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Ask the Veterinarian/Does Benjie's problem sound familiar?


I have a 12-year old Spaniel mix with a serious problem. Two days ago he ran into the house and whimpered and rubbed his whole body on the livingroom floor and against the walls. He then proceeded to go to the bathroom and lie under the table which is very unusual since he never really went in there. He seemed to want to lie curled up instead of just on his side as if he was less in pain that way. Since then he's kept to himself and hasn't been out to urinate of defecate. Tonight however he can't use his legs at all. He keeps his eyes closed and when he sits up his head slowly falls back and he seems to be extremely weak. He doesn't whimper though so we have no idea if he's in pain. We tried to give him water and food but to no avail. There seems to be nothing wrong with his breathing nor his eyes. Other than being deaf he has had no other problems in his life whatsoever and has always been a healthy dog. Could it be tick-fever or might he have gotten hurt two days ago to suddenly have him need serious attention? Could a car have maybe hit him or even a person? Unfortunately we can't do anything until tomorrow morning as it's in the middle of the night and the vet is not available. I do hope you have a slight idea as to what's wrong and that it can be treated because he is a beloved animal child. Thank you!

There are so many causes of things of this nature that it is really impossible to even guess what it could be.
Yes, he could've gotten hit. Yes he could have been bitten by something, but for tick paralysis they need to be covered in ticks- like 20 or more.

Are there snakes he could have been bitten by? I live in California so the only venomous snake we have is the rattlesnake.

he could have even had a stroke, or a cerebral bleed.

There is no telling what this could be. I can't even tell you if he will even make it until tomorrow. Are there no emergency vets around you? Usually if you call your regular vet at night their number will give you an emergency number to call.

I really urge you to get him some care tonight if you can. If not, try to get some water down him, even if it's a quarter of a cup ever half hour. That will keep him from getting dehydrated.

Use a turkey baster with just a little in it and dribble it into the spot where you pull out his cheek. Have someone else hold up his head and then you dribble the water into the little cup it makes. He will feel it and if he can, he will swallow.

That is about all I can help you with. You really need to talk to or see a local vet there.

Good luck and please let me know how he does.  

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Jana Connell RVT, CVT


PLEASE READ BEFORE SUBMITTING TO ME: I am NOT a vet and do NOT diagnose diseases. That is only for a licensed Veterinarian to do. I will give you suggestions and steer you toward calling your vet for help. You can call the vet's office and talk to the technician there or the vet at times. Don't be afraid to call them! If you have a serious issue with your pet please post it to one of the veterinarians in here- I will tell you the same thing in my answer. IF your pet is injured or in an emergency situation, CALL YOUR VET- Do not wait and post in here. Just call the vet's office and get them in to see the vet right away. Critical treatment time is lost if you seek answers here when you should have your precious pet at the vets!! Don't sit at home waiting for an answer when your pet is critically ill or injured!! I can answer most questions about small animal and wildlife care as well as small animal nutrition. I can also answer questions about all phases of dental care for small animals. I DO NOT answer questions about birds (unless it is wildlife or songbirds) or HAMSTERS/GERBILS/CHINS/GUINEA PIGS/REPTILES/FROGS/RABBITS/PET BIRDS OF ANY KIND so please submit these questions to the appropriate sections. I, as well as other experts in here, do NOT do homework questions- that is for YOU to do! Please respect these rules for all of us. Thanks!


I have over 42 years experience in the field of veterinary medicine. I specialized in small animals and did wildlife rehab for over 25 years, mostly raptors, squirrels and opossums. I am a Small Animal Nutritional Consultant with 6 certificates from Hills Pet Foods, CNM and Purina. I also specialized in Small Animal Dentistry which is a field I truly love. I also Teach Veterinary Technology to working technicians who are studying to take their California Tests to become Licensed Technicians. They have to take both the VTNE (Veterinary Technician National Exam) and the California boards.

Audubon,World Wildlife Federation, American Society of Veterinary Dental Technicians.


Licensed with California and Oregon, RVT and CVT. Certified Veterinary Dental Technician Have over 1500 logged hours of Continuing Education Credits(that means I keep up to date!).

Awards and Honors
Nominated for Expert of the Month for the last 5 years.

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