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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 28518
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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I first wrote about my Flat Coated Retriever experiencing

Customer Question

Hello. I first wrote about my Flat Coated Retriever experiencing strabismus more than 10 months ago, and then a couple of weeks later he was back to normal. He once again is having the same symptoms, only this time with extreme lethargy and sleeping. His appetite has also diminished.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Could be a lot of things that cause lethargy. The Veterinarian will know how to help your dog. What is the dog's name?
Customer: Lucky
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Lucky?
Customer: He is a Flat Coat Retriever, and almost 10, and his bloodwork was all within the normal range 10 months ago.
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer where you can place your fully refundable $5 deposit (plus $14 after the Veterinarian responds). While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Veterinarian about your situation and connect you two.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

I'm sorry to hear of this with your FCR. Strabismus results from either a nerve lesion in the optic center of the brain or nerves to the eye or trauma/scarring of the muscles that are involved in movement of the eyeball. Trauma/scarring isn't an important consideration because he remissed uneventfully 10 months ago. Vestibular (balance) disorders are also considered but head tilt, ataxia ("drunken sailor") and nystagmus (eyes flicking back and forth) are more commonly seen with vestibular disorders.

His lethargy, somnolence (sleepiness), and inappetence are symptoms supportive of a central nervous system lesion rather than disorder only involving the extraocular muscles. The etiology of the lesion will be a challenge to clarify without advanced imaging in the form of MRI. Your vet is likely to refer your dog to a specialist veterinary ophthalmologist or neurologist who is best equipped to test such a patient. Please see here: and here: and please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.