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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 24412
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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My 5 1/2 year old Shitz/Poodle is acting very strange. But I

Customer Question

My 5 1/2 year old Shitz/Poodle is acting very strange. But I am most worried about the milky snot in his eyes. Yesterday when I came home and picked him up he yelped when I touched his leg and limped a little on it. When I tried to look at it he snapped at me (he has NEVER snapped at anyone!) then he hid under the bed for several hours. This morning he was up and moving just a little slower than normal. When I got home from work his eyes were 1/4 full of the milky substance so I cleaned them and he seemed ok. Now this evening he's acting like it's hard to control his head fully. And I just had to clean one eye again. I am getting really worried.
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 3 months ago.

You're speaking to Dr. Michael Salkin. Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm currently typing up my reply.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 3 months ago.

I understand your concern. That's quite a litany of symptoms. I'll address your concerns as you presented them...

The "milky snot" consists mostly of mucus and there might well be pus mingled among the mucus. When tear production drops, eyes try to compensate by producing more mucus. The question, then, is why has tear production dropped? We consider conjunctival inflammation slowing tear production and closing off tear ducts. We consider disorders elsewhere in his body that might drop tear production. Certain drugs can do so as well. Eyes like this need to be attended to by Oliver's vet if only because eyes can "go south" in a hurry.

His behavior when picked up suggests pain and that pain may be in the affected leg itself but also in his back. He's a small/miniature breed middle aged dog and these dogs are over-represented when it comes to degenerative disk disease - a "slipped disk" - which is an important differential diagnosis for Oliver. He's also moving more slowly - another indication of back pain.

"Difficulty controlling his head" isn't clear to me but could indicate pain in the cervical (neck) spinal column. I also need to consider encephalopathy (brain disorder) when heads look like that.

In summary, it appears that more than one body system is involved and so Oliver's vet will want to perform a thorough physical and neurologic exam on Oliver. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 months ago.
Hi Martha,

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

Dr. Michael Salkin