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gpvet, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 94
Experience:  I am a general practice vet dealing with all kinds of companion animals and small exotics for the last 13 years
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9 YR OLD bitch skin on bone no fat, toilets in house if not

Customer Question

9 YR OLD bitch skin on bone no fat, toilets in house if not watched, loss of coat, Wants food all the time but doesnt eat its tea. Had mammory tumours out twice year ago and not pot bellied.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  gpvet replied 4 years ago.
Hi there

In order to help, I think I might need a bit more information.

Firstly - to clarify - you have a bitch who has had mammary tumours removed in the past - was this on 2 separate occasions? Was she spayed at the time, and did she have any additional tests done at the time such as chest xrays, blood tests, lymph node biopsies or testing of the lumps that were removed?

Also to clarify - currently she has lost weight, lost her coat, seems hungry and toilets indoors?
If this is correct, can I ask you the following questions:

How long has she been losing weight for?
Is she coughing at all?
How much is she eating? (nothing / less than usual / more than usual)
Is she being sick or having diarrhoea?
Is she drinking more, less or the same as usual?
Does she seem itchy?
When she goes to the toilet indoors, does she know she is doing it or does it take her by surprise?

Hopefully if I can get a bit more information I can help you further.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Tumors removed on two seperate occassions after previously being spayed.

Dont think they tested anything other than the 1st lump removed and it was ok.

She has been losing weight slowly for a while now but now she has been leaving her food and tried different foods. Eating when she feels like it.

No cough.

Drinking more.

Not itchy.

She knows she goes to hide because shes a bit timid.


Customer: replied 4 years ago.

not sick or diarrhoea


Expert:  gpvet replied 4 years ago.
Ok, so we have a little to go on.

The first question I am asking myself is - is the current problem related to the mammary tumours or is it a different problem?

I am assuming there are no further masses in the mammary area at this time, but if no tests were done on the 2nd removed lump, there is a chance it could have been more malignant than the first, and possibly spread. Mammary tumours in the bitch can arise from different parts of the gland and have variable malignancy. Any lumps that are left in situ can start benign and actually convert to become more malignant and nasty, and actually you can have mixed tumours that are part benign and part malignant.

Mammary tumours tend to spread to the lungs and the liver. No cough is a good thing, as it makes it less likely that there is any spread here. However spread to the liver can cause very non-specific changes such as weight loss, increase thirst, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea, as well as more specific things like jaundice and sometimes skin lesions.The lack of appetite can indicate nausea even if she if not actually being sick.

In addition,other liver dieases can cause the same signs and Bedingtons as a breed are known to suffer liver problems - although these generally have shown at a younger age than Mindy.

Kidney disease can also cause the symptoms of weight loss, inappetance and increased thirst, and occasionally also diabetes.

I am not sure if the hair loss and indoor toileting are part of the same disease process, completely unrelated or merely a symtom of Mindy generally feeling unwell.

My suggestion would be that you get Mindy in for some routine blood work, to check her liver, kidneys and glucose levels. I would be very surprised if this does not show exactly what her problem is. From there, further tests may be need to be 100% sure what is going on in order to determine what treatment she may require, depending on what exactly the bloods say.

I hope this helps you, and I am still available if you have further questions.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

will do but i thought cushings apart from pot belly or thyroid could that be a posibility

Expert:  gpvet replied 4 years ago.
The presentation is very unlikely to be either of those diseases - both tend to result in weight gain rather than loss. You also tend to see an increase in appetite. Of the two, Cushings is maybe slightly more likely than thyroid. The first step would still be routine bloods first, as you would see an increase in liver enzymes. Further specific tests can then be done for diagnosis, although it can be more tricky than you might think sometimes to reach definitive diagnosis.

There is also a syndrome called 'sick euthyroid syndrome' whereby if you test the thyroid hormone levels of a dog known to sick for other reasons, the hormone level will be low just because the dog is sick, not because the dog has a thyroid problem. Cure the other disease and the thyroid hormone level returns to normal. So we tend to do a panel of tests for thyroid disease, and look at them in conjunction with the dog's overall health. Just to add, if you give a dog with hair loss, that has not lost the hair through itching, thyroid hormones, it tends to grow back regardless of whether there is a thyroid disorder or not. Endocrinology is a fun fun subject!

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Ok try bloods first then

Thanks Lesley & Mindy

Expert:  gpvet replied 4 years ago.
No problem. Your vet will probably also appreciate a fresh urine sample as well if you can get one.