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Doctor H
Doctor H, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 299
Experience:  5.5 years experience practicing small animal medicine in a large urban setting
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Hi, my XXXXX XXXXX Terrier has become very quiet, and growls

Resolved Question:

Hi, my XXXXX XXXXX Terrier has become very quiet, and growls if you touch her stomach, which seems bloated. I've tried checking her gums however she pulls away from my hands and growls. This has been a fairly sharp behaviour change over the past few hours.

What might be the problem?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Doctor H replied 3 years ago.

Doctor H :

Hi, this is Doctor H and I'd be happy to assist you.

Doctor H :

Has there been any recent change in Molly's appetite or any vomiting/diarrhea?

Customer:

Hi, She's not ate tonight, but ate her dinner this morning. She's had normal stool as well.

Doctor H :

Okay, thank you. And no vomiting?

Customer:

No vomiting at all.

Doctor H :

Good. Any does she appear to be limping or guarding any particular area other than her stomach?

Customer:

Not guarding any particular area other than the stomach/abdomen, and lets of a very deep growl should I place my hand on it.

Doctor H :

What kind of food do you normally feed her?

Customer:

Wet pate-like food with dry mixer. She had scraps of human food last night in addition, but not a large amount.

Doctor H :

What kind of scraps?

Customer:

Small bits of meat. (2/3, no bigger than a 50p piece)

Doctor H :

And when did you notice her guarding her abdomen?

Customer:

Approx 2 hours ago, she stayed in her bed so I went to fuss her. As I fussed her belly she pulled away and growled. When I let her out, she ran outside, barked once and came instantly back inside, curling up.

Doctor H :

Any recent activity earlier today that could have strained a muscle?

Customer:

Very little, she had a fairly extensive run around yesterday afternoon though.

Doctor H :

Any coughing or sneezing?

Customer:

Neither.

Doctor H :

Well based on what you're telling me it could either be some stomach irritation from the food scraps or possibly a soft tissue injury.

Doctor H :

I know that it doesn't seem like you gave her a lot, but dogs can have sensitive stomachs that can get inflamed with a change in diet.

Doctor H :

However, it could be a soft tissue injury from any excessive activity yesterday.

Doctor H :

I'd recommend considering a bland diet of boiled chicken and plain rice in a 1/3 - 2/3 ratio.

Doctor H :

I forgot to ask - is she spayed or intact?

Customer:

Intact.

Doctor H :

And when was her last heat cycle?

Customer:

About a month ago.

Doctor H :

Any increase in thirst or urination?

Customer:

Slight increase in urination, but not in water intake.

Doctor H :

Any discharge from her vulva?

Customer:

She has been licking it frequently, but I've not seen a physical discharge.

Doctor H :

Does she always lick it or has that been happening more frequently lately?

Customer:

It's an intermittent behaviour, but more frequently lately.

Doctor H :

Okay. Honestly I'm concerned about something called a pyometra. It's an infection of the uterus that typically happens one month after their heat cycle. The uterus becomes distended with pus and can either rupture or cause an infection in the blood stream (sepsis).

Doctor H :

The way it typically manifests is with an increase thirst/urination. They may also have vulvar discharge (typically pus) which indicates an open pyometra. That is preferable to a closed pyometra, which has a higher risk of rupture.

Doctor H :

Then it progresses to malaise, inappetance and abdominal discomfort (as the uterus increases in size).

Customer:

What is the recommendation?

Doctor H :

It's currently late in the UK, right? Like 2am or am I way off?

Customer:

23:00, not far off.

Doctor H :

Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX extrapolating the difference base on my vacation in Ireland last year.

Doctor H :

Well, if she has an appetite and not showing any other signs of disease, you could potentially try to get her in to be assessed for a pyo tomorrow morning with your regular vet.

Doctor H :

However, it would be ideal for her to be assessed for a pyo sooner rather than later, especially if we're concerned about a closed pyo.

Doctor H :

IF she does have a pyometra - the sooner it's diagnosed and removed, the better.

Doctor H :

So whether or not you go to an ER clinic is ultimately up to you, but I would definitely recommend having her assessed tomorrow in case it is a pyo.

Customer:

Thank you very much, your help has been great.

Doctor H :

You're welcome - I'm glad I remembered to ask about her sex status!

Doctor H :

I'll be following up in the few days - if you don't have any other questions, kindly rate my service so I may know how helpful I've been

Customer:

Of course, thank you!

Doctor H :

Anytime! Best of luck!

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