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Dr. Deb
Dr. Deb, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 10861
Experience:  I have been a practicing veterinarian for over 30 years.
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I have a 12 year old staffy and he will not lay down, he tried

Customer Question

I have a 12 year old staffy and he will not lay down, he tried laying down and was uncomfortable and sat up again.. What could it be?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 4 years ago.

Hello Chelsea, I'm Dr. Deb and I'll do my best to help you today.

I do have a few questions to ask about your Staffy first, if you don't mind:

1. Has he been behaving this way just today?
2. Any pain when you press on his abdomen?
3. Any vomiting or diarrhea?
4. Can you tell me the color of his gums?
5. Is he currently taking any medication?
6. How much does he weigh?

There may be a slight delay after I receive your answers since I have to type up a response to you. Thanks for your patience. Deb

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
It's only happened in the last hour, his gums are pink, and he hasn't been sick or anything, I don't know how much he weighs, and he's been sitting up for an hour and panting, he look as if he's filled out more on his belly
Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 4 years ago.

Thanks so much for the answers to my questions.

Gum color is normal which is good.
No vomiting or diarrhea is also a good thing.

Panting and behavior that you're describing are usually secondary to pain. The source of the pain may be more difficult to identify but possibilities include:
1. Hips/joints/spine. At his age, I'm sure he has some arthritis in his body. He may have somehow exacerbated a pre-existing condition.
Compression of the spine by either a disc or spine can also cause pain/discomfort but his abdomen shouldn't be involved.

2. Abdominal pain. The source could be his intestines (something similar to gas or constipation) or spleen which might more serious especially if his abdomen appears to be distended. It gives me no pleasure to tell you that dogs can develop tumors on their spleens which can rupture. Spleens can also twist and untwist which can be very, very painful and could be a fairly serious condition if it remains in the twisted position. These dogs are very ill though; they don't want to eat, they may vomit...they look ill.

If you thought a joint or hip issue is the problem and he's not currently taking any non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication, you could give him Aspirin at a dose of 10 mg/lb twice a day, with food to avoid stomach upset. Even if you don't know exactly how much he weighs, the average staffy weighs about 60-70 lbs, so his dose would be two tablets of 325 mg (full strength).

If you thought he was just having a gas attack, you could give him an anti-gas product such as we would take. I'd give him 1/2 dose for a human.

But if his abdomen is really distended and possibly becoming more so, then this potentially could be more serious...heart problems, liver issues, cancer, unfortunately, would all have to be considered in addition to the spleen.

I realize that my answer may not be what you want to hear but I would be doing a disservice to both you and your boy if I were less than truthful and honest in my response to you. I hope you understand.

I also hope that this is helpful and gives you options to consider. Deb

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thankyou for your help
Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 4 years ago.

You're more than welcome.
I hope you'll keep me posted about him.
Even after you've rated (if you do, of course), we can still continue to communicate at no additional charge to you.

Good luck; I hope this isn't anything too serious...I'm sure that is your fervent wish as well! Regards, Deb

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
He has cols nose and just drank a fair bit of water.. He is laying down now but then it's like he's trying to get up but can't
Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 4 years ago.


It's something of a myth that you can tell much about a dog's internal temperature by their nose but at least it's not burning hot.

This sounds like more of a hip or joint problem (although an issue with the spine can't entirely be ruled out) which the aspirin should help. My only reservation about suggesting its use would be that it might interfere with what your vet would want to prescribe if you need to have him seen. But several doses should be fine, especially since you don't want him to be uncomfortable.

You could also use a towel as a sling around his midsection. If his hips or joints are the problem, then he may just need a little assistance to stand. Deb

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
We don't have aspirin we only have paracetamol and iprobrufen
Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 4 years ago.

I wouldn't give Ibuprofen since it can cause issues but Paracetamol (Acetaminophen) is ok to give. It can be extremely toxic to cats so if you have any cats, just be sure they can't get any.
The approximate dose for a 60-70 lb dog would be 325 mg twice a day.


Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thank you.. He doesn't haven a problem eating
Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 4 years ago.
You're welcome:)

Then he's probably not running a fever, then. Most dogs with elevated tempertures don't want to eat...well, most of them don't anyway:)

Please keep me updated about him. Deb
Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 4 years ago.


I’m just following up on our conversation about your dog. How is he doing? Deb