I'm sorry to hear your dog is ill.
I agree - I think that this could be a case of an obstruction. That can cause a narrowing of the stool as it passes through the intestines. Polyps and tumors can also cause this for the same reason - the stool is forced to narrow in order to pass. Although typically with the latter two situations it's not an overnight change - it's a bit more gradual.
The shivering could be due to fever, discomfort or pain. It could also be due to fear that results from pain. Different animals handle pain differently and a pulled muscle in the abdomen or back could cause just enough pain to make movements painful or uncomfortable. It's also scary for our pets when they're in pain, as they can't understand what's causing the discomfort. For all they know, this pain could last forever! They can't process pain like your or I can - we can understand what's causing our pain or discomfort and we can actively seek help and treatment and in the back of our mind, we know that it won't last forever. Our pets have no such assurance, so pain can cause a degree of anxiety.
Eating grass is also supportive of something like a partial obstruction, as dogs instinctually eat grass when they're experiencing digestive system upset.
I think at this point, there's a few things I would check at home to see how your girl is doing overall. There's also a couple of things you can try at home to help her.
Other indicators of a really dangerous situation involving an obstruction include projectile vomiting, no passage of food or water (i.e. he vomits up EVERYTHING he eats and isn't going to the bathroom at all), large, distended and painful abdomen, blood in the stool and pale gums.
I would give him a couple spoonfuls of mineral oil, as this will hopefully help the pad pass through more easily.
Here's a site to learn more about obstructions: http://dogs.about.com/cs/disableddogs/p/bowel_obstruct.htm http://www.petplace.com/dogs/gastric-stomach-foreign-body-in-dogs/page1.aspx
Temperature can be checked rectally with a bit of vaseline on the thermometer - this can give you an idea of general condition. It should be between 100-102. Anything below 100 or above 103 is a serious problem. A fever could also cause chills and shivering, so this is an important thing to check.
Checking the gums is an indicator of your dog's circulation. If there's internal bleeding, anemia, a disruption of normal blood flow, or serious illness, the gums will turn very pale, almost white in appearance. This means that the blood is not properly receiving oxygen or there's a loss of blood or red blood cells.
Normal gums will be bright pink to a pale pink. Abnormal gums are white with greyish, blue, or yellow.
Here is a link to a photo of normal gums: http://www.petmed.co.nz/images/gum_healthy.jpg
Here is a link to a couple of photos of pale gums: http://www.petplace.com/images-slide-show.aspx?id=3819&imageIndex=0 http://www.petplace.com/images-slide-show.aspx?id=728&imageIndex=0
I should note that I've seen perfectly healthy dogs with gums that are slightly paler than those pictured in the "normal gums" picture, but there's always a distinct pink tone.
For more information on checking your dog's gums, visit: http://www.ehow.com/how_3028_check-gums-dog.html
The normal heart rate varies depending on the size and age of the dog. A puppy has a heart rate of about 180 beats per minute. And adult dog will have a rate between 60-160 beats per minute. Small toy breeds can have normal heart rates of 180 beats per minute. The rule is the younger the dog, the faster the heart rate (for puppies). And the smaller the dog, the faster the heart rate.
Normal pulse is between 60 and 120.
Also, you can check capillary refill time. If you apply firm pressure to the gums, the area should turn pale and then quickly return back to normal (you can try this on your own skin to see what I mean). If there's no difference, or if your dog's gums take a long time to return back to normal, there could be a problem. The gums should return to normal in no less than one second and no more than two 1/2 seconds.
You should also offer some bland people food since she is hesitant to eat. You can offer a bland diet of plain white rice with plain chicken or boiled hamburger. This will be more appealing than normal food, but it will also be easy on the stomach in case this is the root of her problem.
If she stops eating entirely before you get to the vet, you can give a couple of spoons of pancake syrup every six hours to keep blood sugar from dipping too low. If your dog won't lick it from a spoon, you can rub it directly onto the gums.
Hypoglycemia triggers all sorts of other parallel problems that you'll want to avoid and pancake syrup is a good way to to that.
For more info on hypoglycemia, visit: http://www.gopetsamerica.com/dog-health/hypoglycemia.aspx
I would also try to get her to take in some extra fluids. You can do this by adding unflavored Pedialyte to her water in a 50-50 mix - this should help with hydration, as many pets don't drink and eat properly when they're feeling badly (which is when they most need the fluids!)
To determine how dehydrated she is, look at the skin. If you pinch the skin between the shoulder blades up into a "tent", ideally, it should flatten right out. The more dehydrated he is, the longer it will take the skin to return to normal. So I would monitor this several times a day to ensure that she's not getting worse.
A heating pad on a low setting may also be helpful if you have a specific area that appears to be painful, but not swollen. Something like a pulled muscle or stomach pain would benefit from the warmth, and this may also help to relax your girl and make her more comfortable for the time-being.
I hope your dog is feeling better soon! Let me know how she does and don't hesitate to let me know if you have any additional questions!
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