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Ask Dr. Louis Gotthelf Your Own Question
Dr. Louis Gotthelf
Dr. Louis Gotthelf, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 2438
Experience:  Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, Owner of a small animal clinic and an ear/skin clinic 35 years
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My 9 year old golden retriever has all of a sudden, stopped

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My 9 year old golden retriever has all of a sudden, stopped eating and drinking 4 days ago. Currently, we are providing her fluids. Prior to that, she was fine with no symptoms. Her blood results are as follows: WBC-17.9, NEU-15.17, BASO-.11, BUN-88 Creantine-2.5 and Cholesterol-328. All the rest of her tests are within the normal ranges, She doesn't seem to have any urination issues as she still lets us know when she needs to go outside to urinate and fortunately she has never had any accidents in the house. Within the past four days, she has thrown up a little yellow, green and brown bile. We have provided her with nausea medicine and that has stopped. She sleeps most of the day but when we ask her if she needs to go outside or go for a walk, she jumps right up. She is fine during our walks and just wags her tail. After our 3 daily walks, she will sip just a little water with ice chips. But not a lot. Over the past three years, she has lost 25 pounds as we have cut out on her table scraps and provided her with more exercise. I am just curious if you have any ideas and/or recommendations for our dog as our vets seemed to be stumped.

Thanks a lot!

Dr. Louis Gotthelf :

Hi. I'm Dr. Gotthelf. I have been a vet for 35 years and I would like to use my experience to help you with your pet's medical problem.

Dr. Louis Gotthelf :

With a BUN of 88 and a creatinine of 2.5, I would suspect that she may be in chronic renal failure. YOUr vet needs to run a serum phosphorus and a urine specific gravity to determine if the kidney is able to concentrate urine.

Dr. Louis Gotthelf :

The treatment for your dog should include intravenous fluid therapy to dilute and to helps the kidneys excrete toxins that have built up. Just giving water by mouth will not do it. There are other things, like a special low protein diet and phosphate binders that may be necessary. You will need to discuss all of this with your vet.


Thank you very much but am just curious if it is strange for a dog to stop eating and drinking all of a sudden and what we need to do to get her to eat and drink? Do you typically see a change in their eating and drinking habits after fluid therapy?

Dr. Louis Gotthelf :

When dogs have kidney problems, the toxins cause decreased appetite. Many dogs with kidney problems develop ulcers in their stomach from excessive secretion of acid. That causes pain and distress. Often antacids and drugs like Tagamet or Zantac are used to decrease stomach acid production. Fluid therapy helps to dilute the toxins and it also helps the kidney push toxins through. We do something called intense diuresis for these dogs by using concentrated glucose solutions or mannitol in the IV bag to make the kidneys allow more fluid to go through them.

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