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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 29031
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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10 year old female Chihuahau who is spayed. Three months ago

Customer Question

10 year old female Chihuahau who is spayed. Three months ago she started showing signs of pain. She was distant, to herself, hiding and yelping when we would get close. I took Tink to her regular vet, who said it looks like she may gave a herniated disc. He then referred us to an orthopedic specialist, who did extensive X-rays and found that she has a slightly bulging disc, but nothing he would do surgery on. Both docs chatted and determined she should be on pain meds. Since then her stomach has gotten huge and she requires weekly pain shots. Her breathing is labored. She is still eating, drinking, urinating, defacating, no vomiting or diarrhea. She is going downhill and the vet said she is getting close to...the end. She does not have a diagnosis. I would feel completely different if only I knew what was wrong and that it couldn't be fixed. She now has three vets, and one even brought her case to Mississippi State University during one of his Vetinarian meetings and nobody there had anything to offer. Is this anything you have seen in the past?
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 4 months ago.

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Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 4 months ago.

Vickie, I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. I don't know how much I can add after 3 vets and MSU have been consulted but when a "stomach has gotten huge" I consider an abdominal effusion - collection of fluid in the abdominal cavity - which can have quite a few psosible etiologies - right sided heart failure, hypoalbuminemia (a lack of albumin in her bloodstream), or inflammatory fluid due to infection or neoplasia (cancer). X-rays or ultrasound would "see" such an effusion and if confirmed, a small amount of fluid is aspirated and its physical characteristics and cellularity examined which then gives her vet direction on how to proceed further.

Can you upload a copy of her latest test results to our conversation? I understand that you might not have a copy at home but Tinkerbelle's 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

I not only review the test results but also note which tests should have been performed but weren't.