How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dr. Deb Your Own Question
Dr. Deb
Dr. Deb, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 10144
Experience:  I have been a practicing veterinarian for over 30 years.
Type Your Dog Veterinary Question Here...
Dr. Deb is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My Dog could hardly walk this morning, was fine yesterday, finaly got him to go out for a

This answer was rated:

My Dog could hardly walk this morning, was fine yesterday, finaly got him to go out for a walk, he was slow and wobbely, has not barked and he is a barker... how do i figure out what is wrong. He did eat this morning but would not drink,, got him to drink after a short walk.

Hi Michelle, I'm Dr. Deb. I will do my best to assist you today.
I'm sorry that Rocky 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 painful when you touch him anywhere on his body? Spine, legs, abdomen, etc?
4. No vomiting or diarrhea, correct?

5. How much does he weigh?

There may be a slight delay in receiving a response since I have to type up an answer to you.
Thanks for your patience. Deb

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I do have a thermometer, how to with a dog?

black with little pink

3. have touched , rubed all over does not give a reaction that it hurts


have him up and walking is not his normal, slow and seems a little disoriented, his back is hunched,, i think, my husband disagrees about his back.

4. No vomiting, NO diarrhea

5. 40 to 50 pounds

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

just walked again, did a little better. seems his rear left leg, he looks to me for approval as he moves, and is slow. Rocky is normaly very frisky.

Thanks so much for the answers to my questions.

Taking a temperature in a dog is pretty simple. Lubricate the end of it with vaseline or petroleum jelly or even a little cooking oil and gently insert it into the rectum abut one inch. The digital kind will beep when it's ready to be extracted.

I'll stand by so you can tell me what his temperature is since this will affect my response to you. Deb
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

just a little over 100

Normal is between 100 and 102. 5 so a fever is not responsible for his symptoms.

There are likely to be two possible reasons for his behavior:
1. An issue with the spine such as compression by a disc or mass. Not all dogs will react with pain when palpated but they often walk very slowly and hunched over. His balance could also be affected.
X-rays might be suggestive of this problem but usually an MRI is needed.

2. Tick diseases can cause these symptoms. While many dogs will have fevers, some of them don't.
These conditions 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. Doxycycline is the drug used to treat most tick diseases.

3. I'm assuming that he doesn't have access to drugs or medications although these would have to be included on the list as would mold or other toxic substances that he might have ingested.

If you wanted to watch him for the rest of the day, especially since he seems a little better, then this would probably be fine. You could give him Aspirin at a dose of 325 mg 1.5 tablets twice a day (with food to avoid stomach upset). This drug has anti-inflammatory as well as anti-pain properties which might make him feel better.
My only reservation is suggesting it would be that it might interfere with what your vet would want to prescribe (if you have to have him seen). But one or two doses should be fine.

I hope this helps and that he's feeling better soon.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.



I will close monitor Rocky and let you know. Years ago I had a dog Casy (Male) that got up one day and couldn't walk,, by the next day he was leaning on the walls to get through a room, we had to put him down the third day. This morning I was sure Rocky was going down fast,,, this afternoon he is moving a little better, actually alot better considering we had to carry him out this AM he could not get up. When he looks at me , and he looks deep in my eyes,, I can see he knows something is wrong. Rocky is my heat blanket always on me! Grandkids LOVE him.. Thanks for your help today. Sincerely, Michelle

You're welcome.

Hopefully, this situation won't be as bad as what you faced with Casy (which sounds very sad, indeed).
The fact that Rocky seems better is encouraging.

I hope you'll keep me posted about him. Even after you've rated (if you do, of course), we can still continue to communicate at no additional charge to you. I can also send you a follow up email in a few days to which you can respond when you have the time to do so.


Good luck. Deb

Dr. Deb and other Dog Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you

Thank you for the rating and bonus; it's greatly appreciated.
I also wanted to wish you the best Rocky and look forward to chatting with you in a few days about him.

Kindly ignore the request for additional information. Regards, Deb

I'm just following up on our conversation about Rocky. How is he doing? Deb