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Lethargic dog.

Species: Dog
Breed: 1/2 Mastiff 1/2 Dutc
Age: 2-5 years
The last 3 days, Duke has become very lethargic, laying around and just sleeping. He is normally very active, always wanting to play and go outside. Now, I cannot get him to play at all, and he only wants to be outside as long as it takes him to pee, then he will run around for a few minutes, then askes to come back inside. Fetch and tug of war, his favorite two games, do not interest him at all right now. Also, he has a thick, heavy clear discharge coming from his nose, this has been present for 2 days. He has also been licking heavily, his legs, the couch whatever. I somewhat think this is due to his dripping nose however. Duke is 3 yo, and weighs 95 lbs. He normally eats little, we free feed him, but he does not seem to be off of his feed, and he is still drinking water. He is still going numbers 1 and 2 regularly and without problems. He has not thrown up. Thank you.


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

I'm sorry to hear that Duke is having these problems. I can think of a few things that could be causing these symptoms.

Has Duke been vaccinated? If not, in some areas distemper virus can affect dogs and cause nasal discharge and lethargy. Distemper can be very serious. However, if he is up to date on his vaccines then distemper is quite unlikely.

Another possibility is kennel cough. While this virus usually causes coughing sometimes just nasal discharge and a fever (causing the lethargy) can happen. Some dogs will get over kennel cough on their own. So, as long as he is eating ok it is probably ok to wait for another day or two.

A tooth infection could cause this as well. If an upper tooth root is infected this can cause a one sided nasal discharge. Unfortunately most infected teeth need to be removed.

While a nasal tumor could cause these symptoms it would be very unlikely in such a young dog.

A fungal infection in the nose is possible too.

If he is still eating well then you probably don't need to rush to the vet right away. However, if these symptoms persist another day or two then a vet visit is a good idea.
However, I always tell people to follow their gut. If you think something is really wrong then a trip to the vet's today is probably good.

I hope everything 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.