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Pet Doc
Pet Doc, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
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Experience:  Veterinarian
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My Chihuahua, 5yr old female, is lethargic & screams when I

Customer Question

Hello, I'm Jenn. My Chihuahua, 5yr old female, is lethargic & screams when I pick her up or try to prod her. This is completely out of character for her. I'm really quite terrified.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Pet Doc replied 1 year ago.

Hi there,

Thanks for your question regarding your Chihuahua girl Neste. I am currently typing up a response and will have something for you in the next 5 - 10 minutes.

Thank you for your patience.

Kind Regards,

Dr E

Expert:  Pet Doc replied 1 year ago.

Hi again Jenn,

Thank you for your patience! Nestlé's symptoms are definitely a bit of a concern, and as you can imagine there are quite a number of potential causes for her behavior tonight. Lethargy and vocalizing like this could be a sign of anything from musculoskeletal pain, to abdominal pain, to an internal organ issue, or something else entirely. You are going to need to continue to keep a close eye on her for now if you can, and if this vocalizing and lethargy continues in the next 30 - 60 minutes, I would definitely recommend playing it safe and having her seen by your local ER vet if you can.

For now, please keep an eye on her mucus membranes, capillary refill time and respiratory rate tonight as follows (do be careful that your girl doesn't try to bite you):

Mucus membranes - flip her lip and look at the color of her gums. They should maintain a nice salmon pink color. Get her to the emergency Vet if they appear white or very pale pink, or if they are a dark deep red color.

Capillary Refill time - this measures blood perfusion and test this by putting your thumb on her gum to apply pressure. After you release your thumb you will see the gum blanch. Capillary refill time is the amount of time it takes (in seconds) for the gum to return to a healthy pink color from the blanched white color. If 2 seconds or less don't worry - if it is taking significantly more time, again - off to the emergency Vet.

Respiratory Rate - if she seems to be panting or breathing rapidly throughout the night, this is a sign of shock and or pain and a signal for a trip to the emergency Vet.

Please also ensure you girl has access to plenty of fresh water and try to encourage her to drink. Don't be tempted to give her any human pain medications as these are mostly toxic to dogs. As above - if there isn't much change in her behavior in the next hour or so, you really are best to have her checked over via a full physical exam by your local ER vet.

I hope all of the above makes sense? Please let me know if you have any other questions. My goal is to provide you with excellent service – if you feel you have gotten anything less, please reply back. I am happy to address follow-up questions. Thank you for your business and I hope to work with you again soon!

Kind Regards,

Dr E

Bonuses & positive feedback are always welcomed and very much appreciated

If you have any further questions in the future, I would be more than happy to help you again! Just bookmark my profile and ask a question via the question box.

Expert:  Pet Doc replied 1 year ago.
Hi again,
I thought I would quickly check in to see how you are doing with your girl Nestlé. How is she doing at the moment?
It would be great to get an update when you get a chance.
Kind Regards,
Dr E
Expert:  Pet Doc replied 1 year ago.
Hi Jenn,
I'm just following up on our conversation about Nestlé. How is everything going?
Pet Doc

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