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Dr. Jo
Dr. Jo, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 2813
Experience:  DVM from Iowa State University in 1994; actively engaged in private regular and emergency practice since that time.
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My dog is restless and can't seem to get comfortable.

Resolved Question:

my dog seems restless and can't seem to get comfortable. She keeps moving from place to place.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 7 years ago.

Hello, I would be happy to help you with your question.

Even without further information I will tell you that what you've said is often the first complain people will make about a dog who is suffering from bloat, or GDV, which is an emergency. I have a few questions I need to ask you quickly to see if this is indeed a concern for your dog.

What kind of dog is she?
How old?
Is she trying to vomit?
Does her belly look bloated?
What color are her gums?
Is she breathing ok?

That being said, there are lots of other problems that could cause these symptoms, but we'll get to those later.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Zoni is a Cairn Terrier, almost 17 years old, and she has demonstrated these symptoms before, but not for such a long time (since midmorning). I decided she must be in pain and so gave her a low-dose aspirin about an hour ago and she seems to have settled down some. There's no sign of vomiting, her belly looks normal and she appears to be breathing ok, but panting lightly. Gums (where they'not black, look a little reddish. She ate a normal breakfast.
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 7 years ago.
OK, good! Cairn terriers are not likely to get bloat. Everything you mention is a good sign. It is not likely that this is an emergency.

Small terriers are particularly high-strung and can show signs of discomfort for a wide variety of things---some serious, and some not serious at all.

The most common things that people will call me about when they have a dog acting like Zoni are:

1. Anal gland pain
2. Back/neck pain
3. Bladder/urinary discomfort

Have a look under Zoni's tail at her anus. Is anything red or swollen?

Is she having difficulty jumping up or with stairs? Is she reluctant to run or turn her head?

Have you seen her urinate and defecate today?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
She was moving about normally yesterday, but yesteray evening took a not-very-well thought-out leap from the porch steps while playing with other dogs. That could be it, as she's moving kind of gingerly and doesn't want to lie down with her feet out behind, as is her usual resting pose. She peed earlier and stayed out long enough to defecate but I didn't witness it.
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 7 years ago.
If her anal area looks normally, this would all fit with some muscle soreness from the ungraceful episode yesterday.

Check one more thing for me please, just to make sure this isn't an emergency. Get Zoni to standing normally and comfortably on the floor, and gently flip a rear foot over so she has to stand on the top of it, all knuckled over. Repeat this several times and observe to see if she stands on it knuckled over, or it she corrects it back to its normal position. Try it with the other rear foot too.

If she is having severe spinal problems, she won't correct her foot placement, and I would take this a lot more seriously.

If she corrects it, then continue to just allow her to rest and heal. Be careful with aspirin. It's hard to use enough to provide relief without also causing an upset stomach. Dogs are pretty sensitive to it. If you have any prescription doggie NSAIDs on hand (carprofen, previcox, metacam) on hand, I can help you figure out a dose for her.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Thank you so much. I'll do as you suggested and keep an eye on her.
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 7 years ago.
Glad to help. Thank YOU for being such a good, observant doggie parent!
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