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We have a 15-year old shitzu mix. He is on apoquil and

Customer Question
We have a 15-year...

We have a 15-year old shitzu mix. He is on apoquil and benadryl for allergies. However, in the last few weeks, he has become very odd. He always used to be on the coach and chair with us. Now he only lays on the floor. He also tries to hide under shelves, moving furniture he can move to hide behind. He is digging under a shelf in our bathroom closet which is tiled until he is bleeding from his nails.

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. Could be a lot of things that cause lethargy. The Expert will know how to help the dog. What is the dog's name?

Ripley

Veterinarian's Assistant: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Ripley?

He just sits and stairs at the floor. We are in MIchigan and have tons of snow and bitter cold. He has gotten out of the fence and we've found him under the neighbors tree burrowed in the snow.

Submitted: 4 months ago.Category: Dog Veterinary
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Answered in 4 hours by:
1/5/2018
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian replied 4 months ago
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 33,736
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 4 months ago

I'm sorry to hear of this with Ripley. He's demonstrating a significant change in his mentation (mental status) which indicates encephalopathy (brain disorder). Primary brain disorders such as brain tumor at his advanced age and disorders outside his brain such as a poorly functioning liver or kidneys which are intoxicating his brain need to be considered. Ripley's vet will want to perform a complete physical and neurologic exam including diagnostics in the form of blood and urine tests which will check for extracranial (outside the skull) causes of his behavior. MRI would be need to check for intracranial (within the skull) causes but I would find such advanced imaging inappropriate at his age. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
He has had both ACL's replaced and during his last one, they found that his liver enzymes were very very high and we have not had any luck in getting them down. Might this be the cause?
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian replied 4 months ago

Thank you for the additional information. Certainly. Diagnostics should include serum bile acids which is the best of the tests for liver function. The enzymes tell us about liver damage and biliary stasis but not function. Please continue our conversation if you wish.

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Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 33,736
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Experience: University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience

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