Hi Guys, I have a dog with a mystery illness. Ive posted the letter I've sent to several vets below, excuse the length of it! Lots of info. I realise the diagnosis of cancer is a big possibility...but Im not giving up on my mate just yet! If any body has any thoughts, or suggestions, please offer them! If there is actually a vet out there who cares enough to want to get to the bottom of this, please help! The 6 vets Ive seen all just seem to want to charge me $$$ and then diagnose without really looking into it.
EDIT - Just like to point out guys, I am not after yet another "cancer diagnosis", as I have heard this time and time again. My aim to post here is to try and find something else, or hear from a vet who has another theory. (I am more then willing to travel to see a vet(I live in Melb CBD) - given online diagnosis is useless). If you read below, you will hear why I dont believe cancer is a neat fit here...but I seem to be at a dead end, and cannot find a vet who will look deeper.
Thanks in advance.
I have an 8 year old Hungarian vizsla, Jake, who has had ongoing symptoms for at least 2 years. He has experienced a bout of what was diagnosed as Myosistitis, fluid in his abdomen, tonsillitis, and a bad cough/gag. Details as follows…
Early 2010, Jake showed signs of being a bit off colour on two or three occasions. This was diagnosed as bouts of pancreatitis, due to fatty food intake and once treated went away.
First half of 2011. He was showing signs of lethargy, lost a lot of weight and was quite unwell. During tests, a vet found his urine was quite diluted and suggested cushings disease and further tests were suggested. While we considered options, he seemed to come good, and got over this untreated. He regained weight, and seemed back to himself. This has not reoccurred.
July/August 2011, he had extreme muscle and/or joint pain. Arthritis was the first diagnosis, but treatment failed to improve his symptoms. I googled and came up with a possible diagnosis of Myositis. He was placed on steroid treatment and the symptoms stopped in 3 or 4 days. This has not reoccurred.
September 2011 Jake developed severe ascites in his tummy, he was given several ultrasounds and X-Rays, first of which showed a vague mass in his tummy. The subsequent xrays and ultrasounds found nothing to repeat that finding. He was then sent to a specialist clinic, who found to symmetrical masses in his chest, and he was diagnosed with Chest cancer, and given 3-6 months. Upon returning to our local vet, he suggested the masses found were too symmetrical and were possible swollen hilar lymphs. Jake also had tonsillitis, causing him to gag and cough. A link to lymphatic tissue swelling was suggested. Our local vet suggested possible lymphantasia. At the time, nothing was found that was suspicious in his bladder. 10 litres of fluid was drained, and Jake was placed on Aldactone and Macrolone. 2 weeks later, he was as good as he ever was. They also noted during testing that his spleen seemed to be missing. He has never had a return of Ascites.
Early 2012 His latest symptom set began, which is that he is having an urge to constantly wee, and has been passing small amounts of blood at the very end of his wee. He also passed a finger sized lump of "congealed" puss recently, and upon squeezing his penis, I was able to get more puss to come out, and another blob. He hasnt had any signs of puss since that.
He has also been experiencing small bouts of leaking urine beginning around a week ago. He doesn’t seem to be in any pain, but does appear to be a little depressed, which I would think is from the urge to urinate all the time. His appetite is fine, and no marked weight loss is noticeable.
A recent ultrasound showed thickening of the bladder wall, which was possibly a tumour. So a sample of that was taken via needle, and the pathology result was as below...
The variability in the cells both in the prostate and urine are suspicious for a carcinoma. The cells in the urine are consistent with transitional cells - while highly reactive transitional cells can have features similar to those seen here, in the absence of a cause (i.e. UTI/uroliths) the cellular variability is concerning for a tumor. The origin of the tumor is unclear. The cell populations in the urine and prostate are not identical. A tumor originating in the prostate could be of either prostatic or transitional cell origin. Spread throughout the urinary tract is possible particularly for a TCC - also variability within these tumors is also not uncommon depending on the depth of sampling. Consider biopsy to confirm the diagnosis
No diagnosis has been accurate or consistent up to now and he has been to at least 5 different vets. We are at wits end!
We are a little but concerned that we aren’t getting anywhere with his diagnosis, and once again the above doesn’t confirm or deny cancer.
My concern is that he has had symptoms on and off for months and months...if it is cancer, surely it would be degenerative, and symptoms wouldn’t be coming and going. For example, if cancer was causing his cough, surely that would be still present? Or if it was causing his ascites, surely that would have reoccurred? It seems he gets a symptom set, then it disappears and another appears. I cant help but think he has some obscure infection or auto immune disorder, that vets locally are missing...
What is really frustrating, is none of them seem to want to get to the bottom of it, and are happy to latch on to whatever the most obvious diagnosis “could” be. Nothing has been conclusive, and if cancer is present in his chest, bladder and stomach…surely he would have other signs, or at least re-occurrence of his previous symptoms.
I realise cancer is still very real possibility…but something just doesn’t sit right…and I am not willing to give up just yet…hence trying online for a solution!