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Dr. Deb
Dr. Deb, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 10859
Experience:  I have been a practicing veterinarian for over 30 years.
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I have a 6 and a half year old King Charles spaniel who

Customer Question

Hi, I have a 6 and a half year old King Charles spaniel who was in heat on 16 October 2015. The past few days she has gone off her food, she is still drinking water but is lethargic and not herself she seems depressed, last night she lost balance for about 3 seconds and slipped on the floor, she hasn't had any food today but has remained drinking water. Could this be the start of a phantom pregnancy or does this sound more serious and need medical attention?
Thank you in advance for your help.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 2 years ago.
Hello, I'm Dr. Deb and will do my best to help you today. I'm sorry for this concern for Lexi although this is going to be a tough question to answer with certainty.I've seen dogs who are either pregnant or going through a false pregnancy lose their appetites a month or so after their heat cycle ends and definitely 8-9 weeks after but I'm a little concerned about her balance issues.I'm also a little concerned about her lethargy. Given her age and symptoms, I'd be more worried about ruling out an infection in her uterus (pyometra) since this condition if often seen 4-6 weeks after a heat cycle. Infection which originates in the uterus can enter the bloodstream and travel to the kidneys where significant damage can be done if the condition is left undiagnosed and untreated. These patients can develop many of the signs you're seeing where the appetite is diminished yet they're still drinking water (perhaps even more than normal).Some patients will run fevers although not all of them do. If you have a thermometer and can take it, normal is between 100 and 102.5. If it's elevated, then a false pregnancy can definitely be ruled out. But even if it's normal, she could still have a pyometra, if that makes sense.Some patients will also develop a vaginal discharge but only if the cervix is open, not closed, which it isn't in every patient. If she were my dog, I would want to know for sure that she doesn't have a uterine infection and wouldn't wait to see if she perks up within another day or so....especially if she's running a fever. I'm sorry that my answer isn't a more positive one but I would be doing a disservice to both you and Lexi if I were less than truthful and honest in my response to you. I hope you understand and I also hope that this helps to explain what might be causing her behavior. Deb
Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 2 years ago.
Hello again,
I'm just following up on on Lexi. How is she doing? Deb