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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 27460
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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My Maltese seems disoriented, panting. Clear diarreah and trouble

Customer Question

My Maltese seems disoriented, panting. Clear diarreah and trouble walking. He was fine last night and woke this way
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Sounds like he is hurting
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.
Aloha! You're speaking to Dr. Michael Salkin
A change in mentation ("disoriented"), autonomic signs ("clear diarrhea") and ataxia ("drunken sailor"/"trouble walking") and vocalization "sounding like he's hurting") - often whining - are symptoms of encephalopathy (brain disorder) in our elderly dogs. A stroke, nocturnal seizure, and even a steroid responsive encephalitis need to be considered. The best scenario would be idiopathic (unknown cause) vestibular disease of the aged dog. This is a balance disorder that arises quickly but tends to remiss over a few days to a couple of weeks. This disorder would be supported by your seeing a head tilt and nystagmus (eyes flicking back and forth). Most owners report that their dogs have suffered a stroke when this disorder arises. Please let me know if you're seeing a head tilt or nystagmus.
Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.
Hi Cheri,

I'm just following up on our conversation about Einstein. How is everything going?

Dr. Michael Salkin