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Dr. Bruce
Dr. Bruce, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 18430
Experience:  15 years of experience as a small animal veterinarian
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My schnauzer is telling me something is wrong but I can't

Customer Question

My schnauzer is telling me something is wrong but I can't figure out what it is. She is circling frantically and panting. She never pants. I just walked her and she pooped normally, so that's not it... I think she hurts somewhere. She keeps turning around to check her behind. Like she thinks she's in labor maybe? She's had that experience 3 times, but now she's been spayed. Do dogs get kidney stones? Vet's closed here & I want to help her!
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Bruce replied 1 year ago.

Hi. Welcome to Just Answer. My name is***** and I've been a veterinarian for 15 years. Thank you for your question. I'm sorry to hear that your girl is acting like this. I need to ask a few questions to better assist.

1) What is her name?

2) How long has this circling been going on?

3) If you look at her eyes, are they twitching back and forth?

4) Is she scooting or licking her rear end?

5) How long ago did she last urinate?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Her name is***** circling maybe 2 1/2 hours. Her eyes are not twitching. No scooting; no licking. Last urinated several hours ago. She did not urinate when I walked her; just pooped. Her nose is warm, but not dry.
Expert:  Dr. Bruce replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for answering all those questions about Milile for me. Here are some more that I have.

6) Is she limping at all?

7) Did her urination seem to take longer or did she seem to strain while doing it?

5) If you look at her backside, do you see any swelling by her rectal region?

6) Is she panting non-stop or does she settle down for a bit and then start up?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No limping. I think she's a little calmer right now; lying on the bathroom rug (where she never goes; I think she's hiding) and not panting. I can't feel any swelling around her rectal area. Uh-oh... now she's running around panting again. I didn't notice any difference from usual when she urinated, but that was an hour or two before she started acting like this.
Expert:  Dr. Bruce replied 1 year ago.

Here are a few more.

7) Has she ever had anal gland issues?

8) Has she had them expressed ever?

9) How long ago did she last eat / drink?

10) Is she on any medications? Any chance of her getting into anything?

11) Anything new sprayed in the environment?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
When trying to see her rectal area better I noticed she's keeping her tail (tiny stump) tightly tucked.
Expert:  Dr. Bruce replied 1 year ago.

One of the things that is creeping to the top of my suspicions has to be a possible anal gland issue. Sometimes when they have an anal gland obstructed and it is really getting full / infected, they will act very similar to what you're seeing. Sometimes you can actually see a swelling next to the rectum. Sometimes they will be licking and scooting too. Sometimes they don't. If this is an anal gland issue, then getting her anal glands expressed is going to be needed. Some owners can do this on their own, but I'll be honest and say that most don't / can't do it on their own if one is blocked up. These are the ones that a veterinarian needs to be involved with. More than likely if it is an anal gland issue, it isn't a critical situation and can be addressed by your vet in the morning. More critical signs here tonight to indicate an emergency situation are if she was to start to strain to urinate, vomit, breath harder consistently, or to get very dumpy / depressed. Could she have some stomach upset that is causing her to be like this? Could there be something in the environment that is stimulating her to act like this? These are other considerations. Dogs can get kidney stones and bladder stones, but usually they have straining to urinate or increased frequency of urination when they are there.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I try to keep her anal glands expressed regularly by her vet. About every 6 weeks. Last time was not more than 10 days ago, but they said there wasn't much in there. She ate a good supper about 7:00. Was already acting crazy by then... I thought she was just telling me she wanted to eat. Didn't notice if she drank water.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Her nose is getting warmer I think.
Expert:  Dr. Bruce replied 1 year ago.

If she had her anal glands expressed there 10 days ago, then it would seem extremely unlikely that they are the issue at this point. Tha tis good that she ate her supper there around 7:00. If she ate then, it most likely isn't an issue if she didn't drink then. Is there anything in the immediate environment that could be upsetting her? New smells or noises? The nose is a pretty bad indication of overall temperature of her body. A rectal temperature is most reliable.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Nothing that would upset her that I know of. She usually barks if there's an animal or someone strange outside. No smells I can detect. I've never taken a dog's temp... Don't think she'd let me anyway. I don't even know what temp is normal.
Expert:  Dr. Bruce replied 1 year ago.

Taking a rectal temperature is sometimes a challenge, especially by one person. As a reference, normal temperatures are 100 to 102.5. If she's for the most part able to get relaxed and to lay down to sleep, then again that would be good. If she was to start to vomit, strain to urinate, get really painful, or to get really depressed - then the situation would be changing. Could this be something that is going to pass on its own? As far as doing anything specific at home, the best you can do there is to try to keep her in a comfortable area for her to hopefully have minimal stimulation for her to hopefully finally settle down.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
OK. But I've been trying to keep her calm & still... She'll sit for a minute or two, staring at me & panting... Then she jumps up & runs out of the room & goes to my husband & stares at him a while... Then back to me. I wish she could talk!
Expert:  Dr. Bruce replied 1 year ago.

If they could only verbalize what is going on! That would make situations like this so straightforward. I would maybe take her back out for another walk, maybe a longer than normal one. That may give her another chance to defecate and urinate as well as getting some extra energy out of her so that she may be more apt to rest when she comes back in.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok. I'll try that. Guess there's nothing else to do tonight. Thank you!
Expert:  Dr. Bruce replied 1 year ago.

I'm hoping that here soon she'll be settling down and getting back to her normal self!