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Dr. Jo
Dr. Jo, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 2813
Experience:  DVM from Iowa State University in 1994; actively engaged in private regular and emergency practice since that time.
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My chihuahua is very lethargic today. He sleeps in our bed

Customer Question

My chihuahua is very lethargic today. He sleeps in our bed every night with us. Last night he was fine; Playing with his toys, giving us kisses, eating and drinking well and jumping up on the couch to his favorite place between my husband and I. He is
9.5 years old and has not had any health problems other than an ear infection. I checked his ears this morning and there was no pus as there was with the previous two infections. He woke up at 6 am this morning and he usually will stay in bed till at least
9 am. He was pacing on top of the bed and was very nervous. My husband took him out and he tinkled. He stayed in his bed in the family room. I left the house and was back in a couple of hours and took him out again. I noticed he had not eaten anything. He
was breathing like he needed water but would not drink. I took him out and he walked along side of me in our front lawn and then he just laid down and put his paw up for me to pick him up. I brought him in and tried to give him his favorite treat a Greenie
from Petsmart. He loves them, but dropped it and just laid down. He refuses to eat or drink and does not want to do anything but sleep. He has not given us kiss, and does not want any part of his toys that he loves. His shots are all up to date.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 2 years ago.
I'm Dr. Jo and I'm here to help you with your question about Brinkley. I'm so sorry he isn't doing well, but glad you're looking for the information you need.
You may join the conversation by typing in what you want to say then clicking REPLY. That way we can chat back and forth until you're satisfied with the information I've provided.
I can understand how worried you must be for him to be acting this way, especially when he's always been so healthy before. It's also really reassuring to hear that you've kept his shots up to date. That makes it highly unlikely this is due to any of the diseases he's been vaccinated for.
When I consider everything that could make a previously healthy 9.5-year-old chihuahua suddenly start to be lethargic and refuse to eat and drink, the list is pretty long:
-disorders of the digestive tract, like upset stomach, gastroenteritis, or pancreatitis.
-infectious diseases caused by bacteria, fungal organisms, or protozoa. Tick-borne diseases belong in this category, too.
-degenerative problems like disc disease (spine) or muscle spasms in the back. Injuries are also possible.
- metabolic diseases like liver disease, kidney disease, thyroid disease, and adrenal gland disease.
-exposure to a poison, drug, or toxin.
-blood disorders
-eye disorders (glaucoma)
-anything that causes severe pain
-tumors or cancers
I know that's a huge list, but we have to cast a very large net to consider everything that can cause these symptoms.
I'm really sorry to mention so many diseases, some of which are very serious and can even be life-threatening, but I feel it's important to be honest with you about all the possibilities.
In order to determine which one of these things is causing Brinkley to act so sick all of a sudden, your veterinarian will need to do a thorough physical examination and some basic laboratory tests like blood work and a urinalysis. Depending on what is seen there, they may also want x-rays or other forms of imaging.
Regardless, please rest assured that help is available for Brinkley. The best plan for getting him back to feeling good as quickly as possible is to have him seen at the vet's as soon as possible.
In the meantime, at home, do your best to keep him calm, quiet, clean, and comfortable, with food and water close at hand in case he does feel like eating and drinking even a little bit.
I hope this information helps. Please let me know what other information you are looking for.
Thank you.
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 2 years ago.
I'm just checking in to ask how Brinkley is doing this morning. Is he any better?
Thank you.
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 2 years ago.
Hi Trish,

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

Dr. Jo