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Pet Doc
Pet Doc, Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
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Experience:  Veterinarian - BVSc
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my spayed 3 yr old cocker has lost her energy, sleeps a lot,

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my spayed 3 yr old cocker has lost her energy, sleeps a lot, has a weight problem and becoming a bit bad tempered, clinical exam by my vet today was normal. The vet didnt recommend blood tests when I enquired about this. She is on a low fat diet and just started on daily vitamins today. I am worried about her. Any advise gratefully received.
Hi there,

Thanks for your question regarding your 3 year old Cocker who seems to have become a little more lethargic as well as putting on weight and being a little more grumpy than usual. Good on you for getting her examined by your local Vet today. It can always be a little frustrating when there are a few non-specific symptoms, but no clinical findings on clinical exam. In these situations, I usually recommend a blood test just to ensure everything is ok. If you are concerned, I would recommend perhaps getting a blood test run early next week. I am sure your Vet will do this for you, but if he or she refuses to, then you should seek a second opinion at a different clinic.

So long as she is eating and drinking fine at the moment and seems otherwise ok, then you can wait until early next week for this follow up appointment and blood test. A full haematology and biochemistry would be a good idea here. If she has a weight and temperament change, then I would suggest a TT4 and TSH test to rule out hypothyroidism as well.

In the meantime, if she becomes more lethargic or goes of her food, you may need to get her to the Vet again this weekend. For now, please keep an eye on her mucus membranes, capillary refill time and respiratory rate as follows:

Mucus membranes - flip her lip and look at the color of the gums. They should maintain a nice salmon pink color. Get her to the emergency Vet if they appear white or very pale pink, or if they are a dark deep red color.

Capillary Refill time - this measures blood perfusion and test this by putting your thumb on her gum to apply pressure. After you release your thumb you will see the gum blanch. Capillary refill time is the amount of time it takes (in seconds) for the gum to return to a healthy pink color from the blanced white color. If 2 seconds or less don't worry - if it is taking significantly more time, again - off to the emergency Vet.

Respiratory Rate - if she is continuously panting throughout the night, this is a sign of shock and or pain and a signal for a trip to the emergency Vet.

Best of luck with your girl and please keep in touch with her progress if you get a chance. Don't forget to click an excited face :-D if this has been helpful. Please be sure to reply using the REPLY TO EXPERT button if you need any further help or advice.

Kind Regards,

Dr Edwards

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thank you. I am concerned that she may have a thyroid problem as I have had another cocker with this problem in the past ans symtoms were the same. However today my vet thought this unlikely because of her age, I shall keep a close eye on her and have her checked out again if current situation persists.
Good on you. Yes - it is less likely in a younger dog, but definitely possible. See how things progress over the next couple of weeks, but I think a blood test to help rule a hypothyroid issue out would definitely be a good idea.

Kind Regards,

Dr E
Pet Doc and other Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you

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

Pet Doc
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thank you. She is now on her fourth day of vitamin supplement as I read she may need this as she is on a low fat diet. I do think she is a little brighter but taking her back this week for reassessment and I am going to insist she has blood work done.
Good on. Let me know how you get on if you get a chance.

Thanks for the update.

Dr E

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