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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 33267
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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Over the last 2 days, my 6 yr old long legged staffie (service

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Over the last 2 days, my 6 yr old long legged staffie (service dog) has become very listless, sleeps a lot, will no longer go out for walks, passes very little in stools, is not eating but drinks and pees a lot. Nose is moist.
No signs of pain or discomfort. No sign of pain. Teeth look normal. Eyes look normal, but are developing a little more sleep section than normal.

Any suggestions as to what I should do please?
Aloha! You're speaking to Dr. Michael Salkin
I'm sorry to hear of this with Missy. The most worrisome clues you mentioned are her polydipsia (increased thirst) and polyuria (increased volume of urine). Those symptoms are pathognomonic (particularly indicative) of quite a few internal medical disorders which include urinary tract infection involving the kidneys, hepatic and renal insufficiencies, diabetes mellitus (if she had also been polyphagic/increased hunger), Cushing's disease (rare/would also cause polyphagia), and hypercalcemia - usually associated with malignancy. Pyometra (infected uterus) is a consideration in intact females but I suspect that Missy has been spayed.

It's important that your service dog vet has a good look at Missy and perform diagnostic testing in the form of blood/urine tests which should clarify which of the above exists at this time. Please make sure that Missy is fasted for at least 4 hours prior to a blood draw for the most accurate test results.

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks. She has not been spayed. The last time she was in season was 12 months ago and I assumed that they had stopped. There are traces of blood, I think from the back passage rather than urine, and I suspected a heavy period. She normally barks when other dogs pass by, but does not now do so at the moment. She is normally very active, wanting walks 4/5 times a day, but is now motionless for much of the day, moving only to get a drink or pass urine. Her eyes are wide open and appear alert, but does not perk up when I suggest a walk. Does this help?

It does. Her irregularity in her season and vaginal discharge coupled with her polydipsia and polyuria is strongly suggestive of pyometra. Please have her attended to by her vet at your earliest convenience. Pyometra is evidenced by an elevated white blood cell count and we would expect to see an enlarged uterus in an X-ray or ultrasound of her abdomen. Spaying is curative although we can treat medically in some circumstances.

Please continue our conversation if you wish.
I have to leave my computer for a few hours but I promise to reply as soon as I return if need be.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for your advice. I have taken her to the local pet hospital. They confirmed that she is dehydrated and has a low temperature, indicating Pyometra as you suggested. They have kept her in until tomorrow and say they will put her on a drip to hydrate and give her antibiotics. They also plan an ultrasound in the morning.


Is there any more guidance you can offer please - I am obviously very worried about her?





Thank you for the update, Martin. It sounds as if she's being stabilized nicely. Pre-operative blood/urine work should be evaluated and hopefully will show that she requires only fluids and antibiotics prior to surgery. The prognosis is always guarded, however, and depends upon the presence of sepsis (systemic infection) and liver or renal failure. Otherwise, it's good. If anything untoward shows up, her vet will consult with you and discuss additional therapy which might be necessary. Once the infected uterus is removed, she should normalize quickly and aftercare will be minimal.

Please continue our conversation if you wish.
Dr. Michael Salkin and other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I have just phoned the pet hospital. She spent a peaceful night and is rehydrating. I am to visit at 9am (0725 now). I'll update you further after that.Thank you.




Thank you, Martin.
Thank you for your kind accept. I appreciate it.

I'm going to check back with you in a few days for an update. Feel free to return to our conversation - even after rating - prior to my contacting you if you wish.

Please disregard the info request.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

At a 10.30 appointment following a good night on drips and Antibiotics, she was now discharging white puss. They decided to remove the infected uterus.

I spoke with the vet hospital at 4pm. They confirmed that the operation was a success; she was peaceful and that the uterus was indeed infected as you had expected.


I am to contact them at 4pm tomorrow to see if she is then well enough to come home, or whether they keep her for another night.


I'll let you know when she is home, meanwhile, again my very grateful thanks for your advice and support.


Best Wishes,



Thank you for the good update.

You're quite welcome. My best to Missy!

Please disregard the info request.
May I have an update on Missy, please?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks for all your help and support. She is home, doing well. Now eating and pooing normally. Continuing a course of antibiotics. No sign of pain or discomfort, and still jumps up onto the bed! Missy has been walking outside well, and seems just a little less antagonist towards other dogs.
Again, many thanks for all your support. Best, Martin

It's my pleasure. Thank you for the good update. I appreciate your taking the time to do so.

Please disregard the info request.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Very many thanks. It's good to know you are there.

Thank you for your kind words.