Wellness story: Milo, the rat terrier

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May 01, 2012
By dvm360.com staff

I saw an older rat terrier named Milo for a general examination and "slowing down." He showed some mild front leg lameness due to shoulder pain and arthritis in his digits. He was an active little dog and a very loving member of his family. He could run up a tree trunk and jump onto his owners' backs. We discussed starting him on NSAIDs so he could continue his active lifestyle. I recommended premedication blood work, and a profound hypoproteinemia was incidentally discovered. I proceeded with a work-up and eventually, through performing intestinal biopsies, diagnosed lymphangiectasia. In retrospect, during his wellness examination, his owner noted increased flatulence and occasional soft stool. He was started on prednisone and a diet change and lived several more happy, comfortable years.

Susila Bales, DVM Animal Clinic & Hospital, Moscow, Idaho

Editors' note: In our February issue in conjunction with AAHA president Dr. Michael Moyer's column "Don't just hunt zebras: The new preventive healthcare guidelines" (see the Related Link below), we asked for your stories on how wellness examinations helped you identify a concerning condition or prevent a serious problem in a patient, such as Milo's story. Email your story to us at
or submit it online here.