Meet Molly

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Google Maps location for Mulberry Lane Vet Hospital

Mulberry Lane Vet Hospital
294 Lords Place
NSW 2800

02 6360 3071

Molly is a 5 year old Miniature Schnauzer who has been struggling with her weight for a while. Her dedicated owners grew more concerned as her abdomen (belly) grew bigger.

She was presented to Geoff with an enlarged abdomen and yet occasionally was off her food, and experiences the occasional vomit.

Molly was a challenging case for Geoff and Judith, as the first tests didn’t confirm a diagnosis. A blood screen showed high Cholestrol and Canine Pancreatic Lipase with no other changes in her Biochemistry and Haematology. Elevated Canine Pancreatic Lipase diagnosed Pancreatitis, but didn’t explain the large abdomen.

An Ultrasound confirmed a very large liver, which extended way back, nearly to her bladder. The Adrenal glands were mildly enlarged. Yet, her liver enzymes were normal.

This was so unusual, that a specialist Internal Medicine vet was consulted. This specialist is a free advisory service available when bloods are sent to Idexx Laboratory. For tricky cases like this Graham Swinney has been invaluable. His advice was to rule out Cushings disease, although she didn’t show all the usual signs such as Polyphagia (eating a lot) Polydypsia (drinking a lot) or Polyuria (urinating a lot). A test called an ACTH stimulation test was performed. This test ruled out Cushings Disease.

The next diagnostic procedure Judith performed was a Fine Needle Aspirate of the liver. This test is ultrasound guided and non invasive. It is cheaper and less invasive than an exploratory Laparotomy and biopsy of the liver. Molly was sedated and a long spinal needle was inserted in the liver, under ultrasound guidance. Cells were taken and then smeared on a slide. Reading of this slide is called cytology. Cytology confirmed fat cells within the liver cells (Heptocytes).

A diagnosis of Hyperlipidaemia was made. This is a rare condition which neither Geoff, Judith or Jasmin had seen before. Miniature Shnauzers as a breed may have a condition called Idiopathic Hyperlipidaemia, whereby the fats aren’t metabolised normally so there is a build up of fats in the blood causing a fatty enlarged liver, secondary Pancreatitis, but also can be associated with Cushings Disease. In Molly's case the enlarged Adrenal glands were due to the stress of the disease and not Cushings.

Molly has been placed on a prescription low fat diet (Royal Canin Low Fat Digestive with chicken and rice) and Cholestrol lowering medication. Already, the owners have noticed a difference in Molly, she is brighter, less lethargic and has stopped vomiting. It is still early days, Judith and Geoff will reassess her liver, but the pancreatitis has settled down.


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