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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 37448
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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I rescued an 8 year old lab 3 months ago who was in very

Customer Question

Hello, I rescued an 8 year old lab 3 months ago who was in very poor body condition. Under a vet guidance he has had 1 month on 60% protein food, 600g weight gain only. A further month on a fully hypoallergenic diet, 300g gained. He has a skin condition (bald underbelly) which appears to be linked to allergies which has improved greatly witb twice weekly oat baths, and twice daily oat based cream. He has had blood tests which showed a high WBC and poor liver function. Ultrasound scan showed no mass but an inlarged prostate (he is an entire male). Further urine tests have diagnosed a urinary tract infection which he is now on antibiotics for. But we are no fully forward in helping him gain mass (he is only 22 kilos). Any no invasive avenues to explore would be helpful as my vet is suggesting biopsy is the next step. Would castration reduce his prostrate size and assist his weight gain? Many thanks
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 6 months ago.

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Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 6 months ago.

I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. To answer you directly, yes, because a urinary tract infection in the intact dog always involves the prostate gland (prostatitis) and prostatitis can cause a systemic malaise. Castration and two weeks of an antibiotic that penetrates well into the prostate gland such as one of the fluoroquinolones (e.g., enrofloxacin), or trimethoprim-sulfa is usually curative. If castration isn't desired, 4-6 weeks of such an antibiotic will be needed but recrudescence (relapse without cure in between events) is common. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Thanks. They have prescribed Nisamox 375mg daily for 7 days. Then a repeat uringe analysis before they will entertain castration. Could this be the overall reason for his poor body condition and weight? Hard to believe he has this infection more than a few days which is the period he has been asking to go outside an awful lot, so I’m not convinced this is the root of the overal problem. Any suggestions?
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 6 months ago.

Thank you for the additional information. Regretfully, there has to be considerable prostatic inflammation to allow Nisamox (amoxicillin/clavulanate) to penetrate into the prostate gland. His prostatitis is more likely to be acute on chronic rather than acute. Acute on chronic means that the disease process has been going on for quite some time but just recently became clinically apparent. I can't ignore out that liver pathology has been detected. If the liver isn't functioning well you'll see a general malaise as well. Please note that liver function isn't assessed by liver enzymes (ALT, AP, GGT) but, instead, by serum bile acid testing which is prudent to have done in order to assess liver function and the potential for his liver to be causing his lack of weight gain. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 6 months ago.

not "I can't ignore out..." but "I can't ignore that..."

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Hi, fasting and non fasting liver bile testscame back normal...
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 6 months ago.

Thank you...his liver function is normal, then. If his liver enzymes are elevated significantly, ultrasound of his abdomen +/- ultrasound-guided liver needle biopsy would be the next step. Can you upload a copy of all of Bertie's test results to our conversation? I understand that you might not have a copy at home but his vet can give you one which you can scan into your computer and then give me the file link or you can photograph the pages and upload them by using the paperclip icon (if you can see that icon) or by using an external app such as dropbox.com/

I not only review the test results but also note which tests should have been performed but weren't.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
The ultrasound was clear too. I’ll get copies of the records for you. He is proving to be a bit of a puzzle!
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 6 months ago.

I appreciate it. I'll watch for your next post...