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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 29803
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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My 5wk old puppy isn't moving.s skin is cold to the touch.

Customer Question

My 5wk old puppy isn't moving.his skin is cold to the touch. He'll move his head but his legs are ramrod straight and his eyes are rapidly moving from side to side. He isn't eating and it looks like he's barely breathing. The animal clinic here is closed and I don't know what to do.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
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Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.

I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. Please let me know if you still need help. His eye movement is called nystagmus and is a symptom ofa vestibular (balance) disorder. It's likely to be a central vestibular disorder involving Shadow's brainstem and/or cerebellum as part of a more global encephalopathy (widespread brain disorder). Shadow's prognosis is quite poor and I understand that you might have already lost him. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
he died last night. But I just dont understand why he died.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.

My condolences for your loss of Shadow. Both a congenital (present at birth) brain defect and an infectious encephalitis (by the protozoan Neospora or canine distemper virus, e.g) should be considered. He would need to be necropsied to determine the definitive cause of death. Neither you nor the vet could have helped such a pup.