How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Rebecca Your Own Question
Rebecca, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 15559
Experience:  More than 30 years of companion animal practice.
Type Your Dog Question Here...
Rebecca is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My name is ***** *****. My dog, Cujo (male), who is approx.

Customer Question

Customer: Hi, my name is ***** *****. My dog, Cujo (male), who is approx. 11 years old began acting strange approx 1 week ago, diarrhea, not wanting to eat. But then the diarrhea went away so we attributed it to new dog food. He has progressively gotten worse. Now he is walking like he's drunk, no eye movements or head tilt that I've noticed, and he is panting extremely heavily with any movement. We noticed that if he lowered his head, he became unbalanced, but if we raised his water or food bowl, he was able to eat/drink with no problems. I attributed this to a possible ear infection (he has trouble with his ears all the time) and started him on Cephalexin (that I had for my other dog, it was all I had in the house). This morning, he can only walk for very short periods of time before collapsing. He is still eating and drinking if he is hand fed. Right now, he is having intermittent periods of heavy panting with normal breathing. My vet is out of town until next week and the emergency vet doesn't open until 6 pm. This morning I had to hold him up to have a BM (very soft but not runny) and I had to carry him back into the house. I know this might seem strange, but my other two dogs keep sniffing his private area (not his but) when they are around him. So, I wondered, possible UTI and now he's septic?? Right now he is resting calmly where he collapsed inside the door when I brought him in. I didn't want to move him. Any help/suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
JA: Thanks. Can you give me any more details about your issue?
Customer: such as?
JA: OK got it. Last thing — JustAnswer charges a fee (generally around $19) to post your type of question to Dog Experts (you only pay if satisfied). There are a couple customers ahead of you. Are you willing to wait a bit?
Customer: sure
JA: OK. Now I'm going to take you to a page to place a secure deposit with JustAnswer. Don't worry, this chat is saved. After that, we will finish helping you.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Just this morning, he also started coughing intermittently. He was coughing so hard, that's what woke me up this morning. After resting calmly,he just started coughing again, but only for a short period of time. He's now resting again.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I just checked his gums as well and they are pale pink
Expert:  Rebecca replied 1 year ago.


I am sorry to hear you are worried about Cujo. My name is***** am a veterinarian and will do my best to help.

I am sorry, too, that you have not gotten help from an expert before now. I just cam online and saw your question.

I am very worried about him, especially since his gums are pale pink; they should be bright "bubble gum" pink. That and his heavy breathing make me worry that he is either anemic (low red blood cells counts) which could be a sign of internal bleeding, infections, or autoimmune disease, or that he has a problem with his heart and lungs.

I am sorry your vet is not available today; is there any veterinarian you could take him to? Waiting until the emergency clinic opens at 6 is not what I would do for my own dog.

Sepsis is possible, but sepsis from a UTI would be unusual. If he is septic, waiting for 12 hours to see a veterinarian is not a good idea; he should be seen immediately.

Cephalexin is a good antibiotic for some kinds of infections (UTI, skin) but not ear infections that can cause his neurologic system to make him walk like he is drunk, being unbalanced, not being

Expert:  Rebecca replied 1 year ago.

Not being able to walk without collapsing is also very concerning to me.

If this were my own dog, I would not be trying any home treatments. If you can find any veterinarian that is availble sooner than 6 tonight, I would get him there as soon as you can.

Let me know what else I can answer for you.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am waiting until another vet opens this morning to see if they will see him. Praying they will. Also trying to find another emergency vet, but there just aren't any in my area.
Expert:  Rebecca replied 1 year ago.

If this were my own dog, I would just be at that vet when they open. At my clinic, emergencies sometime are at our door when we open and we would never turn such a case away, even if we had not seen the dog before.

I hope you can get him help. Let me know how he is doing and what you find out.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He just took himself outside and peed, which is the most he's done. Just walking like he's drunk. Do you think it's a good sign that he's still eating/drinking? Or is that not indicative of anything?
Expert:  Rebecca replied 1 year ago.

It is always a good sign if a dog is eating and drinking.

Could he possibly have gotten into anything toxic: garbage, drugs, medication, antifreeze, etc.?

Expert:  Rebecca replied 1 year ago.

Please let me know how he is doing and if my answer was helpful. I hope you are able to get help for him soon.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Unfortunately, Cujo was full of cancer. The vet said he didn't know how he was even standing. His belly had at least 2 very large tumors and both lungs looked like swiss cheese on the x-ray. I had him put down because my vet thought he would only get worse and very quickly. He said if Cujo was his dog, he wouldn't hesitate to put him down. =(I do have a question though. After they gave him a sedative, I could tell he was relaxing/getting tired. But then after approx. 5 minutes, he began swinging his head back and forth like a pendulum. If I held his head in my hands, he stopped, but as soon as I let got, it would start swinging again. Are you able to tell me what was happening?
Expert:  Rebecca replied 1 year ago.

I am so sorry to hear that Cujo had cancer and is gone. My sincere condolences.

The head swinging may have been due to the disorientation of the drug, on top of his being so sick. Individual dogs react differently to drugs. It was probably a sign that the drugs were taking effect, making him disoriented and drowsy.

I am sure you did the right thing today. My deepest sympathies. Let me know how you are doing.