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Lethargic shih tzu

Species: Dog
Breed: shih tzu
Age: 5-8 years
My dog came home from the cottage this weekend and is acting very odd. He walks a few steps (to be near us) and then lies down.
He is still eating, although not his entire serving. He is peeing and pooping but just seems very lethargic. Any idea what can be the cause?
Thanks,
Debbi


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Sorry to hear that Houston is having problems. This is a hard question for me to answer without being able to see him, but I can see if I can give you a few ideas.

Sometimes a dog can be lethargic because of pain. I have seen a good number of shih tzus that have had back problems. You may be able to tell if there is back pain by doing this: Stand him up on all four legs and press on his back one vertebra at a time. If there is pain he will either react or lick his lips when you touch that spot. If there is one spot that consistently gets a reaction then this is likely back pain. Some dogs with minor back pain can recover on their own but if it is not going away in a day or two or if he seems really uncomfortable then a vet visit is the best idea.

It is also possible that he has some mild stomach upset from eating something that he shouldn't have. If this is the case then it should resolve within 24 hours.

An insect sting is also a possibility.

In any case, if he still has these symptoms in 24-48 hours or if he seems like he is getting worse then a vet visit is the best idea.

Dr. Marie.

---This question was asked in our Ask A Vet For Free section.---


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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.