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Dr. Barbara
Dr. Barbara, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 1326
Experience:  Over 30 years experience in veterinary medicine and surgery.
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Our 11-year-old Lhasa-poodle mix has been whining constantly

Customer Question

Our 11-year-old Lhasa-poodle mix has been whining constantly for five days (and nights!) This began after our recent minor earthquake (centered directly beneath us!. However, he has diarrhea, and a chronic limp from a bad foreleg has become more pronounced. We have increased him from one 81 mg. aspirin to one twice a day. Last night we gave him a 25 mg. Benadryl, in an attempt to get some sleep ourselves. It didn't help! (He weighs about 30 pounds) Today, he seems worse. We tried giving him a dose of Pepto-Bismol (got about 1 Tablespoon down him). Seemed to make him more frantic. Wants to go outside every five minutes, without much happening. He runs around, drags his butt, comes in, sits and whines. We don't have money to take him to the vet before payday next week. We're retired and living payday to payday. We don't know what to do for him. Today he is refusing all food. He was eating rice and some chicken.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Barbara replied 1 year ago.

Dr. Barbara :

Hi, Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm a licensed veterinarian and I'll be happy to help. I'm so sorry to hear that your little guy is so uncomfortable! Dogs are very sensitive to earthquakes, but since that was 5+ days ago, I doubt that that is the cause of his discomfort.

Dr. Barbara :

You say that he isn't eating today, but has he been eating and drinking normally in the past week? Is he drinking more than normal? Is he urinating OK?

Customer:

No, he hasn't been eating normally the past week. We had to start trying different things. We finally found he'd rice cooked in chicken broth, and we could add little piece of chicken.

Customer:

He had already, though, before the quake, started refusing his dry kibble that he had eaten all his life.

Customer:

We had been giving him a variety of foods....a lot of "people food" what we were eating. Probably not a good idea.

Customer:

I should add that he is "super skittish" He hates thunder and wind and loud trucks. Just now, I dropped a glass and it started the whining again...even though he had been quiet for a short while.

Dr. Barbara :

Thanks for your answers! Since he has been "super skittish" for a long time but has only been constantly whining for 1 week and has had a decrease in his appetite over the past weeks (we consider suddenly refusing his regular food as a decrease in appetite), then these are symptoms of some illness. . .now we need to try to determine what that illness may be>

Dr. Barbara :

I also see that he is ucomfortable in his rear quarters. Does he have any fur loss, skin lesions, or swelling on his rump, tail or under his tail in the anal area?

Customer:

No hair loss....which makes it hard to answer the other questions because he is very hairy. But my husband is getting a flashlight! lol1

Customer:

Patient is resisting!

Customer:

Patient is modest! My husband says1

Customer:

He was very tender...we put aloe vera on his sore bottom and it seemed to help.

Customer:

He seems to sit on hard surfaces a lot more today, like he's putting pressure on it.

Customer:

Did I mention that this patient still has very big, healthy teeth?

Dr. Barbara :

You bring a smile to my face!!!!!! Please don't let him use those big healthy teeth on your hands!

Customer:

We've tried to avoid it. He's usually quite friendly1

Dr. Barbara :

Is he licking his rump or under his tail a lot?

Customer:

No.

Customer:

Only the occasional dragging.

Customer:

And today the whining sometimes becomes yelping. He really sounds as if he's in pain!

Customer:

When he reaches that point, he wants to outside and dry to "go."

Customer:

wants to GO outside and try...

Dr. Barbara :

Anal glands can become impacted and very sore. They can also become infected and abscessed and even more sore. If abscessed they would then cause him to have a fever and not feel well in general.

Customer:

Pepper has always been a super-healthy dog. So this is something new for us.

Dr. Barbara :

Can he produce urine OK? When you say "go" are you referring to urination or defecation?

Customer:

He gets regular grooming and our groomer is very good about checking anal glands...or says he is. But it's certainly a possibility.

Customer:

I was referring to defecation. He seems to be producing more urine than usual.

Dr. Barbara :

In my experience, dogs who receive anal gland expression repeatedly at the groomer seem to be prone to anal gland inflammation and problems. Also, the fact that he has been eating differently could cause some food allergy or sensitivity that could also lead to anal gland inflammation, impaction and possible abscessation.

Dr. Barbara :

When was the last time you are sure he defecated? It was diarrhea. . .correct? Any blood or mucus in his stool?

Customer:

During the night, sometime, he left very runny deposits on his pad. No blood, no mucus. We just double-teamed him, and I took a good look at his rear-end. His anus is very inflamed, but poking around in the surrounding area didn't seem to bother him...no flinching or yelping. But I wasn't real sure where I should prod. Still, I couldn't see anything obvious except that he was pretty red around the opening of the anus. He now wants nothing at all to do with me for awhile. He's hiding under the table! LOL!

Dr. Barbara :

Just like in my household. . .my pets rule!!!!! Even tho' I'm bigger!

Customer:

LOL!

Dr. Barbara :

You did seem to do a good check on his perianal area. . .inflamed anal glands would be painful and in that area. . .so good job!

Customer:

Doug had the hard part. He held the end with the teeth!

Dr. Barbara :

Unfortunately, it does seem that whatever is bothering him has caused diarrhea and inflamed his rectum and anus.

Dr. Barbara :

:) :) !

Dr. Barbara :

So now the job is to determine the best we can what that "something" is!

Dr. Barbara :

For how long have you been giving him the aspirin? This is notorious for causing stomach irritation to even ulceration.

Customer:

He's been getting it occasionally for nine years. He's been getting it more often for the past three years--maybe four times a week,. But lately we've been trying to remember to give it daily because his bad leg has been causing more obvious pain. It's a congenital malformation that has grown worse and worse with age.

Customer:

We opted out of surgery nine years ago, knowing it might shorten his life. But the surgery was going to cost $10,000 with no guarantee of success and six months of guaranteed misery.

Customer:

He

Customer:

He has been a happy dog. Oblivious to the limp and mostly oblivious to the pain.

Dr. Barbara :

I would have made the same choice!

Customer:

Thank you. You're very kind.

Dr. Barbara :

It is possible to actually be constipated and just have a very small amount of diarrhea develop around the impacted stool. How long has he had the diarrhea and how much diarrhea is he producing per day would you say????

Dr. Barbara :

It is also very common for people to think their dogs are constipated when actually they have colitis, or rectal inflammation, or anal inflammation. Usually with colitis however, there is blood and/or some mucus produced in the stool.

Dr. Barbara :

Also, perhaps the source of your boy's problem is the aspirin. He does have the upper gi symptom of a decreased appetite. Any vomiting?

Dr. Barbara :

In this case you could try some pepcid.

Customer:

I have thought he acted constipated. The constant begging to go outside and try to defecate, seems to me like constipation. But then the stool we were seeing, was runny, so THAT didn't make sense. What you're saying, does.

Customer:

He has had loose stools for several days, but the amount is hard to judge. The first day he had a really messy stool and we had to actually clean up his rear end with soapy water. Then next he had a fairly solid stool. Maybe three days ago. Since then, he spurts out small amounts soft fecal matter, but not really runny.

Customer:

Oh, no vomiting, though.

Dr. Barbara :

Thanks! Stool leaking out around impacted stool would be pretty runny, so I bet he just has the urgency to go, but isn't really constipated. Could he have munch up some bones?

Customer:

I don't think he's had any opportunity to eat a bone. He's never unsupervised outside, and we never give him a bone.

Dr. Barbara :

Oh good. What I would do until you can take him to your vet is stop the aspirin (there are better pain killers for dogs that don't have the side effects) and start Pepcid at 0.2 - 0.5 mg/kg. At 30 pounds he is 13.6 kg, so his dose for Pepcid would be 2.7mg to 6.8 mg. I'd give this twice daily. You might try feeding him boiled white rice mixed 50/50 with cooked skinless chicken, low fat cottage cheese or cooked ground sirloin. It would probably be helpful for him not to eat anything until tomorrow, and then I'd offer him one of these bland diets in small amounts (like 2 Tbs.) every 3 hours.

Dr. Barbara :

I like that fact that the aloe helped his anus, so use that. If you A&D ointment that too works well, or if you have some panolog cream or ointment from the vet you could use that.

Customer:

Okay, thank you. So you think the aspirin might be the main culprit?

Dr. Barbara :

I don't think he is constipated, but don't know for sure, so I think it's best to avoid Immodium for now. I'm hoping he will get more comfortable with the topical treatment and the Pepcid. I do think the aspirin could be the main culprit.

Customer:

The other, better pain relievers--we would need to get them from a veterinarian?

Dr. Barbara :

Also, resting his GI tract from all food will be good.

Customer:

What about giving him Benadryl to help him (and us) sleep?

Dr. Barbara :

The other pain relievers are by prescription. There is one in supplements called MSM. I know he needs something, but am hoping that he can wait until he sees your vet there for that.

Dr. Barbara :

:) ! Benadryl would be great. The dose for dogs is 1-2 mg / pound of body weight. . .higher doses will make him sleepier :) :)!

Customer:

I have prescription Pepcid 40 mg. But I don't think I could break it accurately enough to give him the right dose. I'll have to buy some OTC for him, I think.

Customer:

So far, the Benadryl hasn't had a lot of effect. Last night, he finally slept for a few hours. So did I. My husband is lucky. He has lost his hearing in those high registers. lol!

Customer:

But I woke him up to take the dog out! And share the joy! lol!

Dr. Barbara :

You are very fun to chat with. . .I'm doing lots of grinning! You're right, I doubt that you could be accurate enough with the 40mg size. It does come in a 10mg size, and I think it is now available in generic. It is called famotidine. 1/2 of that twice daily should do the trick.

Customer:

Thank you so much for all the time you've spent on this. I feel better about it. Pepper may not feel a lot better, but I'm not as worried. I think I can live with the whimpering until payday, as long as I know he's not dying.

Customer:

I had a feeling the aspirin would backfire one day, and that day has probably arrived.

Customer:

We'll get some pepcid, and stop the food for a day to let his gut rest and then see how he does on bland food. Dogs know when they shouldn't eat. We should listen to them, I guess.

Dr. Barbara :

I sure hope this all helps Pepper. . .I'm glad to know his name! And don't forget some soothing ointment on his anus, and keep him from licking it off right away! Since Doug now knows how to hold Pepper's head, he can take the end with those big healthy teeth and you can quickly clean Pepper's bottom with a warm washcloth and apply his ointment.

Dr. Barbara :

Also, a little more Benadryl will help. . .1 1/2 to 2 tabs should help you all sleep!

Customer:

Okay, thanks, XXXXX XXXXX up the ointment when we get the Pepcid. Thanks again for taking so much time to figure out what we can do to help Pepper. His name fits his personality as well as his color (grizzle).

Dr. Barbara :

You're very welcome. It has been a real pleasure to work with you. Have a peaceful night.. .Dr. Barbara

Customer:

Thank you. From your mouth to God's ears!! God bless you!

Dr. Barbara :

God bless you, Doug and Pepper too!!!!!

Customer:

Thank you! Jan Bartholome

Dr. Barbara, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 1326
Experience: Over 30 years experience in veterinary medicine and surgery.
Dr. Barbara and 7 other Dog Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

The first dose of Pepcid seems to have calmed Pepper down some. We're going to give him another dose before bedtime with his Benadryl. I think you're on the right track! We are so grateful for your help!


 


Jan B


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 

Expert:  Dr. Barbara replied 1 year ago.
I'm so glad that Pepper seems more comfortable. Please remember that the Pepcid dose is every 12 hours. Doesn't need to be given more frequently than that.Sleep well. . .all of you!Dr. Barbara
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thanks for the reminder about the Pepcid dosing schedule! Five days of high-pitched whining has fried my brain and given me a whopper of a headache! :( Pepper is sound asleep! I'm going to sleep while he does!! Thanks again, and good night!


 


Jan

Expert:  Dr. Barbara replied 1 year ago.
:). . .Hope you 3 slept well and Pepper is doing better today.
Dr. Barbara
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for checking in on us! You certainly go beyond the call of duty, Dr. Barbara!


 


Pepper slept from 9 p.m. till 9 a.m. without a whimper. After he woke up, and went outside, with no apparent results, we gave him a dose of Pepcid and doctored his sore bottom. He ate his three tablespoons of rice and chicken and crawled back into bed and for a "nap." He must have been as exhausted as we were.


 


We had to be gone for four hours. When we came home, he was awake, and wanted to go outside. He urinated, but didn't defecate. Then he ate another small meal. Now he's in the kitchen hoping Doug will drop something good while he's cooking. I would say he's definitely on the mend!! I haven't heard more than one or two whimpers today, and his perianal area is less inflamed.


 


You nailed this one, Dr. Barbara! We'll continue this treatment until we can take him to the vet next week, but now that we have a good idea what's going on, we shouldn't need to pay for a lot of expensive diagnostic tests. His leg doesn't seem to be bothering him much at all right now, so the aspirin isn't an immediate issue.


 


Thanks again.


 


Jan

Expert:  Dr. Barbara replied 1 year ago.
Hi Jan,
Thank you so much for the update. . .what a great response! Teasingly, I want to say that Pepper can expect his payment in the mail soon! :) :)


No surprise that he didn't defecate. After having diarrhea, often no stool is produced for 2-3 days. Also, the food you are feeding him right now is highly digestible, so not much residual to be defecated.

If all continues to go well, you could take several days to begin transitioning Pepper back to his regular food. A sudden change in diet can create GI problems, even going back to his regular food.

Hope you are all much more rested by now!


Take care,
Dr. Barbara

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