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Dr. G.
Dr. G., Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 1944
Experience:  Private Practice Veterinarian
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I have a 14 year old Westie. She has had liver problems in

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I have a 14 year old Westie. She has had liver problems in the past but her blood work has been better over the last couple of years. She has had arthritis her legs since she was 9 but still loved to play and run.

She has had lots of ups and downs over the last couple of years, but this one is much scarier than the others. She won't eat except a few bites each day. She seems confused-- just standing and staring off for several minutes. She has been very wobbly for about a week and then a couple of days ago she looked like she was dragging her back legs, but seemed better once I brought her inside. (I thought she just might have been tripping in the yard since I live at the top of a hill and the yard is a little uneven).

Last night she threw up what she had eaten. THis morning when we got up, I took her outside and she dragged her back legs. She doesn't look like she is in pain, just confused. Her back paws roll under when she tries to move her legs. She won't walk unless I stand her up and walk away a few steps. When she tried to poop-- it was runny and she ended up getting in on her back legs. She has been laying in her bed and won't get up to move at all. I am scared she had a stroke.

I can't afford surgery or expensive medications. How to I care for her well? I love my dog-- she is my best friend. I can't bare the thought of her being in a lot of pain. Is it time to say goodbye?

Dr. G : Hello, my name isXXXXX am a licensed veterinarian and I will try and help you as best as I can.
Dr. G : First a few questions: is your dog's head tilted at all to one side? Do Lacey's eyes seem to be moving back and forth from left to right repeatedly?

Hi Dr. G. Thank you so much for responding! Her head does seem to tilt to one side a little. She stood up and walked a few minutes ago to her water bowl-- she was wobbly but not rolling on her paws or dragging her back legs. Her gait seems to go to one side a little.


Her eyes aren't really going back and forth-- she will move her eyes to look at me but not her head.

Dr. G : I see, thank you for responding
Dr. G : based on what you are describing, it is likely that your dog has one of three conditions
Dr. G : Idiopathic vestibuar disease, stroke, or a brain tumor
Dr. G : a stroke or idiopathic vestibular syndrome will improve gradually over time (weeks). Management is with anti-emetics to help with vomiting and nausea and supportive care. If it is a brain tumor, signs will worsen over time, including the potential for seizures. The only way to actually diagnose any of these is via an MRI from a neurologist at a veterinary specialty hospital

She has had seizures fairly regularly over the last couple years. She has a hard lump on her head right below her ear that is about the size of a walnut. I asked the vet about it over a year ago and she said that it was just a fat tumor. It has gotten bigger over time. Are there anti-emetics I can get over the counter for her?


She has had some blood in her stools-- but I was guessing that it may have been from the diet change.

Dr. G :

Unfortunately, there are no anti-emetics available over the counter. She would be best served by a drug called cerenia. If there was a recent diet change, then it is likely the blood in the stool is due to that, however if it persists I would have her stool checked to rule out any other problems like intestinal worms or bacterial overgrowth

Dr. G :

If the lump under her ear was aspirated (needle was used to suck out cells and your vet looked at it under a microscope), then i would not be concerned with the diagnosis of a lipoma (benign fatty tumor). If there has been no aspirate, I would have your vet do that. Your vet should be able to get you some cerenia without an appointment if you explain what has been going on


the lump was aspirated by the vet at the time. I will give her a call about getting some cerenia. What is the average lifespan of a westie? Thanks so much for all of your help.

Dr. G :

The average lifespan of a smaller breed dog is typically in the 12-16 year range. I hope that helps. Have a great weekend!


Thanks you too!!

Dr. G. and other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Hi Es,

I'm just following up on our conversation about Lacey. How is everything going?

Dr. G
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Dr. G-- Thanks so much for your help. On Monday, I had a feeling my time with her was short. She hadn't eaten since thursday, seemed extremely confused and tired. I drove her to Richmond to be with my family. She passed on Wednesday morning. When my long time vet checked her chart I realized that I was a year off of her age-- she was going to be 16 in October.


Thank you again for your help.


Best wishes to you,


Hi Erica,
I am so very sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

Dr. G.