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 catzanddogz Your Own Question
catzanddogz, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 221
Experience:  I am a Veterinarian and a pet owner. I have practiced cat and dog clinical medicine for over 25 years.
Type Your Dog Veterinary Question Here...
catzanddogz is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

i have a 6 yr old golden retriever who is lethargic but is

This answer was rated:

i have a 6 yr old golden retriever who is lethargic but is eating and drinking. she does not seem sick, no diahrea or vomiting. she has been this way on and off for a few days. when she does get up and walk she seems to keep her head more down or to the side...could she have had a stroke or a seizure?

Hello, my name isXXXXX and I will try to answer your questions. I have a few questions about Goldie. Dogs could hold their head down for a few reasons - I understand that she has been drinking and eating normally but I want to make sure that she has no pain or difficulty chewing or opening her mouth. Is she eating her regular food fine and chewing on biscuits or her usual chew toys? If you try opening her mouth - does she resist? Is she scratching at her ears or do they smell bad? Does she have any irregularities to her face - like a hot spot, or area of red skin? Does anything about her face seem abnormal? one eye or lip more droopy, drooling, holding her head sideways (which you mentioned)? One reason could be an ear problem, or problem with balance. Usually they are scratching at the ear or it smells bad, looks red of is painful when touched. Another reason could be head or neck pain. I would recommend gently palpating around her head and neck. Normally we would move her neck in all 4 directions, slowly and gently. Can she tern / move it up, down, to each side easily without reaction? Sometimes neck pain can be subtle and other times severe. I have seen dogs walk with their heads down and hesitate to bend down to eat their food from their bowl on the floor. A vet can probably palpate her head and neck more thoroughly but you can start at home. Be aware if she is painful- she may not want to move her head in one particular direction and might even snap if it really hurts. There are also some dogs who develop a low thyroid condition who are just lethargic and can have a "hang dog" look. That is more of a chronic condition. A seizure or stroke can cause neurologic signs as well. Usually we'll try to rule other things out, then monitor for progression of signs or any sort of seizure like episode that we might observe. If you check out her ears, jaw and neck as I described above and all is normal - you can continue watching her or have her examined by your vet. One other thing, she could be lethargic because of a fever, infection - tick-borne or otherwise, anemia but usually these dogs are not eating well and acting generally sick.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you so much for your input i will check over the items you mentioned on her and see if any of these issues are a problem.. I hope she is ok. I am unable to get her to the vet. She is very big and is totally afraid of cars. always has been. she is a very anxious dog afraid of so many things. appreciate your help


thank you



Give me an update when you can.

I don't know abut your area but sometimes there are local vets who make house calls or even if they don't normally do that, they might make an exception or send a technician or two to your house to help get your dog into the back of a hatchback or wagon.

Good luck - I hope Goldie is ok too.

You are very welcome.
catzanddogz and 2 other Dog Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you