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Melanie Goble
Melanie Goble,
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 126
Experience:  Relief Veterinarian/Owner at Renewed Strength Veterinary Services, LLC
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My Shihtzu...12 year old female...has shown strange symptoms

Customer Question

My Shihtzu...12 year old female...has shown strange symptoms for nearly a week and now appears to be in pain. Her breathing is labored, sometimes worse than others. Since she has dog doors, I don't know whether she's had a bowel movement. Her stomach is bulging. Occasionally I see her doing something like gagging and trying to get something from her throat. I reached into her throat but it felt smooth (I have very short fingers) Until today she seemed to be just a little more lethargic but now she does nothing except to move occasionally. It's the nighttimes that have been strange. As soon as it gets dark, she begins to shiver and shake; however, if I cover her with anything at all, she soon moves. At night she's been sleeping so closely to me in bed that I have trouble turning. Awhile ago I found her laying on the cool cement patio with all 4 legs extended. Today is the first time she has walked away from food. She doesn't want to be picked up. She won't play. Yesterday I had a local vet (who comes into homes) look at her and he said she's fine...that her temp was normal. She's NOT fine.
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Melanie Goble replied 10 months ago.

Hello Gloria. My name is***** have been a veterinarian for 11 years. I am sorry that no one responded sooner, but I hope I can help you this evening.

There a number of things that can be causing these signs. I do have some questions for you if you are available to answer them as it will help me be more specific in may answers to you.

Questions include:

1. Is Tasha spayed? Or is she intact (still has her uterus and ovaries)?

2. Has she ever had any health problems? Such as diabetes, heart disease, or adrenal disease.

Expert:  Melanie Goble replied 10 months ago.

If Tasha is not spayed, then I am concerned that she could have a pyometra (a uterine infection), this is diagnosed with radiographs (x-rays) and blood work. The treatment is usually an emergency surgery to spay her.

If she is spayed, blood work and radiographs would still be recommended to determine why she is lethargic and has a bloated abdomen.

Some of the things that can be causing lethargy, gagging, labored breath, and bloating include:

1. Cancer

2. Heart failure

3. Adrenal gland disease (Cushing's disease or Addison's disease)

4. Foreign bodies (having eaten something that she shouldn't have eaten)

In all of these situations, the progression of her signs indicates that she needs to be seen by a veterinarian again, but have diagnostic tests run. as well.

If you have questions that I have not answered, please let me know and I would be happy to help you. If I have answered your question to your satisfaction, please take a moment to rate me so that I may continue to provide and improve my services.

Expert:  Melanie Goble replied 10 months ago.

Hello, Gloria. I am just checking in to see how Tasha is doing. If you have a chance to send me an update, I would greatly appreciate it.