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Dr. Deb
Dr. Deb, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
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Experience:  I have bred dogs and shown dogs for 20 years.
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Im having the same lethargy. My dog is seven a Weimaraner

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I'm having the same lethargy. My dog is seven a Weimaraner we ran 5 miles this morning he pooped and peed as usual every thing is normal. He ate dinner and went out came in. We left to run errands and when we returned he was lethargic. His mouth is cold his body is cold. I gave him honey which seemed to help but an hour later and he's back to not wanting to move. His breathing is normal, he doesn't appear to have any pain. I have him wrapped up in a blanket.
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 10 months ago.
Hi, I'm Dr. Deb. I will do my best to assist you today.
I'm so sorry that Zane isn't feeling well.
I do have a few questions to ask about him first if you don't mind:

1. Do you have a thermometer so you can take his temperature?
2. Can you tell me the color of his gums?
3. Does he seem stiff when he walks even though he may not be lame?


There may be a slight delay after I receive your answers since I have to type up a response to you. Thanks for your patience. Deb

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
His gums are pink his mouth is cool. He is walking stiffly. When we got home he took a while to great us and we all thought he'd done something wrong because his head was low. Which is not normal. I don't have a thermometer
Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 10 months ago.
Thanks so much for the answers to my questions.

Gum color is normal which is good.

There could be several possible explanations for his symptoms:

1. Fever. It would be helpful if you could manage to get your hands on a thermometer to take his rectal temperature. Although he's probably not running a fever since he feels cool, it would be best to know for sure by taking his temperature. Normal is between 100 and 102.5.
Causes of a fever might range from tick diseases (and not necessarily recent tick exposure either--see below) to bacterial diseases such as Leptospirosis or viral infections.
Some dogs with auto-immune diseases can also run fevers.

2. Not all dogs with tick diseases will run fevers; some of them just become lethargic and very stiff (some behave as if every muscle in their body aches).
I live in New England and see a large number of tick diseases in this area. Symptoms can occur quite suddenly with no warning. These could be ticks that fed months ago (lyme disease) or one week ago (Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever). We do have tests for many of these diseases, but we are testing for antibodies, not the organism itself, in most cases. If antibodies are not being produced (for whatever reason) then the tests could be negative and yet this is still the underlying problem.
I've also come to believe that there are tick diseases that we haven't even been able to identify yet and thus would not have tests for all of them.

3. It's possible that he's experiencing spinal pain especially since he's holding his head down. This is similar to a human who has a disc compressing the spinal cord...these events can happen quite quickly.
Although he's a little on the young side, he could also have joint pain/discomfort although I suspect that he's run for 5 miles in the past with no problems.

4. I've seen some dogs with problems with their spleens behave this way. The spleen can twist and untwist which can be quite uncomfortable. Many dogs won't show obviously pain by vocalizing; they just become lethargic. This is a very difficult diagnosis to make since the spleen could be in a normal position when these dogs are examined. If the spleen were to completely twist (but not untwist), you'll know it...these dogs are really sick.

5. While some dogs can just have "off" days, he sounds more lethargic and stiff than I would expect.

You could give him over the counter Aspirin which should help with many of the above conditions. The dose would be 10 mg/lb twice a day, given with food to avoid stomach upset.
The only reason I would have reservations about suggesting it would be that it might interfere with what your vet would want to dispense if you need to have him seen; however, one or two doses should not be harmful.

If you manage to take his temperature and it's elevated and/or he worsens, then I would suggest you have him seen. But, if he appears fairly stable, then you could reassess the situation in the morning.

I hope this helps and that he's feeling better quickly. Deb
Dr. Deb, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 6216
Experience: I have bred dogs and shown dogs for 20 years.
Dr. Deb and 3 other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 10 months ago.

Thank you for the rating; it's greatly appreciated.
I also wanted to wish you the best with Zane.

I hope you'll keep me posted about him. Even though you've rated, we can still continue to communicate at no additional charge to you. I can also send you a follow up email tomorrow to which you can respond when you have the time to do so. Regards, Deb

Kindly ignore the request for additional information.

Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 9 months ago.
I'm just following up on our conversation about Zane. How is he doing? Deb

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