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Ask Dr Marta Lepes Your Own Question
Dr Marta Lepes
Dr Marta Lepes, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 437
Experience:  Owner, practitioner, Owner at Hilo Veterinary Clinic, Inc, Vetmed Hawaii
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My my 8 1/2 month German Shepherd is usually very energetic

Customer Question

My my 8 1/2 month German Shepherd is usually very energetic and playful, suddenly in the middle of the night he became very sluggish in his walk and movements. At first I thought he was just tired but upon taking him outside to go to the bathroom he afterwards just stood still in one spot with hardly any movement other than a heavier than usual panting or shallow breathing. Then I noticed a long line of drool hanging from the side of his mouth. When I lifted his lip to check it out there was a lot of mucus or perhaps phlegm built up near the back of his mouth. He has barely eaten or drank when he normally has a pretty big thirst and appetite. When I do get him to eat, (he hasn't touched his regular dry dog food, but I've fed him wet dog food and small pieces of dry cat food that he will eat) its in small portions as if he has difficulty swallowing. And just earlier this evening I noticed what seems like a lump on the side of his throat. He has not vomitted or anything but he will every so often hack once or twice here and there. Otherwise he just lays under the bed with very little energy.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. This sounds like it might be serious. I'll let the Veterinarian know what's going on ASAP. Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about the dog?
Customer: My roommate has been trying to get the grass to grow in the backyward and has just told me that its possible that my dog may have eaten some grass seed, he found the bag had been gotten into by one or all of the dogs. We have 4 dogs altogether but only the German Shepherd is having these symptoms
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr Marta Lepes replied 4 months ago.

Hello, my name is***** and I will help you.

The first thing I want you to do is open his mouth wide and look at the roof of his mouth and as far back into his throat as you can. To do this stand him up on all fours and hold him between your knees. His head should be facing away from you.

Let me know when you have finished and also if you saw anything.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
He only lets me open his mouth so far before he starts fighting to pull away and slightly hacks once. I am only grabbing the ends of his mouth but the wider I try to open the more he tries to shake me off. The specific reaction he makes reminds me a lot like as if someone with sensitive gag reflexes were to stick their fingers in the back of their throat and then gag.
His tongue curved up and covered the back of his throat so I was only able to see what seemed like phlegm where the back of his tongue met with the roof of his mouth.
Expert:  Dr Marta Lepes replied 4 months ago.

OK, but nothing stuck crosswise between his upper teeth? You got a good look?

Next I want you to gently push on that lump on the side of his throat.

Does that make him cough?

Expert:  Dr Marta Lepes replied 4 months ago.

Also, what is the quantity of grass seed missing? Like 2 cups or 4 cups.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
No, there's nothing in his teeth. Just a lot of phlegm.Pushing on the lump does not make him cough. I believe it make him build up more phlegm in his mouth, but he doesn't cough it up or vomit or really does anything. He just stands there breathing heavily with his mouth closed. I've tried to open his mouth so many times today that he eventually clenches down making it difficult to open his mouth even slightly.
Expert:  Dr Marta Lepes replied 4 months ago.

Is he vaccinated for rabies?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I'm not certain on the amount of grass seed. My roommate had just said that he found the bag shredded up and believed it possible that my dog may have eaten some.He has gotten his first set of shots for rabies and parvo.
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I believe a de-worming. ?
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
He's not aggressive or anything, when I let him go he turns around looks up at me and wags his tail. His tail is still low though (when not wagging it is close to, almost between his legs and his ears are back like when he knows he did something wrong and is guilty)
Expert:  Dr Marta Lepes replied 4 months ago.

Good on the vaccinations.

I asked about the quantity of grass seed because eating a large amount can get compacted in the intestinal tract and cause a blockage.

I want you to take him to your vet. Besides palpating his intestines he can check if there is an irritated esophagus or trachea. Producing all that phlegm can be from the esophagus or trachea. Although with a tracheal problem there is usually coughing too.

I hope that this has helped.

We can continue this dialog - even after you rate the service. Any questions?