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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 29033
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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My 12 year old Huskie has been to a vet because he would just

Customer Question

My 12 year old Huskie has been to a vet because he would just stand with head down and tail between his legs. He would not respond to normal stimuli. After blood test and urine test the only thing it showed was elevated liver. Radio scan and ultra sound and then liver biopsy shows no cancer. He now will yelp like he hurts somewhere even if you don't touch him. You can pet and touch him anywhere and he doesn't make a sound. He has no appetite.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.
Aloha! You're speaking to Dr. Michael Salkin
Justice's change in mentation (mental status) as evidenced by his unresponsiveness ("standing with his his head down..."/oblivious to normal stimuli) indicates encephalopathy (brain disorder). Brain tumor is the most common of the intracranial (within the skull) encephalopathies at Justice's age and would require MRI to identify.
Extracranial (outside the skull) encephalopathies such as hepatoencephalopathy (a poorly functioning liver can intoxicate the brain) need to be considered as well and it appears that that's already been done by liver biopsy. Did bile acid testing precede liver biopsy? Bile acid assays tell us how well the liver is functioning while liver enzymes only tell us if the liver were damaged or biliary stasis (bile sludging) is present.
His crying out (abnormal vocalization) is consistent with encephalopathies - particularly with strokes and may also indicate the cervical (neck) pain associated with spinal meningitis which can exist as an extension of meningoencephalitis (both brain and spinal cord are involved in the inflammatory process) in Justice. Cervical pain also will cause his holding his head down as you reported. Once again MRI would be necessary to clarify where in his central nervous system his problem exists.
Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
answered every one of my concerns.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.
That's good to hear. I can't set a follow-up in this venue and so would appreciate your returning to our conversation with an update - even after rating - at a time of your choosing.

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