There are a number of things that concern me with your young dog's condition. He has a rapid heart rate, is wobbly, is urinating where he lies and is very lethargic.
I really wish I could put my hands on him to do a physical exam!
The things that I would be considering if he were on his way in to see me are:
1. Internal bleeding
This could account of his symptoms.
If your dog were bleeding due to a gastric ulcer (stomach ulcer) you might have noticed black, sticky stools if he was bleeding into his intestines.
Here is more about gastric ulcers which could be a source of blood loss:
Another way there could be internal blood loss is with a Hemangiosarcoma (HSA) or a benign (noncancerous) hemangioma.
THIS IS WHAT I AM MOST CONCERNED ABOUT IN YOUR DOG!!!
HSA and hemangiomas tend to grow on the spleen and/or on the heart. When it grows on the spleen, it can cause internal bleeding into the belly if it ruptures. So, you can't see the bleeding, but they are still losing blood. If there is a sudden, profound blood loss the symptoms are lethargy and thirst, pale gums, sudden collapse and fluid in the belly. If it is more gradual, you might see just weakness and wobbliness, with an increase in drinking.
Here is more about splenic masses:
2. Toxin ingestion
What you are describing might be due to ingestion of your medication (focalin), although this seems unlikely. With ingestion of this medication in dogs, we may see some or all of these symptoms:
This does not sound quite like what you are describing, but it is possible. More here:
Another toxin that I would worry about would be antifreeze (ethylene glycol).
Antifreeze tastes sweet to dogs and they will lap it up if they can. The chemical in the antifreeze will start to cause symptoms similar to drunken-ness within 12 hours. It causes lethargy, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, wobbliness, increased thirst, seizures, coma and death (though not every animal will have every symptom).
From the time of ingestion, to the time of first symptoms could as little as an hour, or as long as 12 hours. With a high dose, the animal might live a day or two more before the kidneys completely shut down and the animal succumbed.
For a 60lb dog, as little as 1/2 cup of antifreeze could be fatal.
For more information, here are some websites:
3. Leptospirosis, which is a bacterial infection.
This bacteria can be picked up if a dog drinks from ponds or lakes that are contaminated. It can also be acquired through an open cut – and it is transmissible to humans so it is in everyone's best interests to know about this immediately.
More about this: http://www.petplace.com/dogs/leptospirosis/page1.aspx
4. Inner ear infection and vestibulitis
Vestibulitis is due to an irritation or inflammation of the inner ear, which contains the vestibular apparatus. This is the part of the inner ear that controls balance. It is a bit like an egg, with fluid in it, and little tiny hairs on the inside. When the fluid moves, the little tiny hairs feel that movement and tell the brain "You are moving!" This is good normally. But when the vestibular apparatus tells the brain that there is movement when the eyes are telling the brain that there is NOT, the animal gets horribly dizzy and can't stand up.
It's a bit like spinning around and around and then sitting down suddenly. The fluid in your vestibular apparatus keeps moving but your eyes tell your brain that you are not. You feel dizzy! So, this is the same but many many times worse.
We see this sometimes with inner ear infections, and it can make it hard for the dog to stand up as he can be so dizzy. This is not common, but it is possible given what you are describing.
Overall, your dog's symptoms are worrying. I am most concerned from what you are describing that something is going on internally – like internal bleeding from a growth on the spleen.
I strongly urge you to take him in IMMEDIATELY to see a vet so that diagnosis and treatment can be started as soon as possible.
If this is absolutely impossible, then at home what you can do is really encourage him to drink as much as possible. This will help to maintain blood pressure if he is bleeding, and will help to flush any medications in the unlikely event he got into them.
There are a number of things you can do to increase fluid consumption.
You can mix a bit of food in with water to make a soup - that way your dog may be enticed to drink more.
You can make "hot-dog soup." To do this, take one hot dog and cut it into a dozen small pieces. Put them in 2 cups of water and bring to a boil for 5 minutes. Take off the heat, and allow to cool. Remove the hot dog pieces, and offer the dog the water.
I suggest opening a can of tuna *in water* and offering the liquid diluted with water 50:50.
Any clear fluids are fine to give - such as apple juice, gatorade, pedialyte. Dilute all of them 50:50 with water.
You could try Lactose Free milk (Lactaid is the Canadian brand ), diluted with water.
Offer some canned dog food, and mix it with water to make a gravy to pour over his dry food
Other things you can do to encourage a dog to drink are:
- offer water from a very wide flat bowl
- If he likes dripping water, leave a tap.
- Offer bottled water and see if he prefers it.
- Offer onion- free chicken broth or beef broth, diluted 50:50
- See if he likes water with an ice cube in it.
- See if he likes it out of a cup or pasta bowl.
- You could try getting some human baby food in meat flavours (check that there are no onions or garlic in the ingredients) and mix that with warm water and offer that as a "soup" for him to drink. Beech Nut makes a line of baby food that has nothing but meat (beef, chicken, turkey or veal) in it.
If you cannot find this, you could find another meat baby food - just read the label carefully to be sure there are no onions, onion powder, garlic, or garlic powder in it.
Cook a chicken breast and put it in the blender with enough water to turn it into baby-food consistency. Make it into a soup.
I hope that this helps, and I do encourage you to see a veterinarian as fast as possible. Please let me know how your boy does – I am worried about him!
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The above is given for information only. Although I am a licensed veterinarian, I cannot legally prescribe medicines or diagnose your pet's condition without performing a physical exam. If you have concerns about your pet I would strongly advise contacting your regular veterinarian.