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Lisa, Certified Vet Tech
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 16554
Experience:  AAS Vet Tech. Bully breed rehab & Behavior modification
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My dog, Charlie, is an English Cocker rescue dog who was seriously abused--kicked, starved

Customer Question

My dog, Charlie, is an English Cocker rescue dog who was seriously abused--kicked, starved, kept outside in all weather, etc. I think he is about 11 years old. He got giardia about 18 months ago and has had frequent bouts of diarrhea since, sometimes with vomiting. Last week he had diarrhea and it was mostly blood--about 80 per cent pure blood with some vomiting. Also a lot of panting. Took him to emergency vet and they gave him special food, (ID) albon liquid 50 mgs, once a day, and metronidazole 250 mgs once a day. He's better, but on Saturday was incontinent in his bed, had trouble going upstairs and seemed lethargic. I got an appointment with an internist for this morning and they strongly suggested exploratory surgery. He has elevated liver values, and they are considering pancreatitis and Cushings. His back is a separate issue, but that may affect his recovery. I am worried--is he too old for surgery, will he have a lot of pain, just how risky is this? He is also about 5
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Lisa replied 2 years ago.
Hi there. My name is ***** ***** I'm happy to help you with your question. Just like an in person consult, I have some questions of my own to hep ensure I give you the best advice possible....What are they doing exploratory surgery for?Did they do complete bloodwork, including a thyroid panel?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
They did do a complete bloodwork and no one mentioned a thyroid problem. He has also had two ultra sounds within the last six weeks, and nothing was found. I think they are looking to confirm the pancreatitis or Cushing's and taking a biopsy of his liver. They also put him on Tramadol every 8 hours to control his back pain. I use an acupuncturist for things like that but she is out of town, so Charlie would have to go into the surgery with that also, but I don't know if that would complicate things or not.
Expert:  Lisa replied 2 years ago.
Thanks for the additional information. I really appreciate it.Since they're unable to find any other cause for his symptoms, I do think that possibly doing a liver biopsy would be a good next step...however, if you're looking to avoid that, you could talk to them about treating him for Pancreatitis or Cushing's rather than biopsy.Sometimes if a dog is stable, the vet will be willing to treat a suspected illness, rather than putting the animal through surgery, so talking to the vet and seeing if they think that's reasonable would be something to consider.That being said...if Charlie isn't stable, then I can understand their desire to get answers through biopsy.But if it were me...I'd at least ask about treating before surgery.I hope this helps.