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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 23745
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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My 6 month old puppy has episodes of drooling and pacing,

Customer Question

My 6 month old puppy has episodes of drooling and pacing, sometimes walking against the wall often. these last for hours. It is Yorkie male and I feel since I am away for up to 6 hours in a day and he is in his pen that it could be anxiety or separation anxiety. Please advise your thoughts.
Many thanks,
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 months ago.

Maryanne, I'm sorry to hear of this with Teddy. Drooling, aimless pacing, and wall hugging are indications of encephalopathy (brain disorder) involving the forebrain (cerebrum and thalamus) in our dogs. Both intracranial (within the skull) encephalopathies such as congenital brain defects and extracranial (outside the skull) encephalopathies such as a poorly functioning liver or kidneys need to be considered. As a breed, Yorkies are overrepresented with hepatoencephalopathy - a poorly functioning liver due to a portosystemic shunt/microvascular dysplasia. Teddy may be anxious but his anxiety would arise from feeing ill rather than represent a behavioral problem.

Teddy's vet will want to thoroughly examine Teddy including diagnostics in the form of blood and urine tests. Serum bile acids - a blood test that assesses liver function - is important to include in such testing. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
What is the treatment that will have to be done to help him?
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 months ago.

If a shunt is found, surgical ligation of that shunt is indicated. Ancillary care - a special diet and drugs that alter the bacterial flora in the GI tract - will be prescribed as well. If the serum bile acid test is abnormal, an abdominal ultrasound is the next diagnostic of choice. It can "see" a shunt and it allows us to needle the biopsy the liver for more information. Please continue our conversation if you wish.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 months ago.

I'm just following up on our conversation about Teddy. How is everything going?

Dr. Michael Salkin