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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question

Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 24465
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience.
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Can liver cancer in dogs give them jaundice? I know that

Customer Question

Hi there, can liver cancer in dogs give them jaundice? I know that liver disease can give them jaundice. I'm only asking as I feel my vet has miss diagnosed my dog. He seemed very short and not willing to help. He has done a surgery to see the liver and has done a biopsy on the liver as he is unsure. Can you shed any light of this for me?
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 months ago.

You're speaking to Dr. Michael Salkin. Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm currently typing up my reply.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 months ago.

Yes, Anthony, any hepatobiliary (liver/biliary system) disorder including cancer can cause jaundice (icterus). In addition, sepsis (widespread systemic inflammation/infection), pancreatitis, and inflammatory bowel disease sometimes cause secondary hepatobiliary dysfunction and icterus. Finally, red blood cell breakdown can result in icterus. It sounds as if you're waiting for the biopsy results. Hopefully, it will be confirmatory for a disorder that can be treated conservatively.

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Thank you for your fast response, OK I'm hoping is a disorder that can be treated. He said he saw fatty spots on her liver. All of a suddend she just went down hill fast, does that sound like a aggressive form of infection? Worse case situation and it is cancer.. can it be treated?
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 months ago.

It's not clear to me what "fatty spots" implies. We do see hepatic lipidosis ("fatty liver") which can arise with metabolic disorders such as diabetes mellitus and glucocorticosteroid (prednisone, e.g.) therapy. Going downhill fast is always worrisome but it doesn't tell me why that's occurred. Both infections and cancers need to be considered and there are degenerative and toxic disorders on the table as well. Once cancers are found in the liver, the prognosis for recovery is very poor to grave. The exception to that rule is when a cancer is isolated to one liver lobe, hasn't spread, and that lobe can be surgically excised. Can you upload a copy of her test results to our conversation? I understand that you might not have a copy at home but her vet can give you one which you can scan into your computer and then give me the file link or you can photograph the pages and upload them by using the paperclip icon (if you can see that icon) or by using an external app such as dropbox.com/

I'd be pleased to review those test results. I can be more accurate for you once I do so.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
I haven't got the biopsy results yet they are being confirmed next week.. basically I've just got to brace myself for the worst. The annoying thing is there was two vets doing the surgery (inspection) and they both couldn't conclude what the small to medium lumps all over her liver where and they did request a biopsy test.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 months ago.

Yes, we have to biopsy bumps like those. Both benign and malignant bumps can be found on the liver. Benign nodules can represent adenomas (rare/usually in dogs older than 10 years), nodular hyperplasia (most often in very old dogs), and nodular regeneration (seen in middle-aged dogs with acquired liver disease). Primary hepatobiliary tumors are uncommon and occur primarily in older animals (10-12 years of age). Hopefully, then, nodular regeneration will be confirmed and a course of therapy possible.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Dr. Salkin thank you very much.. I hope it's the type that can be treated with the right therapy. Once again thank you very much
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 months ago.

You're quite welcome. I can't set a follow-up in this venue so please return to our conversation - even after rating - with an update at your convenience. You can bookmark this page for ease of return.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
I shall thank you so much
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 months ago.

It's my pleasure.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Hi Dr.salkin just a quick update in my dog.. it's not cancer thank God it's a hepatitis type infection
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 month ago.

Thank you for the update. I appreciate your taking the time to let me know. I can't set a follow-up in this venue so please return to our conversation - even after rating - with an update at your convenience. You can bookmark this page for ease of return.

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