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Rebecca, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 14485
Experience:  More than 30 years of companion animal practice.
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I have a 4 year old male desexed miniature poodle who is

Customer Question

Hi, I have a 4 year old male desexed miniature poodle who is obedience trained. He walks 3-5 kms every morning with me and also retrieves balls and has a free run every afternoon. We belong to a Lure Coursing and Racing Club. My dog, Pippin, is absolutely obsessed with chasing the lure (plastic bag which runs along a nylon cord). This can be anything from 200-450 metres of fast obsessive chasing in which he always finishes with a big pounce on the lure. Sometimes, he will have wobbly legs at the end and almost collapses. This has happened twice. I coax him to trot afterwards, which he does, and then slow him down to a walk for a cool down but I can see he is quite uncomfortable for the first few minutes. However, he does recover quickly. Pippin is highly excited by the lure before his turn and barks incessantly. I am wondering if this would pre-dispose him to "the wobbles" and if crating him, so he can't see the lure, would help? I am terrified that this is dangerous for him as I love this dog to pieces. I don't run him if it's hot. I would appreciate any advice you can give me.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Rebecca replied 1 year ago.


I am sorry to hear you are worried about Pippin. I am a veterinarian and will do my best to help.

Have you had him checked by your veterinarian for this problem? The first thing I would try to determine is whether his being wobbly is a neurologic or an orthopedic problem or a heart problem.

If it happens again, I would check his gums to see if they look a normal pink color or if they seem pale at all. That would also tell us something about why this is happening. If his gums appear pale when he is wobbly, then it could be a circulatory problem.

I would start with a thorough physical exam of his legs, joints, reflexes, listening to his heart and lungs, feeling his pulses, etc.

Wobbler disease is a condition seen in large dogs, like Danes and Dobermans, and is due to instability of the vertebrae in the neck. That is not likely to be Pippin's problem.

If he is excited by the lure, keeping him crated so he can't see the lure might be helpful, but he would still be able to hear what is going on and could still get excieted. It sounds to me that the episodes are set off by his quick turns and big pounce. If he were my own dog, I would be checking him carefully for some problem in his back, knees, hips, etc.

Let me know what else I can help with or answer. Rebecca

Expert:  Rebecca replied 1 year ago.

How is Pippin doing?