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Dr. Altman
Dr. Altman, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 12594
Experience:  Practicing small animal veterinarian for 17 years.
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There, My male 2yo lab/coonhound mix suddenly started

Customer Question

Hi there,
My male 2yo lab/coonhound mix suddenly started displaying these symptoms in the past few weeks:
1) licking belly, inner thigh area (no particular attention to genitals or bottom)
2) licking lips frequently
3) showing aggression towards other dogs over food items (he has NEVER done this to a human or in the presence of his owners, and is around other dogs almost constantly though we only have 1 dog in the home.)
4) uncommonly bad, fishy breath
5) eating other dog's feces (again never seen by owners for example at dog park or on walks, only seen by doggy daycare provider)
-I am 6.5 months pregnant. Could this cause a stress reaction? Seems unlikely as this began recently...
-He drank water from a scuzzy pond about 2 weeks ago. Parasite or other infection? Seems unlikely since some symptoms began prior to this...
-General stress arising at daycare? Seems unlikely as he has been going there almost a year...
-Some kind of stomach distress?
I am at a loss and I don't know how these symptoms even go together (if they do at all.) They all started between 1-3 weeks ago. Hope you can help. Thanks, Molly
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Altman replied 2 years ago.
Welcome! I am Dr. Altman, a licensed veterinarian and happy to answer your questions today.
So sorry to hear that Ray is showing these signs. Unfortunately this all does say anal gland issues once again even if he is not showing the classic signs...
- When the anal glands are full or irritated some dogs will scoot or lick back there while other dogs will lick as close as they can get which is often the groin area or the back legs. They can refill within weeks in some dogs while in others it can be months. It is something easily checked by your veterinary office technician or a groomer
- The fishy odor to the breath really does describe anal glands which is the only scent in a dog that has this smell
- Licking lips is a common sign of nausea but can be due to the licking of the rectal area and the fishy odor to the breath is leaving a bad taste to his mouth. You can try pepcid (famotidine) 0.25 mg per pound every 12 hours to help with any risk of nausea and supplement his regular diets with white rice as well
- Eating other dogs feces is called copraphagia and can be another indication of gi upset or malnutrition of his diet. Believe it or not gi upset and anal gland issues can be hand in hand, I personally have a dog that has gi issues and chronic anal gland issues as well that I had to resort to removal of the glands because of constant infections and irritation
- Aggression with food can also be related to gi issues and anal glands as well. When dogs don't feel 100% they become protective of what they consider theirs and this can escalate without the underlying issue being addressed
I hope this information is helpful but please let me know anything else I can do to assist you both! I hope Ray is feeling better soon!
If you have more questions or if I can help in any other way, please do not hesitate to ask! If you would like to accept my answer, please press RATE OUR CONVERSATION (I am not compensated in any other way). Bonuses are always welcome. Thanks!
If you have additional questions after you rate the question, you are welcome to request me for additional conversations if I am on-line or by beginning your question "Dr. Altman..." or "Dogdoc4u..." and others will leave the questions for me. Good luck to you both!!!
Expert:  Dr. Altman replied 2 years ago.
Please let me know if I can be of any further assistance to you both today!
If you are satisfied with our chat please rate or accept so I may be compensated for my time. Thank you!
Expert:  Dr. Altman replied 2 years ago.

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

Dr. Altman