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Dr. Joey
Dr. Joey, Board Certified
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 4701
Experience:  15 yrs in practice, specialist canine/feline medicine
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I have a 6 yr old collie dog who has been poorly for 3 weeks,

Resolved Question:

I have a 6 yr old collie dog who has been poorly for 3 weeks, first with urine incontinence, secondly, drinking large amounts from our garden stream, thirdly, would not eat and although urine sample was clear and PAP blood test showed nothing abnormal, he still had a cold nose, he had lost his exuberance and seemed rather depressed. The vet gave him Noraclav to begin with but no result from that and then another blood test showed very low white blood corpusles, and platelets dangerously low. However, a further lab. test showed that platelets were 'clumping' but white blood corpusles still very low. He has lost 2 kilos in 3 weeks. He won't eat and has vomited on three occasions. He has lost his jumping strength and has become quiet. He will still go for walks but constipated because of lack of food. A further blood test has shown moderate kidney failure and he is now on a 'flushing his kidneys' drip at the vet. After being confused about the diagnosis the vet is now convinced he has ingested a TOXIN... probably from our garden stream. Can you hold out any hope for him? We love him so much!!
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Joey replied 2 years ago.

Dr. Joey :

Hello I am Dr. Joey. Thanks for trusting me to help you and your pet today. I am a licensed veterinarian with over 15 years of experience. I look forward to working with you.

Dr. Joey :

Acute kidney failure such as can occur from ingestion of a toxin is certainly possible. Has your vet screened for infectious diseases that can cause kidney failure such as Leptospirosis and Lyme disease (just to rule these out)? As well, I hope he had an xray in this process to confirm there are no kidney/bladder stones or other obvious abnormalities.


I also want to confirm on his screening lab work his BUN & Creatinine were elevated, which are the kidney values but did he have any other changes such as high phosphorus which would suggest kidney failure versus dehydration?

Customer:

Hi Dr.Joey,

Dr. Joey :

The best for him is to spend 24-48 hours getting rehydrated on IV fluids and then repeat his kidney values. If they are woresning, then testing for Leptospirosis becomes even more important; and also there is concern for a "toxin" but there are not many "toxins" that affect kidneys other than antifreeze (which if exposed and there was a 3-days delay in therapy and he never got the antidote, then his prognosis is poor...hopefully not this; your vet would see oxalate crystals in his urine and on ultrasound there should be a typical highlighting around the kidneys).

Dr. Joey :

Another toxin is a plant in the lily family (sometimes with hydration and supportive therapy dogs will get through this and live with only mild kidney compromise on the other end).

Dr. Joey :

Okay, I have thrown a lot your way. Please let me know your questions and what didn't make sense.

Dr. Joey :

Please let me know if you received my replies and what questions you still have.

Customer:

Thanks for your response. You put forward some very interesting points. We certainly have a large lily plant in the garden. I will check with my husband re: antifreeze, although we are very much aware of the dangers in that respect. The original urine sample I gave the vets for "ALFIE" was fairly diluted but no infection present....crystals certainly would have been noticed. We have a good vet who is very thorough but our concern is still that the stream water in the garden, although fast flowing could have some farming chemicals present that have seeped in from the fields. In the UK we have had some dreadfully stormy weather and therefore, fields have become flooded and water-logged. Would farming chemicals cause a toxin to affect a domestic dog.?Does the 'flushing' out procedure of the kidneys have good results? "ALFIE" is a large, beautiful, blue merle border collie and always 'full of beans' (very energetic and full of fun). This 'sudden' illness has shattered him! I forgot to mention, that it was also discovered he has a 'heart murmer' which has been described as 'musical'. All this has happened since the beginning of his illness 3 weeks ago. Another question I would like to ask is...."Do you consider that any bird seed could be toxic to a dog?" I ask this because "Alfie" has a tendency to snack on bird table droppings of seed etc. Your help in this matter would be much appreciated.

Dr. Joey :

I am sure I could comment on farm chemicals; possible but I think it would be fairly diulte in the water. This is probably unlikely. I think if there was chemical exposure, she would have some liver values changes as well (although with Leptospirosis we would have changes usually in both kidney and liver problems...although I have seen a few cases with only kidney changes).


Bird seed is not toxic. Usually goes through (my dog eats this every day). No problem. It is,however, possible to pick up some significant gastrointestinal fungal infections from bird stool, but not kidney issues.

Customer:

Did you receive my response? I pressed enter and it disappeared. Sorry to inconvenience you!

Dr. Joey :

I did receive your long reply. Did you receive my reply above (starting with farm chemical)? I'm sorry if the system is glitchy today. That's annoying but I will report it for us.

Customer:

Hi Dr. Joey,

Customer:

Hi Dr. |Joey,

Dr. Joey :

It does appear that the system is spitting out odd thing. Please try to let me know your questions and if we are unable to communicate well in this forum I can change us to a Q/A session which is slower (more like doing back-and-forth email) but still effective.

Customer:

Hi Dr. Joey, I have a feeling you haven't received my response. You made some interesting points. The Lily plant is something we do have in the garden. We are certainly aware of the dangers of anti-freeze. Our vet is very thorough and "ALFIE" is at this moment on a flushing drip. We are praying it will be successful. He was a very active, exuberant,large male border collie and 6 is too young to die. We feel that toxins may certainly be the answer. Could they be in our stream and have eminated from the farming fields due to all the rain we have experienced in the U.K. Do you think farming chemicals in a diluted form could harm a dog? They have also discovered he has a heart murmer....all started 3 weeks ago! My last question to you is ..."Can Wild Bird Seed be toxic to a dog?" "Alfie" certainly snacks on the residue that drops from the bird table?Look forward to your reply and many thanks.

Dr. Joey :

I will repeat my reply since I did receive this response. I am sure I could comment on farm chemicals; possible but I think it would be fairly diulte in the water. This is probably unlikely. I think if there was chemical exposure, she would have some liver values changes as well (although with Leptospirosis we would have changes usually in both kidney and liver problems...although I have seen a few cases with only kidney changes).


Bird seed is not toxic. Usually goes through (my dog eats this every day). No problem. It is,however, possible to pick up some significant gastrointestinal fungal infections from bird stool, but not kidney issues.

Dr. Joey :

(I meant I am "not" sure I could comment..."

Dr. Joey :

Would you be opposed to changing to a Q/A session so that I can be sure we are seeing each other's replies?

Dr. Joey, Board Certified
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 4701
Experience: 15 yrs in practice, specialist canine/feline medicine
Dr. Joey and 2 other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Dr. Joey,


I was most grateful for the information you gave me regarding my 6 yr. old collie "ALFIE". Since I spoke to you last on the 5th March, he has been diagnosed with bone marrow cancer. After going down hill dramatically, he has responded very well to the medication....one 25 mg tablet of PREDNIDALE a day and 0.5 ml of Propalin for the urine incontinence once in the evening. He is eating well and is a somewhat quieter version of his previous self.


The last but one blood test indicated his kidneys were suffering, low white blood corpuscles, very low platelets, heart murmur, and then suddenly red blood cells were down. He was tested for Addisons ...but negative. He hasn't had a bone marrow biopsy but the vet is convinced now it IS cancer.WHAT DO YOU THINK? If you think it IS likely, then would chemo' and steroids help him more and extend his life ...(without suffering) of course? I would value your up-to-date opinion.

Expert:  Dr. Joey replied 2 years ago.
This is a tough question. Chemotherapy might help him, if we were able to get a diagnosis for the type of cancer that he has. Without a diagnosis, then I cannot give you percentages for if chemo will help, nor will your vet (or oncologist) be able to know what type of chemotherapy drug to try. Has he had an abdominal ultrasound to look at his kidneys (see if there is a tumor there) or another location in his abdomen that we could potentially sample (via needle and ultrasound)? As well, I assume he has had 3-view screening x-rays of his chest and abdomen as a cancer screening tool (if not done in the past 2 months, then this should be repeated).

Anemia can be associated with primary kidney failure (the kidneys are not producing the hormone that instructs the bone marrow to make red blood cells). Are we sure the low platelet count is real (this has been confirmed by a sample to the lab)? If so, then this may point to a problem with the bone marrow, and a bone marrow aspiration/biopsy is the best next step. If there is cancer hiding in the bones then this may get you a diagnosis.
Dr. Joey, Board Certified
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 4701
Experience: 15 yrs in practice, specialist canine/feline medicine
Dr. Joey and 2 other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you Dr.Joey for your very helpful reply. I didn't mention before that in fact "Alfie" did go on an IV drip for 4 days because of his moderate kidney failure and of course more blood tests. He hadn't been eating for 5 days and it was only after the vet discovered the lowered red blood count, that he felt the diagnosis became more apparent. He discussed at length the problems we were facing and asked if we wished him to go on steroids. He said it would either work immediately or he would go 'down hill' very rapidly. His recovery was like 'a miracle'! He is now at home and eating very well. However, he is, of course, not at the energy level he used to be but he IS still with us. We know that we probably will not have him for very long, which is very sad because he is the most beautiful collie and we love him so much. CANCER is the scurge of our time!! However, we can, at least give him all the love and attention that he deserves and make sure that he doesn't suffer. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR HELP.

Expert:  Dr. Joey replied 2 years ago.
Hi. I am just following up from our conversation the other day. How is Alfie doing? Is there anything else that I can help with?

Cheers,
Dr. Joey

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