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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 16909
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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I have a 20 year old crossbreed dog who has recently lost

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Hi.. I have a 20 year old crossbreed dog who has recently lost her appetite,lost weight rapidly and started drinking water a lot more than usual. I have had her at the vets twice in the last month where she had an advanced blood test and I also had her teeth checked and was told she needs 4 removing. The blood test came back good the vet said apart from her white cell count was low. The vet put her on antibiotics in case she had a gum infection although he could not confirm this. The other thing I mentioned to both vets on both occasions is that my girl is not neutered and that when my latest addition to the household came into season so did my older girl, which I know can happen, but my old girl has now been in season for 3 months even though there is now no blood, but she is still acting strange and hormonal around any male dogs and licking male urine if given the chance? She lost the weight and her behaviour changed around two weeks into her season? I know she is an older dog but she is still very sprightly and aware of life and still loved her daily walks and still does although she's so underweight I do not take her far at all. The vets do not seem concerned about this? But I am? She is living on baby food at the moment which she does eat, I want to get her bad teeth taken out but in her condition worry about the anesthetic and feel they are missing something else like leukemia? Cushings? although they say the blood test would show these kind of illnesses? Please help ? Thank you
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 2 years ago.
Hello, my name is***** and I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
I am very concerned that your girl is drinking a tremendous amount of water, has lost her appetite, is losing lots of weight and has had an abnormal heat cycle.
While gum and tooth infections could give her a sore mouth and reluctance to eat well they almost always find a way to eat around the sore areas and I would not expect that to cause such quick weight loss, nor such a large increase in water consumption or affect her heat cycle.
When we see that sort of weight loss with a change in appetite and a huge increase in water consumption we need to worry about disease processes that either don't allow her to digest and/or absorb the food she is taking (such as diabetes, liver disease, primary intestinal or pancreatic disease including cancers) or those that lead to a higher metabolic rate such as cancer. An abdominal or thyroid tumor would seem most likely.
Since her blood tests look normal diabetes is unlikely, and so is an over-riding infection. I would be concerned about primary intestinal disease (including infiltrative intestinal cancer) or an abdominal tumor
Given her abnormal heat an ovarian tumor could be possible.
I assume that she has had a complete blood count and biochemistry profile, but has she had a thyroid profile checked? These tests often give us the information that we need.
If those aren't diagnostic then it is time to move on to more specialized testing. I recommend checking vitamin B levels to look for signs of intestinal disease, a test for pancreatic insufficiency called a TLI, and an abdominal ultrasound to look for signs of changes in the walls of the intestines as well as evaluating her organs. She may need an endoscopy to collect biopsies of her intestines if they look abnormal.
In the meantime you might try feeding her a higher calorie prescription food called Hills a/d or Iams Maximum Calorie from your veterinarian and make sure she has access to plenty of fresh, clean water.
Please let me know if you have any further questions.
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