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Dr. Gary
Dr. Gary, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 19759
Experience:  DVM, Emergency Veterinarian; BS (Physiology) Michigan State Univ
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My dog is suffering from renal failure, the vet thinks from

Customer Question

My dog is suffering from renal failure, the vet thinks from a flea collar. However he still hasn't given me an explanation for the initial symptoms which were there before she crashedwith renal failure in the first place. She has a rock hard lump at 12 oclock on her anus which developed out of nowhere. I pulled out a large string out of her anus a couple days ago and am wondering could a partial blockage be to blame instead? Her initial symptoms were skin squirting fluid from neck area, nipple leakage from bottom left nipple, and picky eating. She is severely anemic since the kidney failure started. He has her on a low protein diet but it seems like she is craving protein. She keeps refusing to eat it. He's only ever done a blood test and treated through diet. He said he wanted to put her on some pill tomorrow. She is only 6 years old and only had the collar on for 2 weeks or less. I am just having the most difficult time excepting that a flea collar has my beautiful, happy, still youthful dog's renal system is shutting down when she had the collar on there was no itching or any sign of her being uncomfortable.
JA: Thanks. Can you give me any more details about your issue?
Customer: I can tell you that he said her creatinine levels are still high while another level had come down. She has a smell coming from her that smells like sulfur and he said that's nitrogen that her body can't break down. Should I get a second opinion?
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Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Gary replied 1 year ago.

Hello. Thanks for the question.

I'm having a hard time connecting the flea collar with the other signs as well. Do you have a copy of the bloodwork that I could take a look at? A urinalysis would also be helpful.

Also, what kind of dog is this? And, is she spayed?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
She is a mini bulldog, she looks like a french bulldog but a little bit smaller. She isn't spayed, that's what we were going to do right before all of this occurred. I do have copies at home I believe. At first they thought pyometra however there is nothing to indicate any kind of infection in the blood work. Bun levels had dropped but they're back up again, creanitine is way up and she is showing signs of uremia. The thing is, I can see this dime size area above her anus which just looks odd to me. It just doesn't match up with the rest of her hair in consistency and it has a collection of rust colored dots .5mm x .5mm each at the base of the follicle. This made me think possibly a parasitic fungus, is there a fungus known to feed off blood or hair follicles like I've described that could possibly cause Anemia and even kidney failure? When I get home tomorrow I can send those numbers from the blood work. I don't think he did a urinalysis. She just turned 6 years old in january and has been model health until now.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
is it possible for a fungi to leech out nutrients without coming in contact with the blood stream some how which would alert the immune system? Maybe thickening the blood, like it depends on causing anemia to get these nutrients? I showed the vet but he just doesn't want to acknowledge that, he wants to take care of the kidney failure and says all this is secondary. However I told him it's not secondary, she's always been yeasty, ingrown hairs and such on her face, she has shed horribly for the past couple of years and I also noticed a yellow patch on her paw last year. Her ears are very waxy. This is what led me to the vet in the first place before the failure was her leaky anal glands and one of her nipples leaking milk. Obviously something is going on in her butt if there is a swollen gland. I'd express them myself but I'm afraid I'd hurt her
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
One more thing, each time he does a blood test on her he drops the amount of protein in her food and each time he's done that she just consistently get's worse and worse. Fungi feeds off carbs correct? I mean it would make sense that a parasitic fungi could make it look like there is disease in order to get the sustenance it needs that's nature right? Isn't Kidney disease often correlated with dogs on an all protein diet? Which is weird right? I mean they're dogs that came from wolves what else kind of diet would they have?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I don't think one would take down a deer and get two pieces of whole wheat bread and some corn on the cob with that meal, you know what I mean?
Expert:  Dr. Gary replied 1 year ago.

Thanks for the additional info.

There are some fungal diseases that could lead to kidney failure. The best way to diagnose that, is with a urine antigen test. There is a lab called MiraVista that runs these fungal tests. I don't think the yeast on the skin or fungi is the underlying cause here, but it's worth ruling out.

My guess is that we're probably dealing with some type of chronic kidney failure. A urinalysis will help a lot. That will tell us if the kidneys are able to concentrate the urine. It'll also tell us if there is disease in the glomerulus- the filtration part of the kidneys. We see disease there by seeing protein loss into the urine. It just gives more information that it's true kidney failure and not elevated kidney enzymes from something else.

The leaking mammary glands does make me think of Pyometra as well. An ultrasound of the abdomen is done to rule out pyometra. We can potentially see secondary kidney failure from Pyometra. I wouldn't expect it to go on this long, but it's worth looking into.

I feel like there is a lot of jumping around with diagnostics and treatment here. There seems to be a treat and see what happens approach vs trying to get a diagnosis and treating specifically. If it hasn't been advised, a consult with an internal medicine specialist may be an option. They could at least get to a diagnosis so you know what you're dealing with and you know the prognosis.

When it comes to protein. I don't like to restrict protein in my kidney patients anymore. There is a new thinking that these dogs and cats are protein deficient as it is, so we shouldn't restrict them further. We should spend more time focusing on keeping them eating and increasing fluid intake. We shouldn't protein starve them, as they need all they can get to keep their weight on.

Keep me posted how things are going. If you can scan in the bloodwork, that would help a lot.