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Kelly Hill
Kelly Hill, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 590
Experience:  full time veterinarian at Tender Touch Veterinary Hospital
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I am looking for a 2nd opinion. My dog over the last month

Customer Question

I am looking for a 2nd opinion. My dog over the last month has had a decreased appetite, vomiting, diarrhea and dramatic weight loss. She is a 5yr American Pit Bull Terrier. I have taken her to the vet numerous times. She has taken medication for stomach upset and diarrhea. That did nothing. Her blood work shows a very high white blood cell count. They opened her up and all of her organs and intestines look fine. So they can tell me where the infection isn't not where it is. She is dying because they can't figure it out. I can get her to eat very rarely and last night she was waking me up every 2 hours to vomit bile. I have spent so much money thus far and I am losing her. I am wondering what this mystery illness could be. She was checked for addisons and it was negative. She has been around no other dogs and hasn't left the yard. So in my mind it has to be something she could have gotten from a puddle or bug. She was checked for worms and parasites and even dewormed as a precaution.
Any ideas on what to have her checked for next?
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Kelly Hill replied 10 months ago.

Hi this is Dr. Hill. She needs to be seen by a veterinary internal medicine specialist. I am so sorry she is that ill.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
To be looking for what exactly? They have one at the clinic and the vet has been consulting with all of them.
Expert:  Kelly Hill replied 10 months ago.

With that kind of history, I unfortunately would be looking for cancer. Unexplained weight loss, a negative exploratory surgery. During surgery, I hope they took biopsies of her intestinal tract. Whenever an animal has surgery for vomiting and no foreign objects or areas of concern are noted, it is standard of care to biopsy the stomach, two areas of intestines and lymph nodes. Many times cancer is there but not as a distinct mass.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
He decided not to do a biopsy because she is so sick he didn't want her to have any more areas to heal since she was spayed as well at that time. He keeps telling me cancer is so rare at this age. Are there blood tests that can be done to determine cancer? What about lymes disease? He wants to put in a feeding tube but I am just tired of doing things that are not treating what is killing her.
Expert:  Kelly Hill replied 10 months ago.

Where are you in the USA? Lyme does not cause wasting like that unless they develop Lyme nephritis typically. Cancer is not as common in younger dogs but it definitely happens. Which wbc was elevated and how high were her counts. Putting a feeding tube in may significantly help her while you are trying to find out what is she has.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I am in Minnesota. Her wbc was a 38 i dont remember the type. Her protein levels are dangerously low which the thought is because she hasn't eaten well for a long time. Just trying to figure out what they need to be looking for so no more time is wasted. She doesn't have long, she is losing about a pound every other day. Her dr keeps saying we may never know what caused this and seems to want to treat the secondary issues, I know she has something she has to.
Expert:  Kelly Hill replied 10 months ago.

Shot in the dark, but severe allergies. Has anyone tried a steroid and a prescription hypoallergenic diet. Inflammatory bowel disease can get this severe

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
No that was mentioned but because she won't eat that hasn't been done. Her intestines looked irritated but nothing severe. My gut keeps saying cancer, it has since day one, her vet has never been on board with that thought because of her symptoms. I am just scared to keep treating something that isn't the cause. We focused on a bowl obstruction first, then stopping the diareahha and vomiting which have never stopped. Then the thought was an infected uterus which was normal. Ruled out addisons.
Is there a test for IBS? Are there any strange bugs dogs can get from drinking out of a puddle? Something from a mesquito?
Expert:  Kelly Hill replied 10 months ago.

the gold standard test is biopsies. It is really too bad they chose not to do them. Dogs can get leptospirosis from standing water, but that does not fit here. They can get heart worm from mosquitoes but also does not fit. Why not go with the feeding tube, hypoallergenic diet and talk to them about steroids. She may have a turn around.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Can they biopsy her lymph nodes without surgery? I am at the point I want to rule out cancer that will kill her before we do anything else. I want to either focus on healing her or making her comfortable the unknown is too much to handle right now. I am continuing with her pain meds and antibiotics hoping if it is a mystery infection she will turn around. I also picked up a high calorie and vitamin packed gel I have been putting in her mouth hoping to help her appetite which is nonexistent right now.
Expert:  Kelly Hill replied 10 months ago.

Not really, unless they are huge and could be isolated with an ultrasound.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I am upset they didn't biopsy then. He said he didn't want her not to heal and have toxicity seeping into her body making her sicker. They have been focused that this is all GI related somehow. She has been a very healthy dog until all of this. What are the odds of alergies all of a sudden showing up out of no where?
Expert:  Kelly Hill replied 10 months ago.

More likely severe inflammatory bowel disease. See if they will do a treatment trial.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Is that medications then?
Expert:  Kelly Hill replied 10 months ago.

yes and diet change

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