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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 28976
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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My pup has been roaming around listlessly since I got home

Customer Question

My pup has been roaming around listlessly since I got home with a significant amount of drooling and is not responding to me calling she doesn't hear me. She is acting unstable on her feet as well
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. The Veterinarian will know what to do with the drooling. What is the dog's name and age?
Customer: she has done this before but we discovered she had a tapeworm and the wormer we had been giving her hadn't been treating that. Once we treated it she recovered almost immediately...but is not doing this all over again so I'm concerned that this is an issue that was bigger than the "tapeworm"
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about your dog?
Customer: Shake...4 months
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Veterinarian about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

It is bigger than a tapeworm...which unless in very high numbers rarely causes clinical symptoms. Her aimless wandering and drooling are pathognomonic (specifically indicative) of encephalopathy (brain disorder). I need to consider both intracranial (within the skull) encephalopathies which are usually infectious at Shake's age - canine distemper and neosporosis are important differential diagnoses - as well as congenital (present at birth) brain defects; and extracranial encephalopathies such as an intoxication with a prescription or recreational drug, or perhaps a poorly functioning liver intoxicating her brain (hepatoencephalopathy). Because this has happened before, I'm more concerned that there's an underlying metabolic or congenital disorder that needs to be identified. Which breed is she, please?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
She is a Lab/Australian Shepherd Mix. I had considered that and had intended to take her to the vet when I found worm castings in her stool just after having wormed her. I checked the packaging on the medication that I had been giving her and indeed it wasn't treating her for tapeworms so I got the proper medication and wormed her correctly. The next day she was her old self, acting very "puppy" like, and continued to act healthy for approximately 2 weeks. I mention that because she had been showing some signs of anxiety before and I had been brushing off her symptoms as anxiety up until that point, when I finally said...this is something more. She was from a large litter and I had frequently found her littermates and her mother bullying her rather intensely and I was forced to separate them.(her littermates have since been rehomed). Until that point her symptoms had largely been present every day to some extent...but after treating her with that medication.....they disappeared for a brief while almost completely. But today they are extremely present again...roaming listlessly with her head hung low, tripping over things, drooling significantly....She will lay with me briefly if I pick her up and rub her roughly. She may even fall asleep, but if she wakes up, she panics as if she needs to escape.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for the additional information. Such a mix isn't known for a specific congenital brain defect but you've confirmed that her brain is, indeed, involved. It can be a challenge clarifying the etiology without cerebrospinal fluid analysis +/- MRI. There's a good chance that your vet will recommend the pup seeing a specialist veterinary neurologist (please see here: Your suspicions were correct. Please continue our conversation if you wish.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Dr. Michael Salkin