Help me figure out what's wrong with my dog
January 10, 2017 5:09 PM   Subscribe

My almost 9 year old chihuahua has been been acting like he's in pain, urinating massive amounts and acting odd. More details inside,

In May, my dog had his annual and was fine. In September we took him in for a check up and the vet found a mid grade heart murmur that was not there in May. She was alarmed so she did a work up, including blood pressure. He had high blood pressure and high cholesterol along with this murmur. His urine test had low protein and she suggested rechecking in a month. She put him on high blood pressure medicine and Omega 3 pills. After a month, his blood pressure improved as did the heart murmur. His urine test was fine and we kept him on Enalapril and Omega 3 pills.

After Christmas, he had a cough and what sounded like a congested nose. We took him in and the vet said his throat was irritated and gave him a low dose steroid. Within 3 days, he was better but he started urinating in his crate, something that is not normal for him. The vet said it was normal for steroid. After a few more days he became withdrawn, he was hunched over and refused to eat. We took him in and despite X-rays, a CBC and urinalysis, the only thing found was an elevated white blood count. He was given an antiobiotic shot. He was also placed on Famotidine, to alleviate any upset tummy from meds and Rimadyl and Gabapentin. She was worried he was in pain, maybe that his arthritis is bothering him.

He slowly improved over the last week and he was fantastic over the weekend. Sunday night he took a bad turn. He refused to come out of his crate, he wouldn't eat, he wouldn't even wag his tail when I pet him. Monday morning he was slightly better but by evening he was bad again. I called the vet and she is puzzled as to what is wrong with him. I was supposed to bring him tonight but when I got home, he was FINE. Bright eyed, tail wagging, scarfed his dinner. She said to not bring him to avoid stressing him.

We've ruled out kidney failure and diabetes.

Anyone have any ideas? She wants to send us to a specialist next, maybe cardiac or neurological. But she isn't even sure.
posted by bodgy to Pets & Animals (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
It's not much help, but the first thing I'd do is visit another vet for a second opinion. Sorry, this sounds tough.
posted by gnutron at 6:52 PM on January 10, 2017 [8 favorites]

Internal medicine specialist? At a veterinary specialty hospital, an internist could consult with his/her colleagues in cardiology and neurology, etc., as necessary. Be aware: it can be pricey.

If you are in the Seattle area, I can give you names of excellent specialists.
posted by Boogiechild at 6:56 PM on January 10, 2017 [1 favorite]

Might be a spine issue - can impact feeling in back legs leading to lack of sensation and urinating without realizing it. Can also lead to hunched over / pain pose. And general anxiety. Slipped disk, disk degeneration etc. are all things I might consider.
posted by barnone at 9:02 PM on January 10, 2017 [1 favorite]

Agree with barnone, and want to ask when they did the urinalysis did they look at the urine under a microscope or send it out? Were there crystals? When I read it, I think back problem or bladder stones (uroliths). And I don't like the shotgun approach your vet is taking (just personal opinion) so I agree with gnutron that you should see a second vet. Or a IM specialist like Boogiechild said.
posted by bolognius maximus at 9:06 PM on January 10, 2017 [1 favorite]

If your dog has been peeing a lot and drinking a lot did the vet check for Cushing's? That's the symptoms our dog had and she's now 3 years into being medicated for the disease and totally asymptomatic.
posted by merocet at 9:27 PM on January 10, 2017 [3 favorites]

Thirding the suggestion to get a second vet's opinion, and redo the testing for a slow-burn kidney infection.
posted by heatherlogan at 5:02 AM on January 11, 2017 [1 favorite]


A dear friend provided us with the name of her vet. After a lengthy visit (4 hours!) and some tests, it was determined that my little dog had a really bad case of pancreatitis. We were given Zenaquin long term in addition to pepcid and omega 3 capsules. After a few months on these, he is doing remarkably well. He has dropped some weight, he no longer needs pain pills. Most importantly, he has become very active for an old dog, he's 9. He is back to running in the yard and jumping on the sofa.

The second opinion vet is now our new vet.

Thank you all for your kind words and good advice.
posted by bodgy at 11:19 AM on April 26, 2017 [1 favorite]

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