You are here:

Ask the Veterinarian/sick schnauzer


Hello, My dog is a 4 year old female miniature schnauzer.  She has been very healthy and is up to date on her immunizations.  I took her to the vet this morning but he really couldnt tell me anything and I am very worried.  She is lethargic, she hasnt ate in 2 days she shakes her head every once and a while and the vet said she had some gunk coming out of her right eye, but what worries me the most is its painful for her to open her mouth. she can take sips of water but cannot eat at all.  The vet said she did not have a temp and said her ears look good but wasnt able to look in her mouth because she wouldnt let him.  He sent her home on an antibiotic and said if nothing changes bring her back.  But Im really concerned about her lethargy and not being able to open her mouth.  She looks miserable.  Please Help! She was perfectly fine on saturday and started to decline on Sunday.  I believe the last thing she ate was sunday morning.  I gave her a small raw hide on sunday and I thought she ate it really fast could it be possible that its stuck in her throat?

I'm not a vet Kim but I can tell you that this dog has a serious problem with either her jawbone, her teeth or her throat. She needs to be sedated and have all these areas explored and examined. The fact that she A. Shakes her head makes me think of something painful in there, B. Can't open her mouth! That screams look in here and tell me whats wrong!C. The rawhide is probably the culprit.

I can't count how many dogs we have seen with pieces of rawhide shoved up inside gums into cavities that go right up to the eye socket. We have pulled stickers, bones and rawhides out of many of these holes.

She needs to be seen tomorrow- she needs to sedated and an xray done and then they need to get up inside of her mouth and probe for this rawhide piece.

She is in PAIN  and this needs to be done ASAP!! I will lay you odds that is what happened to her- we have seen it too many times.

If your vet won't do this then go to a new vet first thing in the morning. Keep her on the antibiotics but get her in first thing in the morning. I'll tell you the only reason you cannot SMELL this is because of the antibiotics. Usually by day two the dogs mouth really start to smell. We have even seen these wedged really tightly up in the hard upper palate sideways across the mouth so that the dog could barely open their mouth and the get so embedded into the palate that we had to pull it out with pliers!

After this- no more rawhides! They should all be banned. I had an owner heartrendingly write me about their 3 yr old golden retriever who suffocated from eating one early in the morning.
I told them I would always pass on the story of Willy so that other dogs would live.

That's what I am doing now. Please let me know what happens. I will keep a good thought for her and you.

Ask the Veterinarian

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


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 35 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.

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

Licensed with California and Oregon, RVT and CVT. Certified Veterinary Dental Technician Have over 550 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.

©2016 All rights reserved.