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Dr. Scarlett
Dr. Scarlett, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 4110
Experience:  I am a practicing small animal veterinarian with 18 years experience.
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I have a mixed dog who is a little over a year and a half,

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I have a mixed dog who is a little over a year and a half, spayed, 35 lbs King Charles/pug/beagle mix. She is normally pretty hyper and excited. She is acting a little strange, sleeping a lot, kind of lethargic and not nearly as excited as she normally is. When I walk in the door she makes a half effort to greet me and she doesn't yip with excitement. She hasn't lost any weight and she still plays, but it's different. I have another dog who is fine but I can't tell who is eating the food so I'm not sure if the sick one is eating well or not as this just started happening and I haven't had a chance to monitoring who is eating what. She used the bathroom and there was an undigested piece of paper towel in her stool (she gets into everything, sometimes it's hard to catch her when she finds something). About a month ago she stayed overnight at the vet because she got into some essential oil. Her liver enzymes were through the roof but at the check up they still high but down to 120 from 423 so the vet was satisfied that she was getting better. Plus her behavior was back to normal. But I think this is a separate issue. I haven't taken her temp yet. She was shivering a little yesterday morning for about 2 hrs, it was a little cold in the house but I don't think she was shivering because of that. I did not observe her having any kind of seizures, nor has she ever had one. I may be worried for nothing but her acting lethargic worries me. She doesn't seem like herself. This has been going for a day and a half.

Dr. Scarlett :

Hi,

Dr. Scarlett :

It does sound like Celia isn't feeling well. The shivering could very well be a pain response, as could the lethargy. Since she has a habit of eating things she shouldn't, my first guess would be GI pain/discomfort.

Customer:

How long should I give it before I take her to the vet and what other symptoms should I look out for that would make this a more serious issue.

Dr. Scarlett :

If you can check her temperature, I would do that. If it is just GI distress, her temp will likely be normal. If it is over 102.5, however, I would take her in.

Dr. Scarlett :

I would offer her something to eat and see if she is interested. If she eats and drinks, then I would watch for vomiting, which could indicate an obstruction of some sort. If she throws up, I would take her in.

Dr. Scarlett :

Take her out on a leash so you can see if she has any diarrhea.

Customer:

We recently switched to grain free treats, dehydrated chicken and some hard biscuits. All made in the US. Do you think this switch could have upset her somehow?

Dr. Scarlett :

Normally I would say you could wait 24 hours and see if she improves. But that would change if she is vomiting.

Dr. Scarlett :

If you made an abrupt diet switch, then yes, she could develop diarrhea or an upset stomach from that. But if the switch has been over a week ago, then probably not the issue. I'd be more concerned that she ate something that won't digest or pass. She must have gotten in the trash to eat the paper towel--could she have gotten anything else in that trash can?

Customer:

No, we have a covered trash. But when we take her for walks she sometimes quickly eats things from the ground before we can catch her. Paper things seem to be her favorite. After we got her we switched all our trash cans to the kind with lids because of it.

Dr. Scarlett :

That's good!

Customer:

When she picks something up we tell her to drop it but sometimes she inhales. She also likes to eat mulch from outside.

Dr. Scarlett :

Does she seem worse today than yesterday?

Dr. Scarlett :

Is the mulch regular wood chips or a cocoa mulch?

Customer:

I think so. She normally jumps on the bed in the mornings but she stayed on her bed all morning and didn't follow me to the door and look out the window like she always does.

Customer:

The mulch is wood

Customer:

I went to check on her a couple hours ago and she jumped on the couch and slept on my lap for 30 mins

Dr. Scarlett :

Since it has been almost 2 days and she is worse today, I would take her in to your regular vet this afternoon. If she isn't eating or drinking, she may be getting dehydrated, which can slow intestinal movement down.

Customer:

Ok. That's what I thought but I wanted to make sure first. I suppose they will check her liver enzymes again?

Dr. Scarlett :

With the history of liver elevations a month ago, it would be a good idea. But hopefully a thorough physical exam will be done first to try and localize the problem. If she seems to have abdominal pain, then a couple x-rays to look at the intestines and stomach will likely be done first.

Customer:

Ok. Thank you very much for your advice. :)

Dr. Scarlett :

You're welcome. Keep me posted with her progress!

Customer:

Will do!

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