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Dr. Barbara
Dr. Barbara, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 1614
Experience:  Over 30 years experience in veterinary medicine and surgery.
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My retired K-9 had an xray this week due to s symptoms of

Customer Question

My retired K-9 had an xray this week due to his symptoms of throwing up, wt loss, and decreased urine stream. The symptoms started within the past 3 weeks with first a decrease in activity then random vomiting, then lastly this week we noticed the difficulty urinating. We went to a veterinary speciality hospital about 2 hours away for evaluation. We were given the prognosis of prostatitis or prostate cancer. We opted not to have an ultrasound due to cost to look for abscess vs cancer. He had dramatic improvement within the first 48 hours of being on Cipro and Gabapentin. We were very relieved thinking it was infection vs cancer. However at 72 hours he started having seizures and confusion. He is still eating and drinking and wanting to interact and receive affection. I called the vet regarding the seizures and was told that he probably does have cancer and is having seizures due to possible metastasis to the brain. I lost my lab 3 years ago to prostate cancer. Most of the symptoms are the same but he is still doing much better than my lab in the same time frame leading me to really have hope this is just the infection. I looked up Cipro and it can cause seizures. Is there another antibiotic that can be used to for treatment? If the Cipro caused the seizure then will these continue once the medication is stopped or would we see no further seizures due to the removal of the cause? My husband and I are trying to make the most educated decisions about his care and making sure we are giving him a chance if this is a treatable decision or preparing ourselves for making comfort measures if this is cancer.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Barbara replied 1 year ago.
Hi! Welcome to JustAnswer. My name is***** and I would like to help you and Rico today. Please give me a few minutes to do a little research about Rico's situation and I'll be right back. . .
Expert:  Dr. Barbara replied 1 year ago.
Hello again. You might try Trimethoprim Sulfadiazine as this also has good prostatic penetration. Wondering if Rico has had any blood work done to see how is kidneys and liver are?
Expert:  Dr. Barbara replied 1 year ago.
I am so sorry that you and Rico are facing this scary situation. Of course, prostatic cancer can metastasize, but prostatic infection and prostatic hyperplasia are more common. Has Rico been neutered?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He had a CBC done and his urine analyzed. They did not tell me the results of any blood work other than his WBC's were 44,000. Our vet had seen him 4 days before and said blood work looked good but it was his annual trip for heart worm check, etc, so I am unsure what blood work was done on that day. I am willing to take him back to the specialty hospital for the ultrasound for the draining of the abscess if that is what he needs to survive. The vet is not open this weekend so switching antibiotics will have to wait until Monday. Do you suggest holding his dose of Cipro tomorrow and seeing how he does?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Rico is not neutered. He was left intact due to his job and since retirement my husband was considering breeding him.
Expert:  Dr. Barbara replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your response. His WBC is definitely elevated. Cancer can cause an elevation but usually not as high as an infection.
Is Rico urinating well now? Has he only had the one seizure?
Expert:  Dr. Barbara replied 1 year ago.
The fact that he responded well to the antibiotics would mean that there is an infection. Doesn't rule out concurrent neoplasia, but his response is very encouraging. If this is just an infection, having him neutered after the infection is resolved will be recommended. Dogs that are not neutered under these circumstances are far more likely to relapse.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
His urination has been normal since we reached 48 hours and his is having bowel movements. He is drinking steady and is back to usual wanting you to get out of his way to eat which is why my husband and I really believe infection vs cancer. He had dropped 6 lbs in 3 days on Tuesday when we went to the hospital and you can tell that since Tues he has gained some wt back. I have only witnessed 1 seizure but I know he had had one prior to this one due to the damage to his toenails and his fur on his face. Today I did not see him have a seizure but when I went outside he acted confused and paced in his kennel for over an hour acting disoriented which is why I think he had one earlier today already. I was wondering if he would need seizure medication for now or if we should worry about getting the abscess drained due the complication of seizures.
Expert:  Dr. Barbara replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your patience! My screen was giving me fits by obscuring your last answer. All seems OK now.
I am very encouraged also that Rico does have an infection. This could be in the form of an abscess that should be drained, but an abscess would usually not respond as well to antibiotics. Based on his response, I think he probably has/had a general prostatic infection leading to an obstructing swelling of the whole prostate. . .this is just my guess right now.
TMZ (the antibiotic that I mentioned above) is also a human drug and therefore available from a pharmacy. Your vet will need to call in a prescription, and this is the route I recommend you take. . .giving one of your current veterinarians a call. I recommend also that you supply your vet with the name and phone number of the pharmacy you choose.
Expert:  Dr. Barbara replied 1 year ago.
Since it does seem that Rico is having the side effect of CNS stimulation from the Cipro, it would be best to stop it. However, since he does likely have a prostatic infection that was obstructing, it would be best for him to begin TMZ tonight.
Expert:  Dr. Barbara replied 1 year ago.
Regarding the seizures, if these are due to the Cipro then it will take a day or two for his blood level to decrease to a level that is not stimulating to the brain. The seizures should ultimately stop in this scenario. If Rico has many seizures or begins status epilepticus (a constant seizure), then he will need to be admitted for control of that seizure with either IV phenobarbital plus (possibly) anesthesia. Hopefully this won't be the case for him.
Expert:  Dr. Barbara replied 1 year ago.


Have I answered all of your questions, and given you the guidance you need?

Because I haven't heard from you in awhile, I'm concerned that Rico has possibly continued in a prolonged seizure.....

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I was outside checking on him. He is not his normal bouncing off the walls self but he is the self he has been for the past 3 weeks. Calm but interacting with us. Giving all of us kisses and following us around the yard. I am going to give the hospital a call and ask them to switch the medication. I will keep an eye on the seizures and frequency. I will also discuss with my local vet if he can drain the abscess or if Rico needs to return to the hospital. He has saved lives, touched lives, and been my husband's most trusted partner at work. I want this hero to be taken care of! He is so very loved by this family! I can not thank you enough for all the information and encouragement today.
Expert:  Dr. Barbara replied 1 year ago.

You are very welcome!

Rico does sound remarkable, and supported by an excellent partner and his family!

Expert:  Dr. Barbara replied 1 year ago.

Please do let me know if you'll be able to get the TMZ today.


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I called the veterinary hospital and the vet working tonight is not the one that did his examination today. He said he was not aware of Cipro causing seizures and ethically could not prescribe or change the prescription without doing his own examination of Rico. I told them that I did not desire to drive 3 hours total to get his medication changed when his symptoms from this am were not the same as this afternoon. I am going to hold the medication tomorrow and take him on Monday to our regular vet.
Expert:  Dr. Barbara replied 1 year ago.

Sorry that your vet wasn't working. Cipro does not commonly cause seizures. . .but it can.

This is what I would recommend too, just as you have decided. The Cipro took care of the infection enough so that Rico can urinate, and that won't suddenly reverse in a day. . .or shouldn't. You might call again tomorrow to see if the vet you saw is working. You local vet just saw Rico recently, so he/she may be able to prescribe the TMZ. . .call a drugstore.

Hope your weekend is peaceful,

Dr. Barbara

Expert:  Dr. Barbara replied 1 year ago.

Hi! Wondering how Rico is doing????

Do you have any more concerns or questions for me? If not, I'd really appreciate your rating as this is the way I receive credit for our chat.

Thank you so much,

Dr. Barbara