My dog is sick and the vet doesn't know what is wrong. Can you help?
My dog just hasn't been herself for a week now. She hasn't been defecating, so I thought she might be constipated. She also has been walking funny, which we contributed to the constipation (her back is raised/humped and her back right leg stiff). We took her to the vet. They took X-rays, and a blood test. They told us that there wasn't a build-up of feces, and that her blood came back fine. They gave us some anti-inflammatory medicine, as well as some probiotic and pain killers. They also told us Fawn (our dog) was dehydrated, so they pushed some liquid into her subcutaneously. She felt better that day, but then the next day and the day after that went back to feeling ill. And by ill, I mean she doesn't want to eat or drink, doesn't want to go outside or even walk around at all. And she still hadn't defecated. We went back to the vet, they took some more blood, and also gave her an enema. We left her there for a few hours, and when they called they told us she had some blood come out with her stool. The blood we saw was bright red, but they told us some of it was brownish. They told us there might be an uspet with her stomach, told us to give her some pepcid AC, and some pain killers for her leg. They thought there was a neurological problem that caused her leg to be so stiff, but now say that there is something wrong with the knee from their observation, but didn't see anything in the x-ray. They also told us that some of her blood levels were on the low side (like her ALK PHOS), but still in the normal range. The vet said they should be elevated because of the stress, so now they want to check her liver function with another test. Fawn is still not feeling well, and we don't know what to do. We spent close to 1000 dollars with all these tests, and now the liver test is 200 dollars more. She still isn't eating, and now doesn't walk at all. Her back leg is so stiff. Does anyone have some idea what might be wrong? Could it be the liver?
Other than liver disease, it sounds to me as if she may have spinal intervertebral disk disease (IVDD). Nerves from the spine that travel down her leg could be inflamed causing the stiffness in her leg. Disk disease is usually not visible on X-Rays unless there are bony changes associated with a chronic problem. An MRI scan is necessary for definitive diagnosis of disk disease. This of course is just a guess, on my part, and your vet may be perfectly correct in his/her assessment. The blood test that your vet would like to perform may indeed be warranted. It is probably a bile acid test. I would suggest that an abdominal ultrasound may also be helpful.
I also think that a neurological consult may be a good idea.
Blood in the stool can be caused by steroids and certain NSAIDS (non steroidal anti-inflammatory medications), and other pain medications.
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