How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask nekovet Your Own Question
nekovet, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 22434
Experience:  Hello, I am a small animal veterinarian and am happy to discuss any concerns & questions you have on any species.
Type Your Dog Question Here...
nekovet is online now

The dog appears to be in pain. No obvious injury. Strange

This answer was rated:

The dog appears to be in pain. No obvious injury. Strange posture. Would not lie down. Ke ps looking down. Heavy breathing. Yelping a bit.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.

When you say strange posture, does she look hunched?

Any changes of slips, falls or trauma?

Does she seem tense, tender, or sore if you press on her abdomen (especially just after where her ribs end)?

Are her gums pink or pale/white?

Can she lift her head without discomfort?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
She looks hunched. About trauma not sure - she has been running in the park earlier with my teenage son and his friends. She does seem tense in the areas you have described. Gums are palish pink. She now refuses food. Drinks a lot and has been sick in the garden. She can lift her head but prefers to keep it down.

Thank you,

Would you say her gums are paler then usual?

Is her breathing rate quicker then 30 breaths in a minute?

Just since you haven't mentioned it before, what breed is Abby?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
English cocker spaniel. Her breathing seems to be fast but not too heavy. Gums - not really sure. Seem to be not much pale than usual.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Breaths are less than 30 breaths a minute.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Are you still there.

Thank you again,

* I am here, but as you can see was in the midst of typing for you*

First, based on the signs we are seeing, we do have a few concerns. The most common cause for her signs is a severe pancreatitis. Though we could also this (especially if she is severely sore) with gut twists, gut blockages, or if she has eaten something harmful. Bloat can also appear this way, but is uncommon in her breed.

With this all in mind, if she is so sore that she is yelping (though thankfully her breathing rate isn't one of distress), I do feel it would be best to have her seen now. Her vet can make sure the gut isn’t compromised and that there is nothing harmful causing damage. If those can be ruled out, they can start her on strong injectable dog safe pain relief +/- fluids, antibiotics, and gastroprotectants as needed.

Though if there is any delay in having her checked, I’d note that you could at least consider starting her on an antacid like Zantac (More Info/Dose @ or Milk of Magnesia (0.5tsp every 8 hours). This will reduce nausea and protect the stomach if there are any ongoing ulcers. Whichever you choose, we’d give this 20 minutes before offering food to allow absorption. Of course, do check with her vet before use if she has any known health issues or is on any medications you didn’t mention. As well, if you try this and find her nausea too severe to keep it down, then that is usually a red flag that we need her vet to bypass her mouth with injectable anti-vomiting medication.

Afterwards and if she settles, we can try to tempt her to eat with a light/easily digestible diet. Start with a small volume (a spoonful). Examples you can use are cooked white rice with boiled chicken, boiled white fish, cottage cheese, scrambled eggs, or meat baby food (as long as its garlic/onion free). There are also OTC vet diets that can be used (ie Hill’s I/D or Royal Canin’s sensitivity) too. When you offer that spoonful, give her 30 minutes to settle. If she keeps the food down, you can give a bit more and so on. As her stomach stabilizes, you can offer more. The aim of these diets is that they will be better tolerated/absorbed by the compromised gut. Therefore, it should get more nutrients in and result in less GI upset.

Overall, all of Abby's signs are ones that suggest pain and nausea; which would raise the aforementioned concerns in her abdomen. If she is so sore that she is yelping and cannot put pressure on her abdomen so she can lay down without pain; it'd be ideal to have her seen now so that we can get to the root of this and get her comfortable as quickly as possible.

Finally just to note, all our practices in our country will have contingency plans for out of hours urgent situations. Therefore, do ring the practice now and there will likely have a message to direct you on how to contact their out of hours service. And if you don't have a vet you can find a local one via the RCVS Register ( or Vets Now ( ) who are open all nights/weekends. In any case, there are options to see a vet locally today too.

Please take care,

Dr. B.


If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. **Afterwards, I would be grateful if you would rate my service by clicking on the "Rate my Expert' button at the top of the page as this is the only way I am credited for helping you. Thank you for your feedback!: )

nekovet and 2 other Dog Specialists are ready to help you