Dog ate chocolate?

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Unable to walk.

Species: Dog
Breed: Austrian Shelty mix
Age: 1-2 years
We put the dog outside this morning and then went out to bring him back in and found him laying down in the grass. He was trying to stand up but couldn't. His back legs are extremely week and cant hold his weight very well. He is also very drowsy. Within the past 1.5 hours his nose has become very warm. We were able to help him up and he took a few steps but was very weak. He is drinking water. We felt all over his hind-quarters but he didn't cry at all so we cant pin point where it hurts.


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Oh, it sounds like something serious is going on with Jackson.

I have some questions for you...

  • Are his gums dark pink, pale pink or white?

  • Do you think he is breathing any faster than usual?

  • Is he able to put weight on his back legs at all?



Thanks...I'll be waiting for your reply.



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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.

Customer reply:

1. Jackson's gum are slightly pale pink on the roof of the gums.

2. His breathing irregular: he seems to be taking three short, sharp breaths in and a longer exhale.

3. He can put weight on his legs but struggles a lot. The problem seems to be that he can't lift his weight without assistance from us. If we set him on his legs he can hold the weight but is very quick to sit back down.


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

OK, thanks for this info. I can think of two possibilities for what is going on. Unfortunately both of them are very serious and will require an emergency visit.

The first is that he may have some internal bleeding. This could be the result of trauma (i.e. being hit by a vehicle), or a random event such as a spleen torsion, or as a result of eating rat or mouse poison.

The second possibility is if Jackson has injured his back. If he has intervertebral disc disease, this will cause his back legs to be very weak because the spinal cord is being compressed. If there is a spinal injury then sometimes if we treat these fast enough with steroids dogs will recover just fine. But, if not treated quick enough some dogs can end up paralyzed.

Are you able to get him to an emergency clinic tonight? This really doesn't sound like something that can wait until the morning.



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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.