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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 25581
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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I have a 4 yr old shitzu that went through 4 wks of not

Customer Question

I have a 4 yr old shitzu that went through 4 wks of not eating. I saw 2 vets with no relief. Out of fear I force fed Pedalite & Ensure just to keep him a live. Saw another vet that gave him fluids IV. She thought it might be Addisons & tested & it was just low. Meanwhile I used essential oils & within 6 hrs he was eating. But now his front legs are weak & spastic. He can take 2 steps & rollover & proceed to do it again.
Any ideas?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner and to hear of this with Cookie. Can you upload a copy of his test results to our conversation? I understand that you might not have a copy at home but Cookie's vet can give you one which you can scan into your computer and then give me file link or you can photograph the pages and upload them by using the paperclip icon above your message box (if you can see the icon) or by using an external app such as dropbox.com/

I'm particularly interested in what "& it was just low" implies. I can understand considering Addison's disease because it can affect the gastrointestinal tract as well as cause weakness. Another consideration is myasthenia gravis (MG) which causes skeletal muscle weakness due to a decrease in acetylcholine receptors at neuromuscular junctions; in other words, it's a neuromuscular disease which can manifest as generalized limb weakness characterized by stiffness, tremor, and short-strided gait that may progress to inability to walk. Weakness may be more severe in the pelvic limbs, is often precipitated by 1-2 minutes of exercise, and improves with rest. 4 weeks of anorexia isn't consistent with MG, however, unless dysphagia (difficulty swallowing) and/or regurgitation is occurring.

Finally, when just front legs are weak and spastic, we have to consider both cervical (neck) myelopathies (spinal cord disorders) as well as encephalopathies (brain disorders).

Please respond with the additional information and further questions or concerns if you wish.