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Dr. B
Dr. B, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 741
Experience:  Diplomate ACVIM (SAIM) - Internal Medicine Specialist
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We have a 9 year old Mini Dachshund that we have had for 2

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We have a 9 year old Mini Dachshund that we have had for 2 1/2 years. She has recently been drinking a little more than usual, eating more, and her stomach is enlarged. I came home from work Tuesday night and she was bumping into things and has gone blind. I took her to the vet yesterday and she suggested that it may be SARDS. We are concerned because we have heard horror stories about Cushings accompanying SARDS. She has gained 4 pounds in about a month and a half. The results of a previous blood test show the results of tests and we don't know what they mean. (ALT, RDWR, PLT, LYMF) They took xrays 2 weeks ago and said she had an enlarged heart, heart murmur and an enlarged liver. What do you think we are looking at? What is normal life expectancy for a dog with Sards and/or Cushings?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B replied 7 years ago.

Thank you or your post. I am sorry to hear that your dog is having problems. I understand how difficult it can be when a furry family member is sick.

I am hoping that your family veterinarian recommended that you go see an ophthalmologist and an internal medicine specialist. Together, they will be the ones that can most likely tell you what's going on.

It is important to know that not all dogs with SARDS develop Cushing's disease. The blood work results you posted doesn't sound consistent with Cushing's disease. However, it would be more helpful if you could post the actual results.

In a 9 year old dog, something like kidney disease would be a more likely cause. The urine specific gravity is an important factor and it would be helpful if you could post that information.

I am sorry that I can't give you and easy black and white answer, but I hope this information is helpful. My thoughts are with you. Please let me know how I can be of further assistance.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
The parts of the CBC that were in red (high or low) are: PLT-value 102 (rated as low), LYMF-value 0.5 (rated as low), RDWR-value 21.7 (rated as high), and the one that concerns us most is the ALT-value 293 U/L (rated as high since they have the normal range as 10-118). I don't know what these tests are for or what parts of the body they are measurements for. They also did a thyroid test and said it was normal.
Expert:  Dr. B replied 7 years ago.
It is disturbing that the platelet count (PLT) count is low. That could be due to clumping of the sample, or some other cause. Typically, Cushing's disease is not associated with a low platelet count. A high platelet count would be expected.

The ALT is related to liver cell damage. A number of things could cause that to be elevated, however, it is not typically associated with Cushing's disease. We would expect to see a high ALP rather than ALT.

So, as I said before, i am concerned that there may be something more going on and think your dog could benefit from seeing a specialist. I understand that it can seem expensive, however, when dealing with a specialist, testing and speculation is more directed and they are often better suited at helping you make informed decisions.

Take care, my thoughts are with you.
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