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Ola Barrett
Ola Barrett,
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 271
Experience:  Veterinarian at Lake Chatuge Animal Hospital
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My 9 year old wheaten terrier has lost interest in food and

Customer Question

My 9 year old wheaten terrier has lost interest in food and is extremely quiet - this began 2 weeks ago. He still wants treats and human food - and will eat half his own food in the eve. He usually ate one meal in the morning and one in the eve. He gets excited to get out on a walk but is unhappy when we get home. He also seems to be looking for trouble when we're out, and frequently picks a furious fight with other dogs. He also seem to startle himself now and then - and will sometimes stumble. This week, during fetch play I noticed his teeth were shaking uncontrollably a few times. His teeth are good but the flesh is a bit red. He doesn't seem his eager happy self and has also started greeting me less when I come home. What could it be?
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Ola Barrett replied 6 months ago.

Hello, I am Dr Ola and I would be happy to address your concerns about Flint. From your description, there is possibly more than one issue taking place here simultaneously.

First, it is pretty common for older dogs to begin showing symptoms of slowing down, especially following exercise. If you veterinarian has recently examined him, he/she can prescribe a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug and/or joint supplementation to begin giving him on a daily basis. I would also recommend that you take him on shorter, more frequent walks throughout the day rather than one longer walk because the distance may be too much for him.

His decreased appetite can be due to arthritic pain as well but with symptoms of teeth chattering and gingivitis (red gums) he likely has dental disease. Your veterinarian can evaluate him to determine if he healthy enough for anesthesia for a dental cleaning and/or treatment of diseased teeth. A "picky" appetite with some decrease is often tell-tale for dental disease.

Given his age, he needs to have blood work completed 1-2 times per year. I am assuming that his blood work previously completed included a complete blood count, full blood chemistry and urinalysis. A comprehensive panel would be needed to rule out any infectious/inflammatory disease, metabolic disease or decreased organ function.

Therefore, the next step is to call your regular veterinarian and discuss this with him/her. If you vet has examined Flint and completed blood work fairly recently, they may prescribe medication from you without an appointment. However, if it has been some time, they will often require a recheck exam to move forward.

I hope this advice was helpful to you. Please let me know if you need clarification on anything or have other questions about this. Also, please do not forget to rate my answer which I hope you found to be "excellent." You may do this by clicking "rate our conversation" below (Your rating is the only means of compensation I receive for answering your question). Again, let me know if I can help you further:)

Expert:  Ola Barrett replied 6 months ago.

Good morning:) I hope my advice was helpful to you. Please let me know if I can clarify or expand on anything here. If you are happy with my response, please take the time to rate my answer to your question about Flint. This ensures I receive feedback as well as credit for my professional time and is highly appreciated..

Expert:  Ola Barrett replied 6 months ago.

Please do not forget to rate my answer - I hope you found it to be excellent. If there’s more I can do, please use the reply tab and let me know.