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Dog acting drunk please help me!

May 27th, 2009, 04:25 PM
I have a 6 year old german shephard lab mix that I got at the pound as a brand new puppy. She has been healthy and happy until Monday. She was on her bed chewing her toys and then a second later whining and just not right. We took her outside and she started to stumble, trip over her own feet and seemed very unsteady, almost seemed drunk. She 'trotted' around the yard panting. She didnt like to slow down because she would get more unsteady the slower she went. The faster she went the more normal she seemed (at least on her balance and coordination) We would try and stop her to figure out what was wrong and you would have a 70 pound dog trying to push through you and continue to move forward. She started running into things, bushes, plants and even solid objects (cars and the house). We took her inside she ran into a wall, ended up in the corner and continued to attempt to walk through the wall. Head pressed into the corner and her feet sliding on the hardwood floor as she 'walked'. We believe she couldnt see at this point, couldnt hear well if at all, couldnt walk straight, was whining, shaking. We took her to the vet right away they gave her IV fluids, a sedative and I believe steriod shots. Blood work showed high levels of sodium, low electrolytes among other highs and lows that I didnt understand. The next morning she was basically back to normal. She was tired but seemed normal otherwise. She is still fine today but I worry that if she ate something I need to figure out what it was so I can prevent this from happening again. We have a puppy (9 months old) that did not get sick so I cannot understand how our big dog ate something that the puppy didnt steal from her or eat right along side of her. The big dog cant do anything without the puppy. Please help! The vet wasnt much help at all! Expensive yes, helpful NO! They said she either ate something or was having a metabolic problem with processing her electrolytes. The second vet on call that night said he was leaning toward she ate something having to do with paint. I cannot find a thing that would cause this! I need ideas.

May 27th, 2009, 05:07 PM
I think you need a different vet. This could be a poisoning, but IMO it sounds more like the dog had a seizure. It could be Addison's disease, which effects the electrolytes; it could be epilepsy; it could be diabetes.

I know there are houseplants that are poisonous, but I don't know what kind of symptoms they would cause.

May 27th, 2009, 08:08 PM
I agree with kandy--your dog needs, at the very least, more blood work to determine if her electrolytes are still in imbalance and to check organ function. Certainly electolyte imbalance can cause seizures, and if it was something toxic, checking organ function is a good idea.

Has it been rainy there? Are there many mushrooms growing in your yard? We've seen similar symptoms when our dogs got into some funky mushrooms a couple years ago. Ridge got especially bad--she, too, just kept walking because if she stopped she'd fall over. IV fluids were given to flush her system and we took her back a few days later for a blood draw to check organ function (liver and kidney). She recovered fully.

I hope this was just a one-time occurrence for your dog and she never worries you like that again :goodvibes: It's so hard when they get sick and you're not sure why or what to do about it :grouphug:

May 28th, 2009, 11:30 AM
If I didnt see her have a seizure could I rule that out? I dont know enough about seizures.

Yes we have mushrooms. We live in WA state so there is always plenty of rain. But that also means I have always had mushrooms at every house we have lived at. She is not a super curious dog so I honestly cant see her eating one now when she never has. But again you just never know and that is what freaks me out.

The second vet (the more knowledgable one) did say his best guess was she may have ate something paint related. He asked if my husband goes paintballing which he does not. I looked up paint poisoning and most of the symptons did fit. Although she did not throw up or have any upset tummy symtoms. I am racking my brain as to what she could have gotten into related to paint. I wish I knew what else would have the same qualities of paint.

We have 5 acres with pasture, trees, plants, bushes, berries, a small pond with fish..... there are so many options that I dont know how to eliminate everything that could harm them.

Thank you both for your input. I am completely obsessed with this research! She is my first baby girl and I love her more than anything.

May 28th, 2009, 12:13 PM
Sounds like you need a neurologist to check those symptoms out. But more bloodwork is definitely warranted . If your dog had been poisoned she would be showing more severe signs by now. Did you notice if your dog could have ingested a toad as some are highly toxic to dogs as are some snakes.

May 28th, 2009, 01:28 PM
Cristin, the behavior you saw--the staggering, walking into walls, etc--are not inconsistent with behavior during a seizure, so you can't rule it out.

How is she doing today? Still improving? :fingerscr

I just thought of you--I went out to fill the feeders and saw the mushrooms we think were the culprits in Ridge's case--so it's certainly the right season. :o

May 28th, 2009, 01:43 PM
Just an idea here, but a few years ago a friend of mine had a similar issue with her dog. It turns out he'd licked a toad. My friend said she'd seen some toads in her yard, and a few days later, her dog started having similar issue.

Some toads and frogs excrete hallucinogens and poisons. Perhaps you can try checking on that.:shrug:

May 28th, 2009, 01:44 PM
She seems totally normal. Starting to play more with the puppy and has been really excited for breakfast and dinner as usual. I do believe she is more ok with the incident than I am. I am a bit tramatized.

Do you remove the mushrooms when you see them? Or does Ridge not touch them anymore?

May 28th, 2009, 04:22 PM
If we see any mushrooms, we try to remove them--but we still catch all of the dogs, even Ridge, eating them. (Nope, they don't seem to learn the lesson very well :o) Usually they suffer no ill-effects, though. The ones we speculate were the troublemakers we only see once or twice in a year...and, luckily this year, they seem to be growing outside the fence for a change :fingerscr

Glad to hear that she's doing so well. :goodvibes:

May 29th, 2009, 11:38 AM
Also, could he have gotten into some sort of Tylenol or Asprin ?
Thats how Sparky acts when we give him Baby Asprin (prescribed by vet).

June 1st, 2009, 01:32 PM
I am beginning to believe that it may have been a seizure. I was talking with my friend this weekend about her dog's catatonic seizures. After the seizure her behavior does seem to be similar to what my dog was doing. Anyone know anything about seizures in dogs or know a good website to read up on the subject? We are thinking either a seizure (that I didnt notice her have) or she ate something paint related or something that has the same properties as paint. Man this is stressful!

June 1st, 2009, 07:48 PM
did she vomit? Did the vets try to get her to vomit? or give her charcoal if they thought it was poisening? I dont know but it does sound like it could have been a kind of seizure to me.. and there can be several causes, I also think you should go to a vet that you trust, was this not your regular vet that you saw? Go to your vet, after 6 years he should know your dog well, and that can help, and can compare tests, get some more blood work done and see also about any nerological issues that may be happening, I would do that to rule anything medical out for sure before I called it a poisening.. GOOD LUCK with your puppers!