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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 24453
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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He has lost weight, lost some hair, and is now wobbly and

Customer Question

He has lost weight, lost some hair, and is now wobbly and falling down at times.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. What is the dog's name and age?
Customer: Jasper is a ***** ***** Terrier. He is 14.
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Jasper?
Customer: He has Lyme Disease and arthritis.
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Veterinarian about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 9 months ago.

I'm sorry to hear of this with Jasper. Lyme disease can cause the symptoms you've mentioned because that infection is pantropic - in other words, infects many different tissues in the body. At Jasper's age, however, it would be unusual if just one disorder were present. His wobbliness and falling are serious. They can indicate systemic weakness as might be associated with infection as well as profound anemia due to any chronic disease process or a primary blood dyscrasia. They can indicate both encephalopathy (brain disorder) such as brain tumor at his age or myelopathy (spinal cord disorder). They can indicate syncopy ("fainting") caused by a failing heart. Jasper's vet will want to perform a thorough physical exam on Jasper (paying particular attention to Jasper's heart) including diagnostics in the form of blood and urine tests. Please check Jasper's vitals for me:

1) Check his gum and tongue color. They should be nicely pink - not whitish (anemia) or bluish/greyish (cyanosis/hypoxia/lack of oxygen to his tissues).

2) Check his respiratory rate at rest. He should be taking less than 40 breaths/minute at rest.

3) Take his rectal temperature. Any body thermometer will do when placed 1.5" into his rectum for 1 minute. Normal is 100.5-102.5F. This is a two person job!

Please let me know what you find.