Weakness and Lethargy in Dogs: Mandy Cannot Walk. What Would You Do if It Was Your Dog?

Mandy became ill quite suddenly. She became lethargic, didn’t want to get up, and didn’t want to eat.

Weakness and Lethargy in Dogs: Mandy Cannot Walk. What Would You Do if It Was Your Dog?

Mandy was a nine-and-a-half-year-old female German Shepherd. Considering her age, she was in good shape until this happened.

It was apparent Mandy was not well.

Besides losing her appetite and strength, she was extremely thirsty and started having potty accidents at night. This lasted an entire holiday weekend.

Even though Mandy looked better by the time the veterinary clinic opened, her dad brought her in. She looked so badly before; he wanted the veterinarian to check her out.

The veterinarian examined Mandy and checked her urine. Mandy did have some arthritis but she walked out of the clinic with a diagnosis of a urinary tract infection (UTI) and the following medicines

  • antibiotics
  • NSAID (to decrease inflammation and pain)
  • Phenylpropanolamine (PPA) for urinary incontinence

Would you agree with the UTI diagnosis?

Mandy’s symptoms that could point to UTI included

  • excessive drinking
  • urinary accidents
  • changes in appetite
  • lethargy
  • possible back pain

Typically, urinary accidents, increased drinking, smelly, and cloudy urine should alert a pet parent to an infection before the dog becomes severely ill and lethargic.

One way or another, the medications helped with Mandy’s potty accidents. However, the next day the problem returned.

Mandy was unable to get up and looked severely ill.

The veterinarian suggested her dad stop giving the PPA but it didn’t help. Could it be the antibiotics?

That’s what Mandy’s dad thought and took her off them. It was a risky move. If I suspected meds, my money would have been on the NSAIDs.

Nonetheless, Mandy has improved yet again.

The veterinarian admitted he was somewhat baffled but prescribed a different antibiotic for Mandy.

The roller coaster ride continued.

This time Mandy crashed even harder and wouldn’t move at all. She stopped having pee accidents–she stopped peeing altogether.

Something was very wrong and the veterinarian didn’t have an answer. I urged Mandy’s parents to get a second opinion.

What do you think was wrong with Mandy? What would you do if it was your dog?

Read Mandy’s story here.

Related articles:
Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog: Lethargy
Detecting the Silent Killer

Further information:
Is Your Dog’s Arthritis “Acting Up”?

Categories: Dog health advocacyExcessive drinkingExcessive thirstLethargyMobility issuesSymptomsUrinary accidentsWeakness

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Jana Rade

I am a graphic designer, dog health advocate, writer, and author. Jasmine, the Rottweiler of my life, was the largest female from her litter. We thought we were getting a healthy dog. Getting a puppy from a backyard breeder was our first mistake. Countless veterinary visits without a diagnosis or useful treatment later, I realized that I had to take Jasmine's health care in my own hands. I learned the hard way that merely seeing a vet is not always enough. There is more to finding a good vet than finding the closest clinic down the street. And, sadly, there is more to advocating for your dog's health than visiting a veterinarian. It should be enough, but it often is not. With Jasmine, it took five years to get a diagnosis. Unfortunately, other problems had snowballed for that in the meantime. Jasmine's health challenges became a crash course in understanding dog health issues and how to go about getting a proper diagnosis and treatment. I had to learn, and I had to learn fast. Helping others through my challenges and experience has become my mission and Jasmine's legacy. I now try to help people how to recognize and understand signs of illness in their dogs, how to work with their veterinarian, and when to seek a second opinion. My goal is to save others the steep curve of having to learn things the hard way as I did. That is the mission behind my blog and behind my writing. That is why I wrote Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog, which has turned out being an award-winning guide to dog owners. What I'm trying to share encompasses 20 years of experience.

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