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Dr. Dan M.
Dr. Dan M., Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 1504
Experience:  10 years experience in Small Animal veterinary practice
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My 10 year old Westie has an infection, but the vet cant find

Customer Question

My 10 year old Westie has an infection, but the vet can't find it. Her temp. Is 103. She has had X-rays and loads of tests, blood tests etc. 3 lots of anti biotics and now steriods. He said he is stumped and if no better next week, he will send us to a more qualified person. What do you think.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Dan M. replied 4 years ago.

I am sorry Boo is unwell.

If the only abnormality being seen is the excessive temperature then there are many things which can cause this other than infection. Certainly if e temperature is not responding to non steroidal anti inflammatories and is persisting for 5 days or more then investigations are warranted.

Fever can indeed be caused by infection and the presence of this can be hard to find if there are no other areas of the body which are abnormal and hence isolating the cause (diarrhoea, urinary tract problems, respiratory signs) but fever can also be caused by immune mediated disease, inflammation and also cancer (rarely).

So if things are not presenting in a straightforward pattern and the temperature persists then this is classed as pyrexia of unknown origin.

Blood tests especially a complete blood count will help identify any white cell increases or decreases as can be seen with inflammation, infection or cancer. Urine tests can also rule out urinary tract infection.

Survey radiographs help identify abscesses in the chest or abdomen and assess organ shape and size. If still no answers are found then bone marrow biopsies can be taken to assess for the presence of bone marrow disease.

This condition can be difficult to diagnose and often referral to a specialist is needed for these more advanced tests to be performed.

Good luck

Dr Dan Makin