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Dr. Gabby
Dr. Gabby, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 12415
Experience:  DVM 19 years. Compassionate, Caring, Experienced.
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My dog seems tired, is weak and not eating.

Customer Question

My dog seems tired, is weak and not eating.He is an outside dog, even in the winter. He has become very weak. even walking is exhausting. Will not drink water either. petting him puts him to sleep ,usually he just wants to play

Submitted: 10 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Gabby replied 10 years ago.

How old is your dog? What breed is he?

When was the last time he ate and drank?

Is he having any coughing, sneezing, vomiting, or diarrhea?

Customer: replied 10 years ago.

No other signs of anything. He is 7 yrs old. Half Akita and half Alaskan Malamute. Usually very vocal, and active. About 80 lbs. Eats only dog food, high protein. No people food of any kind. Seems healthier when his food(dry) is kept outside. Even in this -15C temp. Has a house with a thick mat, but still prefers to sleep in the snow. Never has he ever showed any of these signs

Expert:  Dr. Gabby replied 10 years ago.

Can you lift his lip and tell me what color his gums are?

Customer: replied 10 years ago.

He last ate about 24 hours ago. His gums are normal, for him. Usually pink, with some darker spots, I was told it was from the Akita breed

Expert:  Dr. Gabby replied 10 years ago.

That's good. Yes it is normal to have pigment spots.

Can I talk you into taking his temperature rectally?

Customer: replied 10 years ago.

I don't have access to a thermometer, until morning

Expert:  Dr. Gabby replied 10 years ago.


He could have heart disease, metabolic disease such as liver, kidney, adrenal gland disease, he could have cancer, he could have an infection.

Since he is older, the list of "bad" things it could be goes up :(

Since he is not coughing or vomiting it is more difficult to say.

If it were my dog, I would take his temp. If his temp is over 102.5 F I would be thinking infection.

If his temp was normal then I would take him to the vet for bloodwork. If the bloodwork was normal then I would get xrays.

Dr. Gabby, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 12415
Experience: DVM 19 years. Compassionate, Caring, Experienced.
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Customer: replied 10 years ago.

My dog was showing some improvement so I did not come back to this page.But he is still not himself. He is drinking water and urinating normally, but still chooses not to eat. Clinics are now closed around here, but would still like some help

Expert:  Dr. Gabby replied 10 years ago.

Hello again

Did you take his temperature?

Did he start eating again?

Expert:  jadedangel57 replied 10 years ago.
Hi Maverick,

Has he had any vomiting?
Is he defecating normally?
If I understand this right, he hasn't ate in 4 days?
At first he wouldn't drink, but now is drinking?
He is urinating normally?
Any diarrhea?
Did you find any ticks on him in the past few months?
Any lameness, temporary or not over the past few months?
Customer: replied 10 years ago.

No vomiting, urinating normally. Drinks normally. I just take him water and he drinks.Never noticed any ticks. No diarrhea. No previous lameness of any kind, new or previous. This is his fourth day where he chooses not to eat. As for defecating, haven't noticed any. I even walked around in the snow looking to see the last time he went and couldn't find any in the snow

Expert:  jadedangel57 replied 10 years ago.
Hi Maverick,

If he isn't eating then there isn't much in there to come out, so since he isn't vomiting, that doesn't concern me too much. It's possible that he has a problem with his teeth or mouth. At his age this is likely. You will want to check your dog’s mouth and look for any broken or discolored teeth, see tartar on the teeth and possibly red gums. If you find any, buffered aspirin can be given to a dog with a dosage of up to 5 mg per pound every 12 hours for pain until your dog can be seen by your Vet. Keep in mind that a dog's body does not metabolize aspirin in the same way as a human and thus should not be given more than a day or two without contacting your Vet.

Of course, like Dr. Gabby mentioned there are many reasons why a dog may not eat and drink, so he should be seen by your vet even if it is mouth pain.

He has to keep hydrated and keep his blood sugar levels up, so put a few drops of pancake syrup on his tongue and replace his water with pedialyte or if you don't have any, add a small amount of sugar and salt to the water. Since he hasn't eaten in so long his stomach is probably upset, so give him some some pepcid. Read about dosages and usage information here:

Then offer him some small portions of ground up boiled chicken and rice so he doesn't have to chew it and can basically lap it up. He needs to eat to get some strength up. If you can get some Nutrical from your pet store, you can give him that to keep his strength up until he can be seen by your vet.

I would have him seen now, but if you can tempt him to eat, he should be ok until monday.

I hope this helps.