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My 10 year old shihTzu is worrying me. Hes been extra

Customer Question
Hi my 10 year...

Hi my 10 year old shihTzu is worrying me.

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. What is the matter with the dog?

Hes been extra lethargic the past 3-4 days when we walk he's fine and cheerful but almost seems extra sleepy or depressed and won't eat anything all day all I could get him to eat is a string cheese and a pill pocket with his daily dose of apoqiil

Veterinarian's Assistant: Could be a lot of things that cause lethargy. The Expert will know how to help the dog. Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about the dog?

He had just few treats the day before and nothing all day

Submitted: 10 months ago.Category: Dog Veterinary
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Customer reply replied 10 months ago
Anything like what? He takes apoquil daily that's it he's full of life and normally eats human food (like turkey or chicken etc) if he doesn't eat his dog food it's one or other but he eats . I put his fav treats out and he won't even look at anything he just wants to sleep if he's home it's really worrying me
Customer reply replied 10 months ago
How long will a response take? I just noticed his nose is dry
Customer reply replied 10 months ago
He's been drinking little water but lately had seemed extra extra thirsty I figured might b side affect of apoquil?
Answered in 1 hour by:
9/24/2017
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. B., Veterinarian replied 10 months ago
Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 23,441
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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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:

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

Are his gums pink or white/pale? Moist or sticky?

You noted he has been drinking more prior to the past few days, has he also been passing more or watery urine?

If you press on his belly, any tensing, tenderness, discomfort, or pain?

Could he have eaten anything harmful (ie bones, toys, plants, chemicals, human meds, etc)?

Can you take a breathing rate for me (just count his breaths for 10 seconds + multiply by 6)?

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Customer reply replied 10 months ago
His beats for ten seconds were ten beats so 60
No vomiting he seems fine on pressing on his tummy
His stool is normal
His gums are pink
He been itching a lot last few days
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. B., Veterinarian replied 10 months ago

Hello again,

Do you mean he has 60 breaths per minute (not the heart rate)?

Was he at rest when you counted that?

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Customer reply replied 10 months ago
Sorry 4 breaths
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. B., Veterinarian replied 10 months ago

No worries, I just wanted to make sure he wasn't breathing more heavy then normal. And if that is 4 in 10 seconds, that would be within a normal rate. That said, we need to keep an eye on that heart rate of 60, as that is a bit low. If you find when he is up and active it remains that low, then we'd want to have a check with his vet as there are some subtle hormonal issues (ie Addisons disease) and heart issues that can cause abnormally low heart rates. But if it picks up when he is up and active, we'd be less concerned about those.

Otherwise, in regards ***** ***** other signs, we do have a few concerns. Appetite loss could in turn make him feel lethargic (as he has reduced energy from that) but it is possible to see the two together with bacterial or viral infection. This could be GI based but we'd also have to consider systemic ones. Furthermore, we can see a lapse in appetite with pancreatitis, dietary indiscretion, or at his age this can be secondary to metabolic disease, cancer, liver or kidney issues. And I have to say that if the amount of water he is taking in does raise some interesting hints here. This is because its reduction with the appetite loss does raise concerns of nausea from one of the above but for it to have been elevated before (not an Apoquel feature) would suggest one of those organ issues, metabolic disease or even Addison's again. So, this suggests something more underlying then just an infectious process.

With this all in mind, we can try some home supportive care to try to see if we can soothe his gut and get him eating. To start, you can consider treating him an OTC pet safe antacid [ie Pepcid (More Info/Dose @http://www.petplace.com/article/drug-library/library/over-the-counter/famotidine-pepcid), Zantac (More Info/Dose @ http://www.petplace.com/article/drug-library/library/over-the-counter/ranitidine-hcl-zantac),Tagamet (More Info/Dose Here @ http://www.petplace.com/article/drug-library/library/over-the-counter/cimetidine-hcl-tagamet)]. 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. Afterwards, you can consider starting an easily digestible diet like cooked white rice with boiled chicken, boiled white fish, cottage cheese, scrambled eggs, or meat baby food (as long as its garlic/onion free). Or if he refuses, we can offer or syringe feed watered down canned puppy food, Hill's A/D, Royal Canin Recovery, or Clinicare Canine/Feline Liquid Diet. All of these are critical care diets that are calorically dense, so a little goes a long way nutrition-wise

Finally, as dehydration is a risk since the drinking has dramatically reduced (and may have been critical for one of those systemic issues), we need to keep an eye on his hydration. To check that he isn't dehydrated, there are a few things you can test. Further to checking for gum moisture, do make sure he doesn’t have sunken eyes and that he doesn’t have a "skin tent" when you lift the skin. To see how to check these parameters for dehydration, you can find a good video HERE (http://www.ehow.com/video_12232503_dog-dehydrated.html). If you are seeing any signs of dehydration already, then that would be our cue to have him seen before this becomes an additional issue (especially as it is often dehydration that makes them feel unwell).

Overall, his signs do raise some concerns here. Therefore, we’d want to start supportive care to settle his stomach and see if we can get him taking in some food. If he cannot doesn’t respond to the above within 12-24 hours; then we'd want to get his vet involved. They can assess his hydration, check bloods for the above worries, make sure there is nothing in his stomach that shouldn't be there or any sinister viruses present. Depending on their findings, his vet can treat him with injectable anti-nausea medication, appetite stimulants +/- antibiotics or treat the underlying concerns if found to get him back feeling like himself.

Kind regards,

Dr. B.

******************************************************************************

I aim to provide best care for you just as I do for my own clients & their pets. If you have any other questions, please ask – I’m happy to help but please rate me with the **STARS** (or leave a written rating of 1-5; 5 being great) as this is the only way I am credited for my work by the site & this allows me to continue to help here. This is included in your question fee. Once you rate, your question will not close & you can still ask follow-up questions. Thank you. : )**

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Dog Veterinarian: Dr. B., Veterinarian replied 10 months ago
Hi,
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Dr. B.
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Customer reply replied 10 months ago
Much better thsnk you. I never took him to the vet because all of sudden next day he begs in eating his typical turkey and lettuce or boiled chicken etc. He seems ok I'm always watching him thsnk you for all your information and being so attentative. He's my little guy I prob worry too much
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. B., Veterinarian replied 10 months ago

You are very welcome, my dear. :)

That is great news and I am so glad to hear that he is feeling better.

Have a lovely day,

Dr. B.

********************************************************

Please rate me with the **STARS** (or leave a written rating of 1-5; 5 being great) as this is the only way I am credited for my work by the site & this allows me to continue to help here. This is included in your question fee. Once you rate, your question will not close & you can still ask follow-up questions. Thank you. : )**

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