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Dr. Jo
Dr. Jo, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 2813
Experience:  DVM from Iowa State University in 1994; actively engaged in private regular and emergency practice since that time.
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My 3 year old cavalier King Charles has a raised temperature,

Customer Question

My 3 year old cavalier King Charles has a raised temperature, excessive drooling, is lethargic and will not drink water and barley touches his food. This had been going on for 4-5 days. The vet has given him fluids for one day and is waiting bloods. I'm just really worried as he looks so very unwell. He also vomited this evening so there is no sign of improvement, he is just getting worse!
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 1 year ago.
Hello,I'm Dr. Jo and I'm here to help you with your question about Henry.
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 1 year ago.
I'm so sorry you're having this problem, but glad you're looking for the information you need. You may join the conversation at any time by typing in what you want to say then clicking REPLY or SEND. Then we can chat back and forth until you're satisfied with the information I've provided.So I may know we're properly connected and that you understand how the website works (including that I'll need to earn your good rating in order to receive any compensation for helping you), please type in a short response below. You may rest assured you'll have my full attention and will receive a complete response once I know you're there. Thank you.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 1 year ago.
Glad you're there. I've got a lot to discuss with you...
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Can you please reply to my question?
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 1 year ago.
When I read through your description of what is going on, the first thought to come to mind is that of course you're worried because Henry does not appear to be receiving adequate care. Yes, there are occasions when it's okay to delay getting a diagnosis pending blood work, but then there are other times when a pet is too sick to wait. Yes... I'm typing as quickly as I can to answer your question.
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 1 year ago.
... but can you please clarify for me what exactly your question is? I do not see an actual question in the type provided above.
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 1 year ago.
What I was starting to say before, however, is that if Henry were my patient and were getting worse like this, I would not be happy simply waiting for bloodwork. As his vet, I would get more aggressive about treating his symptoms and looking for the cause of his illness. At this age I'm particularly worried about the possibility he has swallowed something non-food related that is stuck in his GI tract and causing an obstruction. If that's the case, it's a surgical emergency. The proper course of action for a dog with that problem is to have x-rays taken right away...
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Sorry, with the symptoms I've described what would you be looking for? I'm worried vet is being too relaxed and should have kept him there, he's hardly had any fluids over the weekend at all!
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 1 year ago.
As it stands right now, the only treatment you list Henry as receiving is one dose of fluids (which would prevent dehydration only for 12-24 hours) and some antibiotics. Antibiotics would only be useful if this is a bacterial infection AND the bacteria involved are sensitive to the antibiotic he is taking. I agree with your concern that the vet is being too relaxed. I - for one - would not have been at all comfortable following the plan this vet used. I know medicine is an art just as much as it is a science and there are a lot of different ways to handle any given case, but a dog who is this sick and is not getting better needs bloodwork results sooner than after a few days. Most modern veterinary hospitals have the capability to run lab tests in-house and have answers in 20 minutes. What other things would I be looking for? I'll discuss that below...
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I apologise I was worries this site wasn't genuine hence my initial abruptness.He doesn't seem to be in any obvious pain, it's very odd. Although I must say I don't think he's owned his bowels for 3-4 days
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I think this particular vet sends her bloods off, but I thought Friday to Monday was a long wait considering. He has an appointment tomorrow, I feel as though I should insist for further investigation straight away.
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 1 year ago.
Yes... I understand your skepticism, but you may rest assured I am a licensed, practicing vet with more than 20 years of experience. I'll do my best to help you.The most common things to cause a 3-year-old Cavalier to have a fever, excessive drooling, lethargy, refusal to drink, and loss of appetite include:A foreign body stuck in the GI tract (these dogs often have normal blood work, by the way).Some other type of problem with the GI tract like a torsion or other blockage.PancreatitisA bacterial diseaseA protozoal diseaseA viral diseaseLiver diseaseSome toxinsKidney diseaseThere are also other possibilities, but those are the most common.
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 1 year ago.
I agree that you should should insist on further investigation straight away, but I'll also advise you of this: while I cannot diagnose Henry without the benefit of a hands-on physical examination and blood work, I can tell you that waiting a few days to intervene in the case of a GI foreign body or obstruction can easily result in a life-threatening situation. I'm sorry. I wish I had better news for you. If emergency care is an option for Henry, that's the best recommendation I can make for the sake of his well-being.
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 1 year ago.
I know hindsight is always 20/20 and perhaps your vet thought he wasn't very sick and could await blood results, but if he has been getting worse while you await results, that's a very bad situation.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He had a collapse in the summer, and I was told at the time that his liver enzymes were high. When they re-tested they had come back down again and I was told to come back if he had any further problems which he didn't until now. I am very worried it could be his liver.If it is a liver problem would would the likely prognosis be for a dog of Henry's age?
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 1 year ago.
Henry's age is in his favor. Serious liver diseases are not common in dogs Henry's age. They are much more common in older dogs. That being said, there are NO simple liver diseases. I want you to rest assured that liver enzymes can go up for reasons not directly related to liver disease, too. It's pretty tricky. At this point in time it's premature to assume it's his liver.
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 1 year ago.
Is Henry vomiting a lot?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No he only vomited once today.
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 1 year ago.
Did he throw up food, or was it just fluid and bile?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Food, although it was oddly a yellowish colour and he's only eaten boiled chicken breast.
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 1 year ago.
The yellow color is most likely coming from bile. Do the whites of his eyes also have a yellowish tinge?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No, the vet looked for this and I've continued to be vigilant about this but nothing.
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 1 year ago.
Good. And has he been healthy for the most part otherwise?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
If Henry had ingested anything poisonous has the vet missed the window of opportunity to help? I have no reason to believe this is the case I'm just wondering if it's a possibility?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Other than a possible joint problem and the collapse he had in the summer yes he's a healthy dog
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
We've been seeing the vet as ***** *****mps sometimes.
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 1 year ago.
No... not necessarily. He *has* missed the window of opportunity to limit exposure to a toxin by inducing vomiting and administering activated charcoal to prevent absorption, but treatments can still be undertaken to help the liver heal. It would be really rare for a 3 year old dog who's always been healthy otherwise to have a bona fide liver disease. A GI disease (especially obstruction) is much more common.
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 1 year ago.
Again, to let you know what is most common, the vast majority of young dogs who limp do so because of:a joint injurya congenital joint problem (the result of how the dog was "put together"sometimes, an infectious disease like Lyme (not sure if you have that in the UK)
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 1 year ago.
My biggest concern is that it's possible Henry has a problem that cannot wait until tomorrow. Is emergency care an option for him?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Yes absolutely I would do anything for him. There is an emergency on call vet. He has eaten and had 30ml of water that I syringed into his mouth since he was sick tonight and kept it down. He has urinated once this evening (2nd one today) and is sleeping now. However if you feel emergency medicine is the correct route I will call them now?
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 1 year ago.
It's the safest option... It's true you may find out after the fact that it was "unnecessary", but - unfortunately, there's no way to know that ahead of time. I'd rather be safe than sorry. Additionally, if you find out that Henry's problem is minor and could have waited, well... that's a happy problem to have. In summary, if he were my patient and I had sent you home Friday afternoon with blood work pending and he was doing worse, I'd want to see him on an emergency basis right away. Does this help to answer your question tonight?
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 1 year ago.
Please remember I am here for you and am happy to discuss your question until you are satisfied with the answer I've provided. You may return to this page at any time to review this information and/or post more. You may do so even after you've rated my response. I'll be notified of your response via email and will do my best to help you.If you are satisfied with the information I've provided, please take a moment to rate my response. I've done my best to provide you with the most accurate, thorough and up-to-date information that is available, and your positive feedback is important to me. Without it, I receive no compensation for helping you.If you are not satisfied, please let me know how else I may be of assistance.Thank you for using our website.(rating option enabled)
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you you've been very helpful
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 1 year ago.
Glad I could help. I'll be hopeful in the meantime that Henry has a simple problem with an easy solution. You can also rest assured that sooner you get answers, the more likely it is the solution will be less complicated. Please take a moment to rate my response on your way out of the chat, and if you could be so kind as to send an update in a day or two, I'd be grateful. I'll be thinking about you.
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Just wanted to update you, Henry's bloods didn't reveal anything so they x-rayed Henry. Under the rib cage looked odd so they decided to open him up and look at the stomach/spleen and liver. The liver looked swollen and his red blood cells were at 24. He's had a transfusion, liver biopsy, bone marrow taken and new bloods and we are awaiting the results. The vet is still non the wiser! He's stayed there overnight.
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for taking the time to send this update. You're really going through a tough time with Henry! I'll be hopeful the biopsy results give an answer. At least everything else has been ruled out so far. So sorry you're not in the realm of a simple problem with a simple solution, however.