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Dr. Altman
Dr. Altman, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 13062
Experience:  Practicing small animal veterinarian for 18 years.
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My 5 yr old male boxer has hypercalcemia. Was examined by

Customer Question

My 5 yr old male boxer has hypercalcemia. Was examined by our vet and did x-rays but could find nothing. All other blood work was normal. Sent blood work to Michigan State and results found. All was ruled out for poisoning, hypothyroid tumors, and everything that would point to the cause. Said probable cancer somewhere. He drinks excessive amounts of water and urinates excessively. Has become more lethargic, not eating as much and sleeping mostly. What are your thoughts about him? Thank you
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Dan replied 2 years ago.
Hello! Thanks for your question, I'm Dr. Dan and I'll try to help you. This can certainly be a frustrating problem, no doubt. I currently have a patient with exactly the same problems you are describing. No obvious anal gland tumor, no tumor in the chest and normal MSU blood panel. Your vet is right is that it could be a tumor that we can't find, it also could be what we call idiopathic hypercalcemia. Basically idiopathic means... we don't know the cause or the source. The patient I'm managing has responded beautifully to a treatment of prednisone and furosemide. We basically started these meds, and increased their doses checking the calcium every month until the medications were holding the calcium in the normal range. It is not treating any specific problems but it is preventing the high calcium levels from causing side effects and causing the inevitable kidney failure that comes with hypercalcemia. The only other test I'd recommend at this point is an abdominal ultrasound to make sure there are no small tumors in the abdomen, if none are found then discuss using prednisone and/or furosemide to bring the calcium levels down to protect his kidneys. I hope this helps, if not please feel free to ask more questions. Dr. Dan
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
What is the prognosis
Expert:  Dr. Dan replied 2 years ago.
Prognosis is extremely variable. The text book says 6 months, however the little dog I'm working with is at his 18th month with no signs of problems.
Dr. Dan
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Call asap. Thank you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
(Posted by JustAnswer at customer's request) Hello. I would like to request the following Expert Service(s) from you: Live Phone Call. Let me know if you need more information, or send me the service offer(s) so we can proceed.
Expert:  Dr. Dan replied 2 years ago.
I'm sorry I cannot comply with that request as I'm heading off to church with my family, I'll opt out so another expert can help you or I'll be back in a couple of hours.
Dr. Dan
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Another vet consultation would be fine. He can contact us as soon as he can
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
You can contact us when you get back from church. That would be okay also
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I have not received a phone call yet from you or another vet. Someone please respond
Expert:  Dr. Altman replied 2 years ago.
I am Dr. Altman and happy to assist you but will only be able to do so in this format. Will that be acceptable or would you prefer to wait until someone can do a telephone consult?
Expert:  Dr. Dan replied 2 years ago.
I have returned from church and will be around for a little bit if you still want to chat, just message me back.
Dr. Dan
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Do you recommend getting an ultrasound on Hugo? And, by the way, my bank called and said I had a $10 charge this morning from this place
Expert:  Dr. Altman replied 2 years ago.
It looks like Dr. Dan isn't going to respond so I will step in at this point
Yes I would strongly advise an abdominal ultrasound but I would also request an ultrasound of the neck. I know you mentioned that a parathyroid gland tumor was ruled out but I had a case that I treated for over a year with an elevated calcium and signs of hypercalcemia then it was suggested that if all else was ruled out ultrasound the neck even with a normal parathyroid test and low and behold it was a very small parathyroid gland tumor causing his symptoms.
Approximately two weeks later the surgeon removed the offending gland (it was benign but stimulating production of calcium) and soonafter he returned to his normal self, how he was over a year prior before the calcium was elevated!
I had ruled this out the year prior but with an open mind the owner was able to do the neck ultrasound to find the offending tumor and we are now 5 months out and he is doing great!
But definitely looking in that abdomen with the ultrasound at the same time is warranted as well.
As for the charge this morning, that is a deposit to ensure your credit card is active in order to correspond to an expert. I can send you to customer service if you would prefer to have a refund since you had to wait for a response from another expert. I just signed on and responded immediately and am on for the afternoon if you have additional questions and would like to chat further on-line...
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Expert:  Dr. Dan replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for working with me, it was good to talk to you and good luck!
Expert:  Dr. Altman replied 2 years ago.
I am on-line another hour if I can assist with any additional questions or clarify anything for you today. I truly wish you luck in getting answers for your dog and a resolution to the clinical signs associated with it...