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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 24441
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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She is lethargic, wont drink, very bad breath lately. This

Customer Question

She is lethargic, wont drink, very bad breath lately. This has come on over the last 4 weeks. Had all blood panels done and they are normal. She has developed a limp but vet can't seem to find anything wrong to be causing it. I know she's becoming depressed over shortening her walks because of the limp. 10 yrs old boxer bulldog.
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: Sophie
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Sophie?
Customer: Well about 2 MO the ago she had an episode of trembling, sorta scared acting, cowering, wouldn't walk, jump, etc. SO out of character for her. Normally very energetic and very healthy!
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: 8 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 8 months ago.

I'm sorry to hear of this with Sophie. Has her lameness involved more than one limb? If one limb, is it a front or rear leg? Has Sophie been febrile? Do you live in an area where tick-borne infections - Lyme, Ehrlichia, Anaplasma, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, e.g. - are seen? How long did that episode last 2 months ago? Can you upload a copy of Sophie's test results to our conversation? I understand that you might not have a copy at home but her 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/

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Thank you. It is her right front leg. The vet of course moved it in every direction and she didn't seem to be in pain from the exam at all. I will get the labs for you tomorrow. Would her Heart Gard or Nexgard have anything to do with this? We tried a week of pain/anti inflammatory but not obvious change. She is just not herself. Sleeping all the time and choosing to NOT sleep in same room as me...so out of character for her.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
She was OVER WALKED 3 days in a row. I thought the limp came on after that. Even after a week of rest there is no change now with the additional symptoms of lethargy, not drinking, change in attitude I'm just worried I'm overlooking somethibg.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 8 months ago.

Thank you for the additional information. Her decline is disproportionate to a simple soft tissue injury in a front leg. I'm concerned that her lameness may represent a dorsal root signature sign originating from her cervical (neck) spine. This occurs when a nerve root is being compressed as it exits the spinal cord. This might occur with degenerative disk disease (a "slipped disk") but also tumor in or around a 10 year old Boxer/bulldog's spinal cord. X-rays of her neck should be considered at this time as well as her right front leg.

No, I don't see a mechanism for Heartgard or Nexgard to cause such symptoms. I agree with you. There's something more serious brewing. I'll watch for your next post. Please continue our conversation if you wish.