My dog has had all bloodwork done, tested for Addison’s, biopsies done of stomach, liver, intestines – all negative.

She has been losing weight for the past 4 months (25%). Has had issues with incontinence,  on and off. Will not eat her dry food and most ended up on the floor, when she did. Switched to wet food and chunks ended up on the floor too. Dental cleaning and exam were negative. She then was having some issues for several days with pain on the right side of her head ,(would yelp when area was touched). Vet was supposed to image area but didn’t since it wasn’t hurting her anymore!

We changed vets and after more bloodwork (he was the one who tested for  Addison’s  and did biopsies. Thought he saw something  in the stomach with ultrasound and nothing there when she was opened up; then biopsies were done).

So at one point, the 1st vet had diagnosed an ear infection and gave us antibiotic ointment to put in ear. Ear still stayed gunky and yeasty. 2nd vet looked in ear (after doing surgery) and saw a mass.

I said that although mass was most probably not malignant (per 2nd vet), I  believed that the mass was causing discomfort and possibly pain, and possibly a malignant situation. After her surgery, I began pureeing her wet food and she’s eating a bit more.

Vet says he doesn’t believe mass in ear has anything to do with weight loss and behavior changes (constant pacing, wants to just lie around and no energy). He has prescribed prednisone and Entyce to get her weight up. I’m going to try this, but I don’t think it’s a cure. He thinks maybe it’s something autoimmune.

  1. No CT of head or biopsy of mass in ear has been done. Almost $6,000 has been spent.

I’m at my wit’s end.

Answered question

I’m very sorry to hear you are going through such a difficult situation with your dog.  It sounds like your vet is doing all the right steps on trying to rule out some of the more common causes for weight loss.  For example, diabetes can cause weight loss, but will generally show signs in the blood work, neoplasia (malignant tumors), can also cause weight loss, but they are oftentimes difficult to diagnose as they are not always a mass that is visible on the surface or even internally.  Performing biopsies of the internal organs is a common way to find any signs of a tumor.

All of these things seem like they are being done.  Giving steroids when other conditions have been ruled out does seem like a reasonable course of action as if there is a positive response, it could be a diagnosis of exclusion for a potential autoimmune disease as it is steroid responsive.  Steroids also stimulate appetite.

There are many conditions that vets come across rarely, and this seems like one of them.  Hopefully, the steroids will have a positive effect, but if they don’t, then I would recommend continuing to work with your vet on what the appropriate next steps are to stimulate the appetite or discover the underlying cause.

Answered question