How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Dr. Matt Your Own Question

Dr. Matt
Dr. Matt, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 5208
Experience:  DVM - 11 years experience in canine medicine and surgery.
Type Your Dog Veterinary Question Here...
Dr. Matt is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My 9 year old shih tzu is very lethargic and only wants me

Resolved Question:

My 9 year old shih tzu is very lethargic and only wants me to hold him. He has intermittent shaking as well as sudden awakening like someone pinches him. Beginning last night, I knew he wasn't himself. He was pacing but actually slept pretty well. He hasn't eaten anything today and I don't think he has pooped since yesterday. He did stand up on his hind legs for a snack this morning but has not moved out of my chair today. Usually he follows me every step I make. He was gnawing on his foot incessantly last night.... He doesn't have ticks or fleas as I have him shaved short and he wears a $50 tick collar. In addition,this last month he has become more aggressive towards anyone who approaches my bed at night.... not like himself. I rescued Sheldon last Christmas and he may be closer to 10 yo... He is about 25 pounds, the same as he was when I rescued him. Any advice will be greatly appreciated!
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Matt replied 2 years ago.
Hello - I am Dr. Matt - I would be glad to help you with your question.

Is he vomiting?

Does he seem tense or uncomfortable when you squeeze his belly or push on his back?

Is he having any trouble walking with his hind legs?

Is he drinking water normally?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi! No, he is not vomiting, but there was a wet spot on his blanket this morning. I'm squeezing on him and really getting very little response. As for walking, he doesn't want to. When he isn't lying down, he is sitting down. I had to pull him a bit by his collar to get him to walk from the bed to the door this morning. Then I carried him to a bed in the kitchen. I haven't seen him drink today. He isn't crying or whimpering... just laying beside me and any time he moves it is like he is anxious... He makes a 180 in my lap and lays back down right where he was. Just very out of character for about the past 18 hrs.


 

Expert:  Dr. Matt replied 2 years ago.
Thanks for the additional information.

I am very sorry to hear that Sheldon has been shaking and acting lethargic. Based on what you are describing, he sounds like he is uncomfortable either in his back, his belly or his anal area. Here are some of the more common causes of discomfort in these areas:


Back pain can be due to multiple reasons, here are some of the possibilities:

- IVDD - intervertebral disc disease - basically a bulging disc in the spine that causes some pressure on the spinal cord, back muscles. This can be mild enough to cause some pain or unfortunately more severe to where the disc material pushes on the spinal cord enough to cause paralysis to the back legs.

- Muscle strain/sprain or soft tissue injury - This is the same thing that happens commonly in people. The muscles tighten up and can cause quite a bit of discomfort.

Other possibilities such as tick borne diseases, trauma to the bones and infections are possible but are less common.

- An anal sac or gland infection is possible. These glands sit in the anus and sometimes will get very full of fluid that does not drain which can cause an impaction and then an infection. Most dogs will drag their rear ends and try to lick at the rear end area if this were the case.

- Abdominal pain could be caused by an upset stomach, pancreatitis, a kidney or urinary tract infection, a urinary bladder stone or even gall bladder disease. His symptoms to me seem much more like back pain though even if you cannot find a specific area that is hurting him.

At this point, resting Sheldon is the best way to make sure that he does not get worse. I would definitely recommend taking him to your vet after the weekend for an exam, but you can give him some aspirin tonight. His dose would be 1.5 tablets of baby aspirin (81 mg per tablet) every 12 hours. This should help with some of the pain.

Make sure that he does not start dragging his legs in the back as this would indicate a worse problem. If this is seen he should be seen by a veterinarian tonight.

Hope this helps -please feel free to reply if you have any other questions. If you are satisfied with my answer please do not hesitate to click on the "excellent service" button as this will compensate me for my time. Thank you in advance!

Dr. Matt, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 5208
Experience: DVM - 11 years experience in canine medicine and surgery.
Dr. Matt and 5 other Dog Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • It was so professional, so personally concerned (as we were) and you answered all of our questions. George and I are so happy that I found "JustAnswer" on my Google search -- you are now in my "Favorites" list! And, yes we do love our kitty - she makes our life complete! Bev & George Boca Raton, FL
< Last | Next >
  • It was so professional, so personally concerned (as we were) and you answered all of our questions. George and I are so happy that I found "JustAnswer" on my Google search -- you are now in my "Favorites" list! And, yes we do love our kitty - she makes our life complete! Bev & George Boca Raton, FL
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex Los Angeles, CA
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP Hesperia, CA
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin Kernersville, NC
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther Woodstock, NY
  • Thank you so much for taking your time and knowledge to support my concerns. Not only did you answer my questions, you even took it a step further with replying with more pertinent information I needed to know. Robin Elkton, Maryland
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Dr. Debbie

    Dog Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    902
    Companion animal veterinarian practicing for over 10 years.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DE/debkatreyn/2011-11-28_33650_682e.64x64.jpg Dr. Debbie's Avatar

    Dr. Debbie

    Dog Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    902
    Companion animal veterinarian practicing for over 10 years.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/VE/vetforyou/2012-6-20_33122_PearlPhoto.64x64.jpg Dr. Andy's Avatar

    Dr. Andy

    Medical Director

    Satisfied Customers:

    13796
    UC Davis graduate, emphasis in dermatology, internal medicine, pain management
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/doggfone1/2009-07-16_133633_vet_pic.jpg Dr. Scott's Avatar

    Dr. Scott

    Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    9550
    12 years of small animal, equine and pocket pet medicine and surgery.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RY/rydergar/2012-6-6_192240_IMG0328.64x64.JPG Dr. Gary's Avatar

    Dr. Gary

    Dog Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    7758
    DVM, Emergency Veterinarian, BS (Physiology)
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/AN/andrewDVM/2012-4-27_12585_iStock000011751407XSmall.64x64.jpg Dr. Drew's Avatar

    Dr. Drew

    Dog Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    6598
    Small Animal Medicine and Surgery
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/1I/1ISUDVM/2011-3-1_22028_Honeymoon2005075294928803490646858.64x64.jpg Dr. Bruce's Avatar

    Dr. Bruce

    Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    6377
    13 years of experience as a small animal veterinarian
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BI/bigislandvet/2013-2-21_214244_IMG0357.64x64.JPG Dr. Michael Salkin's Avatar

    Dr. Michael Salkin

    Big Island Vet

    Satisfied Customers:

    6049
    University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 41 yrs. of experience.