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Ask Dr. Altman Your Own Question

Dr. Altman
Dr. Altman, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 6432
Experience:  Practicing small animal veterinarian for 15 years.
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Hi. My dog is out of sorts. He is lethargic and acting strangely.

Resolved Question:

Hi. My dog is out of sorts. He is lethargic and acting strangely. He is slow moving, blinking slowly, not interested in eating; generally not being himself. I am thinking I should bring him to the vet in the morning, but I could also bring him to the emergency vet care locally, but it will be very expensive. He doesn't seem to be in any pain, just sleepy, as if he were drugged. It could be that he ate something outside, earlier today, that's making him sick. He did vomit some stomach juice/acid earlier, but, otherwise, exibited no other symptoms. Are there any signs I should watch out for that would dictate immediate attention? Thank you.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Altman replied 3 years ago.

dogdoc4u :

Hi there and welcome to Just answer!! I am Dr. Altman, a licensed veterinarian and I am happy to answer your questions.

dogdoc4u :

Could you please tell me the color of his gums (pale, pink, yellow)?

Customer:

Hello Dr. Altman,

Customer:

His gums are pink.

dogdoc4u :

Do you have a thermometer that you can check his temperature with?

Customer:

I can, but he does not feel warm. He feels normal in temperature. He doesn't seem to be exibiting any outward signs of illness, physiologically. His symptoms are neurologic.

dogdoc4u :

Please, it helps me evaluate whether this is an emergency so if you have a thermometer it would be helpful to know what his temperature is. I have had this occur prior, even a few days ago, where the dog's temperature was over 105 and the owner had no idea...

dogdoc4u :

Sometimes their temperature can actually be low in toxic situations as well

Customer:

OK, how should I take his temperature?

dogdoc4u :

Rectally with a little vaseline on the end to lubricate. Thank you

Customer:

Obviously, you will have to bear with me for a few minutes.

dogdoc4u :

No problem :)

Customer:

OK, the temperature ranges from 98.8 to 99.8 with several readings.

dogdoc4u :

Ok the lower reading is low for a dog

dogdoc4u :

Is he circling at all?

Customer:

No, he's just returned to sleeping normally now. The only behaviors which are abnormal, which he has exibited this evening are: lethargy, no interest in eating, an unusually low level of energy. He's usually very active, enthusiastic and energetic in the evening. It is possible that he ingested something today. He was outside for some time.

dogdoc4u :

I don't want you to wake him but were his eyes fully dilated?

Customer:

Yes, his eyes are fully (or very close to fully) dilated. I also noticed this earlier. However, I don't know if this is a usual condition.

dogdoc4u :

If you shine a light in his eyes, the pupils should contract. If they are staying dilated I would recommend going into the er to ensure he didn't eat something poisonous at this point

dogdoc4u :

And if he did, begin treatment to prevent further advancement of any problems from whatever he ingested

Customer:

In a darkened room, I shine a flashlight into his eyes and his pupils dilate, but slowly. They begin to close down in about 5-10 seconds, not at a rate that a child's would under similar circumstances. While I am not at all familiar with veternary medicine, I am of the opinion that he is suffering from a neurological malady, or so it seems.

dogdoc4u :

That is why we are checking his pupils. It relates to neurologic soundness. It should not take 5-10 seconds...how bright is your light? It should be less than one second...and both should constrict when shining in one eye

dogdoc4u :

It really sounds like he should be seen this evening, I would agree he probably ingested something that is making him neurologic as you say

dogdoc4u :

What questions can I answer?

Customer:

Both pupils are constricting when shining the light in one eye. Whatever the effect is, it seems to be diminishing. He doesn't seem as "out of sorts", even though he is sleeping. I will keep an eye on him and probably follow up with the vet in the am. Thank you for your time. I will write again if anything changes.

Dr. Altman, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 6432
Experience: Practicing small animal veterinarian for 15 years.
Dr. Altman and 3 other Dog Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you

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