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I am new to this Forum and I have spent quite some time on the "Dog Health" section to research about my dog's health issue.

About a month back I noticed my 6-year old, 55 lbs, shepherd mix Luna drinking and having to urinate more than usual. I brought her to the Vet and they did a full blood test. Turns out her "ionized" calcium level is above normal. They did ultrasound and x-rays. More blood tests ruled OUT parathyroidism, Addison's disease, lymphoma. No damage to the organs at this point either. Also, I should mention Luna has a small mass/bump on her little toe in her left paw which showed up maybe 3 weeks before her excessive drinking started. It is still there. It does not seem to grow, nor to become smaller. No discharges or bleeding. Luna does not seem to be hurting nor does she pay any attention to this swelling.
The Vet now recommends a bone marrow biopsy as well a further biopsy of the lymph nodes as well a biopsy of the small swelling on her toe. This biopsy is scheduled a week from today. In the meantime the vet prescribed a medication called Alendronate Sodium with the goal to bring Luna's calcium level down in order to avoid damage to kidney. I researched this medication and it is quite scary to me with lots of side effects like stomach pain, vomiting, diarrhea. It is a medication for people and from reviews I read from people taking this medication, most of the reviews were very negative. So I haven't given it to Luna. But now I feel like I am between a rock and a hard place! I have changed Luna's diet to grain free and a high fiber content. Apparently fiber helps to absorb calcium better. (I monitor her water intake very closely it seems like her drinking went down a little with the food change. But maybe this is just wishful thinking on my part! I should probably mention that she would drink about 2.5 liters per day/24 h [=84.5 fl oz].

Anyway my questions are: do any of you have experience with this issue, know the medications or have given it to your pets? Do you have experience with bone marrow biopsy? I know that Luna will need to be sedated and it could be quite hurtful after she wakes up. The vet also said she might need to stay at the hospital overnight for observation.

I very much would appreciate to hear from you. Thank you so much for your time of reading this and for your response.
 

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Questions: I assume you rechecked the calcium levels several times? Level going up, down or staying the same? How high above normal are we talking about? Not aware of any blood tests that rule out Lymphoma... would love to know what that one is. Lymphoma can generally only be ruled out by looking for it and not finding it, and doing as you plan to, biopsing or doing cytology on the suspect organs. Has anyone suggested prednisolone? That is the standard generic treatment for hypercalcemia, though getting biopsies prior to starting on pred is a good idea.

Bone marrow biopsy is not a very big concern... easy and rarely painful for more than a day or so. Your hospital have someone overnight for observation? I personally prefer to have patients at home with their families after routine procedures unless a full staff is available overnight, or the pet has gone through a pretty complex procedure, or needs absolute cage rest.

with luck they won't find anything bad, or followup tests will show resolving hypercalcemia (a very common circumstance).
 

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Thank you for your reply. I very much appreciate it.

The vet did do blood test twice with about 1 week in between the tests. I should have said that the vet took some cells from the lymph nodes to test on lymphoma and from the "few" cells they got, no lymphoma was detected. So with the bone marrow test they also would take more cells from the lymph nodes to test that again.

The vet told me the calcium level was "above 2". She did not exactly give me a number. I will ask her though.

I just am kind of wary about this bone marrow test. Shouldn't the blood tests, ultra sound, and x-rays reveal if there is a bad issue going on?

Thanks also for the tip regarding medication. I will make a note of that.

PS. In the past 24h Luna drank 70 fl oz.
 

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The bone marrow biopsy is to check for things not able to be seen on other tests. Sounds like your vet is being very thorough, I would not hesitate to call them and ask any questions or concerns you have. They are the only one who can explain their reasoning, I'd also mention the diet change though just so they have the whole picture.
 
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