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O.T. dog advice please

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  • O.T. dog advice please

    Last night one of my dogs woke me up @ about 1:30 am and she was in severe pain, nothing external - this coincides with her getting fleas about two or three days ago and my dogs never get fleas unless one thing happens - they kill something...

    so at first she's yelping from a dead sleep and wakes me up and It's scaring me to death as I can't figure out what's going on and what it could be then my brain kicks in with the flea's a few days ago and I formed a hypothesis that she has killed another squirrel and has chomped down a bunch of broken bones and they are moving through her intestines - when she kills a squirrel she eats everything, even the tail - there is no proof until it comes out the other end.

    So I called the vet first thing this morning after staying up all night long with her - (she's ok most of the time if she doesn't try to move around to much)

    First off let me say that I know my dogs and when I put things together with them it is what it is - its not my imagination or anything - things like my dogs getting fleas is direct evidence of something like what I stated - they do not see other dogs except other family dogs .
    So I tell the vet all about it and he asks if I witnessed her eating a squirrel and I stated "not this time" He then says he does not know what it could be causing her pain and doubts that its due to her eating a squirrel because she's big enough to where it most likely would not bother her, he asked if she'll eat and I stated that's one of the questions I was going to ask him if it was ok to feed her and he said yes and added if she eats it may not be that bad of a thing but if symptoms persist to bring her in.

    I asked just in case im right if there's something I can feed her to help loosen and push things through and he said give her a can of pumpkin so I did along with her breakfast and about 15 minutes ago she dropped a bomb in the yard --- nothing real strange yet but one sharp 1/2" bone fragment but no fur or anything else - bone fragment may or may not have come from old soup bones laying in the yard - and she seems a little better but still is going through pain when she changes position.

    Has anything like this happened to anyone else - what do you guys think, Im trashed and had to take off work today - it's terrifying to have one of your buddies crying for help and they can't tell you what's wrong - she was scared to death and her heart was pounding so hard it was shaking the floor.

    The only other variable I can think of is I put three drops of flea killer on her two or three days ago - she's had the exact same treatment whenever this happens and that's all it take to get rid of the fleas.
    This is a dog that has been totally 100% maintenance free for 11 years now and I really cannot afford a vet esp. if they go on a wild goose chase and rack up a bill for no reason.
    She's had all her shots along the way and heartguard treatments. Thanks.

  • #2
    Sorry to hear of your friend's problems. I love dogs, too.

    Is there any chance she hurt herself while chasing the squirrel, and that's what's causing the pain? Is she walking OK?

    You said she's 11 yrs old and also that "she's big enough that a squirrel shouldn't be a problem" which makes me wonder whether she's a Lab or some other breed that commonly has hip problems ... does she have trouble getting up after lying down ?

    Sorry I don't have much to offer...I've had numerous dogs that would eat squirrels pretty much whole – "nothing but net!" – and fortunately never had a problem.

    I hope everything works out for you and your dog. Pls let us know how it's going.

    A good online resource is the (free) Merck Veterinary Manual at

    Good luck.


    • #3
      The only way to tell if she has a bone in gut problem is X ray or Cat scan. Cat scan is much better and will also show up a twisted gut too. Both are expensive, especially the cat scan. It's your call.
      Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here


      • #4
        Boomer, sorry to hear about your bud. My Labs have acted like that at 13 years when their liver started to fail. My bud Phred laid on the the floor on his side with me laying behind him as he shook violently. The following morning he jumped up into the car like a young dog when I had to take him in to be put to sleep. You didn't say what kind of dog your bud was but 12 to 13 years is about what a Lab will go. I know someone out there probably knows someone with one that made it to a hundred but in the main, you get 13 yrs out of a Lab and he's had a good life. Phreddy was given two leases on life when they gave him some shots, I think it was cortizone but not positive. Good luck bro.
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        • #5
          My beardog is on her last legs now. She is epileptic and the meds aren't working very well any more. She is having seizures when she is sleeping and the last one a couple of weeks ago almost killed her. She had another small one two days ago and it set her back again but not near as bad as the one before. She doesn't have long. The next big seizure will be the last. She is my best friend and it is killing me to watch her go through this. It makes her helpless and for her that is a psychological nightmare. She is a control freak and being helpless is as bad as it gets.
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          • #6
            Iv seen a lot of people spending thousands, if not tens of thousands of dollars on thier old dogs vet bills, get surgery, etc... Only to result in the dog living a month or two in pain, then dying anyway, if they even live that long.

            I know its a member of your family, And you'll do whatever you can.. But an old dog is an old dog, most can't even survive the stress of surgury, or recover if they do surive. Even if they do recover, who knows what else might pop up in just a few months.

            IMO, the best thing you can do is be with the dog. Comfert it. Keep it at home, Don't stress it out with vet visits, no dog likes the vet. If the vet says changing his diet could improve things, Follow it. likey be a lot more expensive then his regular food, but still cheaper then most vet operations. And maybe try and keep the dog away from squirrels/bones in the future if they are not chewing them finely enough.

            If he lives, you got a wonderful dog for a few more years.
            If he does not, you made his last days the best you could. Thats all they really want. Your affection. To know you are there for them, in ways they can understand.

            PS: Some vets will do housecalls to put a dog down when its time. I think this is much nicer then draging him down to the vet.

            PPS: On a lighter side of things, How about a heart touching recover story?

            I used to have an orange cat, moris.. friendlyest little cat ever. You could poke him in his sleep and he would start purring before he even woke up. ]

            One day he crawled in, draging his hind legs, compleatly unable to move them. We lived next to horses, so he might of been kicked. We moved him around in a box for about 2 weeks.. taking him outside into the soft garden dirt to go to the bathroom... One day I left my parents to watch him for 1/2 hour as I did something else... come back

            "...WHERES THE CAT????"
            parents shrug
            Much distressed emotions and swareing... crying.. etc.

            3 weeks later.. still thinking every day about him.. looking at the cat door.. just wishing he could come through like he allways used to... Then.. *flip flop*.... huu.. what??? A GHOST??? no wait.. its my cat!

            cat walks up to the counter (food bowl was on top the counter, still had other cats so it was still full as usalle)... And trys to jump up to it! using his back legs! .. he made it about 2" off the ground, so skinny he looked like a couple toothpicks. I instantly picked him up in tears and stuck him right next to his food bowl... He pertty much cleaned it out in one sitting!

            Over the next 5 weeks, he recovered most of his weight and strength, and pertty much acted like it never happened 2 months later.. though maybe he seemed a little more afraid of heights. I think he lasted for a couple years after that.

            Amazing how animals can recover when left alone to thier own devices... Sometimes they crawl off to die.. Sometimes they crawl off to recover, and do recover.. from things that should'nt be recoverable from.

            Vet would of likey told me to put the cat down.
            Play Brutal Nature, Black Moons free to play highly realistic voxel sandbox game.


            • #7
              Thanks everyone for the advice and concern --- she's resting under the back deck - she has a hole dug and she lays there on hot days - I peeked under there and she stretched and looked calm so let a sleeping dog lay, I cannot take it if she goes through pain so this is a big break and Im going to try and sneak in a nap, for those who asked she's half pit and I don't know what else - not that tall of a dog but full figured lots of muscle and she's been in excellent health, with no joint problems at all, her sister (who is actually not her real sister) is 15 now and her health is poor.

              anyways thanks and I'll keep you guys posted - she is a shop dog too so not that far off topic

              thanks B moons - nice story.


              • #8
                I feel your pain. We have a old dog that just showed up about 14 yrs ago. He was from a wild dog litter & couldn't be 5 weeks old yet. He's so mean to strangers I have to keep him & a pen between the house & hanger. He body slams the pen wire when anyone but family goes by. Best watch dog God ever made. Now he's old & tired but every night he up & doing his job. Several times this year I've thought he was dead & it scares me every time. I'll call Buster several times & just when I think he's gone he opens his eyes & get up. It will be an awful day when he doesn't.
                Good luck,I hope your old friend recovers fully. Please let us know. Thanks!


                • #9
                  If she did eat something with a lot of indigestible material, eg. hair, teeth etc. a real possibility is pancreatitis.
                  As I understand it, the pancreas overproduces digestive juices to try to digest the indigestible material and the juices end up attacking the gut itself. It is characterized by a tender/painful abdomen.

                  My best buddy (56 pounds) got this after making sure that no part of that 25 pound marmot was going to waste. Probably took him 2 days to do it, this after letting it ferment for a week or so.
                  He got over it after a visit to the vet, and lived for another 5 or 6 years before he had to get buried out by the shop. Hardest day in my life so far. So I know what you mean about feeling torn up.


                  Last edited by becksmachine; 06-03-2011, 04:18 PM.


                  • #10
                    Wish I could be of more help my friend.
                    Watching your buddy suffer and at the same time being totally helpless because you don't know what is going on sucks big time. I've been there too and it has got to be one of the most helpless states I've ever had the misfortune to be in.

                    Like BM said keep her comfortable, and keep a sharp eye on all of her actions no matter how insignificant they my seem and jot them down with the time they occurred in a notebook while they are still fresh in your mind. It may give the vet some needed info to help you both to piece it together.

                    About 10 years ago I had an incident with my dog when someone ran over him. I watched him go under the front cross member which was quite low, and then saw him get ground and rolled into the pavement, as first the cross member then the oil pan and transmission slid over him. He got up, looked at me and headed my way. The pickup he was under was still moving, and as my buddy tried to crawl out the back end of the truck ran over him just in front of his back legs.
                    At this point I told my wife to grab a gun because i did not want to see him suffer. I didn't know how I was going to do it but I knew it had to be done.

                    By the time I ran to him he had already gotten up and he shakily walked my way. After a good look see I could tell he was going to be alright. Within two hours he spotted a truck that looked like a friend of mine's that he liked and immediately ran towards the gate! He was some sore for a couple of days but otherwise fine.

                    The gist of this story is that dogs and cats are pretty tough critters, they have an ability to survive some pretty horrific stuff that would take most of us out.
                    Keep an eye out for your buddy though as needs you now.

                    Evan, my neighbor's dog just came down with epilepsy, I know what your going through, tough thing to watch.
                    Home, down in the valley behind the Red Angus
                    Bad Decisions Make Good Stories​

                    Location: British Columbia


                    • #11
                      Have your vet check for pancraetitis. Sounds like what my dog has gone through many a time now. Very painful, but can be worked out. Happens when they get into something bad that they eat, and does not necessarily cure itself. May also be cushings disease, which is its own "animal", but has hope.

                      Pancreatis will scare the crap out of you, you will think you are losing your friend, and if no action is taken, it could be a long term problem.

                      Background on this answer, my dog is 11 years old, was abused badly before we got her, several broken bones, almost lost her three times in the first five weeks we had her. Had to adjust diets due to being far overweight (2.5 X normal weight), and have almost lost her four times in the past five years. Lost the weight, got the cushings under control, eats everything in sight, which is bad...bad... We keep a strict diet now, have weight to right at optimum, almost 12 years old now, just like a new dog. Many a night with a shaking and screaming dog, but we catch it early now. The problems come when "garbage dog" gets into something she should not (Reading your post, squirrels, sudden onset, pain), pancreas problems.

                      Take your dog to the vet ASAP, hopefully the answer is as simple as this. Cushings is a big thing in pure breads or breeds with terrier in them.
                      Last edited by spope14; 06-03-2011, 09:32 PM.
                      CCBW, MAH


                      • #12
                        Thanks all - Im going to re-read in the morning to make sure I didn't miss anything - that pancreatis makes sense and am going to check into it.

                        Willy's story gave me the willies as I witnessed the same thing with a dog on the road but at least his story had a happy ending - the dog I seen hobbled off into the brush and I went looking for him but never found him - the thing is the lady driving almost completely stopped for him but kept driving real slow thinking it would get out of the way - it was terrible to witness.

                        Talked to another vet and she stated the same thing that the squirrel bones are not cooked and are actually soft and should not be a bunch of splinters and should not give the dog as much trouble as all the fur and the potential blockage form it, so - another can of pumpkin and she said an aspirin and a laxitive - the aspirin seems to have taken off the edge, im off for another attempt at beddy bye.. thanks everyone - really helped to talk about it.


                        • #13
                          We own both working cowdogs and house dogs. Your pup might have poked a hole in its stomach but they can heal from that. We had a cowdog eat some glass once (God knows why) - it cut her up internally but she healed and went on to live a long life. I've also had dogs get bitten by rattlesnakes and survive without antivenin. I am a big fan of plain water and scrambled eggs - lots of fluid and protein seems to fix them up pretty fast. Good luck and we're praying for you.
                          Last edited by HWooldridge; 06-04-2011, 12:11 AM.


                          • #14
                            Hey Boomer, whatever happens, please let us know and I want to know you are in our thoughts.
                            CCBW, MAH


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by spope14
                              Hey Boomer, whatever happens, please let us know and I want to know you are in our thoughts.
                              X 12....
                              Home, down in the valley behind the Red Angus
                              Bad Decisions Make Good Stories​

                              Location: British Columbia