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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 30398
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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HiMy dog is acting really strangely - shes a 12 month old

Customer Question

My dog is acting really strangely - she's a 12 month old collie cross spaniel and normally very active. She is very subdued and keeps walking around very slowly and sometimes slightly wobbly on her feet. She also seems as though she isn't seeing properly - I've just waved my hands in front of her face and got no reaction. My partner thinks she's OK and will be fine in the morning as she ate a large lump of meat earlier and he thinks that may be stuck.
Can you offer any advice please as I'm very worried about her?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 4 years ago.
Aloha! You're speaking with Dr. Michael Salkin
Bonnie's aimless walking, ataxia ("drunken sailor") and loss of visual acuity are indications of a disturbance in mentation (mental status). We would be suspicious of an encephalopathy - either intracranial (dogs behave as you've described after a seizure) or extracranial (intoxication of the brain by an internal organ that isn't functioning properly).

The history of eating a large lump of meat might be significant. This is a common clue for hepatic encephalopathy in which eating a protein-rich meal can intoxicate the brain because a poorly functioning liver can't remove nitrogenous wastes formed from protein digestion such as ammonia from the bloodstream.

I would "watchful wait" Bonnie and see if her behavior remisses shortly - which would be suggestive of post-seizure (epilepsy at her age, usually). If her behavior persists or returns after it remissed, it would be prudent to have Bonnie's vet take a look at her.

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.