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My 3 yr old Chihuahua has been on and off disoriented and…

Customer Question
My 3 yr old...

My 3 yr old Chihuahua has been on and off disoriented and restless since april. He walks with his head down and his tail is all tucked up. My vet has no idea. My dogs has no energy anymore and often staggers

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'm sorry to hear that. Have you looked to see if there is a wound on their foot?

Yes no wounds nothing came back after $500 of blood work

Veterinarian's Assistant: The Expert will know what to do. What is the Chihuahua's name?

Albert

Veterinarian's Assistant: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Albert?

No my vet suggested an MRI

Submitted: 8 months ago.Category: Dog Veterinary
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Answered in 4 hours by:
8/2/2017
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian replied 8 months ago
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 33,309
Experience: University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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You're speaking to Dr. Michael Salkin. Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm currently typing up my reply. Please be patient. This may take a few minutes.

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Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian replied 8 months ago

I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. Disorientation and staggering (ataxia/"drunken sailor") are indications of encephalopathy (brain disorder). Albert's vet has recommended having an MRI done because it's the best way to look into Albert's brain. A cerebrospinal fluid tap and analysis may also be recommended by a specialist veterinary neurologist (www.acvim.org). Acquired hydrocephalus - an increase in volume of cerebrospinal fluid within the ventricular system of the brain - should be an important consideration in a Chihuahua as well as a meningoencephalitis or brain tumor (uncommon at Albert's age). Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
why does it seem to come and go. What could have caused this
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian replied 8 months ago

The symptoms of a brain tumor - unlikely at his age anyway - wouldn't come and go but symptoms of hydrocephalus can wax and wane as the pressure inside his brain waxes and wanes and symptoms of the meningoencephalitises (non-infectious/usually immune mediated/an overly active immune system) can wax and wane as well but in the long run usually worsen necessitating treatment - usually with an immunosuppressive drug such as the glococorticoids (steroids) such as prednisone. Finally, symptoms of a Chiari-like syndrome in which the back of his brain is being compressed by abnormal bony anatomy where the brain stem exits from the brain can wax and wane intitially but also usually worsens to the point of needing treatment. I'd like to be more specific for you but I, too, would need to see the results of an MRI and cerebrospinal fluid tap. Please continue our conversation if you wish.

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Thank you so much for your answers. What does an MRI usually cost
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian replied 8 months ago

I can't know what you'd be charged but I've seen between $1500 and $3000. You're quite welcome. I can't set a follow-up in this venue so please return to our conversation - even after rating - with an update at your convenience. You can bookmark this page for ease of return.

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Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 33,309
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Experience: University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience

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