Ask a Dog Vet and Get Answers to Your Dog Health Questions
Hello. Thanks for writing in. My name is***** and I would be happy to help you. I do agree that if this has been going on for 5 days, something different needs to be done. I am assuming that your vet just ran some routine blood work. I would check to see if they ran a CPL test to look for pancreatitis. Routine blood work is not reliable for diagnosing that. Also, I would request some x-rays of the abdomen. While your vet says they cannot palpate an obstruction, most obstruction cannot be palpated. They may be very small or reside under the rib cage where it cannot be palpated. Palpation alone is not a very reliable test. It is possible that it could even be cancer, which can cause an obstruction as well. If x-rays are not conclusive, then an abdominal ultrasound is the next step. While you don't get the complete put together picture like an x-ray will give you, you can see a lot more within each organ. Endoscopy and exploratory surgery are the final steps, but hopefully it won't come to that. Please let me know if you have any other questions or concerns. Hope this helps.
My goal is to make sure that you get all your question answered and all the information you need. If you are satisfied with my answer, please rate it. Rating it is the only way I get credit for helping you. If you feel like it is not helpful to you, or if there is more information you need, please respond back to me before rating. Realize that our conversation is not intended to diagnose or treat a condition. There has to be a valid veterinary-client-patient relationship established with an exam, according to law. You should always follow up with your vet.
Good. I am glad he ruled out pancreatitis. I disagree with his thoughts on the x-rays and ultrasound. If he can diagnose an obstruction with palpation alone, that would be a very, very extraordinary skill. Just not the case.
It depends on what else is going on. If his liver, kidneys and heart are all functioning normally; then age shouldn't really matter for surgery. Certainly the sicker they get, the more risk for surgery, but if it is the only option, then the risk is far less of a concern when they are already dying of an obstruction. If there is an obstruction, the longer it goes, the more the intestinal tract has a compromised blood supply, which can lead to death of the tissue, leakage of intestinal contents into the abdominal cavity and a life threatening infection. At those points, the prognosis gets poorer and poorer. If he is getting no better, and your vet hasn't changed up the treatment or diagnostic plan for 5 days, I would recommend getting a second opinion from another vet. Hope this helps.