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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 19556
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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Thank you for this quick chat. Hard to describe so I will

Customer Question

Thank you for this quick chat. Hard to describe so I will share the symptoms:
JA: What sort of animal are we talking about?
Customer: 12 year old relatively healthy Maltese. After she eats she goes into this "funk" - her back arches, her head looks heavy, she appears almost drunk like. The glands in her neck swell and she's rigid in her posture. I have taken her to the vet for xrays and full blood work out. the only thing that showed up was abnormal counts indicating thyroid deficiency so she's on medication for that. this started 6 weeks ago. I changed her diet and she was on the meds and doing fine. Last Friday she went back into this same funk, same symptoms. If I lift her head (under her chin) it hurts her.
JA: OK. I'm sorry to hear that. Have you looked to see if there is a wound on their foot?
Customer: A wound on her foot?
JA: What is the Maltese's name?
Customer: Virginia Mae Bear "Ginny"
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Ginny?
Customer: I thought maybe because of her whimper when I lifted her head yesterday that it may be a pinched nerve or muscle so the vet gave me some muscle relaxant to try. Hours after she eats, she's not 100% back to normal, but feeling ok. Last night she barked and chased after the neighbors dog which is a good sign. When she woke up she seemed about 85%, but then right after she ate...boom, back to the funk. Poor thing is scared and sad.
Submitted: 8 days ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 8 days ago.

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

How long has she had these signs?

What do you feed her? What treatments is she specifically on?

Can you confirm that liver issues and pancreatitis were ruled out on her bloods?

Have her thyroid levels been rechecked since medication was started?

When these symptoms arise, does she have any increased gut noise, gas or discomfort if you press on her belly?

Customer: replied 7 days ago.
Symptoms started 6 weeks ago. Pattern: eats, then goes into the funk described. She's been switched to special diet- canned royal canin digestive seemed all good. On daily thyroid meds. 4weeks go by all good. Then suddenly symptoms reappear. Blood work confirmed no liver or pancreatitis.
Customer: replied 7 days ago.
Thyroid levels have not been rechecked. Belly growls and is firm almost distended after eating even small amounts
Customer: replied 7 days ago.
Your thoughts?
Customer: replied 7 days ago.
The glands in her neck are swollen also
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 7 days ago.

Hello again,

I have just received your reply, as I was in the midst of helping an emergency. I will now have a read and post in full shortly.

Dr. B.

Customer: replied 7 days ago.
Thank you kindly
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 7 days ago.

Hello again,

Now Ginny's signs do raise some concerns.

First, while you did suspect neck pain, given how her signs wax and wane, this sounds more like the neck position is just part of her posturing (as with the arching) due to gut pain. To see this after a meal usually suggests issues with GI function (ie IBD, GI lymphoma, or reduced gut movement) and usually is in part due to gas accumulation (which explains the belly growling and the distension you have seen). So, in this case, while we'd want to make sure her vet re-tests those thyroid levels to make sure her dose is now at optimum; we'd also need to consider an ultrasound or scoping for those GI concerns I noted.

That said, at the moment and further to her diet (though make sure its low in soy as that can increase gas), there are some steps we can take. Specifically, we can pre-treat her before meals with Gas x (simethicone). When doing so, we often use a dose of 1mg per pound or their body weight every 6-8 hours as needed. The aim is that it will reduce the gas from forming, stretching the gut, and thus triggering her discomfort. Further to this, you could supplement her diet with activated charcoal. This is available OTC at most pharmacies and can reduce gas and its related stomach discomfort. It comes in a range of preparations from direct additives (ie BCK granules) that can be mixed into food. There are also a range of palatable charcoal based biscuits that can help settle the stomach and settle gas. And again these could be used in her meals to at least reduce the risk of those episodes for her.

Further to all of this, just since these kinds of signs can be influenced by bacterial microflora imbalances (either on their own or secondary to those above concerns), you may also want to supplement her with a GI supportive treatment to ensure GI balance. Examples that would be worth using here are GI microflora supports like Fortiflora or Pro-Kolin Enterogenic They can help restore gut bacteria balance and reduce gas and GI upset that way. And I would note that Propectalin, ProKolin, and Fast Balance would be options to use for this when her stools are runny. And these are all OTC at vets, pet stores, and even Amazon.

Overall, Ginny's signs do raise some concerns. The episodes fit with gas accumulation stretching the gut and causing pain by doing so. So, we can use the above to counter that. But as we do, we'd want to have her vet checking for those other concerns I noted to make sure we get this under control for her.

Kind regards,

Dr. B.

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Customer: replied 7 days ago.
Thank you for your thoughtful reply. I will head to the pet store today. And also connect with my vet here for follow up.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 7 days ago.

You are very welcome, my dear.

Best wishes,

Dr. B.

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If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond.

**Please rate me by clicking on the **stars** at the top of the page as this is the only way the site credits me for helping you!: )