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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 20579
Experience:  Hello, I am a small animal veterinarian and am happy to discuss any concerns & questions you have on any species.
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My little dog falls when he stands up and walks like he is

Customer Question

My little dog falls when he stands up and walks like he is drunk, I think he ate something that poisoned him, there are no pet hospitals open near by right now, what should I do?
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Did you see what your Little Dog ate?
Customer: The only thing I saw him eat is a piece of a hot pepper but he also likes to eat plants.
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about your Little Dog?
Customer: It is also possible he ate a cigerate bud, he was fine up until an hour ago.
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 6 months ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you today. I do apologize that your question was not answered before. Different experts come online at various times; I just came online, read about your wee one’s situation, and wanted to help.

Again I do apologize that my colleagues could not aid you sooner, but can you tell me:

What possible drugs/medications/plants/toxins could he have had access to?

Do you mean a tobacco cigarette but? Any chance of exposure to marijuana or antifreeze (as these too can cause these signs)?

Any change his breathing?

Are his gums nice and pink (not white/pale)? Moist or sticky?

Any retching, gagging, lip licking, drooling, or vomiting?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
There are no drugs such a marijuana around here and no antifreeze, and yes I meant to say cigarette but; he is not vomiting or drooling. He does not want to eat or drink water and he just want to sleep.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 6 months ago.

Thank you,

Now I am glad to hear that we can exclude those other toxins that can cause signs of this nature. And while nicotine from cigarette butts is a worry, his signs don't quite match. They can cause lethargy, weakness and wobbliness, but usually we also see GI upset (drooling, vomiting, diarrhea), changes to their breathing, tremors and seizures. So, it is a concern but his gait also raises concerns of middle ear infections, vestibular disease (common in older dogs), or an ongoing issue in the brain (ie infectin, inflammation, a mass or cyst).

With this all in mind, we can try some supportive care until you can get him seen to. To start, if he is weak and lethargic, we can try boosting his blood sugar by rubbing a sugary syrup (ie glucose syrup, honey, karo syrup, pancake syrup, or even non-grape jam) onto the gums. This will get some sugar into his and hopefully perk him up for us.

Afterwards, since he isn't eating/drinking, we can try to soothe any underlying nausea with an OTC pet safe antacid [ie Pepcid (More Info/Dose @, Zantac (More Info/Dose @]. Whichever you choose, we’d give this 20 minutes before offering food to allow absorption. Of course, do double check with your vet if he has a known health issues or is on any medications you haven't mentioned.

Further to that, we'd want to start small meals of a light/easily digestible diet. Examples you can use are cooked white rice with boiled chicken, boiled white fish, cottage cheese, scrambled eggs, or meat baby food (garlic/onion free).The aim of these diets is that they will be better tolerated/absorbed by the upset gut. Therefore, it should get more nutrients in and result in less GI upset. As long as improvement is being seen, I usually advise continuing this until the signs are settled, and then weaning slowly back to your normal diet.

Overall, there are a wide range of agents could trigger the signs we are seeing. Nicotine can be quite a serious toxicity but his signs don't quite match that fully. Therefore, we’d want to start supportive care just now but if he doesn’t respond to the above within 12-24 hours; then we'd want to get his vet involved. They can assess his hydration and get to the root of this quickly. Depending on their findings, his vet can treat him with injectable anti-nausea medication, appetite stimulants, fluids, +/- antibiotics to get him back feeling like himself.

Kind regards,

Dr. B.


If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond.

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Expert:  Dr. B. replied 6 months ago.

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?

Dr. B.