How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Roger L. Welton, DVM Your Own Question

Roger L. Welton, DVM
Roger L. Welton, DVM, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 1377
Experience:  Licensed Veterinarian, Practice Owner, and Book Author
Type Your Dog Question Here...
Roger L. Welton, DVM is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I have a border terrier, between 11 and 12 years old. Lately,

Customer Question

I have a border terrier, between 11 and 12 years old. Lately, I have noticed him sitting and occasionally staring into space. Usually, he is either sleeping or walking or watching us cook or letting us know that he needs to go out. The other day, he wet all over his mat in the kitchen (he has not had an accident in the house before). The mat was really soaking. Today, when I began to take him on a walk, I stopped for a minute when we first got outside. He sat when I stopped, he moved forward through the effort of his front legs with his two back legs tucked underneath, as if they were useless. Then, we proceeded on our walk and he was fine, exploring, tail wagging, prancing along. What do you think is going on?
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Roger L. Welton, DVM replied 11 months ago.

Dear Pet Owner:

 

It sounds to me that your dog is having episodes of neuropathy. Neuropathy is a general term that refers to disease of the central nervous system CNS, which would encompass the brain, spinal cord, and nerves of the body.

 

Disease of the CNS may occur primarily, that is the CNS tissue is diseased, or may occur as a secondary consequence of disease elsewhere in the body that has neurological effects. We would call this secondary neuropathy.

 

Primary and secondary neuropathy are often clinically indistinguishable even with a thorough examination. hen first approaching a case, I tend to try to lump all clinical signs together into one disease process, as one disease versus multiple concurrent diseases manifesting all at once carries the higher probability. However, at your dog's age, multiple concurrent conditions certainly are possible.

 

Putting the catatonia that you described in conjunction with the wetting, the disease that first comes to mind is diabetes mellitus. For more on this disease, please refer to the link to this article I wrote on the disease:

 

http://web-dvm.net/diabetes.html

 

With diabetes, the blood glucose can spike so high that the patient begins to have neurological effects i in the manner in which you are describing. In conjunction with that, they tend to drink excess water and can be prone to having accidents in the home when before that was an unusual event. This would be a secondary neuropathy, as diabetes is a metabolic disturbance that has adverse effects to the CNS among other systems.

 

Another possibility is a disease that may lead to seizures. While your dog is not displaying hallmark seizure behavior (the convulsive activity most associate with seizures), dogs can present with atypical seizures that presents as blank stares, catatonic states, loss of motor control, and voiding their urine or bowels. Causes for seizures include liver disease, kidney disease, and epilepsy. Less commonly, brain tumors can also cause seizures - I state less commonly, because primary brain tumors are not very common in canines. Below is an article I wrote on epilepsy for more information:

 

http://web-dvm.net/epilepsy.html

 

My approach to cases like this always begin with a thorough examination to see if there is more consistent neurological signs than the episodes you see. Physical examination can tells us allot and helps us to fine tune out diagnostic approach. Diagnostically, I would always begin with a basic data base that consists of general blood work (complete blood count, blood chemistry, and thyroid level) and urinalysis. Depending on the results, you may get a diagnosis if you are dealing with a secondary neuropathy, or your veterinarian may recommend chest and abdominal x-rays to further complete the diagnostic profile. If nothing turns up from this general approach, then the next step would be to consider imaging of the brain via CT or MRI, as well as having an analysis of the cerebrospinal fluid obtained through spinal tap.

 

There are a few different possibilities for what is occuring to your dog, some that are quite treatable, others less treatable, some not treatable. The first step should be to begin the pro cess with a physical examination by a veterinarian and proceed with some basic diagnostics, only moving no to more invasive (and expensive) techniques if the cases dictates it.

 

 

Roger L. Welton, DVM, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 1377
Experience: Licensed Veterinarian, Practice Owner, and Book Author
Roger L. Welton, DVM and 3 other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 11 months ago.

Thank you very much. I will be far more intelligent now when I take
Finnegan to the vet this week. I hope we can help him with medication. Kate

Expert:  Roger L. Welton, DVM replied 11 months ago.
I am so glad you found my reply helpful. I wish you and your dog the very best. :-)
Expert:  Roger L. Welton, DVM replied 11 months ago.
Hi,

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

Roger L. Welton, DVM

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • You are a light at the end of scary tunnel when $ are tight, but people need professional help to turn to for help with their dear pets! Linh Charleston, WV
< Last | Next >
  • You are a light at the end of scary tunnel when $ are tight, but people need professional help to turn to for help with their dear pets! Linh Charleston, WV
  • $1,000 spent at his vet, and I finally get the correct diagnosis from Nancy Holmes for $15 Carol Cedar Hill, MO
  • I think this is the greatest web site in the world. Thanks to all! Judy New Haven, CT
  • I have referred several friends to your web site. I'm impressed with how easy it is to use your site, the Experts available and the quickness of answers. Nina USA
  • I am completely pleased with the quick response that I received in our time of need for our dog, Jasmine. I couldn't believe how quick the response was and I thank you. It's good to know you're there!! Jasmine's Mom USA
  • Please let everyone involved with your site know that your Expert, Dr. Lucy, has saved my dog's life. I will recommend your site to all my pet loving friends. Thank you again for simply being there! Sonya G Easley, SC
  • Last night my Expert spent close to 3 hours working with me on my dog's illness. Thank you so much for this opportunity to share in her care and knowledge! Cathie M Pompano Beach, FL
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Dr. Gary's Avatar

    Dr. Gary

    Dog Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    2534
    DVM, Emergency Veterinarian; BS (Physiology) Michigan State Univ
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RY/rydergar/2012-6-6_192240_IMG0328.64x64.JPG Dr. Gary's Avatar

    Dr. Gary

    Dog Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    2534
    DVM, Emergency Veterinarian; BS (Physiology) Michigan State Univ
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/JA/Jav917/2012-2-20_54059_201221802254JoananddavidArchuleta3.64x64.jpg Joan's Avatar

    Joan

    Vet Tech

    Satisfied Customers:

    4544
    Vet Tech for over 30+ years working w/Dogs/Rescues
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/JA/jadedangel57/2011-11-8_193134_janenewsm.64x64.jpg Jane Lefler's Avatar

    Jane Lefler

    Breeder,Behaviorist, formerVet Asst

    Satisfied Customers:

    13847
    Former vol Vet Assistant.Breeder 16+ years Dog trainer / behaviorist
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/ER/ERPetNurse/2011-11-7_1293_b.64x64.jpg Candy's Avatar

    Candy

    Veterinary Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    7108
    Practicing Veterinary Technician for 26 years.Former Veterinary Practice Owner, Technician Trainer
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BA/babybloo/2011-3-10_62613_DavidandI.64x64.jpg Theresa's Avatar

    Theresa

    A Voice for Your Pet

    Satisfied Customers:

    4704
    19+ years experience in small animal medicine
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/VE/vetforyou/2012-6-20_33122_PearlPhoto.64x64.jpg Dr. Andy's Avatar

    Dr. Andy

    Medical Director

    Satisfied Customers:

    4430
    UC Davis Graduate, Interests: Dermatology, Internal Medicine, Pain Management
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/VE/VetAnswers/2013-4-5_8257_prof10.64x64.jpg Scott Nimmo's Avatar

    Scott Nimmo

    Dog Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    3977
    BVMS, MRCVS.