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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 25151
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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My son left our shepherd mix outside 1/2 - 4 hours in

Customer Question

My son left our shepherd mix outside for 3 1/2 - 4 hours in about 114' the dog has been shaven for a couple of months he came in and drank a lot and has eaten fine over the next few days. This afternoon he was reluctant to get up and didn't come when called. Could this be as a result of the heat?? If so, how can I help him?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
i've had the emergency vets tell me that his current lethargy would not be because of the heat several days later. He's being treated for hypothyroid and was pretty normally active today. His gums appear pink.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.
I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. I agree with the ER vet. Heat prostration is a peracute (sudden) or acute disorder. Lethargy days after being exposed to extreme ambient heat will have another etiology. His behavior is important but not pathognomonic (specifically indicative) of any one disorder. I'm puzzled by your comments "this afternoon he was reluctant to get up and didn't come when called" but then "was pretty normally active today". I would be inclined to simply "watchful wait" such a dog to see if lethargy persists and/or new symptoms arise. Please respond with additional information and further questions or concerns if you wish.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for this. He started the day normally. He ate fine this morning and it wasn't until later this afternoon that he would not rise from the floor even when presented with boiled egg or peanut butter. I had to physically lift him to get him to the water bowl at first and then just brought the bowl to him. We've since been to the ERvet since I didn't get an answer. He has a fever of just over 105, didn't present any other significant issues except for some back pain when pressure was applied. I asked him to be conservative so we came home with some amoxycillin which I've given him. He drank a bunch when we got home and ate the cheese wrapped antibiotics, as well as some turkey, very happily. My inclination is to see how he responds but also to call the family vet. Happy to hear any additional feedback you have, with thanks.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.
That fever in association with back pain suggests diskospondylitis - infection in an intervertebral disk. It's certainly not pathognomonic (specifically indicative) of diskospondylitis, however. This disorder is detected in X-rays. A pyelonephritis - kidney infection - will also cause fever and perceived back pain. Yes, please contact Daddy's vet who I suspect will suggest coming in for diagnostics in the form of blood and urine tests as well as imaging in the form of X-rays or ultrasound. I would very much like you to return to our conversation with an update once his vet takes a look at him. I'd be pleased to review the results of any testing you could post in this conversation.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
An update for you :) We left the ERvet with amoxycillin - 600 mg to be given every 12 hours. His temp was 105.4. I chose not to do tests there pending a visit to my vet. At the vet yesterday, his temp was 103 and his weight 66 lbs, my assessment of his activity level was that he was acting about 85% of normal. Vet examined him and did a full CBC rather than chase a specific cause since the fever had mitigated. We were specifically looking for a high <35,000 count that would be indicative of Valley Fever. This morning he called to tell me the count was 18,000 indicating the presence of 'something' but that for our purposes rules out Valley Fever and a bunch of other things he was looking for. We are continuing with the course of amoxcy and I am to update his progress to the vet before the prescription is done at the end of next week. I continue to see daily improvement - he happily went on a walk this morning and was barking at the landscapers. Notably, at it's worst, he would not even lift his head much less bark. Currently my biggest concern is the fever, which seems to be mitigated, and his unwillingness to eat his kibble. He takes cheese and turkey [both used to hide meds] but is not eating his kibble. It is down today so I'll see where he's at when I get home later this afternoon. Thanks so much for your input and concern. Kate
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.
That sounds reasonable to me. I appreciate your taking the time to update me. Please note that an elevated WBC indicates inflammation - not necessarily the inflammation associated with infection. Please keep me posted, Kate.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
...somehow it got cut off. Sorry. We were looking for high white cell count - <35,000 which would have meant Valley Fever. His was 18000. Still not normal but obviously something has mitigated the fever. We are continuing the amoxy and watching.Thanks again. Kate
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.
I understood, Kate. I hope to hear from you soon.

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