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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 29764
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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My dog, a 16yr old Staffy normally bright, alert & active,

Customer Question

My dog George, a 16yr old Staffy normally bright, alert & active, has suddenly become disoriented, incontinent, & unable to jump up onto his favourite chair. He has problems locating us when we call him, & his back legs collapse under him without warning.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

At George's advanced age, his disorientation indicates encephalopathy (brain disorder). Brain tumor is an important consideration in an elderly Staffie as is cognitive dysfunction (senility). Stroke can cause all of the symptoms you mentioned as well. If those disorders weren't worrisome enough, I need to consider extracranial (outside the skull) disorders as well such as a poorly functioning liver that's intoxicating his brain, electrolyte (sodium, potassium, chloride) imbalances, hypoglycemia - often due to a glucagon-secreting tumor in the pancreas and hypercalcemia - often due to malignancy. George's vet can perform a thorough physical exam including blood and urine tests in the hopes that an extracranial disorder might be identified and managed in a conservative manner. Brain disorders require MRI to identify - stressful and costly advanced imaging inappropriate at George's age in my opinion.

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.