How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • Go back-and-forth until satisfied
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dr L Simmon Your Own Question
Dr L Simmon
Dr L Simmon, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 4179
Experience:  Veterinarian MVB MRCVS
103237793
Type Your Dog Question Here...
Dr L Simmon is online now

I have a 13 year old bearded collie x dog. Very lethargic

This answer was rated:

Hi. I have a 13 year old bearded collie x ***** ***** dog. Very lethargic for about the last 24 hours. Is eating and drinking with encouragement. Has passed urine and bowels opened tody - normal stool. Appears just very very tired. Had a similar episode a few months back, lasting a day or two and suddenly perked up. He is slowing down generally and often sounds like he needs to clear his throat when he's breathing. I wondered about heart failure, his tongue and gums are pink. Any ideas? I will be calling the vet tomorrow if he's not improved. Thanks, Cathy
JA: Hi there. I'll do all I can to help. Have you noticed any changes in the dog's appetite?
Customer: He's eaten quite well today but with a bit of prompting
JA: Could he have eaten something unusual?
Customer: He may have scavenged something? No vomiting or diarrhoea though
JA: What's the dog's name?
Customer: Frankie
JA: Is there anything else the Vet should know?
Customer: Can't think of anything at the moment
Hello, you are through to Dr Linda, a UK based vet.
I'm sorry to hear Frankie is not himself and understand your concern.
I would agree a vet visit as planned is best so that we can give him a good check over, especially given his age. The vet will examine him all over, listen to his heart and lungs and may then run some tests such as a blood test and/or chest xray.
Heart disease is one possibility and common signs can include lethargy, reduced exercise tolerance and a cough. If his breathing sounds raspy or wheezy, it is possible there is some fluid caused by heart disease.
However, there are other considerations including tracheal collapse, bronchitis, lungworm, an infection etc.
As well as being wet and pink, his gums should be able to refill with colour within 2 seconds after pressed down (blanched). This is called the capillary refill time.
We would also want to ensure his breathing rate is 30 breaths a minute or less when settled.
If either of these tests are 'failed' this would mean heart disease is more likely.
Customer: replied 11 days ago.
His gum pinks up quickly (just tried it) breathing OK too.
Ok good, that means an emergency situation is less likely. Hopefully we can get to the bottom of this soon.
If, for example, there is some degree of heart disease there is often medicine available (depending on which type of heart disease) which can slow down the progression and improve breathing and energy levels.
Dr L Simmon and other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 11 days ago.
he doesn't appear distressed atm I will call our vet tomorrow, thank you for your time Linda