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Concern for Meg

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Four weeks ago, Meg started favoring one of her legs a little at the end of an exercise session. We checked her over, watched her, she seemed ok but was not resting easily that night. The next day she was on three legs bouncing around like a congenital threg (threeleggeddog). I made an apointment with the vet, and in her cutomary fashion she turned into a ball of fear which made it difficult for the vet to assess her. They gave us an analgesic/antiinflamatory and set her for a general anesthesia/xray/potential surgery for her cruciate ligament saying that IF that was the cause, THEN they would do surgery. But nothing seemed to be wrong. The perscription for the week was 0 exercise until her appointment.


To say that I was shocked by Meg's cheerful compliance with 0 exercise is putting it midly. She's much more obedient now. Never in my wildest dreams did I think she could go without at least two hours of running, bobbing, hunting, springing, jumping... She rebounded within a day, we took her off the medication a few days before the vet appointment. Still nothing but a happy, polite cat terrorizing, toy chewing little girl. So we decided not to put her through general anesthesia and keep her grounded for another week of observation of walks and very light play. Week three we started bringing her back up to about half her exercise level. This is the fourth week and strange things have started to happen.


She alternates between being my bouncing baby - pu-leeeeeze lets go play prima donna to Meg the Vaccum Invader victim, running around the house in terror, shaking, sleeping, curling up beside me in a little ball. She has been eating normally, but threw up bile the other morning. In the last couple of days I find her on the concrete pad at the bottom of the stairs outside our bedroom door, shaking like a leaf. Within a half hour with me she is fine. But may revert to that posture a few times during the day. She showed no signs of distress while exercising or immediately after, and I ramped her up to 3/4 normal activity. She does however keep looking at her mid section/butt area.


Our theories have run the gamut from increased mountain lion/coyote pressure, to a splinter somewhere, to a stomach ache. It makes sense for Meg to act fearful when she has a pain of unknown origin. She was fine this morning, had an excellent full on morning exercise session, but her rather copious stool was very green with a bilish discharge. No visible signs of worms. I'm calling the vet today and have collected the sample.


I was wondering if any of you have had this kind of experience and if anyone knows if a dog can get an ulcer from stress - like not getting her exercise.

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My standard answer is to check for tick-borne disease. I realize you may not be in a heavily tick infested area, but the tests are not expensive and it could rule out some possibilities. You may want to talk to your vet about putting her on a course of doxycycline just as a precaution. If her symptoms suddenly improve then you can suspect TBD as the cause, even if the tests are negative. I know it may seem an odd suggestion, but TBDs can create all sorts of odd symptoms that don't add up to anything specific.



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Besides TBD (of which I know little, but Julie's is a good suggestion) - I'd be pretty worried (as I'm sure you are). The shaking doesn't really seem like fear, does it? That could be an indication of pain - general or specific, I guess. The vomit would be another worry, repeatedly. I think this is a classic case of: do you do lots of tests, all of which may show nothing, then the dog gets something specific which points to a diagnosis/hopefully a cure; or do you just wait, in which case if it IS something bad, it gets worse. I dunno - I'd be asking for some good suggestions from my vet - ultrasound, x-rays, or whatever is appropriate.


Hope things improve (or it's something relatively simple like TBD!).


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Update on Meg, sorry that it has taken so long to get back. We're still not sure what was wrong with Meg, but the more regular her routine becomes, the fewer moments of odd behavior we see. She's pretty much back to normal now, and none of her tests were postitive. The upside to all of this is that she seems to be more obedient, tolerant and well-mannered. Dave joked with me yesterday that it might have been an epiphany she had one night when she realized that she wasn't a puppy any longer.


Wish us luck!

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