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Pet Doc
Pet Doc, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 7573
Experience:  Veterinarian - BVSc
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Out of no where won't get up for walk or to be taken out to

Customer Question

Out of no where won't get up for walk or to be taken out to potty since early. A.M. Laying down in same spot. Drinking water but clearly not feeling well.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Could be a lot of things that cause lethargy. The Veterinarian will know how to help the dog. What is the dog's name and age?
Customer: Rory 8 year old German Shepherd
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Rory?
Customer: I have some different antibiotics but won't give without someone telling me is ok. No, she is always healthy and current on all shots. VERY thirsty
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Please respond to my email of***@******.*** as I will get that on my phone as I cannot stay on this computer right now. If cannot be answered pretty quickly just let me know that as I need to address this ASAP. Thank you
Expert:  Pet Doc replied 9 months ago.

Hi there,

Thanks for your question regarding your 8 year old German Shepherd boy who has been very lethargic and reluctant to get up and walk today. I am currently typing up a response and will have something for you in the next 5 - 10 minutes.

Thank you for your patience.

Kind Regards,

Dr E

Expert:  Pet Doc replied 9 months ago.

Hi again,

Thank you for your patience. Rory's symptoms are very concerning this afternoon, and there are quite a number of possible causes for his lethargy and reluctance to get up. Given his age and breed, we need to consider everything from a musculoskeletal issue (and pain), to an internal organ issue, a toxicity (hopefully there isn't anything he could have gotten into), or even an endocrine problem. Don't give him any antibiotics, as there is no sign this is an infection here, and this may end up making him feel more sick if they cause a stomach upset. Likewise, don't be tempted to try any other human medication, including pain relief, as this is mostly toxic to dogs.

The best next step here is to continue to keep a very close eye on Rory. Keep him inside and warm and encourage him to have a good drink of fresh water. Over the next few hours, you are going to have to monitor him closely. In particular, please keep a close eye on his mucus membranes, capillary refill time and respiratory rate as follows:

Mucus membranes - flip his lip and look at the color of his gums. They should maintain a nice salmon pink color. Get him to the emergency Vet if they appear white or very pale pink, or if they are a dark deep red color.

Capillary Refill time - this measures blood perfusion and test this by putting your thumb on his gum to apply pressure. After you release your thumb you will see the gum blanch. Capillary refill time is the amount of time it takes (in seconds) for the gum to return to a healthy pink color from the blanched white color. If 2 seconds or less don't worry - if it is taking significantly more time, again - off to the emergency Vet.

Respiratory Rate - if he is continuously panting throughout the night, this is a sign of shock and or pain and a signal for a trip to the emergency Vet.

Hopefully he improves soon, but if he is still just as lethargic in another hour or two, or if any of his parameters aren't right when you check them now, you really do need to play it safe and get Rory checked at your local vet or ER vet. Here they will carry out a full physical exam, as well as carry out a blood test to ensure his internal organ function and blood parameter are all normal. I hope all of the above makes sense? If you have more questions or if I can help in any other way, please do not hesitate to ask! If you would like to accept my answer, please press RATE OUR CONVERSATION (I am not compensated in any other way). Bonuses are always welcome. Thanks! I hope to work with you again soon!

Kind Regards,

Dr E

PS: If you have additional questions after you rate the question, you are welcome to request me for additional conversations if I am on-line or by beginning your question "Dr. E..." or "Pet-doc..." and others will leave the questions for me.

Expert:  Pet Doc replied 9 months ago.

Hopefully my message came through ok? Let me know how those parameters were?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Expert:  Pet Doc replied 9 months ago.

Oh dear - poor boy! This does make a toxicity or infectious gastroenteritis more likely. For now, make sure Rory has plenty of fresh water available and encourage him to drink. The biggest concern right now is that he could become dehydrated. If he won't drink or can't keep water down, then you are best to get him seen by your local ER vet tonight where they can start him on some intravenous (IV) fluids. You can with hold his food until the morning now, and from then you can start him on a bland diet of cooked, boneless, skinless chicken breast and boiled white rice. Don't worry about getting him to eat tonight, but definitely encourage him to drink now and over night. If he isn't interested in drinking, then you could try making him up a fresh chicken broth. For this, just boil up some fresh chicken until cooked, scoop off the solids, allow the liquid to cool, then feed him this luke-warm broth.

As he is likely quite nausoues you may also want to try him with a little pepcid. The typical dose for this type of situation is 0.25mg per pound of body weight up to twice daily. You can read more about the use of Pepcid in dogs online here:

As above, if he can't keep water down, seems very lethargic, or if any of the parameters above don't seem right, then definitely play it safe and get him seen tonight. All the best with Rory.

Dr E

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Expert:  Pet Doc replied 9 months ago.

Excellent plan. All the best and let me know how you get on.
Dr E

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
thank you
Expert:  Pet Doc replied 9 months ago.

No problem at all.

Dr E

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Sorry not up to rating. My dog died in my arms that night.
Expert:  Pet Doc replied 9 months ago.

Oh I'm sorry to hear about that. You certainly did your best for your boy by getting him seen immediately, and I"m sure the ER vets did all they could

Thoughts to you and your family,

Dr E