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VetTechErin, Licensed Vet Tech
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 681
Experience:  Published author in veterinary medical journals and on the Veterinary Information Network with a focus in toxicology
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Yes my border collie was in barn eating tiny bits off the ground

Customer Question

yes my border collie was in barn eating tiny bits off the ground and became loopy . it had been a place where I was caring for my senior horse . I have not wormed either. it looked like he was finding tiny bits of things and eating them used bute but nothing else and she had not been wormed
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  VetTechErin replied 2 years ago.
Hi there!
My name is ***** ***** I would be happy to help you with your question about your dog. Sorry it has taken someone so long to get back with you! Did you still need assistance with your question?
How is Rocky doing right now?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
He just seems like he drank a beer on an empty stomach . He did not of course . He seems sleepy but wags his tail ate lunch meat . He responds to me when I call but he's loopy is the only way I can describe it . He seems very though
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Happy I meant
Expert:  VetTechErin replied 2 years ago.
Is the stumbling around the only sign you see?
Do you have any rodenticides in your barn?
Other than the bute, are there any other medications on the property?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Nothing he could have gotten into and he is with me 24 7 it happened like I said . We don't use anything like that as I have 6 rescue dogs and 3 cats . He was nibbling on the ground in a certain area like he was finding little bits of things to crunch on and he was very intent in doing so. I went and checked to see if I could find anything but could not . He is not in shock he just seems loopy
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Whatever it is he's seems to want to sleep it off .
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I did not receive your answer am I still waiting ? U asked if he had gotten into anything else
Expert:  VetTechErin replied 2 years ago.
The bute can be toxic to dogs, but it tends to cause stomach ulceration and damage to the kidneys. The stumbling (which we call ataxia) is more of a neurological sign.
There are a vast number of reasons that a dog could stumble around as if drunk. It's a pretty non-specific sign that can indicate anything from a neurological problem to him having snuffed up a pill that someone accidentally dropped on the floor.
Since you're not aware of any medications in the household or other toxins aside from the bute that he could have gotten a hold of, there are a couple of options for you.
The SAFEST bet would be to get him into a clinic. While there are some harmless reasons a dog can stumble around (such as swallowing a low-dose sedative), it can be indicative of some far more concerning things (such as middle ear infection, neurological issues, more severe toxins). If he's experiencing weakness, changes in heart rate or blood pressure, these aren't things that can be visibly seen at home and a vet would be able to determine that he didn't have anything else going on that needed to be addressed.
Alternatively, you could monitor him at home to see if he shows any other signs, and let him relax. If he starts to improve in the next hour or two, then you can take him into your regular clinic on Monday to have a check up.
In almost every situation, stumbling around requires treatment, so this is likely something you will need to get him into the vet clinic for at some point. But if he starts to grow weak, if the stumbling continues past 1-2 hours, if he starts to show any additional signs, or his gums are anything but bubblegum pink, these are signs of an emergency, and you'd want to get him into a clinic right away.
If you have any follow-up questions or concerns, please get back with me via the reply button!

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