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Dr. Susan
Dr. Susan, Veterinarian
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Experience:  7 years of clinical experience with specialty in veterinary pain management, urology, and geriatrics
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My 11 year old minature snauzer has a distended belly and is

Resolved Question:

My 11 year old minature snauzer has a distended belly and is refusing to eat. He has had an xray, sonogram,blood tests, bial-syrem test. They have found an enlarged liver and enlarged spleen, taking most of his belly on the xray. No tumors have been found. He is very thin because what a vet at their clinic prescribed RD five years ago was the wrong thing, the vet is no longer with them. It was a high fiber low fat diet. Now they have swithced us to an LD diet and put him on 225mg. of Denamarin daily. Yesterday they put him on our request, in lieu of a liver biopsy that we don't feel he's strong enough for, 250mg. of Metronidazole (1/2 tab twice daily). They have also priscribed for pain Tramadol 50mg (1/4 to 1/2 tab every 8 hours as needed).

This has all happened in the last two weeks. The vet is very young. She has suggested we take him to the local emergency clinic if we want. I don't feel comfortable with that. They don't know the dog or us. I would just like another professional eyes to look at what's going on. Is it time to put our little guy down?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Susan replied 4 years ago.

I am suspicious that your little man may have a diffuse cancer in his liver and spleen - that means there is no distinction between normal tissue and a tumor. Instead the cancer cells have infiltrated the entire organ, and we could only say this for sure by looking at a biopsy under the microscope.

 

I think the medications that your vet started are appropriate, along with the diet change. It is possible that the little man's problems are due to an infection or something he ate (like a mushroom in the back yard), but at his age it is more likely a chronic progressive disease like cancer.

 

Your vet could prescribe an appetite stimulant like mirtazapine, or prednisone (which has the side effect of appetite increase). If he does not like the L/D, you can add anything that will get him to eat. It is more important that he get nutrition than eating the prescribed diet.

 

I would consider giving him about 7-10 days to respond to treatment. Most dogs will either begin bouncing back right away (in the case of a mushroom toxicity for example), or will go down hill quickly.

 

I'm so sorry you are in this position.

 

Please let me know if you have any further questions. If you are satisfied with my answer, please click on the green Accept button. Positive feedback is always appreciated. Thanks!

Dr. Susan, Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 4757
Experience: 7 years of clinical experience with specialty in veterinary pain management, urology, and geriatrics
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