Know Your Dog's "Normal"
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Thread: Know Your Dog's "Normal"

  1. #1
    MTI Guest

    DefaultKnow Your Dog's "Normal"

    On Saturday we took a canine First Aid and CPR class given by a local obedience school. One of the lessons emphasized is that owners are the only ones that can detect when their dog is not acting "normally" in terms of temperment, activity, appetite and pretty much any behavior. Knowing your dog's heart rate, respiration rate and temperature, both while resting and after activity is a good thing to have written down with your pet's First Aid or Emergency Kit.

    Little did we know that we'd be employing the techniques less than a day later. We noticed that our guy was licking himself almost constantly yesterday, which was out of character for him. We watched him throughout the day, but he was walking about, had a good appetite and was drinking. Over the course of the day the licking continued to the point that his belly and legs were wet, but we noticed that the position of his tail was a liitle odd. Finally, later in the afternoon, we took him out to urinate and then noticed that he would make the attempt, but couldn't produce.

    That prompted the call to the vet and a $100 ER charge for a Sunday evening visit. The vet palpated his belly and bladder and found that it was empty. Then he checked the hips and "lower back" and pressing on the top of the spine near the hip elicited a yelp. Currently, the diagnosis is probably a sprain/strain of the lower back with the potential for an infection causing the genital licking. Another $100 for pain meds and antibiotics. Have to keep him relatively quiet for a couple weeks, no long walks, no chasing the ball, avoid stairs. We're happy that it wasn't an obstruction or anything that required an invasive procedure.

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  3. #2
    Mybabymambo Guest

    DefaultRe: Know Your Dog's "Normal"

    HOPE HE FEELS BETTER SOON. ;D

  4. #3
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    DefaultRe: Know Your Dog's "Normal"

    Wow...talk about good timing. I hope your guy is going to be ok. On the LC board there is another sample of exactly what youre talking about here. Knowing when something is "off" with your dog. Henry's Mom...she didnt know WHAT was wrong but she knew he was acting differently and therefore something was amiss. Sure enough he is now in the hospital and she got him there none too soon.

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  6. #4
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    DefaultRe: Know Your Dog's "Normal"

    I'm glad you were able to find a reason for his problems I hope the vet was correct and the meds and rest take care of it.

    I am good at reading Mocha too and I'm a worry wart if something is off about her.

  7. #5
    MTI Guest

    DefaultRe: Know Your Dog's "Normal"

    The rascal appears to be fine, but he'll be on his meds for the next week.* Since we got back from the $200 vet visit on Sunday, he's back to his old self, but he'll be on his meds for about a week and nothing more than some short walks around the neighborhood.


    This leads to another issue . . . if it were one of us experiencing the same condition, we'd probably try taking a OTC pain reliever of some sort before packing up for the ER. Has anyone spoken to their vet about what OTC pain relievers might be applicable to our pets?

  8. #6
    everydog is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Know Your Dog's "Normal"

    You mentioned the position of his tail being "odd" - I wonder if he might have just had a case of "cold tail"? A surprising number of vets have never heard of this condition, which is common in Labs.

  9. #7
    MTI Guest

    DefaultRe: Know Your Dog's "Normal"

    That's a possibility, since the symptoms are similar as well as the outcomer, but the etiology is somewhat of a mystery since the licking behavior started early in the morning and there didn't seem to be any activity beforehand that might have caused it.

  10. #8
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    DefaultRe: Know Your Dog's "Normal"

    Quote Originally Posted by everydog
    You mentioned the position of his tail being "odd" - I wonder if he might have just had a case of "cold tail"? A surprising number of vets have never heard of this condition, which is common in Labs.
    That's what I immediately thought too particularly since he is fine now. Cold Tail approx 3 days of discomfort. Strain/sprain approximately 2-4 weeks depending on the severity.

  11. #9
    mattgusmum is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Know Your Dog's "Normal"

    Quote Originally Posted by MTI
    On Saturday we took a canine First Aid and CPR class given by a local obedience school. One of the lessons emphasized is that owners are the only ones that can detect when their dog is not acting "normally" in terms of temperment, activity, appetite and pretty much any behavior. Knowing your dog's heart rate, respiration rate and temperature, both while resting and after activity is a good thing to have written down with your pet's First Aid or Emergency Kit.
    This is very good advice. I know with Matt it is "normal" for him to have a slow heart rate and "normal" for the lymph glands in his neck to be quite big. I would also advise having bloods sent for a senior dog profile at around 7 pr 8 years of age so that you have a bench mark for any subsequent bloods that may need to be taken as they get older.

    Won't someone please feed me!

  12. #10
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    Buckyball is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Know Your Dog's "Normal"

    Hope he feels well soon! Good job on catching the problem soon

    I knew something was wrong with my Buck a week before the vet realised it was an obstruction.
    Something was just not right with him. He was eating and drinking fine but my gutt told me something was off. He wasn't calm calm ..but calmer than normal. Rest of my family didn't notice anything off and thought I was being a nutty.
    I took him to the vet with this complaint. They checked him out and sent me home saying he was fine and I was worried about nothing. This was on a friday. Come sunday he had thrown up twice had diarreah twice and then completely stopped eating and drinking water. I rushed him to the vet the following morning and they ran x-rays and found an obstruction and admitted him into the hospital and put him on IV right away. Luckily there was no need for surgery.
    Oh and of course thanks to all the support I got here...I was able to get through it all without completely going insane.

    Now whenever I call my vet going...Buck is acting "weird" they take me very seriously and give him a thorough check up!
    <3 01/01/2006-03/18/2017 <3

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