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508440 tn?1295063915

Cancer... or?

My dog has several lumps and bumps on his skin.  He had seven removed and biopsied last December, and each one was a different benign growth.  One of which was a lipoma, which has since grown back.  Current symptoms for which I took him into the vet two weeks ago:
-Urinating in the house
-Seems warm to the touch
-intense itching
-Looks like he has lost a bunch of weight
-not acting like himself
-coughing here and there
-spitting up (yellowish color) intermittently
Vet visit:  Temp 102.8, weight: 80.8 lbs (a ten pound loss.)  Exam:  vet says he looks "bony" and that his skin is really pink. Vet ordered CBC/Chem panel, Urinalysis.  Results: mostly normal, with the exception of slightly elevated eosinophils in blood, and very elevated pH in his urine
I just switched him over to Hills' Prescription Diet WD w/chicken dog food about a month ago, and increased the amount to 4 cups per day. Previously, he was eating 3 cups of Natural Balance Reduced calorie food per day, since I adopted him in 2008. He has recently lost 10 pounds, so the vet had me double his food intake to see whether he just needs to eat more, or if he truly is losing weight for no reason. So, he has been eating 8 cups per day (1/2 in the AM, 1/2 in the PM) She also had me start given him 10mg Claritin two times per day, which really seems to be helping with the itching.  I am supposed to take him back to the vet next week for full body films, and a urine culture.  Just now, I found a new lump on his hind leg.  It feels similar to the lipoma, however he does not want me to touch it.  HE has also started smelling really bad this week.  Does anyone have any idea what could be going wrong?  I assume that if he has cancer, something more would be wrong with his bloddwork, right?    Please let me know what else we could be looking for, other than cancer.  Thanks!
3 Responses
234713 tn?1283530259
Elevated eosinophils in the blood are most commonly caused by allergies, or parasites (internal or external).  The external parasites, scabies and demodex both cause itching, as does food allergies or environmental allergies.  Intense itching from any cause can disrupt the skin allowing in bacterial invaders causing a secondary bacterial or yeast infection which will cause the skin to become malodorous.

A skin scraping and other diagnostic procedures will help rule out the external cause of the skin disease. Once the culprit is identified the skin can be treated.  

There is no accurate test for food allergy.  A food trial must be performed, which is feeding your dog a presciption novel protein dog food for 2 months without cheating, such as fish and potato.  If the itching is eliminated during this food trial than it is assumed that your dog was allergic to an ingredient or ingredients in his prior food.

Cough can be caused by bronchitis, heart or lung disease or tracheal collapse.  An X-Ray of your dog's chest will help to identify the cause, but occasionally an ECG and Echocardiogram are also required.

Routine blood work is usually not helpful for cancer.  A high calcium level is sometimes a cancer indicator, but not always, and normal calcium level does not mean that there is no cancer.

I think that the urine culture and X-Rays that your vet is planning are very valuable diagnostic tools and will help to sort out what is wrong with your dog.
508440 tn?1295063915
Dr. Cheng,

Thank you very much for your thorough and insightful response.  I truly appreciate it!  I will post an update after I receive the latest test results.
Thanks again,

508440 tn?1295063915
Update: urine culture normal, xrays negative... With the exception of "slightly cloudy lungs" which the vet says may be the cause of his cough.  She mentioned allergic bronchitis as a possibility.  Everything else was normal, he even gained 6 pounds.... The plan: recheck weight in 2 weeks, and if he is maintaining, then we won't adjust the food intake.  If he gains, we will adjust down a bit, but if he loses, then further testing will be needed.
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