Unexplained weight gain can be just that–weight gain. Can a veterinarian misdiagnose weight gain in a dog?
Suki was a 7 years old spayed female Labrador/Beagle Mix. Rescued dogs can teach us many valuable lessons but this one was unexpected.
The first thing that stood out about Suki when she was adopted was a low-hanging belly. It was the first time Suki’s mom had a dog. Was Suki pregnant? Overweight? Or is there something wrong with Suki?
Better safe than sorry
Suki’s new mom took her for a veterinary exam.
The veterinarian examined Suki and assured her mom that the belly was nothing to worry about.
However, a week later, Suki was back at the clinic with digestive issues. They were seen by a different vet but received the same answer, don’t worry about the belly, it has nothing to do with it.
On the third visit with a cut on Suki’s paw, yet another vet ensured them to not worry about the hanging belly once again.
Fourth time is the charm?
Shortly after, when Suki was in for a check-up on her paw injury, she saw yet another vet.
Unlike his colleagues, this vet found Suki’s belly alarming. He recommended x-rays to have a better look at what’s going on.
After the veterinarian reviewed Suki’s x-rays, he broke his conclusions. Suki might have a tumor in her abdomen. Or, potentially, she has Cushing’s disease.
From nothing to potential cancer in 60 seconds
Suki’s mom left the clinic distraught.
The potential diagnosis the vet gave her was terrible with poor prognosis.
She was upset at the diagnosis, and she was upset at the three vets dismissing the problem.
On the other hand, Suki wasn’t obese. The only part of her body that was out of proportion was her stomach. Because Suki was a rescue, there was no telling how long it took for her belly to get that size. Other than the recent stomach upset, she Suki seemed healthy and happy.
What to do?
Could it be that Suki had a tumor growing in there all along? It is possible that Suki had Cushing’s?
Other symptoms of Cushing’s disease include
- excessive thirst
- increased urination and urinary accidents
- increased hunger
- excessive panting
- hair loss
- skin and coat changes
- low energy and weakness
As well as blood work ought to show changes in liver values. Suki had none of those signs. All she had was a pot belly.
Time for another opinion
That’s when Suki’s mom decided to get a second opinion and an ultrasound.
Do you think Suki had Cushing’s disease and cancer? What would you make of the hanging belly in the absence of other symptoms? What would you do if it was your dog?
Read Suki’s story here.
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