Veterinary questions? Ask a Vet for Answers ASAP
Hi there, you are through to Dr Linda.
I'm sorry to hear he sounds distressed.
In my experience, dogs who have fleas for a long period of time are often intensely itchy and their sensitive skin can be hard to cope with. It may be that they are so very uncomfortable that they are finding it hard to cope.
Is there sign of skin irritation or infection such as redness, scabbing or ooze? There may well be a secondary skin infection which will be making it very hard to settle.
Another consideration would be an anal gland issue such as anal gland impaction. This can certainly cause bum biting and discomfort.
It is best to get Teddy booked in so the vet can assess his skin and anal glands and provide any medicine needed, such as snti-itch medicine and/or antibiotics.
It is also key that we really get on top of this flea problem. This usually means a prescription flea treatment such as Advocate for all cats/dogs in the home, a spray such as Indorex for the house and hot washing of bedding and intensive hoovering for several weeks.
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Impacted anal glands are actually difficult to detect from the outside and there may be no obvious signs. This is why it is important for the dog to be examined. Other signs may include a fish smell or the dog scooting their bum along the floor.
Gosh, it sounds like you have had it tough with the fleas. One thing to consider would be that the fleas may have become resistant to the active ingredient in Advocate so I would consider using another prescription product the next time such as Nexgard Spectrum.
Worrying is natural (and just a sign of a good owner!) and it's great he has returned to normal.
If that kind of behaviour returns it would be worth videoing to show to the vet in case it may be something unusual such as a seizure (which I think is very unlikely).
A normal dog should not suffer from exhaustion even after a very long walk.
If he is continuing to breathe heavily, has a swollen stomach and is acting unlike himself I would think this is unrelated to fleas or any anal gland issues / skin discomfort.
This may be more serious and could indicate e.g. abdominal pain caused by pancreatitis, toxin ingestion, stomach bloat etc.
If his breathing is faster than 30 breaths a minute or less, this is a worry and warrants a check up as soon as possible.
Ok, this is far too much. A dog at rest usually breathes between 8-15 times a minute and anything over 30 is a red flag unless he has just been running about or playing. Coupled with the abdominal bloating and earlier sickness, I would say this warrants an immediate vet visit.
Ok, that's great. Please do feel free to keep me updated and to ask any further questions you may have.