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Ask Lisa Your Own Question
Lisa, Certified Vet Tech
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16070
Experience:  AAS Vet Tech. Bully breed rehab & Behavior modification
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I have a boxer/german shepherd mix who is 9 years old. He

Customer Question

JA: Hello. How can we help?
Customer: I have a boxer/german shepherd mix who is 9 years old. He always still acts like a puppy. He is about 100 pounds. For about 3 days now, he has been very slow. He has done a few very little yips, but I don't know what at. I press all over his body, and he doesn't make any noises like he is in pain. He isn't really eating too much or drinking. He still wags his tail and things, but is just very, I don't know. Lazy? He keeps his head hovered for awhile and then puts it down. A few days ago when it started, he laid on my couch in the same spot for about 6-7 hours.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. It could be an infection. The Veterinarian will know what to do. What is the dog's name?
Customer: ? You responded as soon as I sent that.
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about the dog?
Customer: No
JA: Huh?
Customer: That's about it.
JA: OK. Got it. 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 then connect you two.
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Lisa replied 4 months ago.

HI there. My name is ***** ***** I'm happy to help you with your question. Just like an in person consult, I have some questions of my own to help ensure I give you the best advice possible.....

What state do you live in?

Has he ever had tick exposure?

If you try to move his head from side to side, or up and down, does he resist or act painful?

Any possibility of trauma or injury at all?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Hey! I live in New Jersey. I do live in an area with some brush and things in my backyard. I have not seen a tick on him though. And this came out of nowhere. He literally was super playful, hyper, excited, happy. Now just lethargic. You can tell something is up. I just moved his head all around, and he let me do it just fine. No resistance or painful acts. I can't see how he would get injury. I have stairs, but he isn't limping or anything.
Expert:  Lisa replied 4 months ago.

Thanks for the additional information. I really appreciate it.

This honestly and truly sounds like Lyme or Anaplasma to me. The two big symptoms your dog has: living in an area with ticks and the sudden onset lethargy are both huge red flags when it comes to diagnose these tick borne diseases. There's a website that outlines some of the symptoms here:

I did some checking and it turns out that NJ does have a pretty high instance of tick borne illness. You can read more about it here:
One of this problems is that a dog can have a silent infection for years before they become symptomatic...which means he could have gotten a tick on him last summer, it could have transfered the disease and it could have simply been dormant all this time.
I think the best thing to do is to have her tested for tick borne disease. In my opinion, one of the best (and fastest) options for that is the 4DX test. It only takes 3 drops of blood and 8 minutes for you to have a 'for sure' answer. You can read more about 4DX testing here:
I strongly suspect he's going to come up positive. Then it's just a few weeks (usually 31 days, actually) of Doxycycline, and she should be back to normal.

I hope this helps.

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