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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Fairfax, Virginia

    High blood calcium and low phosphorus levels in my dog

    Hello all --

    My dog -- an American Eskimo, similar to this one, has recently been drinking much more water than usual. Upon observing this and noticing (and subsequently being extremely pissed off) that he had urinated upon the gleaming, new sheets of my parents' bed, we decided to take him in to the omnipotents that are veterinarians (a slight exaggeration; in fact, they are often wrong in their diagnoses and prescriptions and thus I trust them about as much as I trust my own physician). He had a standard physical "inspection" and look-over, as well as a prostate and kidney inspection (don't ask me how they did the latter; frankly, I don't want to know ), and finally a blood and urine test.

    Well, the tests came back a few days ago and are supposedly not especially alarming to our vet, but she thinks he should come back in a month, due to the fact that there might be a "small risk of cancer", in her own words. He has elevated blood calcium (possibly hypercalcemia) and lower-than-normal phosphorus levels.

    This was not very melodious to our ears after what we considered might just be a urinary tract or similar infection, and especially since just two days ago, on Tuesday, my aunt put her dog to sleep in her own house after he, not even a very old German Shepherd, had a long bout with perianal cancer, which had soon metastasized and effected utter destruction upon the suffering dog's mind and body, leaving him just barely able to walk several feet and disabling many of his bones and muscles and also with severe dysphagia, nausea, vomiting, severe constipation, and other rather unpleasant symptoms.

    I have had this dog for the majority of my life -- since I was five years of age -- and, although he will not win awards for a charming personality or anything of the sort, he is my dog and I really do love him. We have "shared" many great moments together, and the thought of losing him -- let alone the thought of discretion over his inexorable and immutable fate -- are disturbing, depressing, and daunting. I can only imagine what a harrowing experience putting one's dog to sleep would be, and over this reason or rationality has no influence.

    Anyhow, to stop with my sentimentality and finally arrive at my original, soon-diverged thought and question, has anyone had a similar experience, with high calcium and/or low phosphorus, and what was the diagnosis/result? My teacher had a similar experience, although her dog did not experience polydipsia (abnormal thirst). It turns out her dog had a carcinoma -- I'm speculating it was of the anal sac -- and was put to sleep due to sheer agony several months later.

    I have been doing a bit of research on the topic and have arrived at several diagnoses: canine renal disease (a progressive, genetic disease and deterioration of the kidneys over a period of months), hyperparathyroidsm (which is usually caused by malignancy somewhere in the body as well ), a benign tumor, most likely an adenoma in his genital or perinatal region due to the fact that he is "intact" -- not neutered --, vitamin deficiency/too much calcium/phosphorus in his diet, which is understandable considering his diet of raw chicken backs and raw ground beef mixed with some greens, and, the worst possibility, a carcinoma or lymphoma.

    Hopefully it is just his diet that is throwing off his blood calcium and phosphorus levels, however if it is something more serious, my second candidate would be the benign adenoma, as that can commonly be removed by castrating him.

    This is not very good though, and I am just a tad bit depressed right now, as I cannot conceive of the possibility of my dog not being around. To think about my experiences and happy times together just makes me feel worse.

    Some might call my worrying premature, as it could turn out for the best, and it could just be a routine thing. My dad's friend from middle school, now a veterinarian who very well knows Iggy -- the name of my dog --, thinks it's nothing to be worried about, and that she sees it all the time. But I don't know what to think, as the online references tell the story differently.

    The statistics don't look that great for him. I believe his breed is related to samoyeds, who are very prone to renal disease and cancer. I guess we'll just have to see what happens.

    Has anyone else had a similar experience, and if so, what was the diagnosis, cause (if applicable), and results/prognosis?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Miami, FL
    Spark Notes available?

    How old is the dog? 11 years old? What Vet did you go to? I'd get a second opinion. I've found Vets to be blood sucking money hungry .. liars.

    My dog is nearing her old age (10 years old) and everyday I treat it as if it's her last. I don't scream at her anymore, even when she poops or pees on the carpet. I don't yell at her when i see her eating my other dog's food.

    Just enjoy what you have left and hope for the best.

    Don't do research. Don't worry about that - let the vets do it.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    North of some border

    Re: High blood calcium and low phosphorus levels in my dog

    Originally posted by SniperDevil
    Has anyone else had a similar experience, and if so, what was the diagnosis, cause (if applicable), and results/prognosis?
    I haven't had the same experience since my pet is a cat and has different health problems, but I know what you're going through. You're doing the right thing by taking your dog to a vet *and* doing your own research.

    Veterinarians can't know everything, and test results often don't point to a clear diagnosis. You may find leads online that you can discuss with your vet. I did, and possibly in time to save my cat's life.

    I suggest posting in the newsgroup The regulars there are knowlegeable, and a few veterinarians post there too. Killfile the resident troll and the posts will be easier to read.

    You could also consider taking your dog to a holistic veterinarian for a different approach.

    I hope you find the problem and are able to treat it soon.

    Rob83 wrote:
    >> I've found Vets to be blood sucking money hungry .. liars.

    That isn't my experience at all. My cat's vet spends a lot of time explaining my cat's lab results to me and discussing the options, at no extra charge. He gives clients his email address so that they can ask him questions between visits. His rates are reasonable, and it's clear that he and all the clinic staff genuinely love animals.

    There are some not-so-good vets just as there are not-so-good webmasters and web hosts and people in every profession. Find a vet you're comfortable with and get a second opinion if you want. I've been through a lot of stress in the past couple of years because of my 16-year-old cat's health (I've had him since he was a kitten), and having a vet I have confidence in makes a huge difference.

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