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Dr. Joey
Dr. Joey, Board Certified
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 4723
Experience:  15 yrs in practice, specialist canine/feline medicine
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My dog has not had a bowl movement days. I took him

Customer Question

My dog has not had a bowl movement for two days. I took him to the vet and the vet did an x-ray. There is a mass in his intestine or colon. This was not confined but spread out. I'm describing what I saw. The Doc felt something in the stomach area. My dog had a temp of 102 and was acting normal. He is a medium to small size dog, and is nine years old. The Doc is giving him an enema now and I will return to the vet in about an hour. We may be looking at exploratory surgery. I felt hopeless when I left. The Doc is good but does not really communicate what the problem might be. Question: What might I expect for my dog?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Joey replied 2 years ago.
Hello I am Dr. Joey. Thanks for trusting me to help you and your pet today. I am a licensed veterinarian with over 15 years of experience. I look forward to working with you.
Great questions.
So, the primary question about this mass is if this is an isolated mass or if there is evidence of disease (possibly cancer) throughout the intestinal tract. An abdominal ultrasound done by an experienced ultrasounographer could garner this information for you. If this is an isolated mass, then perhaps needle aspiration could tell us if this is cancer or not. Sometimes a dog can have a foreign object pass that can cause infection/scarring, or maybe this is actually something trapped in his intestines and not a mass at all. Or sometimes we have intusseption which is where the intestines telescope in on each other (this is a medical emergency, actually, and needs to be surgically resected; possibly treatable with surgery) as can be related to various medical problems like parasites.
So, if he was my patient I would recommend an abdominal ultrasound be done very soon, actually within the next 24 hours, if this can be arranged. Your vet may need to refer you to a local area specialist for this (tomorrow?).
If he is profoundly painful in his abdomen, then this may point to intusseption or foreign object trapped in his intestines instead of a "mass" which is a tumor. And a surgical exploratory would be indicated to remove or resect this. If this is found to be an isolated mass and needle aspiration via ultrasound shows cancer then an experienced surgeon could potentially resect this. But before resected a mass, there must be no evidence of spread of cancer in the body as evidenced by 3-view screening chest X-rays (the first place cancer likes to move to or metastasize is the chest), aspiration of regional lymph nodes and thorough ultrasound of the entire abdomen (looking at liver/spleen and local lymph nodes carefully).
Assuming worst case scenario that there is a mass associated with the intestinal tract and this is cancer then you can expect progression of digestive tract signs that might include vomiting, diarrhea, pain. Some masses can be treated with chemotherapy or even just oral medications (lymphosarcoma) whereas others do not respond to chemotherapy (sarcomas). So, needle aspiration to get a diagnosis can be very useful.
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Expert:  Dr. Joey replied 2 years ago.
Hi Cindy,

I'm just following up on our conversation about Cielo. How is everything going?

Dr. Joey