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Clumsy,wobbly yorkiepoo.

Species: Dog
Breed: yorkiepoo
Age: 6-12 months
My son put my 11 month old yorkiepoo outside yesterday and he didn't let him back in until I got home at 6:00, He is now acting very strange he hasn't barked, he's not playful, I have to feed him water from a syringe, he is off balance, and is running into things very clumsy. But when we take him out to do his business I can get him to run around a little bit but thats about it. He has been urinating normal all day and has had two bowel movements. He has laid around all night last night and all day today sleeping. He seems to be breathing normal but when I call his name he doesn't respond but if I ask him if he wants to go for a ride he responds. When he is standing he leans against things. I am very concerned about him but I don't have the money for a vet bill. What should I do?


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

This is a tough question to answer without actually seeing Max.

So, to summarize his problems:
-He is acting strange.
-He isn't barking.
-He is not playful.
-He is off balance.
-He is not drinking (or eating?)
-He is running into things and very clumsy and leaning against things.

These symptoms make me worry about some type of neurological problem (i.e. something affecting the brain.)

Unfortunately, in a small dog like a yorkiepoo one possibility is something called a portosystemic shunt (or liver shunt). This is a condition that small dogs can be born with that cause blood flow to not travel through the liver properly. When this happens there is a buildup of ammonia and this affects the brain causing symptoms of drunkenness.

While some dogs can be cured of a liver shunt with surgery the surgery is very risky and expensive. There are some dogs if mildly affected that can survive with medications and special food.

It's also possible that your dog got into something toxic to the brain such as certain types of mushrooms (are there any in your yard?) or drugs such as marijuana or other drugs.

Another possibility is some pain such as in his back, but I don't think this is what you are describing.

If these symptoms persist more than 24 hours then a vet visit really is the best idea.

I hope everything is ok!

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.