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Dr. J.
Dr. J., Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 344
Experience:  I have practiced veterinary medicine with a diverse case load for over 24 years.
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I emailed earlier to let the vet know that my 4yr old shi tzu

Resolved Question:

I emailed earlier to let the vet know that my 4yr old shi tzu mix (just adopted him about a month ago) has literally not stopped e.g. circling around since 10:30am this morning (it honestly just looks like he is on speed or something). I still don't know what is wrong and am so concerned, here is the latest if you could give me advice:
-Honestly thought he just couldn't poop (as he tried twice this morning and couldn't all day, didn't really pee either)
-Finally took him to the vet to get his glands expressed- They were not full and the dr. examined him a bit (said pupils were normal, other things looked fine and he was just really nervous)- I completely disagreed and said something is wrong with him, wasn't pleased they said he would calm down, was probably spooked
-Had jerky head motions on the car ride though
-Came home- gave him Metamucil, did the match thing, still didn't poop
-Continued the constant fast walking/turning until now
-However, he is eating, barking, barked for his dinner at the normal time and when people come to the door
-Begged for food a bit when people were eating
-Cannot stop running, twirling around
-This came on all of a sudden today, maybe he got into medicine, something toxic?
-He's starting to listen to 'come' etc. more now, still some jerky/tilting head motions though, and he's pausing a bit more now/standing still

Please let me know (and based on the dr's information below which I honestly didn't read until tonight), 1) should I go to the ER hospital tonight and if so 2) I don't want to go in and they do 20 tests on him and charge me $1,200. I don't mind the money but I do mind doing numerous tests


Below is the dr's answer from today:
-------------------------------------------
Hi there and thank you for your question. I am a licensed veterinarian and would be happy to assist you. This sounds like a neurologic problem called vestibular syndrome, which causes dogs to walk in circles and/or fall over.

http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2012/06/04/canine-vestibular-disease.aspx

It can be caused by an inner ear infection, or it can happen for unknown causes. Vestibular syndrome will usually resolve with antibiotic treatment or no treatment at all. It is important, though, to have a veterinarian examine your dog, though, to determine if this is truly vestibular syndrome, or if there is a different neurologic problem going on. There may be a problem in the brain causing this, and that may require anti-seizure medication or further diagnostic testing. I would go see a vet today for a neurologic exam, and if your vet says it is vestibular syndrome it should resolve in a few weeks time. We can hope that is all it is! Hope this helps... best of luck.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. J. replied 11 months ago.

Dr. J. :

Hi, thanks for your question.I will try my best to help you. I do agree this does sounds very much like a neurologic problem. It would likely fall into one of two categories. This would be either inflammatory,infectious or possibly toxic. This could be vestibular disease, some type of inner ear problem, brain tumor, or a manifestation of a toxic compound. The only thing that can be determined with any accuracy without further diagnostics is to say that it is likely neurologic clinical signs. I do believe that you need to seek a second opinion on this as I agree with you that this is not normal behavior and could be any of the above listed possibilities. It could also be a liver condition known as portosystemic shunt which can be acquired in some dogs and will cause neurologic signs. This little guy needs a very thorough work up preferably at a veterinary college or specialty hospital. Please let me know If I can assist you further or answer any other questions for you. My goal is to help you as much as possible. Sincerely, DrJ

Dr. J. :

Do you have any other concerns I can address or questions?

Customer:

Do you think I need to take him to the animal emergency tonight, or I go to a vet in the morning? He's finally stopped running around, is standing next to me (looking for food), but I am so confused as to what to do? I also forced water down him a bit about an hour ago.

Customer:

Also I don't have access to a vet college, or what kind of speciality hospital do you mean?

Dr. J. :

Have you noticed whether his signs occur soon after ( like 1-2 hours ) after eating?

Customer:

I can't really say- it truly just 'happened' at 10:30am today (I had walked him this morning around 8am and he kept circling but wouldn't poop). And you don't think its' that do you- that he can go to the bathroom, which he hasn't done all day...

Dr. J. :

Yes, it is very possible that this could be constipation. Some small dogs will exhibit circling behavior when they are unable to poop and if he has not gone all day then that raises that possibility higher on the list. If you feel that is the case, then you can take him to your vet tomorrow and have a rectal exam done and possibly an xray to see if he is impacted in his colon. If that is the cause of his circling then an enema and diet correction should fix the problem.

Customer:

And the head jerking aspect, could be part of that too?

Dr. J. :

Also if the vet did not do a rectal earlier with the signs you described the vet might not have thought to check the colon. Does that make sense? Most dogs that are described as circling have neurologic disease but this can also be the behavior of some smaller breeds that have constipation issues. The head jerking does not fit with constipation unfortunately.That is something that I would have to see to comment on with any accuracy. Let's evaluate whether you can most likely wait til the morning. Is he eating an drinking? Is he vomiting or having diarrhea? Does he seemed distressed or in pain?

Customer:

Also just to confirm I gave him pumpkin with Metamucil and did the match in his bottom thing- nothing worked. So he could just have major blockage correct? I started giving him 'fresh pet' wet food only about two weeks ago (and he has been on some meds for his skin condition). Also giving him omega 3 each day as well.

Customer:

He ate breakfast and dinner and is begging for food

Customer:

No vomiting

Customer:

No diarrhea

Customer:

He doesn't e.g. groan when picking him up (even when I put the match up his bottom he was a good calm boy unbelievably)

Customer:

They only checked his anal glands I thinkHonestly looks like a dog who was given some speed

Dr. J. :

Yes, he could just be severely constipated. That is one possibility. He could also have neuro signs from inner ear, brain or liver issues. But based on your description, it sounds like he can wait until am to see Doctor. I would watch him closely and if anything changes, take him in tonight. Does that help?

Customer:

He's not drinking though

Dr. J. :

How long has it been since he has been drinking normally?

Customer:

Yes, I guess once we go to be in about an hour, if he can't stay still and is doing this, I should probably take him then right?

Customer:

Drinking- All of this odd stuff just happened after this morning

Dr. J. :

If he is still doing this behavior when you guys get ready to go to bed then I would definitely take him in and get him checked out from head to tail.

Customer:

Okay- I'll do that then, thank you. Also, one final question- when you refer to a specialty hospital, what type do you mean?

Dr. J. :

I wish I could offer more input, but I really think he should get checked out. I agree with you that something is not right. Not all but many areas will have veterinary hospitals where they have specialists just like in human medicine. If you take him to the ER and they figure it out great, but if not ask them if there is a specialty hospital in your area. They will know. I hope I have helped you. Do you have any other questions or concerns?

Dr. J. :

Do you understand everything that I have said? I want to make sure that you totally understand everything.

Customer:

He is finally sitting on my lap now, but jerking his head around

Dr. J. :

That is why I am concerned that there is a neurologic problem and sincerely XXXXX XXXXX you need a second opinion.

Dr. J. :

This could be a type of mini-seizure activity which can occur in dogs in very odd ways and presentations.

Customer:

Yes- I do, and thanks very much for all the advice and details...

Customer:

oh, okay...

Customer:

Last question-

Dr. J. :

You are very welcome and if you need anything else, just ask for DrJ. I will be more than happy to answer any and all of your questions until you are totally satisfied.

Customer:

My vet totally disregarded me and Chester today- Said he was just 'nervous' and would calm down. I was pretty upset and said something was wrong with him and didn't know what to do. Should I go to another vet?

Customer:

I promise that is the last question

Dr. J. :

That is a tough question. If she really disregarded your concerns when you clearly expressed them, then yes I would seek a second opinion.Then if a problem is found I would call your original vet and tell her, and if she is concerned she will express that and want to learn from her mistakes. If she gets mad about it, well then maybe you need another vet. We all make mistakes, what counts is how we handle them.

Customer:

Got it, thanks very (very) much.

Dr. J. :

I really hope that I have helped you and please do not hesitate to contact me again if you need further help with Chester.And I hope that Chester will be ok and back to his normal self very soon.

Customer:

Mary

Customer:

Thanks :)

Dr. J. :

Good luck!!!!

Dr. J., Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 344
Experience: I have practiced veterinary medicine with a diverse case load for over 24 years.
Dr. J. and 5 other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Dr. J. replied 11 months ago.
Mary, Please let me know how Chester is doing, I sure hope he is ok. Sincerely, DrJ

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