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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 32756
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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my 2 year old female labarador has had diahorea and vomiting

Customer Question

my 2 year old female labarador has had diahorea and vomiting for two nights, she was fine in the day yesterday. last night she had the same again, since then had been lying on the floor whining as if in pain. she really struggles to stand up, when she does it looks like her back legs aren't working properely. any ideas what could be wrong?
Im worried about taking her to the vet as she sometimes becomes very aggressive and frightened.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 4 years ago.
Aloha! You're speaking to Dr. Michael Salkin
I'm sorry to hear of this with Megan. A history of vomiting and diarrhea in association with such weakness as you've described suggests Addison's disease - a disease of the adrenal glands in which not enough of the hormone cortisol is produced. I understand your reticence to bring Megan to the vet but this disease can be life-threatening unless treated properly. Testing involves blood work with particular emphasis on her sodium and potassium levels.

It's certainly possible, too, that her vomiting and diarrhea are unrelated to her struggling to stand and ataxia ("drunken sailor"). We should be concerned about central nervous system disorders - a myelopathy (spinal cord disorder) or encephalopathy (brain disorder) whenever back legs don't work properly.

Megan's presentation is too complicated to be able to clarify in a venue such as this. It begs for a proper and thorough physical exam and diagnostic testing. I suggest that you muzzle Megan prior to bringing her to her vet and then let the vet techs restrain her for the vet's examinations while you step outside.

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.