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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 26219
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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I'm ***** *****. My dog has been chewing on metal cans

Customer Question

Hi I'm ***** *****. My dog has been chewing on metal cans that he has stolen out of the pantry. He started drooling about a week after and is lethargic. I don't think he has swallowed anything
JA: Thanks. Can you give me any more details about your issue?
Customer: Well about 3 weeks ago he just started opening the pantry on his own and would run out to the yard and chew on metal cans. Some he managed to open and chew before I realized it. He did the same thing today while I was bringing in the grocery bags He looks really lethargic and seems to have trouble focusing now. Could he have some type of poisoning? Again. He doesn't actually eat the can
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Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 11 months ago.
I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. Please let me know if you still need help. His chewing and/or ingesting non-food items (pica) can be a symptom of gastrointestinal distress...as is drooling which often indicates nausea or gastroesophageal reflux (GERD/acid reflux/heartburn). Lethargy is a nonspecific symptom but "trouble focusing" (a change in mentation) suggests encephalopathy (brain disorder). Poisoning is a consideration with any encephalopathy but so are infections, neoplasia (cancer), and metabolic disorders that can affect the brain.Because his behavior has persisted for 3 weeks now, it would be prudent to have his vet thoroughly examine him including diagnostics in the form of blood and urine tests. Referral to a specialist neurologist might be suggested if his vet believes that encephalopathy is a reasonable consideration. How old and which breed is your dog, please?

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