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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 32753
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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My dog is four years old and over the last twelve months has

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My dog is four years old and over the last twelve months has had weight loss, which is now sorted although he is on steroids, fur loss which is now okay, but more worrying appears very lethargic, not interested in going for a walk and is usually a very happy and active dog. I have taken him to the vets several times and have even changed vets to no avail. Can you help?
Pat Hatton
Aloha! You're speaking to Dr. Michael Salkin
I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. While his lethargy is an important symptom, it's not pathognomonic (specifically indicative) of any one disorder. I need to know why steroids were prescribed for Micky's weight loss; in other words, what was diagnosed that prompted the prescription of steroids?

I would be pleased to review the results of any testing you could upload to our conversation. I understand that you might not have a copy of the results at home but his vets should be able to give you one which you could scan into your computer and give me the link or you can photograph the page(s) and upload the images by using the paperclip icon in the toolbar above your message box (not if you're using the chrome browser) or by using an external app such as or
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for your reply. Micky had lost 2 kilos in weight, had irritable skin and his ear flaps were constantly breaking down and bleeding and he also was having problems with his hip.. They thought he may have lechmaniosis. but all tests proved negative. I will contact my vets next week and get a copy of the test he has undergone.


Pat Hatton

Thank you for the additional information, Pat. Thank goodness it wasn't leishmaniasis but I very much want to review any test results you can get. It sounds as if steroids were prescribed because an autoimmune skin disease causing his "irritable" skin and pinnae (ear flaps) was conjectured to underlie his skin disorder. I'm not sure how his hip is related but steroids would reduce inflammation in those joints as well as in his skin. I'll watch for your next post.
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