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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 28538
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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Our springer spaniel has been taken ill over a period 3 weeks

Customer Question

Our springer spaniel has been taken ill over a period 3 weeks now and the vet can't give a conclusive answer to whats wrong but as of today he has had a scan and his liver is motled, they are leaning towards leptospirosis our delema its do we do a biopsy of the liver or follow the medication route, problem is could we be treating him for a disease he doesn't have? and is biopsy the only way.
Mark.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.
Mark, can you upload a copy of his test results to our conversation? I understand that you might not have a copy of the results at home but his vet should be able to give you one which you could scan into your computer and give me the link or you can photograph the page(s) and upload the images by using the paperclip icon in the toolbar above your message box (if you can see such an icon) or by using an external app such as dropbox.com.To answer you directly, no, liver biopsy isn't the only manner in which to confirm leptospirosis infection. A PCR (polymerase chain reaction/a DNA-based test) is sensitive and specific and may even be positive in early infection before rise in specific antibody is detected by MAT or ELISA testing. Urine is preferred for the PCR test as the concentration of leptospires is highest in urine. False negatives are possible, however, especially after the start of antibiotic therapy.Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks Michael for your reply,I can ask for for a copy of the results and get back to you, I believe they have done the above tests to no conclusion.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.
I understand, Mark. I'll watch for your next post. I not only review the test results but also note which tests should have been performed but weren't.
Thank you for your kind accept. I appreciate it.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Michael,just to update you on the situation, we have had a call today to have a chat with the vet and collect Ben, i hope he doesn't go down in 24hrs again my children are really upset with whats going on.so on Ben's first visit he was diagosed with an enlarged prostrate which was probably due to bateiera infection, he was given a course of drugs to take to which didn't really help in my opinion. we also had to do a urine sample the next day which came back negative.they changed medication half way through the first week which made him worse and had to be admitted to the vets he was on a drip and they found he is allergic to penicillin, he was in for two days and came back to normal and released, in 24hrs he went down again and was admitted yet again.From the beginning he has had liver enzymes in his urine and high white cell count, he also has a swollen pancreas , this is pretty much where we are today, this overview is to the best of my knowledge.many thanks.Mark.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.
Thank you, Mark. Acute prostatitis responds best to castration + antibiotics rather than antibiotics alone. It's not unusual for the urine not to have bacteria in it in these dogs. The prostate doesn't shed the bacteria all of the time. I believe you meant elevated liver enzymes in the serum. We don't test the urine for those. An elevated white blood cell count indicates inflammation but not necessarily the inflammation associated with infection. Pancreatitis can elevate liver enzymes. Pancreatitis is unusal in a 30 month old.

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