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jadedangel57, owner
Category: Dog Veterinary
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Experience:  breeder/ vet assistant.
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My dog keeps stretching forward and is obviously uncomfortable

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My dog keeps stretching forward and is obviously uncomfortable. He is not acting himself, and hasn't eaten his food or drunk water today. Last week I took him to the vet for the same behavior. All his vital signs were normal, so the vet expressed his anal sacs. He said one of them was kind of "yucky", and that he might need the same thing done again in the sort-of near future, or maybe never again. Since that visit, he has seemed just fine until tonight. My husband threw some bread to the birds this morning, and I saw the dog eating it earlier today. I think I remember that bread is bad for dogs. He doesn't get any people food. Could this be the problem? I'm worried about my little guy.

Already Tried:
I took him for a walk so he could poop. We've had a lot of snow and he may have been having trouble finding a good spot that wasn't too deep. He did poop, and it looked pretty normal to me.

I felt his body all over to make sure he didn't have any injuries or sore spots, and he seems fine with that. However, when he came inside last time, I went to wipe his feet with a towel as I always do, and he whined a little as I picked up and was about to wipe off one of his hind paws. He NEVER whines. Later, when he was lying beside me, I checked his paws and they seem ok.


It sounds like he may have some abdominal discomfort. A dog may indicate abdominal pain by acting restless, panting, crying or wincing when picked up, shaking, standing with an arched back, or lying with the front end down and the rear end elevated in a stretching like manner. This could be from an upset stomach, constipation, parasites or intestinal infections and even pancreatitis.

Pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas. The pancreas is a gland that produces and releases enzymes into the digestive track that aid in the digestion of food. When these same enzymes are activated while they are still in the pancreas, inflammation occurs and the enzyme start "digesting" the pancreas itself. Some common causes of pancreatitis are eating a lot of very fatty foods, obesity, steroid use and other diseases and conditions. Symptoms of pancreatitis vary but may include vomiting, diarrhea, anorexia (loss of appetite), weakness or collapse, dehydration, shock, fever, depression, and upper abdominal pain. You can read about it in detail here:

Eating a lot of bread isn't good for dogs, but a little shouldn't hurt him. Any unusual food or treat, though, can cause a stomach upset.

Anal glands can cause various issues. Usually we see licking of the area, and even dragging their rear on the carpet or ground. Excellent site on anal glands

Since withholding food and water is the treatment for pancreatitis, I would put a drop of pancake syrup on his tongue and try tempting him with a bland food such as boiled chicken and rice. You can give your dog Pepto-Bismol at 1 tsp per 5 lbs every 6 hrs. However, if he does not start eating and drinking, you will need to have him seen as little dogs can become dehydrated rather quickly.

The following symptoms should trigger an automatic trip to the vet:
If your dog has acute vomiting and diarrhea lasting over 24 hours.
If your dog becomes dehydrated. You can tell by pulling up the skin between your dog's shoulder blades and seeing if it flows back down normally. If it stays tented or is slow to return to normal, your dog is dehydrated and needs fluids immediately and should see a vet as soon as possible.
If your dog's gums and tongue become pale and not their normal pink color.
If your dog's rectal temperature is over 103F (101-102.5F is normal)
If your dog becomes lethargic and non-responsive.
If your dog has trouble breathing.

I hope this information is helpful to you.

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