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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Breeder,Behaviorist, formerVet Asst
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 19766
Experience:  Former vol Vet Assistant.Breeder 18+ years Dog trainer / behaviorist
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Past week, in the morning 9 year old female cocker spaniel

Customer Question

For the past week, in the morning 9 year old female cocker spaniel is limping on right rear leg, seems disoriented (like she's not there) and doesn't eat her morning meal. By noon all of the above disappear. Vet hasn't found an answer.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 2 years ago.

My name is ***** ***** I’ve been involved professionally with dogs in the health and behavioral fields for over 18 years. It will be my pleasure to work with you today.

In order to supply you with an informed answer, it is necessary for me to collect some additional information from you. When I receive your response or reply, it will likely take me between 30-45 minutes to type up my reply if I am still online when I receive notice that you replied. I hope you can be patient.

Has imaging been done?

Has she had accidents in the house?

When are her meal times?

What part of the country do you live in?

What health issues does she have?

Where does she sleep?

When getting up in the morning, is she slow to rise?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
No imaging done.
No accidents in house. Stool is normal.
Fed at 7:00 am, 1/4 cup; 12:00 pm, 1/2 cup; 6:30 pm, 1/4 cup
S. E. Michigan
Has had back issues since she had a freak accident at the age of one. For past 3 years has been treated by chiropractic vet with much success.
Sleeps in chair in upstairs bedroom.
Yes, but not like her, the morning is when she limps and seems totally out of it. Goes down stairs slowly and doesn't eat her morning meal. Appears to be in a stupor, and then sometime toward noon, she reconnects with the world and is herself.
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 2 years ago.

Thanks for the additional information. Of course, your vet is in a much better position of being able to evaluate your dog but maybe I can give you some things to talk to him about. One is that arthritis tends to cause a dog to have problems first thing in the morning and can lead to limping. If the pain is bad, she might seem out of it and not want to eat especially if it hurts to lower her head. She might also have multiple areas in the spine that are experiencing issues at this point in time. So I would recommend imaging especially since she has had back issues before. I'd probably look for spine issues, hip problems and even neurological issues as well on the imaging.

The other thing that might be an issue is seizure activities. Seizures can be caused by a great deal of things and cause other neurological symptoms as well. Often after a seizure, we will see some repetitive behavior which could be a limp. It isn't something I've seen before but is a possibility. Seizures can be the result of low blood sugar and going from 6:40pm till morning is quite a long time. Perhaps try feeding a small meal right before bedtime and see if that doesn't help her disorientation and lack of appetite first thing in the morning. You might also try some pepcid in the morning. You can give your dog some pepcid at .25 -.5 mg per pound every 12-14 hours.. Give it about 15 minutes before her meal. Read about dosages and usage information here:

Lyme disease might also be an issue. It can cause intermittent limpling and cause other health issues as well . I'd definitely ask for imaging after the bloodwork comes back and lyme disease is ruled out. Adding a small meal certainly won't hurt and the pepcid might also help if there is excess bile or stomach upset. I'd investigate these possibilities and at least talk to the vet about them and if these have been ruled out.

I hope this information is helpful to you. If you would like any additional information or have more questions please don’t hesitate to press the reply to expert or continue conversation button so I can address any issues you still have . If you do find this helpful, please take this opportunity to rate my answer.