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Dr. Deb
Dr. Deb, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 10921
Experience:  I have been a practicing veterinarian for over 30 years.
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My two year old toy poodle has become unwell today. She was

Customer Question

My two year old toy poodle has become unwell today. She was not her usual self this morning and did not want to eat, which happens now and again. We went for a walk in the afternoon in the woods and I realised that she did not have her usual bounce and almost ground to a halt. I picked her up and carried her in a bag for the rest of the way. She made a noise when I picked her up as if she was in pain. If I put her on the floor she just stayed where I put her and it looked as if she is was pain. She still has a wet nose and does not feel warm. I have felt and moved all her limbs and they seem fine. She is currently fast asleep and does not want to move. She does not want any food but did eat a small amount of cheese.

Last night I was playing with her, chasing her round the house and she ran into a door as she was looking back at me. Could that be why she is unwell now?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 4 years ago.

Hello Inge, I'm Dr. Deb and I'll do my best to help you today.

I'm sorry that Peanut isn't feeling well.
I do have a few questions to ask about him first, if you don't mind:

1. Do you have a thermometer so you can confirm her temperature ()even though he doesn't feel warm)?
2. Can you tell me the color of her gums?
3. When she walks, is she hunched over?
4. How much does she weigh?

There may be a slight delay after I receive your answers since I have to type up a response to you. Thanks for your patience. Deb

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I tried to take her temperature but she screamed so I stopped. Her gums are red round the edges of the teeth but otherwise normal colour. She weights 3.5 kg. She is normally a very active dog. She easily walks 12miles in a day and we normally do 4-5 miles daily. This is the first time she has been ill apart from and upset stomach.

Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 4 years ago.
Thanks so much for the additional information.
Gum color is normal which is good.

1. I do understand about taking her temperature. It's too bad that it's stressing her out so much since it would be good to know if it's elevated since a fever could explain her sudden symptoms. If you manage to take it (if you have someone to help you), normal is between 100 and 102.5 F. If it is elevated, then this explains the lethargy but we don't have a source of the fever. Possible explanations for a fever would include:

a. Tick diseases can cause fevers and achy muscles. They can occur quite suddenly with no warning. These could be ticks that fed months ago (lyme disease) or even one week ago (Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever). We do have tests for many of these diseases, but we are testing for antibodies, not the organism itself, in most cases. If antibodies are not being produced (for whatever reason) then the tests could be negative and yet this is still the underlying problem.
I've also come to believe that there are tick diseases that we haven't even been able to identify yet and thus would not have tests for all of them.

Doxycycline is the drug used to treat most tick diseases.

b. Leptospirosis can mimic tick diseases but can affect the kidneys and/or liver. This disease is primarily transmitted in the urine of wild animals. Dogs can ingest the organism when they drink stagnant water in which a critter has urinated. Blood work would be needed to determine to evaluate these organs. Some dogs can become very ill with this disease; some can even die from it (obviously the worse case situation). Treatment is amoxicillin and/or doxycycline. Humans can contract this disease if it is being shed in their dog’s urine.

c. Some sort of bacterial or viral infection can cause fevers and/or lethargy.

d, Autoimmune diseases can also cause the temperature to be elevated.

2. Dogs with spinal issues (compression of the cord by a disc, for example) can be painful and behave as you describe. It's possible that her run-in with the door caused more damage than was apparent at the time.

A good physical exam might reveal abnormalities or additional testing might be required.

In general, dogs with injuires of the spinal cord are better served if seen sooner rather than later.

3. I've seen a few dogs just have "off days" for some reason which usually lasts about 24 hours but they aren't usually painful, so this is less likely.

I'm hesitant to advise any over the counter medications until a better idea of the problem is known. But, if she's not vomiting and you can't have her seen today, then you could give her Aspirin at a dose of 10 mg/lb twice a day, which would be 1/2 of a 325 mg (full strength) tablet at one time.

I always suggest that this drug should be given with food to avoid stomach upset. The anti-pain as well as anti-inflammatory properties of this medication can be useful ini situation such as this.

I hope this helps and that she's feeling better in a very short period of time. Deb


Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for your advice. I think I will give her till the morning and if there is no improvement will take her to the vet.


I had lymes disease myself and would not know how to spot it in a dog.


No answer required. Just to say I do not like the hard sell so will not use you again.



Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 4 years ago.

You're more than welcome.
I know you said not to respond but felt I needed to since I just wanted to elaborate a bit on Lyme disease in dogs. I live in an endemic area of the States where there are many, many tick diseases so I'm quite familiar with Lyme and other Rickettessial diseases.
Most dogs wake up stiff and lethargic with often little interest in eating. They usually have a fever but not all of them do. They don't develop the rash that humans do.

I'm sorry that you were not pleased with the site but I hope you understand that there is no additional obligation to you in discussing Peanut's situation. My only role is to respond to questions; not to get you to sign up for something that you don't want.

I would like to check back in with you tomorrow to see how she's doing if that's acceptable to you.

Good luck. Best regards, Deb

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

We have just come back from the vet. My dog has lose kneecaps on her hind legs which caused her to become immobile. She will need an operation to correct it. We live in the UK and our environment if quite different although Lymes Disease is something we need to look out for.


I do not need you to write tomorrow as we are going to the vets again for a check up.


I should have gone to the vet in the first place, but thanks anyway.

Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 4 years ago.
Thanks so letting me know about Peanut although I wouldn't have expected her knees to cause such pain or least luxating patellas don't usually cause such intense problems in my experience.

I won't trouble you further at your request.

But, I do wish you the best of luck with her. Deb
Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 4 years ago.



I'm sorry that this email was sent to you but I wanted to you to know that it was computer generated and that it didn't come from me. I'm sorry that you've been troubled but I hope that Peanut is doing well. Deb