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CriticalCareVet, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 63982
Experience:  Emergency and Critical Care Specialist
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My yorkie began acting very lethargic, low energy, shaking

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My yorkie began acting very lethargic, low energy, shaking and licking the floor. No vomiting or loose stool. She usually loves her 'treats'. Gave her one this morning and she did not do her usual circling and jumping. Looked at me, barely lifting her head and did eat it but didn't run away and take it to 'her place' to eat it. Started last night acting like this and no better this morning.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  CriticalCareVet replied 4 years ago.
Welcome to JustAnswer! I am a licensed veterinarian and specialist and will do my best to assist you today!

1) Did she eat breakfast?

2) Is there vomiting or change in stool?

3) Is the belly bloated or painful?

4) What color are the gums?

5) Can you take the rectal temperature?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
No breakfast, dog biscuit, pale pink gums, no apparent pain in belly, 100.6 rectal temp.
Expert:  CriticalCareVet replied 4 years ago.
Regarding the pale pink gums, is that a change from normal?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
No idea
Expert:  CriticalCareVet replied 4 years ago.
Pale pink gums are a concern.

Pale gums indicate a low red blood cell count in most cases and can cause lethargy and illness.

For this reason - if you think the gums are truly pale, I would have this evaluated.

Regarding the problem here, Anemia (low red blood cell count) - there are a couple of MAIN differentials.

- Blood Loss (bleeding externally or internally)
- Hemolysis (breakdown of red blood cells)
- Lack of production (bone marrow is not working)

When we get a low red blood cell count on bloodwork, we start to look for ways to narrow down the list above.

1) What is the protein level? If the protein level is low and the red count is low, blood loss is a concern as they are both low together. If the protein level is normal or high, then blood loss is less likely and we worry more about either hemolysis or a decreased red blood cell production from the bone marrow.

2) We also consider a special blood test looking for reticulocytes, which are a type of red blood cell the bone marrow makes quickly when there is a low count - showing that the body is regenerative.

3) If the count is low and there is no regeneration - then a bone marrow aspirate is considered looking at how the bone marrow is working.

Throughout the evaluation, other tests such as x-rays or even an ultrasound are considered based on the narrowed down list of causes.

Based on the list above and the ability to narrow down the list - we can then have a better idea of the underlying cause for the anemia - and then treat more appropriately.

I hope this information is helpful.

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