What Would You Do if It Was Your Dog: What Is Wrong with Suki?


7 years old at the time
Labrador/Beagle Mix
spayed female

Suki's hanging belly

The first thing that stood out about Suki when she was adopted at the age of 7 was a low-hanging nelly. It was the first time Suki’s mom had a dog. Was Suki pregnant? Overweight? Or is there something wrong with Suki?

Suki’s new mom took her for a veterinary exam.

The vet assured them that the belly was nothing to worry about.

A week later, Suki was back at the clinic with digestive issues. They were seen by a different vet but received the same answer. The belly is nothing to worry about.

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.

Then Suki saw the fourth vet when she was in for a check-up on her paw injury.

This ver found Suki’s belly alarming and suggested taking x-rays. This lead to a diagnosis of a tumor in Suki’s abdomen as well as the potential of Cushing’s disease.

Suki’s mom left the clinic distraught.

She was upset at the diagnosis and prognosis she was just given, and she was upset at the three vets dismissing the problem. 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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Categories: ConditionsReal-life StoriesSymptoms

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Jana Rade

I am a graphic designer, dog health advocate, writer, and author. Jasmine, the Rottweiler of my life, was the largest female from her litter. We thought we were getting a healthy dog. Getting a puppy from a backyard breeder was our first mistake. Countless veterinary visits without a diagnosis or useful treatment later, I realized that I had to take Jasmine's health care in my own hands. I learned the hard way that merely seeing a vet is not always enough. There is more to finding a good vet than finding the closest clinic down the street. And, sadly, there is more to advocating for your dog's health than visiting a veterinarian. It should be enough, but it often is not. With Jasmine, it took five years to get a diagnosis. Unfortunately, other problems had snowballed for that in the meantime. Jasmine's health challenges became a crash course in understanding dog health issues and how to go about getting a proper diagnosis and treatment. I had to learn, and I had to learn fast. Helping others through my challenges and experience has become my mission and Jasmine's legacy. I now try to help people how to recognize and understand signs of illness in their dogs, how to work with their veterinarian, and when to seek a second opinion. My goal is to save others the steep curve of having to learn things the hard way as I did. That is the mission behind my blog and behind my writing. That is why I wrote Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog, which has turned out being an award-winning guide to dog owners. What I'm trying to share encompasses 20 years of experience.

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