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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 28931
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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My 10-14 yr old female poodle-mix has lost practically all

Customer Question

my 10-14 yr old female poodle-mix has lost practically all energy in last 2 weeks. Still eats, but little. Still can get up and go out to urinate and deficate, but won't walk much in last few days. Did throw up yesterday. Mostly liquid. I did try feeding her too many kinds of food recently when she got sick of what were using. Sleeps most of the time. Just isn't her perky self. She did do a 3 night stay with someone she knw well. Might have eaten some cat crunchies.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. This sounds like it might be serious. I'll let the Veterinarian know what's going on ASAP. Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about the poodle?
Customer: She has been on Enalapril, Furosimde twice daily (but not in last few days --have gotten it down once. And Gabepentin once a day. Prednesolone once in a great while for excessive coughing. Hasn't been coughing hardly at all recently.
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Veterinarian about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

My primary concern in any elderly heart patient who suffers such malaise is chronic renal failure often seen concomitantly with heart failure in pets and people. Have you noticed an increase in thirst (polydipsia) and volume of urine (polyuria)?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No, neither.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I've pretty much described the extent of it.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

Thank you. Two weeks of lethargy at her age is worrisome but in itself lethargy doesn't clarify the cause. It's important that her vet perform a thorough physical exam paying partticular attention to your poodleX's heart including diagnostics in the form of blood and urine tests. She doesn't have the reserve of a much younger dog and so time is of the essence. I need you to check her vitals for me, please...

1) Check her gum and tongue color. They should be nicely pink - not whitish (anemia) or bluish/greyish (cyanosis/hypoxia/lack of oxygen to her tissues).

2) Check her respiratory rate . She should be taking less than 30 breaths/minute while asleep or at rest.

3) Take her rectal temperature. Any body thermometer will do when placed 1.5" into her rectum for 1 minute. Normal is 100.5-102.5F. This is a two person job!

Please let me know what you find.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
She occasionally jerks her head, as if to avoid what she thought might be someone bumping into her, which is not the case.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

A head tremor or loss of visual acuity, perhaps.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
More like a head tremor.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

There are quite a few types of head tremors. A senile head tremor would be considered at her age and usually doesn't interfere with normal function. Take your time checking her vitals. You can return to our conversation at your convenience.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks anyway. This over the net thing isn't working too well. I'll call my regular vet. "Bye.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

That's a good idea.