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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 30359
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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My Husky is 14 years old, Never carried much weight and has

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My Husky is 14 years old, Never carried much weight and has been very stiff for a long time, she's now having spasm's of panting heavy and also at times very unsteady on her legs or can't get up and if we help her up we need to support her for a while and then when she gets her balance she will just walk up and down the garden and in and out of the house as if she doesn't know where to be and that isn't normal , she usually sleeps a lot as she's a old dog, she 's also been drinking a lot of water and today isn't eating, even things that she likes she will take it from me and then drop it, she also has diarrhea and just keeps looking for me, This is the 2nd day of this behaviour, When her legs went yesterday I wondered if she had a stroke . Because of her age I know what my Vet will say but she isn't in any pain and I don't want to distress her. Please what do you think ?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.
Aloha! You're speaking to Dr. Michael Salkin
I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. At 14 years of age, there's likely to be more than one disorder occurring concomitantly.
For example, her stiffness and now heavy panting (a pain response) and ataxia ("drunken sailor") are likely to be due to geriatric osteoarthritis or perhaps myelopathy (spinal cord disorder) such as degenerative disk disease.
Her aimless wandering can also indicate pain but also encephalopathy (brain disorder) - particularly involving the forebrain.
Her polydipsia (increased thirst) has many possible etiologies, the most common of which are chronic renal and hepatic insufficiencies, diabetes mellitus, and urinary tract infection involving the kidneys.
Stroke is unlikely. It usually manifests as peracute (sudden) change in mentation (mental status), vocalization (whining, e.g.), and seizures. I understand your concern about stressing her, but only a thorough physical exam and diagnostics in the form of blood/urine tests +/- X-rays will tell you why she's begun to behave in that fashion. We shouldn't be putting her through invasive and costly procedures but, instead, treating the most life-threatening of the various disorders likely to be identified.
Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.
Dr. Michael Salkin and other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your kind accept. I appreciate it.
I'm going to check back with you in a few days for an update. Feel free to return to our conversation - even after rating - prior to my contacting you if you wish.
Please disregard the info request.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.
May I have an update, please?