Dear VetBabble: Understanding The Health of Your Aging Pet
Question: I have an 8-year-old dachshund that has unexpectedly lost her sight. Recent blood tests came back as abnormal, and now her belly seems to be swollen and firm. I’m concerned, as I’m unsure about what could be causing these issues. Could it be high blood pressure or perhaps a growth? How should I proceed and talk to my vet to diagnose this problem?
Bringing up health concerns about our lovely companions is never easy. When not one, but multiple symptoms appear, it can cause distress and worry. Here we will try to address each of your concerns and hopefully provide some insights which you can discuss further with your vet.
1. Sudden Blindness In Dogs
Sudden blindness in dogs can result from various conditions including high blood pressure or the development of diseases leading to tumors or masses. The blood tests could be indicating something more serious, or it might be a standalone issue. Our furry friends can’t express discomfort in conventional ways, so changes in behavior, like sudden blindness, require immediate attention. To understand the issue with your canine’s eyes better, check out this article on Common Eye Conditions in Dogs which can provide some context before you consult with your vet about your pet’s sight.
2. Evaluating the Meaning of Abnormal Bloodwork
An abnormal blood test in dogs can allude to countless health conditions. The term ‘abnormal’ in this context is indeed broad. Among possible interpretations are high cholesterol, kidney or liver disease, infections, diabetes, and anemia among others. The blood tests’ specifics will greatly help in directing the diagnosis and treatment plan.
3. Swollen and Firm Belly
Apparent changes in your dog’s belly, such as swelling or hardness, could indicate various concerns. One potential cause could be Bloat, a life-threatening condition where the dog’s stomach fills up with air and possibly flips, trapping air and gases inside. Here are 5 Warning Signs of Bloat That Could Save Your Dog’s Life that you can read to be more aware of this condition.
Another reason could be fluid accumulation due to heart disease, liver disease, or even a urinary tract issue. If your pet is exhibiting signs of discomfort like straining to urinate or blood in the urine, it might possibly be a bladder infection, such as cystitis. Here’s an article on indications of Cystitis if there’s blood in your dog’s urine that you might find helpful.
Lastly, a state of discomfort or changes in stool consistency might hint towards a gastrointestinal issue. For more information, you can read about Why Your Dog Might Have Diarrhea.
While all these possibilities might seem overwhelming, please don’t panic. A consultation with your vet, accompanied by a detailed explanation of the symptoms, should help in nailing down the underlying problem and chalking out a suitable treatment plan. Stay positive, and remember that recognizing the symptoms and seeking prompt professional help is the first step towards your pet’s recovery.