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My dog is just walking in circles and pacing all night he…

Customer Question
My dog is just...

My dog is just walking in circles and pacing all night long he will not lay down he sits for a few minutes but that’s it you and that laydown and go to sleep just walks in circles and paces

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 your dog. What is the dog's name and age?

Jean Pierre 13

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

Rat terrier

Submitted: 6 months ago.Category: Dog Veterinary
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Answered in 29 minutes by:
1/7/2018
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. B., Veterinarian replied 6 months ago
Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 23,182
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 with your wee one today.

How long has he had these signs?

Any chance of head trauma or access to toxins?

When he circles is it in one direction?

Any head tilting, head pressing into things or any seizures?

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

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

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

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
Just started last night. I don’t think he got into anything. I was with him all day. Yes his circles are in the same direction. He also seems to not recognize his name, his gums are red. No seizures or head pressing into anything. No gagging, drooling, vomiting, retching. No he does not seem to be in pain. Just keeps walking around aimlessly.
Customer reply replied 6 months ago
Gums are moist. He does not seem to have any pain. I palpated everywhere.
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. B., Veterinarian replied 6 months ago

Oh dear, poor Jean Pierre.

Its good toxicities and head trauma are not likely, however circling to one side is quite a serious sign. Often it is associated with inner ear infections, vestibular disease (something we can see in older dogs), and can be a feature of brain lesions (bleeds, swellings, infections, etc). Furthermore, we can see this in dogs that have underlying organ issues (ie liver, kidney, heart).

In this situation, if he were my patient, I'd want to have him seen as soon as his vet is open. Since toxicity isn't likely, we don't have to rush him to the ER unless he is really unsettle with this. Ideally, we'd want a full neurological examination to help localize which system is involved here. If organ issues are a concern, blood testing can confirm them. Or for infections and inflammation, his vet can start antibiotics and anti-inflammatories to reduce his signs. Of course, for severe cases we do sometimes need them to see a neurologist for an MRI and spinal tap; but we'd hope that isn't necessary for him. But again these signs suggest a lesion affecting the vestibular system, brain or middle ear and the sooner we narrow that down and treat the sooner we can get Jean Pierre comfortable.

Kind regards,

Dr. B.

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