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What to Do When a Shih Tzu Shows Lethargy & Choking Sounds After Chewing Mulch?


Dear VetBabble: What should I do if my Shih Tzu has been lethargic and has a choking sound after chewing on mulch?

Pet owners often get concerned when they notice unusual behaviors or symptoms in their furry friends, especially when those changes occur suddenly after an incident like eating something they shouldn’t have. In this case, it’s essential to look at the different symptoms you’ve mentioned and understand the possible reasons for them, as well as what you should do to ensure your pet’s health.

Understanding Lethargy in Dogs

Lethargy in dogs can be a result of various factors, from simple tiredness to more severe health issues. When your dog becomes lethargic and isn’t playing or acting like its usual self, it’s essential to pay attention and monitor its behavior. A valuable resource for determining the difference between simple tiredness and lethargy in dogs is this article: Is My Puppy Tired or Lethargic?

If your dog has become lethargic after chewing on mulch, it could be a sign of a more serious issue, such as ingesting toxic substances or experiencing a gastrointestinal obstruction due to ingesting the mulch particles. In either case, don’t hesitate to consult your veterinarian.

Dehydration Due to Refusing to Drink Water

Another concerning symptom you mentioned is that your dog won’t drink water, which can lead to dehydration. It’s essential to make sure your dog is hydrating, especially if it’s lethargic. If you’re unsure why your dog is drinking less water than usual, here’s an informative article about the possible causes: Why Does My Dog Drink More Water?

If your dog is refusing to drink water for an extended period, it’s critical to consult your veterinarian, who can properly assess the situation and determine if medical intervention is necessary.

Choking Sound and Heavy Snoring: A Possible Sign of Obstruction

The choking sound and heavy snoring-like noise you mentioned can indicate various issues, including breathing difficulties, allergic reactions, and, in some cases, an obstructed airway. Considering that the symptoms appeared after your dog chewed on mulch, there’s a possibility that particles from the mulch may have become lodged in its throat or respiratory tract. In such cases, prompt veterinary attention is crucial.

If you’re worried that your dog has ingested something it shouldn’t have, here’s a helpful article on what to do in those situations: My dog ate something it shouldn’t have! What should I do?

Conclusion: When to Seek Veterinary Help

If your dog’s symptoms persist, it’s essential to consult your veterinarian, who can assess the situation and provide the appropriate course of action. In some cases, the symptoms may be indicative of a more severe issue that requires immediate attention, such as vomiting due to ingesting toxic substances or gastrointestinal obstructions. Here’s a comprehensive article on vomiting in dogs and when to seek help: Vomiting in Dogs: Causes, Treatment & When to Worry

In conclusion, it’s crucial for pet owners to be vigilant when it comes to observing their pets’ behavior and well-being. Keeping a close eye on your pet and seeking veterinary help when necessary can ensure a healthy and happy life for your furry friend.

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