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Hi everyone! It saddens me that this has to be my first post here, I'm sure I will be reading and posting here over the weekend though :) And sorry this is so long!

Hunter, 9 year old Lab/Rottweiler mix - not sure where to start, so here goes:
he stopped eating a couple weeks ago (he would eat small portions of people food), he was acting real lethargic, and you could tell by looking at him that he just didn't feel well. Took him to the vets office (vet was out on vacation until 3/8), the assistants tested his stool and found no parasites. They told us to try to get him to eat boiled hamburger and rice. We tried, he ate a couple times, then turned his nose up at it.

He got to the point where is breathing was labored, and he would "hack". Some people might call it coughing, but it was more like he would cough/hack a couple times, then gag. Nothing ever came up because there was nothing in his system. At this point (3/3), my husband decided it was time for him to see another vet since ours is still on vacation. We took him to our old vet who drew blood and sent us home to wait on the results (just an hour later as he has the lab in his office). Hunter is severely anemic, and his white blood cell count is extremely high. So we start antibiotics and prednisone. Vet says it could be auto-immune (just showing up in a 9 yo dog??), an infection (no one can say what kind of infection) or cancer (this one I can believe). And that was all that was said/done. I called yesterday to find out they didn't do a heartworm test (he's not on preventative) and asked why an xray wasn't done (they didn't have an answer other than "if you want to bring him in Monday, we can do one then")

So he started the meds at 11:30 am on 3/3. He is eating about a handfull of food (boiled hamburger and spaghetti, ramen noodles and eggs, whatever we can get him to eat) and he's drinking water (he had stopped doing that the day my husband made the vet appointment) When I came home from work last night, we noticed that he's starting to slobber (the white, foamy, stringy stuff). Prednisone is supposed to cause dry mouth, so I'm wondering why he's slobbering. He did eat a little and drank a little last night. He is very shaky from the anemia, has the saddest eyes I've ever seen him with, doesn't want to be around the other dogs (we have 5 total), still slobbering this morning, and still has labored breathing. We do have an appt with our regular vet as soon as he gets back from vacation (Monday at 9:30 am). I'm afraid my baby isn't going to make it through the weekend, but I don't know what else to do for him. The vets are all saying the antibiotic and prednisone would be their first step also, but it's unnerving that no one sees his labored breathing as an issue. Also the fact that his red blood cell count is so low, his heart HAS to be working hard just to try to get enough oxygen to his organs.

Has anyone had anything similar to this? Are there any suggestions for making him comfortable if things go downhill over the weekend? Believe me, any suggestions are welcome!! Thanks for reading :)
 

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I really don't know what to say. I'm sorry your getting through that.

I think you should write down whatever you think is changed in his behavior (you know the cough, not eating etc) and make sure the vet does consider all of them.
Can you find an available vet for the weekend? Try to phone one and tell him it is urgent and you want him to see your dog before Monday. Also write down what other vets said and what are you giving him now and tell these to the vet too.

Sorry. Maybe someone else help you more :)
 

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I am sorry you and your dog are going through this. I hope he makes it for you till MOnday and the vet can figure out what is wrong with him.
 

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Welcome and I'm sorry to hear that.


When your vet cannot figure out what's wrong-it's not ok to leave it at that. As a medical professional they either need to consult with specialists for you, or refer you to one.

If your vet hasn't initiated that-ask for that. If not-do it yourself-see another vet, and get a referral or a vet who is willing to get to the bottom of it.

Just like physicians-they don't and cannot know everything-but they need to help you; so if they don't know they need to find out-or refer you to someone else. If they won't-find another vet.

If I can hazard some guesses?

Rabies -even vaccinated animals can get it as vaccines do not confer 100% protection in 100% of animals
Rabies in Dogs: Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment & Vaccination

Or heart problems-I'd suggest a NEW vet asap.

Go to the emergency vet if you need to. If you don't have an emergency vet clinic -Call your vet right now so that you can get an on-call number if an emergency arises.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks to all. I had our regular vet recommend their on call vet to us. I took Hunter down at 1. After a thorough exam and xrays, he had hemangiosarcoma, an enlarged spleen, water around his heart and lungs, a collapsed left lung, and other areas that looked like lymphoma. I made the decision to put him down. He will be missed immensely.
RIP Hunter
11-21-00 to 3-5-10
 

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OMG!! :( I'm really sorry to hear that!

Was it so bad??....sorry I'm just surprised it happened so quickly! :(
I hope you are ok!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Alfi - if I am not mistaken, once you see the signs of hemangiosarcoma, it is normally too late. The vet is thinking that he was that bad because some of those sarcomas were ruptured, thus causing the high white blood cell count and extremely low red blood cell count. The prednisone the other vet put him on made him want to drink more water which his body was unable to eliminate (even though he was urinating). He deteriorated rapidly, but he had been snubbing his nose at food for a couple weeks.
 

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Alfi - if I am not mistaken, once you see the signs of hemangiosarcoma, it is normally too late. The vet is thinking that he was that bad because some of those sarcomas were ruptured, thus causing the high white blood cell count and extremely low red blood cell count. The prednisone the other vet put him on made him want to drink more water which his body was unable to eliminate (even though he was urinating). He deteriorated rapidly, but he had been snubbing his nose at food for a couple weeks.
Oh I'm so sorry :( for your loss!!! I wish you to feel better soon! It is so hard!
 
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