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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 28991
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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My dog is a 10 year old female mix-poodle. Her symptoms are:

Customer Question

My dog is a 10 year old female mix-poodle. Her symptoms are: Muscle spasms in her whole body, very weak on her legs-falls quite often. I took her to the vet on Tuesday and he prescribed helf a 25 mg per day. This seems to help temporarily.
She eats well but I have to hand feed her. She has had a bowel movement today.
Prior to the onset of this episode she had fallen off the bed and injured her left hind leg. We had given her an 81mg aspirin for the pain for about 10 days prior to this onset. She had seen the vet once before and they gave her a pain med and ruled out displacement of her leg. Daily her symptoms have worsened. She also eats some greenery from the shrubs sometimes. Could this be some kind of poison in her system? If nt, what could it be?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. Can you describe these muscle spasms for me, please? Do they look like seizures/convulsions or more like a tremor? Do they come and go or are they persistent? Are all of her legs involved? If so, I have to be concerned about overall weakness or a cervical (neck) myelopathy (spinal cord disorder) such as intervertebral disk disease (a "slipped disk") and even encephalopathy (brain disorder). To answer you directly, the rodenticide bromethalin can cause hind limb paresis (weakness) and snail bait containing metaldehyde can cause agitation, tremors and convulsions. There are countless more chemicals that could cause what you're seeing but it becomes a matter of if were possible that she could be exposed to these chemicals.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The tremors are all over the body, but the weakness seems to be in her hind legs and hind body portion. She has not been exposed to any chemicals that I am aware of. She is eating well and drinking water, but I am not sure about her BM'S and urination frequency...I have three poodles and a kitten. I have made a vet appt for 3;00pm today, again. This time they want to do x-rays. She is just very ill..lethargic and unable to walk without wobbling. The Rimadyl seems to help some, but her symptoms still persist. She had just been groomed prior to her symptoms worsening...perhaps they could have dropped her or something else.
Thank you and under the circumstances, I think that x-rays are the correct next you agree?
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for the additional information. I would first have a basic senior/geriatric profile of blood and urine tests performed in case those tremors and ataxia ("drunken sailor") are due to metabolic disease. If so, X-rays might be avoided. I can't set a follow-up in this venue and so would appreciate your returning to our conversation with an update - even after rating - at a time of your choosing.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for responding so quickly. I will have to go through with the x-rays since it had to be set by appt that it is too late to cancel. They did draw blood for analysis on the first appt but I do not know if it was extensive enough to determine any metabolic condition. Am I correct when I think metabolic condition refers to a thyroid condition or diabetes?
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

I understand. Yes, both hypothyroidism (common) and hyperthyroidism (rare) as well as diabetes mellitus are considered metabolic disorders. I would to like to review any test results you can get a hold of. Can you then upload a copy of those test results to our conversation? I understand that you might not have a copy of the results at home but her vet should be able to give you one which you could scan into your computer and give me the link or you can photograph the page(s) and upload the images by using the paperclip icon in the toolbar above your message box (if you can see such an icon) or by using an external app such as or

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Will do after the appt this af'noon.
Mildred Legg
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

Sounds good, Mildred.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.
Hi Mildred,
I'm just following up on our conversation about Ms. T. How is everything going?
Dr. Michael Salkin