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Two Greys With Strange Discomfort In Their Sides.


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We have two greys. Abby we have had for five months and Piper that we have had for two months.

 

Piper had serious problems with her spay incision. Serious swelling and infection that was attributed to her sutures. She also seemed to have discomfort in her sides just behind her rib cage. Our vet speculated that the sutures used to tie off her ovaries may also be causing her discomfort. Two months later the problem is persisting. An ultrasound today revealed nothing. The discomfort in her sides seems to surprise her and often frightens her to the point that it interrupts play and makes her fearful of Abby.

 

Now for the strange part...

 

Abby is our brave girl. She is very friendly and outgoing. This evening she suddenly bolted away from us as if very frightened. Since that moment she has been fearful of everyone in our home and she spends most of her time in her crate. She pulls away if we try to pet her. The strange thing is that she now appears to be experiencing the exact problem as Piper. Abby now seems frightened like something is hurting her or as if something is poking her in her sides just behind her rib cage.

 

We don't think that it is a behavior problem. They are experiencing some kind of discomfort. Piper will also lick the area on both sides just behind her rib cage.

 

Any clues would be greatly appreciated.

 

Here is a video of Piper:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=39AAA3l9KPk&feature=youtu.be

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My first thought is worms.

 

Could also be anal glands based on the behavior, but with both girls that seems much less likely. I'd be looking at worms.

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Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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My first thought is worms.

 

Could also be anal glands based on the behavior, but with both girls that seems much less likely. I'd be looking at worms.

Anal glands were done three days ago. They are negative for worms as well.

 

Thanks for the suggestions though.

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Negative for worms doesn't really mean much. Unless you catch them at the right time in their life cycle, their won't be anything in the fecal to catch.

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Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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My female greyhound did this (looking at both her sides like there was something biting her) until I changed her food and then she stopped doing it. I'm not sure why but maybe the old food was giving her bowel cramps or something like that. It was strange because she seemed to be doing well on the old food - poops were pretty good but her breath was awful so I changed to a different brand.

 

Please post if it turns out to be something requiring medical intervention. I will follow this thread. Thanks :)

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I'll second worms. Based on similar symptoms in both dogs, and the fact that they are fairly recent off the track. It's not unusual at all to have worms show after adopting, even though many groups give a de-wormer right off the hauler. It often takes multiple tries to get rid of them completely.

 

There have been several times that we suspected worms and had a negative fecal. We treated for worms with Panacur, and the issue went away. The only thing a negative fecal really means is that the stool that was tested didn't have any. It doesn't mean they aren't there.

 

The only other thing I can think of is gas pains, but if you aren't hearing some squealing from the belly, it most likely isn't gas. If you suspect gas, you can try giving 1 regular Gas-X tablet (not the kind with extra antacids etc.)

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I'm unable to view the video now, but they could have unrelated causes.

 

Gastric dilatation, or gastric volvulus (bloat) is worth a mention if Abby looks as if she's experiencing sudden abdominal pain. Signs of bloat vary, but some dogs look at their painful stomach, become anxious or restless, some begin to retch with mostly unproductive vomiting (possibly stiff white foam), swollen stomach might be noticed, etc. Bloat (stomach torsion) is seen in deep-chested breeds, and can occur when dogs exercise too soon (within 1 hour or so) of eating a meal, or drinking too much water too fast, etc. Bloat is an immediate medical emergency.

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I wouldn't rule out worms after a fecal either... in the UK I'd give Milbemax, a broad spectrum wormer.

Piper seems to be reacting to a spasm and also scenting the air back there.

If it's not worms and not anal gland disease then what remains includes, parasite bites (flea/tick) and subsequent imflammation, Perianal Fistulas and other rectal conditions (but why in both dogs?), and IBS symptoms. You could help the IBS by giving one human Buscopan tablet daily but the underlying diet-related cause should be investigated.

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I agree that an infectious cause like worms or a food issue is most likely, or why would it be both dogs?

I know it is a stretch, but if they came from the same adoption group their surgeries were probably done by the same vet and could have been done in the same time period. If the sutures used were from a contaminated batch it could explain the similar reactions both are having.

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Most suture material is meant to break down rather quickly post surgery however for whatever reason there are a rare few that I have seen with suture material still intact years later. I would think though the ultrasound would have picked up on any local inflammation in that area if there was a connection.

Another thought--are these dogs on a flea and tick prevention?

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Thank you all for your responses.

 

Both girls are on prescription, once a month antiparasitics. Still, we will investigate farther the possibility doing a preventive treatment. We want to be careful not to over medicate.

 

I'm leaning more toward the food. We are feeding them the food that they had at the rescue. However, they were there only a few days after leaving the track so that is not much of an indicator.


I know it is a stretch, but if they came from the same adoption group their surgeries were probably done by the same vet and could have been done in the same time period. If the sutures used were from a contaminated batch it could explain the similar reactions both are having.

Interestingly they had different suture material. Abby's was green and Piper's was black. We are unsure of the significance but it does take the suture material out of the equation.

 

Thank you

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Once a month antiparasitics won't cure an infestation of hookworms. And I concur with all who have said, as my vets have, that a negative fecal doesn't mean much. Do please google hookworm and don't skip the pictures if you want to understand why they would make dogs jump suddenly. They have teeth! And they can colonize the lungs and other body tissue as well as the GI system! Speaking from experience, I'd hate to see your fear of over-medicating lead your dogs to suffer this longer than they have to.

Mary with Jumper Jack (2/17/11) and angels Shane (PA's Busta Rime, 12/10/02 - 10/14/16) and Spencer (Dutch Laser, 11/25/00 - 3/29/13).

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Update:

 

Their food is going to be the solution. We've not even made the full switch to a new food and we are already seeing improvement. I guess it wasn't so strange after all. They were on a very high quality natural food but we have switched to another food of equal quality.

 

I think that we just got distracted by our assumption that this was a continuation of the spay surgery suture reaction.

 

I will post another update after we give this a little time.

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So glad to hear that there is improvement! Can you share what food you have discontinued and what you are now feeding?

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So glad to hear that there is improvement! Can you share what food you have discontinued and what you are now feeding?

Discontinued Southern States Natural Chicken and Barley. For what it's worth, a 3.4 star on dogfoodadvisor.com

 

Moving to Victor grain free. Again, for what it is worth, a 5 star on dogfoodadvisor.com.

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Negative for worms doesn't really mean much. Unless you catch them at the right time in their life cycle, their won't be anything in the fecal to catch.

:nod

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  • 2 weeks later...

Update and questions.

 

The good news is that the food change has been the cure. Everything is greyt.

 

As a bonus, and further evidence that we are on the right track, their paint-peeling-gas has disappeared.

 

Now for the questions:

The new food is Victor Grain Free. It is rated very high everywhere I've checked. However, it is 33% protein. That seems very high to me and I fear that it could cause undue stress on their kidneys. Both of my girls are 2 years old. Does this protein level seem high to you? Anybody have a grain free food that they would recommend?

 

Thanks

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The sides issue could very well have been a buildup of gas causing discomfort in both girls.

Just remember that "high quality" doesn't mean "best" when it comes to feeding. I've always had the most success in our crew with middle of the road foods that offer a single grain, single protein source. I tried all the most expensive brands thinking that the more I paid, the better the food, only to put my dog into severe IBS. It was someone on here who explained that the richness of those foods was effectively overpowering his system and making him ill.

 

As for what I'm feeding now.. I have three dogs on three different foods. It's not ideal but it is what works for them so as long as they're happy and healthy, then I'm a happy dog-mom.

Jennifer and Beamish (an unnamed Irish-born Racer) DOB: October 30, 2011

 

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