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Dr. Peter
Dr. Peter, Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 30582
Experience:  16 years of small animal internal medicine, surgery and preventive medicine.
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I have a mixed breed dog, about 6 years old. He is half pitbull

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I have a mixed breed dog, about 6 years old. He is half pitbull and half labrador. Has really low energy and from time to time his body swells. If he gets a cut it gets infected really fast and takes a log time to heal. Any idea of what may be wrong with him?
Hello, I am Dr. Peter a licensed Veterinarian. I would like to help. I need to ask you a few questions to be well informed and give you the best advice. There may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my replies as I type out a thorough reply for you.

1- How long has this been going on?
2- Can you expand on his body swelling?
3- Is he drinking more than usual?
4- Is he on any medications?
5- Any pre existing medical conditions?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
It has been going on for about a year. It happens suddenly with no specific pattern. You can see that he is swollen because his ears get thicker, his testicles bigger and his cheeks get bigger also. He drinks a lot, but has always been that way. He is not on meds now.

Other than when he was attacked by another dog he has never been sick.
1- Do you see redness in the skin when he becomes swollen?
2- Does he become itchy?
3- Is the odor from the entire body or more towards the butt area?
4- Has he been seen by a veterinarian? If so, has the vet done any blood work?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

His ears bevome red. I do not smell anything different from him during that period. He does not become itchy. I have not been able to take him to a vet. He is not easily managed and I cannot carry him by myself.
1- When do you notice the smell?
2- How often do you bath him?
3- Does he become lethargic only during one of the episodes when he swells?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I do not notice a smell.

I bathe him once every two moths.

He is always lethargic. He loves to eat and sleep.
1- How much does he weigh?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
70 pounds
Minerva, I believe your dog may have separate problems. As far as the swelling is concern, one condition that would fit the description of the symptoms is an underlying allergy (food or environmental), this would explain the intermittent swelling and redness of the ears that you see.
The lethargy can be secondary to an underlying medical problem, a very common hormonal disorder in dogs that would cause chronic lethargy is having an under active thyroid (hypothyroidism). I know it is difficult to take a large dog to the vet, but, the only way to rule in hypothyroidism is by having your vet do a blood test. In the meantime, for the possible swelling/allergy this is what you can do:

1- Change the diet to a prescription food called Hill's z/d or a grain free diet with a different source of protein then what he normally has in the past. For example: Taste of Wild Salmon. When on this diet he should not eat anything else or he will not improve. Needs to be on this diet for 6-8 weeks before you see significant improvement.

2- Start him on Benadryl (diphenhydramine) 75mg every 12 hours.

3- Supplement with Fish Oil, 1,400mg of EPA a day long term, you can use liquid fish oil for humans.

4- Bath him once every 21 days and use an oatmeal based shampoo.

5- Follow up with your family veterinarian for a blood test (chemistry profile, CBC & T4).

Hope the above helps, if you have additional questions I will be glad to answer them.

Dr. Peter
Dr. Peter and 3 other Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you
Hi Minerva,

I'm just following up on our conversation about Bobi. How is everything going?

Dr. Peter