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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Breeder,Behaviorist, formerVet Asst
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 19827
Experience:  Former vol Vet Assistant.Breeder 18+ years Dog trainer / behaviorist
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She is very restless and can't seem to get comfy to lay

Customer Question

She is very restless and can't seem to get comfy to lay down. She's panting a lot and seems hesitant to walk up stairs or jump up Like on couch or bed. She is eating and using the bathroom though
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Could be a lot of things that cause lethargy. The Veterinarian will know how to help the dog. What is the dog's name and age?
Customer: Roxy. 7 yo toy fox terrier
JA: How old is Roxy?
Customer: 7
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Roxy?
Customer: she's shaking a bit
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 year ago.

My name is*****’ve been involved professionally with dogs in the health/ behavioral fields for 19+ years. It will be my pleasure to work with you.

Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 year ago.

When a dog is hesitant to use stairs or jump it is usually a couple of things such as a problem in the spine like a disc injury, or an anal gland issue.

An intervertebral disc that has slipped or ruptured up into the spinal canal causes inflammation of the spinal cord, which in severe cases causes paralyses of the rear legs. You can read about this here:

Buffered aspirin can be given to a dog with a dosage of up to 5-10 mg per pound every 12 hours. Keep in mind that a dog's body does not metabolize aspirin in the same way as a human and thus should not be given more than a day or two without contacting your Vet. The aspirin may need to clear your dog’s system before other medications can be given, so keep that in mind if you decide to give aspirin and be sure and tell your vet when your dog is seen. Read side effects and precautions here.

If the anal glands are full, it can pull the skin around the rectum causing pain which will not only lead to avoiding steps and jumping but they usually walk gingerly and often have been dragging their rears in the days previously. The anal glands are 2 sacs on either side of the anus at about the 4' o'clock and 8 o'clock positions. If your dog is continually licking their anus and dragging it, it could also indicate that they are full. This problem can usually be resolved by emptying out 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

I'd plan on keeping your girl as inactive as possible until you can have your vet check her over.

I hope this information is helpful to you. If you would like any additional information or have more questions please don’t hesitate to press the reply to expert or continue conversation button so I can address any issues you still have . If you do find this helpful, please take this opportunity to rate my answer positively so I am compensated for my time.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Oh I thought anal glands were only on boy dogs. Girls have them too?
She did whine and cry a bit when I picked her up this morning, 1st time she did that. The heavy panting and "shivering" is what was freaking me out. I did get her to calm down and stop panting but now she is just licking her lips. Still shivering though. And is finally laying down but I don't know for how long until she starts pacing again. She will pace and lay down for a bit then start pacing again. Weird?
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 year ago.

Yes, female dogs have anal glands as well as males. Check her anal glands and you might try emptying them but if you do, I suggest doing so in the bathtub as it is quite messy and smelly. If the anal glands are not full, and she hasn't eaten any non food items, you might try the thermometer or the bulb syringe to loosen any hard fecal matter in the area and facilitate her defecating. again the bathtub would be a good choice for this or doing it outside.

If none of this seems to relieve her discomfort and get her eating, you may need to have her seen by your vet. Be sure she does not become hypoglycemic by rubbing a little karo syrup or pancake syrup on her gums ever 4 hours or so.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Well she is eating dinner which is wet food. But she hasnt eaten any dry food or treats. And she has been going to the bathroom. I thought she was just constipated but shes gone to the bathroom both yesterday (when the symptoms started) and today. She hasn't been standing still when she's gone which is unusal for her. Like she isn't staying crouched down, she keeps walking while trying to go. Maybe she hasn't gotten it all out? I just don't know. She definitely isn't acting her normal spunky self thats for sure. I'm sad for her.
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 year ago.

Full anal glands can make it uncomfortable to defecate and as I mentioned, jumping and stairs pull the skin around the rectum causing discomfort. However, a disc issue can cause a dog to not assume the normal posture when defecating as well. I'd check the anal glands first. Groomers can empty them quite easily as well. If that is not the issue, and she is eating, then you might keep her inactive until you can have her seen.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
OK I will have the anal glands checked 1st. Hopefully that is all it is. And nothing serious. If she did hurt a disc or something I dont know how that would have happened unless she did it playing with her dog and cat brothers or by jumping up or down on the furniture wrong? Is that how that may happen? I did not notice her hurt herself when I've been home with her so if she did it had to have been when I was at work.
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 year ago.

It can happen that way and disc can just degenerate over time. A sudden twist can even do it.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Do they xray to determine if that is the issue?
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 year ago.

X-rays will sometimes show the problem but better imaging has to be done to definitely rule it out such as a myelogram, ct or mri. Sometimes the damage or injured area is not real clear. Your vet would likely do x-ray first and try some anti-inflammatory medication such as prednisone and if it helps, suggest limited activity for a week or two to give the injury time to heal. If degenerate in nature, it will likely not heal very well and might require surgery to correct. But in a lot of cases if caught early rest and antiinflammatory medications do a lot of good.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
OK thank you for your help