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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16210
Experience:  Hello, I am a small animal veterinarian and am happy to discuss any concerns & questions you have on any species.
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My 5 year old beagle has been pacing all night and helps

Customer Question

Hi. My 5 year old beagle has been pacing all night and helps occasionally. He had back surgery in January for a ruptured herniated disk and I'm hoping he isnt having another one. He also had some chicken bones this evening and has been outside every two hours since then with no bowel movement. What should I be looking for prior to banging him in?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B,a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.

Any retching, gagging, lip licking, drooling, or vomiting?

Are his gums nice and pink (not white/pale)? Moist or sticky?

If you press on his belly, does he have any tensing, tenderness, discomfort, or pain?

You noted that he has been out every 2 hours, are you seeing him strain to pass stool?

Does he have any back tenderness or changes to his hind limb use?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No to the retching, gagging, lip licking,drooling or vomiting.His gums appear to be pink and moist.He doesn't do anything when I press on his belly.He hasn't had a bowel movement that I have noticed since leaving him out.I have pushed slightly on his back and he doesn't appear to be in any pain there. I think that his hind legs are functioning fine. Is there anything I can do to further test this?
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you,

Now I have to say that while Paco has this disc/spine history, the fact you gave him chicken bones this evening just makes that more suspicious as our potential root cause here. This is because while dogs usually can digest chicken bones enough to soften and pass them though the GI, we can see situations where they don't or where a sharp edge damages the stomach or intestines. So, this would be my top concern if he has no back pain, isn't dragging those back legs, isn't knuckling (as if trying to walk on the top of his paw), and has normal range of motion with his neck. Of course, any of those abnormal signs, and the spine would be suspect and we'd want him seen urgently.

Otherwise, I would suggest trying some supportive care to ensure we don't have a blockage and encourage him to pass those bones. To start, we can put him on a light diet like cooked white ricewith boiled chicken, boiled white fish, scrambled egg, or meat baby food (as long as its free from garlic or onion powder). Ideally, we want to offer this as small frequent meals to keep his stomach settled. Whichever you choose to offer, you can add some fiber (ie a spoonful of tinned pumpkin or all bran) to the food to try and push any bone material through the gut. As well, you can also add a dose of a GI lubricant (ie cat hairball medication Miralax, lactulose or food grade mineral oil). These can help get things moving for him to slip any bone through but also aid him in passing feces if he has been trying (which could be related to a blockage but also he may be struggling more because he has a sensitive spine anyway).

Finally, even though he doesn't have overt nausea signs, I would suggest that you could try an antacid here to just coat his stomach and reduce any irritation if the bones are to blame. Common OTC options we can use in pets are Pepcid (More Info/Dose @http://www.petplace.com/article/drug-library/library/over-the-counter/famotidine-pepcid) or Zantac (More Info/Dose @http://www.petplace.com/article/drug-library/library/over-the-counter/ranitidine-hcl-zantac). As well, you can also use a liquid antacid like Milk of Magnesia (0.5tsp every 8 hours) to again coat and soothe that stomach to see if we can settle him.

Overall, Paco's situation is not straight forward. None of the signs you have reported fit with a spinal issue. Instead, they sound more likely to be related to those bones. Therefore, I'd advise checking for those additional spinal signs I noted but treating for a possible GI irritation or blockage. If you do so and he isn't settling, then we'd want to have a check once his vet is open to make sure we don't have an obstruction he cannot pass and to double check that his spine is comfortable.

I hope this information is helpful.

If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!

All the best,

Dr. B.

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Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

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