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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 37529
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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My 12 year male crossbreed dog of medium size has woken up

Customer Question

Hello, my 12 year male crossbreed dog of medium size has woken up this morning lethargic. he started his morning walk but turned back. he is in his basket, wake and alert but not wanting to do anythingand has been drinking alot of water. i noticed this morning he was alittle shaky on his legs but was trotting until he decided to turn back. Any ideas please?
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Dog Training
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 10 months ago.

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Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 10 months ago.

John, I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner and I'm sorry to hear of this with your dog. Regretfully, his lethargy while an important symptom isn't pathognomonic (specifically indicative) of any one particular disorder. His drinking a lot of water, however, is a danger sign for quite a few disorders. They include the following:

hepatic (liver) insufficiency

renal (kidney) insufficiency (important)

urinary tract infection involving the kidneys

diabetes mellitus (polyphagia/increased hunger is also seen)

Cushing’s disease/hyperadrenocortisolism (polyphagia/increased hunger is also seen)

hyperthyroidism (polyphagia/increased hunger is also seen)

hypercalcemia (increased serum calcium level often seen with lymphoma, a negative prognosticator in renal insufficiency, and primary hyperparathyroidism)

electrolyte (sodium, potassium, chloride) imbalances

Addison’s disease (hypoadrenocortisolism)

diabetes insipidus

brain tumor involving the hypothalamus

His vet will want to perform a thorough physical exam including diagnostics in the form of fasted (for at least 4 hours prior to a blood draw; never restrict water, however) blood and urine tests in order to clarify what those symptoms are signifying. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.