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Severe liver problems.

Species: Dog
Breed: Pomerian
Age: 8-11 years
I took Dillinger to vet on Friday, and after a blood test and urine analysis the vet told me he had: elevated liver enzyme, anemia, high WBC count, ascities, and high levels of bilirubin in his urine and stool. He gave Dillinger fluids and antibiotics. We returned to vet on Monday and Dillinger was in the same condition. The vet took blood sample and found his WBC count had decreases, but the RBC count had decreased as well. The vet gave home more fluids, cerebia inj, cephalexin inj, and Baytril pills to take twice a day at home. The vet said that Dillinger is in poor condition. He wants to work on the infection and if he responses to the treatment then he will send us to a specialist for liver treatment. Dillinger will not eat, so I feed him baby food, and can walk but not well. He is lethargic but responsive. I am very concern. I want to make sure I'm doing everything I can.


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Oh dear. I am sorry to hear that Dillinger is not doing well. It sounds like his liver is very sick.

You have mentioned a number of things that have me concerned. The most concerning are the facts that he has ascites (which is fluid in the abdomen because of a sick liver) and bilirubin in the urine and stool. This means there is definitely something quite serious going on.

It is often hard to know specifically what the problem is when we are dealing with liver disease.

If this were my case, my next step would be to do an ultrasound to look for the possibility of liver cancer. Unfortunately if there is liver cancer there usually is not much that we can do.

The next step, if I wasn't sure, would be to do a biopsy of the liver. Usually, we can do that without an anesthetic and at the same time as the ultrasound. A biopsy may give you a better idea as to what is going on.

I think it is a good idea to start with the medications that your vet has prescribed just in case there is some type of infection. But, I really don't like it when I see ascites in a dog. This usually means there is a very severe problem.

I wish I could give you more promising advice.

Please let me know if you have more questions.

Dr. Marie.


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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

Customer reply:

Thanks for the reply. The vet wants to see Dillinger Thursday or Friday. He wants to see his progress. I can just hope for the best. Dillinger seems to be resting well and breathing ok. He responds to me when I call him. He also gets up when he want to go outside. Hopefully the meds are working on the infection and we can move forward.

Thanks again.


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

You're very welcome. I'm praying that he improves soon!

Dr. Marie.



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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.