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Dr. Joey
Dr. Joey, Board Certified
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 4723
Experience:  15 yrs in practice, specialist canine/feline medicine
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My 4.5 y/o miniature schnauzer, a certified service animal,

Customer Question

My 4.5 y/o miniature schnauzer, a certified service animal, started a new diet prescribed by my vet in Tucson, and he is now 100% lethargic and not responding as he normally would. He does not want to move even with the offer of a treat. His meal today was probably 35% more than normal. He just drank a little water, however as I am sure you arre aware, he is family and I am concerned. thoughts/suggestions/ideas? Thank you so much
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Joey replied 1 year ago.
Hello I am Dr. Joey. Thanks for trusting me to help you and your pet today. I am a licensed veterinarian with over 15 years of experience. I look forward to working with you. I apologize no expert has jumped into answer your question yet.
I am not sure for Jasper I could link a change in diet to lethargy. I can certainly link it to refusal to eat (food preference or aversion) or even if he had digestive tract symptoms (vomit, diarrhea, nausea, not eating). Lethargy usually points to something more serious. Now, if he has progressed to show you vomit/diarrhea then this possibly could be related to a food change.
We need to determine if he is in an emergency situation. If you can, please take his temperature at home (this must be done via rectum) and if this is higher than 102.5F, then he has a fever and should be seen today. If he does develop vomit/diarrhea especially if profuse or bloody, then he should be seen. Or if he has abdomen/stomach pain when you gently press, his gums are white/yellow or dry/sticky to the touch (indicates dehydration) or he has progression of the lethargy (worsening to refusal to do anything), then I do not recommend do a wait-and-see approach, but have him seen on emergency.
Unfortunately his signs are vague and I cannot diagnose what exactly is wrong with him. This would require an exam followed by some testing that might include lab work (CBC, chemistry profile, urine check) to get a general idea of what is going on.
If he seems to be better now and no longer as lethargic but refusing to eat, you can always try to offer some bland food such as white rice and boiled chicken breast (or replace the chicken with cottage cheese). This should not upset his system and might be exciting enough to get him going today and then touch base with your veterinarian tomorrow.
I am at a point I need to know what questions you have. We can continue our dialogue in this setting.
I hope that the information I provided has been helpful.
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Expert:  Dr. Joey replied 1 year ago.
Hi Roger,
I'm just following up on our conversation about Jasper. How is everything going?
Dr. Joey