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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 28554
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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We have a 7 year old basset hound. A few days ago she

Customer Question

We have a 7 year old basset hound. A few days ago she started doing what I call dry heaving. I thought she just had an upset tummy and took away her food and gave her plain boiled chicken and rice. The next day she was not any better so I called our vet and she saw here right away. She took x-rays of our dog and even though she did not see and obstruction she still thought that was what it was and our bog went in for what the vet said should only take an hour. 2 and a half hours later she came out and got me.
She said that she could not find anything in our dog but her intestines were VERY swollen and not contracting well. They were very slow. She also said that our bogs red cell count was high. The vet seemed stumped with what is going on with our dog.
We have had our dog home for a few day and will take her back to the vet for a check on her blood work. I have not been feeding our bog but she is getting chicken broth. However, our dog is still acting very sick and not her self at all. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 8 months ago.

You're speaking to Dr. Michael Salkin. Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm currently typing up my reply. Please be patient. This may take a few minutes.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 8 months ago.

I'm sorry to hear of this with your dog. I see that an exploratory surgery found swollen intestines and ileus ("paralyzed intestines") but Charlie's symptoms and findings aren't pathognomonic (specifically indicative) of any one particular disorder. Were diagnostics in the form of blood and urine tests performed prior to surgery? If so, can you upload a copy of Charlie's test results to our conversation? I understand that you might not have a copy at home but her vet can give you one which you can scan into your computer and then give me the file link or you can photograph the pages and upload them by using the paperclip icon (if you can see that icon) or by using an external app such as

(An elevated red blood cell count usually indicates dehydration only. That would be consistent with a dog not drinking or eating as much as usual.)

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
I don't have those here at home. We are military and have taken her to see the military vet only. While I like our vet she is very young and probably lacking experience. I don't want to make it sound like I don't trust our vet. But I have been thinking that we should take Charlotte (Charlie for short) into town to get a second opinion.
What I can tell you from what our vet did say what that all her blood work was in the middle of normal range except for her red blood cell count. I am not sure if a urin test was done. Charlie is the first dog I have ever had and my husband is out of town training for an upcoming deployment and he is the one with more dog experience than I.
I understand that you are missing some information that you need to truly help. It's just our dog is so ill and I don't know what else to do for her.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 8 months ago.

Unfortunately, not much. I need to evaluate the test results because even normal results can be informative and I also note which tests should have been performed but weren't; for example, was the specCPL blood test performed which is the blood test most sensitive for detecting pancreatitis? I understand that you can't know this but you get my point. Two and half hours is a long time to be inside your dog. It sounds as if the vet looked at everything else in the abdomen. Did your vet comment on how other organs in the abdominal cavity looked?

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
She said everything looked fine to her. She really thought maybe Charlie had swallowed some string or something that would no show on an x-ray. My worry for today is that Charlie is very lethargic. She is taking water every now and then. I am wondering if I could give her some boiled chicken and rice? She has not had anything to eat in over 48 hours.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 8 months ago.

Thank you for the additional information. As long as Charlie hasn't been vomiting, seeing how a bland diet of white meat chicken (sans skin) and white rice is tolerated is a good idea. Please continue our conversation if you wish.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Thank you doc. She is not vomiting so I think I will try her on the chicken and rice and see how she does. Tomorrow I will take her into town and get a second opinion. I appreciate your help!
Thank you
The Adams family
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 8 months ago.

Sounds good, Suzanne. I can't set a follow-up in this venue so please return to our conversation - even after rating - with an update at your convenience. You can bookmark this page for ease of return.