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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 28541
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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Hi I have a four month old bullmastif puppy who I had to rush

Customer Question

Hi I have a four month old bullmastif puppy who I had to rush to the vets two weeks ago and was bought home yesterday she has been diagnosed with chronic renal failure. Ive payed £900 in vet bills for blood test medication fluifs special food etc over the past two weeks she is also severely anemic. Her bloods and kidney levels wete tested yestrday and they are still the same and was just sent home with a course of antibiotics. I have been told she isn't allowed by my other two dogs or outside and to keep her in the crate so she gets rest. I asked what options we have now as you can clearly see she is a very poorly dog and only weighs 7 kilo where her brother weighs nearly 18 kilo. They told me my options are to send her to a veterinary university costing thousands of pounds or to take her in twice a week for bloods and to go on a drip I feel this is very unfair on our little princess as dhe isn't getting the normal life of a dog and hate seeing her like this. Could you offer some advice please
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 3 years ago.
Aloha! You're speaking with Dr. Michael Salkin
I'm sorry to hear of this with Princess. Chronic renal failure is diagnosed when previously healthy kidneys fail over time. This is a finding mainly in the older dog. When such a young dog as Princess has kidneys suggestive of chronic renal failure we're going to find a congenital (present at birth) defect in the kidneys such as renal dysplasia - also called familial renal disease, or progressive juvenile nephropathy. Princess's stunted growth and tests suggestive of chronic renal failure are pathognomonic (specifically indicative) of renal dysplasia. I don't believe referral to a veterinary teaching hospital will be of value.

Parsing the definition of her kidney disease isn't as important as understanding that Princess can't get better. Renal dysplasia can't be reversed or cured; the goal of therapy is to delay progression of kidney disease, maintain hydration, address signs of uremia, and address complications of overt chronic kidney disease such as her anemia and acid-base and electrolyte disorders. Princess's prognosis depends upon the degree of dysplasia, age at onset of signs (the earlier signs appear, the worse the prognosis), severity of dysfunction at diagnosis, and subsequent treatment. The long-term prognosis is generally poor. I would be pleased to review her test results for you if you could post them in our conversation. I understand that you might not have a copy of those results at home but Princess's vet can provide you with a copy.

The quality of life of my patient is paramount to me. Restricting a young puppy to a crate and denying her the socialization necessary at her age is anathema to me. If this is, indeed, what needs to be done, I would have to consider euthanasia to be a kinder manner in which to proceed.

I'm sorry to sound so discouraging but I'm quite concerned for Princess at this time. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi dr salkin. Thank you so much for your advice it has helped an awful lot. I agree with you that its unfair to restrict her to a crate I absolutely hate it. I let her out now and again but can only do this is I put the other two dogs in another room which is also unfair on them. I feel very torn at the moment she is a puppy off my bitch so we hsve had her since day one I want to do whats best for her in every aspect possible but like you I also feel that her condition of life is unfair as she really doesn't have any life like a dog needs to have. Ny other two are spoilt rotten like she is but they are able to have the life they need unlike our little princess . I have asked my vet about euthanasia but they are refusing to do it as they say shes maintainable but I myself disagree as a maintainable life is nothing really compared to the life she would normally have. I absolutely hate how she is having to live we love her to bits buti just want what's best for her. Would you advise seeing another vet as mine seem very stubborn to any other option than maintaining her life. Thanks again

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 3 years ago.
Yes, maintaining is not synonymous with thriving. I agree that another set of eyes on Princess would be prudent at this time. I can be more accurate for you if I could see Princess's last test results. I'm particularly interested in her hematocrit (degree of anemia); BUN, creatinine, phosphorus (values pertinent to her kidneys function); specific gravity of her urine and amount of protein in her urine.

You're quite welcome.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

My vets are mow closed until Monday but I will go in first thing to ask for a copy of all of her results and forward them to you. Thank you for your help. Im going to phone a couple of other veterinary practices now to get her an appointment asap. Im not sure of the exact level of anemia but I know they said its severe and due to the renal failure. Thank you so much for your help

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 3 years ago.
Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX going to that trouble for me. I'll watch for your next post and set a follow up for a week from now in case I miss you.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thats brilliant thank you so much. Your advice has been more of a help than you could imagine thank you

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 3 years ago.
It's my pleasure. I'll speak to you soon.
Dr. Michael Salkin and other Vet Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for your kind accept. I appreciate it.

Please disregard the info request.