiinflammatory glucocorticosteroid such as prednisone there's nothing else to do for them in a conservative vein. Of all the differentials only trigeminal nerve abnormalities and masticatory myositis are strictly confined to facial muscle atrophy in a dog of his age. His eye has sunk due to a dramatic loss of retrobulbar muscular support.

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Could it happen so fast
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
He is coverdd in lymphomas-- vets said over 20. Last year he had one that moved his trachea
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
What would you recommend
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 5 months ago.

Yes, loss of nervous innervation can cause profound wasting in just days. He's covered in lipomas (fatty tumors) not lymphomas which would be lethal.

You can see how an immunosuppressive dose of prednisone affects his musculature but such a high dose would cause profound adverse effects in such an elderly dog. I would accept that I couldn't help him in an acceptable manner and hospice him instead - spoil him rotten, in other words.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
I do spoil my baby.. his last 2 grooming session ( they come to the house) was thanksgiving n then a day before xmas .. had to be handsome for the holidays ., they even noticed the change
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
We give him asa 81 mg x2 a day for pain ( vet told us to) he is arthritis in his knees ..
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 5 months ago.

Good! Continue doing so. Sometimes not doing anything medically is the most appropriate manner in which to proceed. This is one of those times. Aspirin dosed at 10 mg/lb with food at 12 hour intervals is reasonable.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Should we ask for stronger meds or stick with asa 81 mg?
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Ok thank you ... how long does he have? Weeks months? Or days? What should we look for
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
I will do the asa q 12
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 5 months ago.

Do you think that the aspirin is working for him? If not, his vet can prescribe a stronger nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drug (NSAID) such as carprofen or meloxicam. I regret that I can't prognose accurately without examining him thoroughly including diagnostics in the form of blood and urine tests.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
He is scared of the vet n it's really hard to transport him ( why groomer comes to us) my husband says he thinks asa is helping his pain
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
What should we look for .. before making our last trip to the vet?
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
I dint want him to suffer ..
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 5 months ago.

The hallmarks I look for when considering hospicing vs euthanasia are his quality of life - does he still do "dog things"? does he still interact socially?; is he still appetent? - 3 consecutive days of anorexia indicates it's time for the final kindness to be performed; are there indications of pain - anorexia, shaking/trembling? Consider all those factors.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
He does shake/trembling ever time he gets up
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Still eating !!!
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Still interacts socially
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 5 months ago.

He must be painfully osteoarthritic at his age. That can be addressed with an NSAID.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Loves steak. Just had it for breakfast
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 5 months ago.

I do too.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Ok so 3 consecutive days of anorexia go to vet
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 5 months ago.

Or have a housecall vet come to him.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
He still smiles n loves to be patted
So no eating for 3 days or no more social behavior for 3 days go to vet?
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Where do I find one of those
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 5 months ago.

Google the keywords "veterinarian, housecall, (your area)".

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Just did
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 5 months ago.

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 5 months ago.
Thank you ... do you think I have a lot or little time left? I say month my husband says days
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 5 months ago.

I wish I could be more specific for you but that's just not possible from here. He could outlive me.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
That's all I needed to hear!!
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
He's always been spoiled to continue to do that is the norm
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 5 months ago.

You're quite welcome.