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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 33273
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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Hi we have a 12 +yr old black labrador, to this point been

Customer Question

Hi we have a 12 +yr old black labrador, to this point been very healthy, not overweight, has in past two weeks changed, and is unwell. We took him to vet about10 days week ago, had blood test which was clear, the vet suggexted scans and xrays later in the week but he had perked up to his normal self, appearing happy and fine, we did not commit to having the scans and xrays, (we dont have pet insurance).
Last night seems to have got ill again. And he appears to be groaning a lot, His abdomen tightens and pulls up as he groans. He went off his food last night, and for past 10 days not really conducted a usual full - normal bowel movement, often only smaller volume, . Through the night he has been groaning and this morning symptoms are: he is looking very forlorn through his big eyes as labs can do, a higher level of drooling, 'breathing' is noticeable in as much shorter and shallow. He is currently resting and through these isue he is not wantig to walk or move much.
Obviuolsly sunday morning were not sure what to do to help him....
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 3 years ago.
Aloha! You're speaking to Dr. Michael Salkin
I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. I suspect that many vets were reluctant to give you what necessarily must be an unsatisfactory answer. You do deserve the courtesy of a reply, however.

Max's groaning, anorexia, drooling and shallow breathing are all pain responses and the pain is likely to arise from his abdomen because drooling (ptyalism) usually indicates nausea and gastrointestinal distress. When blood work finds nothing untoward, imaging in the form of X-rays or ultrasound is necessary. The gastrointestinal tract and spleen aren't evaluated well with basic blood work and these are the areas in which we're concerned about malignancy at Max's age and in his breed.

For now, a narcotic analgesic would be appropriate. Do you happen to have tramadol, hydrocodone, hydromorphone, or another opiate at home for which I could give you a dose for Max?