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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 33254
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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hi there, im looking for some help with my dog Dave. He's a

Customer Question

hi there, im looking for some help with my dog Dave. He's a black cocker spaniel aged 9 and we have had a few problems with him over the past couple of years but no concrete answers. Firstly he started running around the place all of a sudden, he could be lying down but then all of a sudden get up and run at a fast rate around the house as if he'd just been prodded with a hot poker. This has happened on many occasions over the past few years. We've had him to the vet but they keep saying its his anal glands and we need to get them cleaned out every 3 months but this isn't enough and it doesn't seem to stop the problem. He gets himself very distressed and starts going to placed to lie down which are impossible to get to, causing more stress to himself. We cant seem to get any proper answers and we are really feeling for him. Secondly, Dave has been sick a lot the past 3-4 months, we again took him to the vet and they took a few tests and they told us he had pancreatis. They put him on 3 types of medication and I felt they weren't helping himat all. We took him back and we saw a vet higher up and they said he didn't have pancreatis and that he may have a tumour. They kept him in and gave him us home the next day with steroids which didn't seem to help either. He again has started to be sick the past few days and doing his running around during the day and night. I feel like I cant take him back to the vet before I get a second opinion on him as its only going to be the same things that they do and its going to cost another fortune which I don't have. I hope you can help me as I'm very upset with the whole thing. Thank you, Lesley
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 felt that any answer they gave you might well be unsatisfactory. Dave's history is incomplete and puzzling.

Dave's sporatic running around the house and then sequestering himself suggests either a pain response or behavioral response to a fear or phobia.

"Being sick a lot in the past 3-4 months" is unclear. Does this mean that he's been vomiting a lot in the past 3-4 months? If not, are there are other symptoms you can tell me about?

Pancreatitis is best diagnosed by a blood test called the specCPL. Do you know if that teat were performed? Ultrasound of the abdomen is also a good way to diagnose pancreatitis. There's no specific therapy for pancreatitis. Treatment is supportive and the tincture of time usually suffices. Most dogs will remiss within a week but relapses are common. Diagnosing a tumor requires either palpating (feeling) it or visualizing it in X-rays or ultrasound. Do you know if that has been done?

Can you upload a copy of his test results to our conversation? I understand that you might not have a copy of the results at home but his vet should be able to give you one which you could scan into your computer and give me the link or you can photograph the page(s) and upload the images by using the paperclip icon in the toolbar above your message box (not if you're using the chrome browser) or by using an external app such as or
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi there Dr Salkin,

Thank you for your reply. i don't think he had blood tests as i couldn't afford the bill and asked them to keep the price down as much as they could due to being on a low income. I think they monitored him when they kept him in overnight for 1 night but didn't do anything but id need to double check. I did apply to the PDSA but only got a little help, i think £30 paid toward the bill. Anyway..... The sickness comes and goes but yes it has been over the past few months and then he seems to perk up and get better. He gets lethargic and then does his scooting around and then when i think he feels pain. His scooting around tends to be worse in the evening but also can happen during the day as well. Its funny that all the vets ive seen seem to say its puzzling and cant seem to give any straight answers and yes i agree that Dave need a scan or ultrasound but this has not been offered to me. Also if it was i don't know if i could say yes as, as far as i know they are very expensive and i don't earn enough money to pay for it and that worries me!! This will definitely be the next step i think as i cant have the dog go through this anymore as its very distressing. I would love to get an answer for the poor wee soul as i hate seeing him suffer. :-(

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 3 years ago.
I understand how frustrating this must be for you. Unfortunately, the more puzzling the presentation, it seems the more diagnostics and expense are needed in order to clarify what's going on.

I'd like you try a conservative approach in case gastroesophageal reflux (acid reflux, heartburn/GERD) underlies Dave's distress. Purchase the over the counter Pepcid Two and dose Dave at 0.2mg/kg of the famotidine in that product twice daily. Let's see if that makes a difference in his behavior.

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