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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 32783
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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my 7 year old boxer - has been very poorly over the past 4-5

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my 7 year old boxer - has been very poorly over the past 4-5 months - he is getting worse every day - he is not eating - he passes out regular he has lost a lot of weight - he has had his blood taken twice and inconclusive and seems to be anemic - he has has 3 courses of antibiotics and antacids to stop him being sick - he wont walk and when he does he only lasts 5 minutes and starts to breath heavy and he is exhausted - My vet thinks it may be splenic cancer?? - what do you think??
Aloha! You're speaking with Dr. Michael Salkin
I think that the etiology of Wallace's anemia hasn't been pursued properly. If Wallace has been passing out regularly I have to think that he's profoundly anemic and there are quite a few causes of such a severe anemia.

First of all, we need to identify if his anemia is regenerative (he can replace the red blood cells he lacks) or nonregenerative (he can't replace the red blood cells he lacks). Regenerative anemias are usually found due to active blood loss such as might occur with a bleeding splenic tumor. An abdominal ultrasound is the diagnostic of choice for identifying such a tumor. A regenerative anemia is also commonly found in cases of immune-mediated hemolytic anemia. This disease is identified by careful exam of a blood smear, seeing if autoagllutination exists (the red blood cells stick together abnormally), and performing specialized tests such as the Coombs, LE prep, and ANA looking for evidence of autoimmune disease (his immune system would be attacking his own red blood cells).

Nonregenerative anemias most often appear secondary to chronic diseases - most often inflammatory in nature. We look at the absolute reticulocyte count in order to differentiate regenerative from nonregenerative anemias. I would be pleased to review any test results you might be able to upload to our conversation. I understand that you might not have a copy of those results at home but Wallace's vet can give you a copy upon your request.

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

Hi, thankyou for your advice...just to reply to your question - His blood cells are regenerating, if that helps with your advice. Does this make a difference??? - He has had 2 episodes since i contacted you yesterday - his breathing getting very heavy and then he seems to pass out for a few seconds after being outside for only a few minutes.

A regenerative anemia usually indicates active bleeding or an immune-mediated hemolytic anemia. Testing as I mentioned above is indicated. Wallace is at risk of dying in one of these episodes and so I encourage your having the etiology of his regenerative anemia clarified at your earliest convenience.

Please continue our conversation if you wish.
Dr. Michael Salkin and other Vet Specialists are ready to help you
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.
May I have an update on Wallace, please?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Dr Salkin, Unfortunatly Wallace had to be put to sleep on Friday 6th May. On your advice I did take him back to our Vet but he was too poorly for any other kind of treatment and we made the very painfull decision to take him away from any more suffering. Again thankyou for giving me the second opinion and for taking the time to see how he was doing.

Really appreciate your concern xx

My condolences for your loss of Wallace. I appreciate your taking the time to let me know.

You may receive an inappropriate follow up from the site ostensibly from me. It wasn't and I apologize in advance should you receive it.

Please disregard the info request.