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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Breeder,Behaviorist, formerVet Asst
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 19595
Experience:  Former vol Vet Assistant.Breeder 18+ years Dog trainer / behaviorist
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my dog is whining out in pain, running around in circles, biting

Customer Question

my dog is whining out in pain, running around in circles, biting at his tail (the long tail not the butt), and biting at his back leg. I don't see any swelling, I don't have the money for vet. I have tried baby aspirin and bendryl (in case it was a sting or bug bite). He is so excited he is running round and round and then squealing in pain. I can't see anything out of the ordinary. I gave him a bath and don't see any fleas. He's not scratching his butt across the floor. Now he is digging in one spot (in the carpet) and then yelling and running and so forth. ?Is there anything I can do or any sort of help at all would be appreciated
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 7 years ago.



When did he last have a bowel movement?

Has he had diarrhea?

Any vomiting?

Has he spent any time outside alone before this started?

What part of the country are you in?

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
He used the bathroom this morning - no type of difference in his bowels. no type of vomiting - a week or so ago i noticed him nibbling on some grass but that was over a week ago and this just started today.

I live in the western foot hills of north carolina (catawba county to be exact) - i have 2 other chihuahuas in the house - they go out together and no other dogs out of the normal have been around.

we do have several types of "bees" and or wasps around - but again - didn't notice unless he stepped on a dead one - and yet no swelling if that is the case - he is walking around and jumping just find - it comes and goes - but is getting more frequently - - thanks
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 7 years ago.



Each and every time I've seen this behavior in a dog, it has ended up being an anal gland issue coupled with a foreign object passing through the system. Usually the dog will start chasing their tail, biting at the tail or rear though usually since their is pain in the anal gland area, they don't actually bite there but around the area and on the tail. They do a lot of digging and vocalization as well. I know you have stated that you don't think this is the cause. It is worth at least checking to see if this is an issue.


I would go ahead and add a little mineral oil to his food (a spoon full). This will help if there is a foreign object or an overly dry piece of fecal matter moving through. You can go ahead and check the anal glands and see if you can express any fluid from the glands. To empty them or express them, you will want to cover the area with a tissue and press your finger on the dog's anal glands with an upward motion. A foul smelling liquid should come out. If nothing comes out and your dog appears to be in pain, you should take him to the Vet. Your vet can do this easily, as he is experienced at it.

Excellent site on anal glands


You can also try applying a warm compress to the anal gland area to help ease any discomfort there might be.


This behavior may also be related to seizure activity. Seizures can manifest themselves in many different way, so this does have to be taken into consideration as a possible cause. You can read about seizures here playing attention to focal seizures.


If the behavior continues, and an anal gland issue is ruled out, go ahead and record the behavior with a digital camera, video phone or camcorder so you can show your vet.


One other thing you might want to look for is ant bites or stings. The fire ants are an issue this year and they can definitely cause bizarre behavior when they have bitten or stung an animal. Additionally, the bites continue to cause discomfort and itching long after the insect is dead and gone. The bite is usually red with a little circular ring, sometimes raised, but not always. Benadryl will help with the itching, but is only temporary.


I hope this information is helpful to you.