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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 33314
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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My name is ***** ***** my issue is regarding my nearly 10

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Hi, my name is ***** ***** my issue is regarding my nearly 10 year old golden retriever. The last few days she has become less active and a lot more quiet. she is sleeping a lot more and not getting excited about food or walks (usually she goes crazy even at the mention of them). Her eyes have become droopy and bloodshot at the white part of her eyes. Her stomach looks quite swollen around the bottom part of her stomach too. She is excessively drinking water and urinating very frequently ( also urinating in the house which is very unusual for her). A couple of years ago she took not well and we found out she had cancer in her spleen, was bleeding internally. The vet fixed this problem with blood transfusions and removed her spleen and the results came back to say there was no more cancer. We are extremely worried about her and are unsure what to do. Please can you help
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I'm sorry to hear of this with Hayley. By the principle of Occam's Razor, I would be concerned that the splenic cancer diagnosis a couple of years ago has returned in another place but, of course, that's not necessarily the case. The most important hint is her polydipsia (increased thirst) and polyuria (increased volume of urine). This is seen with both hepatic and renal insufficiencies, diabetes mellitus and Cushing's disease (both would also cause polyphagia (increased hunger)), pyometra (infected uterus if she were still intact), Addison's disease, diabetes insipidus, and electrolyte (sodium, potassium, calcium) imbalances. It's essential that her vet thoroughly examine Hayley including diagnostics in the form of blood and urine tests. X-rays or abdominal ultrasound should also be performed looking to see if her swollen abdomen indicates a collection of fluid or blood or a return of the cancer or perhaps a new cancer growth. Loss of fluid into her abdomen can also result in polydipsia as she attempts to replace the fluid she has lost into that cavity. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thankyou. From the information I have given you, should we be worried that she might not pull through this time as she is older? how concerned would you be if she came into your veteriny? We are extremely worried and just want her to be okay. Is there anything we can do??

Yes, I'm afraid for her. Her symptoms are quite serious. Please keep her quiet and spoil her rotten until she can be attended to by her vet. Please don't administer any prescription or over the counter drugs at this time. We need to clarify what's going on with her at your earliest convenience.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

would this be a concern because she is older? we are scared that because she is older she may not be able to pull through it again if it is cancerous. Is ther any chance this Could be any minor problem or is it definetly a major problem ?

Yes, older Goldens are now the most common breed affected by cancers. You're correct to be concerned at this time. Her behavior and swollen stomach aren't minor problems. You need to expect a major problem once again. I need to leave my computer for a few hours but promise to reply as soon as I return if need be.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I guess my main question is; If we take her to the vet and the vet sees her symptoms, will they choose to put her down because she Is an older dog? We are terrified at the thought of losing her. Or if the cancer is back might the vet choose to just put her down ?

The vet doesn't choose what to do but, instead, performs an exam and tests as I mentioned and then informs you what has been found and what might be done. Nothing can be done without your permission.
Dr. Michael Salkin and 3 other Vet Specialists are ready to help you
Thank you for your kind accept. I appreciate it.
I can't set a follow up in this venue and so would appreciate your returning to our conversation with an update at your convenience.