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Fever and dizziness in older dog.

Species: Dog
Breed: Labrador
Age: 11-15 years
Dear Dr. Marie,

Kodi is a 15 years old Labrador, he is very active and love to play all the time. He is usually in great health however, since the last 7 days, he has the following symptoms:

- weakness
- dizziness (on and off)
- ear pain
- jaw/gum pain
- eyes a bit pink
- unable to chew on hard food
- diarrhea (it started today only)

I took his temperature at 3pm today and he was 103.1 and another at 6pm and he was 102.8. He has been weak for about 1 week, on and off. Yesterday he jumped like a puppy but today he is weak again.

He is able to eat, just not hard food. It looks like he has some type of infection and I would like to have your professional opinion.

Thank you and have a wonderful day.


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

These are odd symptoms. From what you have described, your dog has a mild fever, and pain in his ear and face, redness in his eyes and diarrhea. I really can't think of a specific condition that could cause this, but I can take a few guesses.

An insect sting could cause some of the symptoms. However, this should not come and go over the course of a week. An abscess somewhere in his head could cause this. One possibility is an abscess behind his eye. This is called a retrobulbar abscess. It can cause the red eyes (although really it would just be one eye), and the pain in his ear and jaw as well as the fever.

A good number of these symptoms alone would be reason enough for me to suggest an emergency visit. We do not normally see fevers in dogs. They are almost always a sign of some type of medical problem. And, the wobbliness has me quite concerned. That, combined with the fact that he is an older dog makes me even more inclined to say that he really should see a vet right away.

I'm sorry I don't have a more clear answer for you. I hope this is not something really serious like a tumor affecting his face and brain. There really isn't anything that I can suggest for you to do at home. He really does need to see a vet right away.

I hope he is ok.

Dr. Marie.


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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.