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Joan, Vet Tech
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 18348
Experience:  Vet Tech for over 35+ years working w/Dogs/Rescues
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My dog has been lethargic for the past few hours and has a

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My dog has been lethargic for the past few hours and has a dotter. Her breath also smells like sewage. She responds to us when we call her name. Any ideas on what is wrong with her? Should we bring her into the emergency vet or wait to see if her symptoms improve?


My name is XXXXX XXXXX I have been a Vet tech for 30+ years. I would love to assist with Gracie.

Can you tell me if she has been throwing up or has had diarrhea?

Can you look under her lip and tell me what color her gums are? Pale, Pink, dark red, white?

Can you take a Rectal Temperature? You can use a normal human thermometer and lubricate and insert into the rectum.

When you say dotter, do you mean a spot somewhere on the body or can you better explain?

How is her breathing?

Is she spayed?

Is she passing stool and urine?

I will stand by for answers. Joan


Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No, she hasn't thrown up or had diarrhea. Her gums are pink and kind of dry. I don't have a thermometer but she doesn't feel warmer than normal. By dotter I mean she is wobbly- She is acting like she is drunk. Her breathing is normal. When the door bell rang she ran to the door and barked like normal then went back to being lethargic. She is walking with kind of sideways again like she is drunk. She had her monthly flea medication applied today and I wonder if she may have licked a bit from her neck and that is causing it?


Thank-you for the information. I do need to ask a couple more questions.

Did this seem to happen after the flea treatment was applied?

Can you tell me what brand flea treatment you use?

Is she twitching or having any muscle spasms?


Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No, the medication was applied this morning and she was fine until about 5 pm. The flea medication is sentry pro. She has not reacted to this medication when we have previously applied it. She doesn't really seem to be twitching when sitting up her head wobbles a bit. Her energy level is up a bit from a few hours ago.


I suspect that she is having a reaction to the Flea Treatment. The Sentry Products have a known reputation along with Hartz and some other over the counter flea treatments to cause reactions.

They can range from Mild to Seizure activity. It does take a while to show and the time span is just right for this to happen. I would like to start first aid by giving her a Bath right now in Blue dawn Dish Soap. This is mild and can help get the oily residue off her that can be causing the reaction. We usually wash rinse and wash again. Once this is done, dry her well. Please take a little Pancake Syrup or Karo syrup and rub it on her gums for her glucose levels to help stabilize. This is a link about Pyrethrin and Permethrin toxicity in dogs:

Please click the word close on the pop up menu to read the whole article. The reaction so far sounds mild, but if we do not get the treatment off her as it absorbs in she could get worse. I suggest a good flea treatment like Advantage, or Frontline which are better controlled that the over the count spot treatments. I will stand by for further questions and clarification if needed . If Gracie gets worse after having the bath and starts vomiting twitching or other problems, the the ER Vet would be needed. Joan

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Joan, thanks for your help. One last question. I don't have syrup would agave nectar or sugar water work? Thanks again!


A littel honey, or sugar water would be fine to give. Right now the first thing is to get that treatment off. It is oil based and that is why Dawn Dish soap is recommended. This is another link speaking about the problems others have had with this product:

I will check back in on Gracie tomorrow. My goal is to give you and Gracie Excellent Service and hope to help her feel better. Joan

Joan and 3 other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
I want to check in on Gracie. I hope she is feeling better. As I suggested there are better and safer flea treatments that can be used for her. Please let me know if I can ever assist you and Gracie again. Just ask for me by name. Joan