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My sister has a chocolate female lab that is eight years old…

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My sister has a...

My sister has a chocolate female lab that is eight years old recently she has became sick. Started about two weeks ago or so not sure. Been to the vets and the vet hospital. Blood work, exray, ultra sound and serious of test done. So far they can not find what is wrong but they did find some kind of mass when doing the ultra sound sent a sample out and came back negative for cancer. When this whole thing started she was tired didn't want to move and didn't want to eat. From there they put the dog on anti biotics and some kind of steroids. Within a week she was being more active and her appetite improve seems like she was getting back to normal after the medicine was done. About two weeks later she is active, pickey eater and has diarrhea. She will be seeing a vet today. She I think was suppose to provide a stool sample to vet. And a cat scan was not done yet. That is all the details I got to the best of my knowledge. Do you have any possibilities what is wrong with her dog ??

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. This sounds like it might be serious. I'll let the Veterinarian know what's going on ASAP. Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about the dog?

Other than that she is a pretty healthy dog. My sister walks her everyday. And my sister has a fence in yard and lives in Florida.

Submitted: 1 month ago.Category: Dog Veterinary
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Answered in 4 hours by:
3/12/2018
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian replied 1 month ago
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 33,338
Experience: University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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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.

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Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian replied 1 month ago

I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. To answer you directly, no, we wouldn't be able to develop a differential list without reviewing the results of her blood work and imaging. I would like to know where the mass was seen and if a needle biopsy of it were sent to our pathologist. If so, I would like to review the biopsy report. In summary, while her initial lethargy ("tired") and anorexia and now selective eating and diarrhea are important signs, they're not pathognomonic (specifically indicative) of any one particular disorder. I would also like to hear the results of her vet visit today.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
I will be calling her in the evening to see what happened at the vets office. If they still don't have a diagnosis I will ask her about the results of all tests and where the mass is. How does a cat scan of the whole body of the animal help in determining what is wrong with the animal ?? Will let you know when I get the info. Thanks.
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian replied 1 month ago

A CT is remarkably sensitive for assessing soft tissue health - more so than either X-rays or ultrasound. MRI is similarly sensitive but more expensive and unnecessary unless I want to assess the nervous system more accurately. I'll watch for your next post.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
if the vet suggest for her doing a CT will this benefit the diagnosis or not ??
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian replied 1 month ago

It might, yes, but I need to know much more about her dog before I can be most accurate for you.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
I talked to my sister she will be seeing the vet this Wed. So the info I got is: There were 4 different kinds of blood work done and blood cultures. All came back in normal range. They label it inflammation of fatty tissue. An ultra sound was performed of the dogs belly and showed a mass between the colon and bladder. A needle biopsy was performed and was sent to the pathologist and the results were inflammation cells. They prescribed Predazone. Started at 3 millagrams then went to five millagrams. (40 days). And an antibiotic was also prescribe. Right now she is being fed Merrick dog food that only has five ingredients: beef, chicken, peas, potatoes and sweet potatoes. The stool was runny but as of today the stool is mushy and brown color. She is active and is eating but not has gained her weight back. She is still under weight and I think my sister said that she threw up her food at least once and had grass in it. When she first got ill she had a fever of 103 and had gas, didn't really eat and was laying around. My sister thinks when she sees the vet that they will do blood work, stool sample and maybe another ultra sound but she's not sure what to expect. They might even suggest to open her up and take a sample of the mass. I can understand taking a stool sample but what would blood work and another ultra sound show ? Is there another way to test the mass without opening her up ? Thanks.
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian replied 1 month ago

Thank you for the update. "Inflammation of fatty tissue" tells me that the mass was missed when the needle was introduced to obtain a needle biopsy. If a better biopsy can't be obtained, a laparotomy ("opening her up") makes sense. There's no other manner in which to determine what that mass effect indicates. I'm not going to prescribe prednisone until I know what I'm treating. If a hypoallergenic diet was desired, the Merrick's doesn't qualify as such. The most common offending food allergens are beef, chicken, corn, wheat, eggs, rice, and soy. I can't tell you the need for more blood work or another ultrasound unless I could evaluate the results of the previous blood work. Mea culpa.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Should the vets take another needle biopsy because they possibility missed the mass ? Would a needle biopsy of the mass give you instant results ?? And your saying if you can't get accurate results by needle a laparotomy would be the next step. My concern is if that has to be done they mention chemo treatments need to be followed ?? Will see if she can email me with the previous blood work results. What does Mea culpa mean ?? Thanks
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian replied 1 month ago

Yes! That would be my inclination and I don't know why that wasn't recommended. No, the biopsy would be sent to our pathologist to be read. Yes, that would be the next step. Chemo isn't a consideration until a diagnosis requiring chemo is made.

Mea culpa = an acknowledgement of one's fault or error but has come to mean "I'm sorry." as well. You're quite welcome.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
the bloodwork was done by the emergency care on Jan. 25, 2018 at 9:04 am. The Chemistry Data (icd) report is as follows (Test/Results) crea/1.2 bun/17 bun/crea 14 ALT/73 AST/53 (flag H) ALKP/95 Na/153 K/4.1 Na/K 37 Cl/113 Note: The bloodwork is perfect. Follow up with vet. She will need occasional bloodwork if this is the medicine she will stay on. She may require radiographs in the near future. Thanks
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian replied 1 month ago

Yes, the blood work is fine. The AST isn't useful in dogs.

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Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
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Experience: University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience

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