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Pet Doc
Pet Doc, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
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Experience:  Veterinarian - BVSc
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my 9 yr old miniature pinscher is suddenly acting very restless.

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my 9 yr old miniature pinscher is suddenly acting very restless. it's 11:30pm and he is normally a good sleeper but can't get comfortable, keeps jumping down from bed, wanted to go outside for potty a few times and nothing happened, etc. I caught him eating something outside earlier tonight but it was dark and I don't know what it was... he sometimes eats grass, etc. like most dogs and we don't worry about it. should I be concerned about bloat? his breathing is steady/normal right now and he doesn't yelp when i push on his belly.

he was also just prescribed rymidol and gabapentin for back pain, which has made him feel great and he's running around like he's a puppy again. could this just be a reaction to his newly found energy? or a drug reaction? i don't know if i should call my vet so late and she is 45 min away from our house, should we need to rush him in.
Hi there,

Thank you for your question. My name isXXXXX and I am happy to be able to help you today. Before I put an answer together for you, I am going to need a little more info:

- Has your boy eaten and drunk as per normal this evening?
- Does he appear bloated at all? Have you seen any sign of nausea such as lip smacking or drooling?

Once you get back to me, I will start typing up my response. Thanks for this and I look forward to hearing from you shortly.

Dr E
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Yes. he has eaten and drunk normal today. no signs of nausea he seems normal other than the restlessness and asking to go outside with no result

Hi again,

Thanks for that extra information. As you can probably appreciate - there are a few things that could be going on here from him still feeling a little sore, to this being an effect of the Rimadyl. Perhaps he has been feeling so good the last couple of days that he has overdone things on the exercise front - particularly if he has been running around like a puppy!

Because he is just a little restless right now, keeping an eye on him for the next hour or so would be the best plan (if you can stay up with him for a bit). In particular, please keep a close eye on his mucus membranes, capillary refill time and respiratory rate as follows:

Mucus membranes - flip his lip and look at the color of his gums. They should maintain a nice salmon pink color. Get him to the emergency Vet if they appear white or very pale pink, or if they are a dark deep red color.

Capillary Refill time - this measures blood perfusion and test this by putting your thumb on his gum to apply pressure. After you release your thumb you will see the gum blanch. Capillary refill time is the amount of time it takes (in seconds) for the gum to return to a healthy pink color from the blanched white color. If 2 seconds or less don't worry - if it is taking significantly more time, again - off to the emergency Vet.

Respiratory Rate - if he is continuously panting throughout the night this is a sign of shock and or pain and a signal for a trip to the emergency Vet.

If your boy is all fine on the above and just can't settle, then keeping an eye on him is fine for now. If any of the above changes, then yes - you will need to get him along to your Vet for a check up and physical exam to ensure all is ok.

I hope all of the above makes sense? Please let me know if you have any other questions. My goal is to provide you with excellent service – if you feel you have gotten anything less, please reply back. I am happy to address follow-up questions.

Best of luck with your boy and please let me know how you get on if you get a chance.

Kind Regards,

Dr Edwards

Bonuses & positive feedback are always welcomed and very much appreciated

If you have any further questions in the future, I would be more than happy to help you again! Just bookmark my profile and ask a question via the question box.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

well, his gums are a dark brown in color but he has had teeth issues most of his life (will not let us brush his teeth)

Ah ok! That will make the mucus membrane color and refill time impossible. You should be able to get a pretty good idea of membrane color by carefully rolling one of his lower eyelids down to have a look at the conjunctiva. The conjunctiva should be a nice salmon pink color as well.

Dr E
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

his lower lid shows a salmon pink color. what is my next move? monitor him for awhile longer (stay up with him all night if he doesn't settle)? what should i be watching for (just the eye check or additional warning signs?)


Also, is it safe to say that, should this be a reaction to his new found energy, it is still OK that it came on so suddenly tonight? and, why does he want to go outside so often?

Hi again,

Thanks for checking that and great to hear his peripheral perfusion (via mucus membrane check) is all ok.

I think that staying up with him for an hour or so longer would be great if you can manage that. Continue to keep an eye on his behavior, breathing and the mucus membrane check as above. Hopefully you can convince him to settle down. It could be that he is feeeling nauseous, which may explain why he is constantly heading outside. Sometime the Rimadyl can cause GI upset, so it could potentially be this causing the issue here. In case this is the problem, with hold any food until the morning to be sure, but make sure he has plenty of water available. Don't give any further medication this evening and if your boy develops any vomiting, you will have to call your Vet to let them know in the morning, as they may recommend that the Rimadyl be missed for a couple of days until he has improved.

Hopefully he settles soon and goes to sleep!

Kind Regards,

Dr E
Pet Doc and other Dog Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?

Pet Doc
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

He was able to get some sleep around 3:30am Sun. morning and we withheld his meds all of Sun and Mon morning until we could call our local vet. No answers at the local vet and they were not concerned enough to have him checked out (he's been in and out w/multiple doctors trying to diagnose the initial problem for months) so they've given me the go ahead to figure out a dosage of Rimadyl that works best for him, (I am guessing his behavior was a reaction to the medication, although he's been on the meds for over a month before this happened). We are now on half the dose originally recommend for the suspected pain and he still seems happy and pain free so we'll go with this for awhile. No restlessness since his incident we discussed.


What is your opinion of Rimadyl? After this happened, I searched the web for information and it seems many people have had dogs with very adverse reactions to the medication. Thank you.

Hi again,

Rimadyl is a fantastic drug and I have had no issues with it in any dogs I have used it on. The internet is a fanastic place, but you will not commonly find rave reviews about drugs. Typically if a drug works, people keep it to themselves. If a drug doesn't work or causes an adverse reaction, people yell from the rooftops. If the drug is given as directed, and if it is used in animals who don't have any liver or kidney impairment (bloods should be taken to confirm this) - then the likelihood of the drug causing any issue is minimal.

I hope this helps and thanks for the update.

Dr E