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I have an 8 yr old Maltese/poodle dog. She is only 9 lbs.

I have an 8...

I have an 8 yr old Maltese/poodle dog. She is only 9 lbs. She has been itching and chewing. I gave her 1/2 of Benadryl this morning. She has been eating, but I note she has not had a bowel movement all day. This evening she is resting, then she twitches and jumps up. Assumed it was her itching - but when it happens, she looks scared and miserable. Now she is hunching up a bit. Is that a sign of constipation, and not the itching? How long before I should worry about her constipation?

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. Strange behavior is often perplexing. I'm sure the Veterinarian can help you. Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about the dog?

Not that I can think of...she is fixed, she is generally healthy.

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Answered in 8 minutes by:
2/20/2018
Scott Perry
Scott Perry, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 3,068
Experience: DVM
Verified

Hello. My name is***** and I am an equine veterinarian that can answer your question. I understand your dog has been itching and chewing excessively. I am sorry to hear about what is happening. Can you please tell me where on the body she appears to be itching and chewing the most (i.e. feet, tail base, abdomen, etc.)?

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Her legs, feet and where the leg connects to hips
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
No need to talk. I’m mostly concerned about the twitch (or pain) that is making her jump up, scared and a little hunched. The itching she will survive.

No problem. The phone call is automatically offered but the website, but I am able to answer your question with the text chat only if you prefer it. I am typing my response now. Please bear with me a moment.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Ok. Thanks.

Regarding the possibility of constipation, you will need to see her physically attempt to defecate without success (i.e. straining) before determining she is having difficulty there. Not having a bowel movement does not necessarily mean she is constipated, although it could mean that later. She should have a bowel movement within 48 hours at the most, so if you do not see one tomorrow then she should be examined for the need of an enema. You could also attempt to help by increasing the fiber in the diet. Good choices would consist of things like canned pumpkin or Metamucil.

The behavior you described could be associated with itching (more likely) or pain. The locations you mentioned on the body are very suggestive of either a flea bite or allergies (or both at the same time). Fleas especially like to bite on the back half of the body such as by the tail, rectum, rear legs, and groin area. Environmental allergies is often observed with excessive licking of the feet and redness on the feet, abdomen, and armpits. A flea prevention would be recommended if you can get access to one tonight, or giving her a bath may actually make her feel very comfortable and would remove any current flea issue. It would not stop fleas from jumping back on though if they are in the house.

An environmental allergy would need to be treated by a prescription medication since the Benadryl appears to not have worked. Finally, the only over-the-counter medication you can give for pain would be aspirin. However, because of the narrow window of safety with this medication I would rather give her a bath first and see if any improvement occurs. If not then go ahead and give a low dose aspirin.

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A safe aspirin dose that should not cause any problems would be 1/4 of a baby aspirin. These are 81 mg tablets, so you would only give 1/4 of it.

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Does that help to answer your question?

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
you relieved my anxiety about the constipation. I’ll start with a bath. I did give her the flea medicine a couple weeks ago. But maybe it hasn’t been totally effective, or she’s allergic to something new in the house. Thanks.

Fleas can be resistant to certain products, so it could be that too.

You are most welcome. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I'm here to help. You have no the questions, I would appreciate a positive review. Leaving a review does not close out your question and you can come back to any time to ask additional questions. You can leave a five star review at the top of the screen. Thank you.

Scott Perry
Scott Perry, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 3,068
Experience: DVM
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Hi,

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

Scott Perry
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