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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 14883
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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We have a 10 year old Chow Chow who's become very unsteady

Customer Question

We have a 10 year old Chow Chow who's become very unsteady on her feet and is not eating anything ( except a piece of cheese now and then ) and barely drinking water. She sleeps most of the day.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Could be a lot of things that cause lethargy. The Veterinarian will know how to help the dog. What is the dog's name?
Customer: Her name is***** at Lionbear, call name is Mia.
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Mia?
Customer: Mia had dental surgery last summer had was like a brand new puppy after she recovered. Ate lots and drank lots. About a month ago her began not eating so I starting giving her her favourite treats and cooking up chicken ( just the breast, skinless,boneless ) and ground beef for her. She's just not interested. Last evening she didn't go outside for night time pee pees. This morning she did not go outside either. She slept in the name spot without moving for over 15 hours. I finally managed to get her outside a while ago. The only thing she will eat is tiny pieces of bacon & egg pupperonies. I've also been making bacon & eggs with cheese for her. no luck.
JA: I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Veterinarian about your situation and connect you two.
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 9 months ago.

Hello, my name is***** and I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian. I am very concerned about your older girl Mia's unsteadiness on her feet, lethargy, complete lack of appetite and refusal to drink much water.

She likely isn't passing stool or much urine as there isn't much to pass if she isn't eating or drinking anything.

Her unsteadiness and lethargy may be due to low blood sugar from not eating, but at her age is more likely due to metabolic toxins building up in her body due to organ failure or some sort of cancer.

I highly recommend that she see a veterinarian as soon as possible. I understand that might not be the answer that you were hoping for, but she sounds much sicker than home care treatment can help.

Lack of an appetite and lethargy can be related to eating something she should not have, too many treats or table food, eating foreign material (which could cause a full or partial gastrointestinal obstruction), chronic pancreatitis, a dietary allergy or sensitivity, toxin exposure, a viral or bacterial infection, Addison's disease (hypoadrenocorticism), inflammatory bowel disease, or even cancer.

It sounds like her appetite has been slowly waning for a while. Although you kept her eating something by adding things to her food that incentive didn't last for long, so it is time to get her help.

If you cannot have her examined soon for whatever reason there are some things you can try at home.

At home to try and settle her stomach and get her eating you can give either:

1) Pepcid ac (famotidine) at a dose of one half of a 10mg tablet per 10 to 20 pounds of body weight every 12 hours

OR

2) Prilosec (omeprazole) at a dose of one half of a 20mg tablet per 20 to 40 pounds of body weight every 24 hours

These are acid reducers and may help her feel less nauseous so that she will eat and drink. They are quite safe and can be used for several days if necessary. You can crush the pill, mix with a little broth, and aspirate the mixture into a dosing syringe or medicine dropper. Then place the tip of the dropper into her mouth at the corner where her upper and lower lips meet, guiding the tip between her molars/premolars while holding her mouth closed and tipping her head up slightly to make her swallow.

You can also do this to force in broth and water every hour. Try to give 2-3 tablespoons per hour.

A couple of hours after giving the acid reducer I recommend offering meat baby foods or a bland diet of 1/3 boiled, minced, white skinless chicken or boiled, lean hamburger and 2/3 boiled white rice mixed with some low salt chicken or beef broth to make it easy to lap up and swallow.

If she continues to not eat she should see her veterinarian for an examination, diagnostics and intravenous fluids and supportive care.

Please let me know if you have any further questions.