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EIC or over heating in puppy?


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Hi, I'm Lisa, and I'm new!!

 

Two weeks ago we had to put down our beautiful golden retriever girl, Clancy, 13 years old. What a beautiful girl with a gorgeous nature. An absolute sweetheart. xx

 

So ........ We have a 9 week old BC puppy, from a working dairy farm in south east of South Australia. He's been with us for 6 days. His Mum, Dad, Grandma and assorted siblings are all working dogs on this dairy farm. We have 25 acres near beautiful Strathalbyn in South Australia and we have sheep and alpacas, so a bit of help from a working dog would be great! After getting our puppy (Kip) home, we kept him inside, as our "dog yard" was a little bit puppy "unfriendly" (having only had geriatrics in there lately!) Also, our Jack Russell, Tex, had his nose right out of joint!

 

After a play, inside, on the third night, we noticed Kip's back was arched and his hind legs seemed stiff. He seemed to have trouble keeping his balance. He wasn't distressed at all, in fact, he was keen to chase the ball. After about 5 minutes, he was back to normal and back to play. We weren't sure if we'd seen it at all! This "episode" has happened nearly every day since. The only night it didn't happen, was when we had the airconditioner on, on a particulary hot night.

 

Yesterday, my 9 year old son and his friend played with Kip for most of the day, so he didn't get alot of sleep. They all had a fairly active day, most of the play being inside and Kip really enjoyed being with the kids. In the afternoon, I noticed his back arching a little. Not long after that, he had another "episode". He went on to have two more, the last being the worst one yet. His back arched, hinds were stiff, and then his legs just wouldn't hold him up any more and he fell to the floor. This one lasted for about 30 minutes, and in the end, he couldn't get up, all four legs not working very well. My husband massaged his back and he looked for a cool spot, then fell asleep. We noticed he seemed very hot, while asleep, and his breathing was shallow and quick, like panting, but at rest. When he woke up, he was a little better, but still had the arched back and stiff legs. His paw pads were like little hot spots, and I could feel the heat coming from his body. We took him outside, (it had been raining, the paving bricks were cold and the night was quite cool). After being outside for about 2-3 minutes, he was back to normal!!

 

So our theory is, at the dairy farm, where he was born, his mother would have been in a shed with her litter, not in a warm house. so he has probably been acclimatised to being outside and cooler weather. So, exercise in a warm house gets him over heated and he has a kind of EIC attack. (Is this what it looks like?)

 

Today, we've kept him outside (he's making friends with Tex!) and he's had some excercise, all outside. He'll sleep outside with Tex too. So far, no "episodes"!

 

Does this sound like EIC, or some kind of over heating thing? Anyone else had the same problem?

 

So pleased to be part of the community. Cheers, Lisa

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Welcome!

 

First, exactly how hot is it inside your house?

 

Second, if this was my puppy, I'd want to be talking to the vet and the breeder ASAP about what they think is going on. I'm no expert on overheating, but the few times I've seen it the dog did not have an arched back and stiff legs -- though there was some difficulting walking/staggering. I'm only guessing but the arched back sounds like pain or something with the spine, more than being overheated. Again -- not a vet and it's only been the past summer that I've seen a dog who was overheating.

 

Third, if this was my puppy, I would keep his activity way down until I knew what was happening. And even if he didn't have these episodes, I would make sure that he gets enough down time. Playing all day is not good for him, even if he had lots of fun with the kids. 9 week old puppies are like babies. They need to sleep a lot.

 

Please let us know what you find out. Hope this is easily resolved. When you get a chance post photos. :rolleyes:

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Hi,

Thanks for your feedback. I forgot a few things. We have had him checked out by our vet, and nothing showed up, of course, all normal. Thanks for the tips about the activity, we're keeping him quieter. He's outside now with our JRT (old!) and is not so active with the kids etc . Since he's been outside, we've been keeping a close eye on him and he hasn't had an episode at all.

 

We've had dogs all our lives, but are new to the BC world. I tend to think it was a fatigue/ over heating problem. We're still trying to get to the bottom of it. Have a friend who's a very good vet in Adelaide, (South Australia) so we're taking Kip to see him for a second opinion.

 

Will let you know if we have any answers.

Cheers,

Lisa

 

 

Welcome!

 

First, exactly how hot is it inside your house?

 

Second, if this was my puppy, I'd want to be talking to the vet and the breeder ASAP about what they think is going on. I'm no expert on overheating, but the few times I've seen it the dog did not have an arched back and stiff legs -- though there was some difficulting walking/staggering. I'm only guessing but the arched back sounds like pain or something with the spine, more than being overheated. Again -- not a vet and it's only been the past summer that I've seen a dog who was overheating.

 

Third, if this was my puppy, I would keep his activity way down until I knew what was happening. And even if he didn't have these episodes, I would make sure that he gets enough down time. Playing all day is not good for him, even if he had lots of fun with the kids. 9 week old puppies are like babies. They need to sleep a lot.

 

Please let us know what you find out. Hope this is easily resolved. When you get a chance post photos. :rolleyes:

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G'day to a fellow Aussie. First let me offer condolences on the loss of your Golden - she sounds as though she was very special.

 

I think you're probably on the right track pinpointing fatigue/stress as well as actual heat in relation to the wobbliness. My Border Collie girl experienced an episode when we were learning and working on a friend's sheep farm It was only mid to high 20s, but she was trying to work a mob of weaner lambs who weren't dogged - even though they had a few experienced dry ewes with them. Kirra stopped taking my commands (not totally unusual!) but then I noticed her start to wobble. I went and got her straight away, put her in my trainer's truck and started wetting her down - she recovered pretty soon. Strangely that same day, the same thing happened to one of my trainer's working dogs - she was working sheep in the yards, which she wasn't used to (so it was somewhat stressful for her) - went wobbly, but recovered quickly when dunked in the stock tank.

 

One of the problems with these guys is that they will try to keep going as long as there's activity, so you may need to keep scheduling rest periods to make sure they actually happen. And keep watching the pup during the summer (which looks like it's going to be hot) - it seems to be the case that if a dog has one episode of this, they may be more prone to another in similar circumstances. As you discovered, the remedy is wetting them down - preferably with luke warm rather than very cold water.

 

Oh - and in answer to the question about 'how hot' - don't know about in the house, but South Australia has had some mid 30s temperatures in the last little while - and it's only the start of summer - well, in fact, it's still spring.

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Hi Barb,

Nice to meet another Aussie too! Thanks for your feedback, much appreciated. Since Kip has been outside, he's been much better. He's still had a couple of minor episodes, but overall it seems to be much more under control. It's an odd thing isn't it! We found it strange that he didn't seem to be in any pain or discomfort, in fact, he actually wanted to continue playing! We've had himout with us doing some fencing just now. It's quite cool here today, about 17 C. Will keep a very close eye for the next 12 hours or so and see how he goes. Will post to let you know. good luck with your girl too.

Cheers, Lisa

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Hi Anne,

Lovely to meet you. We're near Strathalbyn, on 25 acres. Couple of horses, about 20 sheep, 2 cows and 18 alpacas! Kip has been out with us today, doing some fencing, and so far, he's fine. Cool day today. Fingers crossed!

Cheers,

LIsa

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Hello,

 

I think it is a good idea to take your little pup to the vet. These episodes sound like seizures. Arching of the back and the stiffness of the limbs is common in seizures. In addition, the body heats up during a seizure and the breathing usually increases. Many seizures having a jerky/shaking motion, but not all of them. Fatigue and excessive activities can increase seizures in a dog that is prone to them. If he is having a seizure this often (daily) then he will need medication. It is important to control it early because with each seizure the dog is at risk to have more frequent and longer seizures.

 

Mel

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi All,

Just an update on Kip's "mystery episodes". Since he's been outside with our JRT and not inside the house, the epsidodes have decreased gradually and now are non existant. We keep a very close eye on him, during the day both dogs are on our verandah where we can see them nearly all the time. (If he has had an episode when he's been out of our sight, it's been very minor, as he's with us nearly all the time.) We've had him back to the vet and also obtained an opinion from a vet friend of ours and a vet "specialist" friend. Of course, all came back normal.

 

I also thought that he was a bit under weight and had not been getting alot of meat or raw foods before we got him. Since reading alot of posts I have put him on a mostly raw diet, chicken necks, an egg every now and then, a small tin of sardines once a week etc. He hardly has kibble or canned food at all now. His weight has doubled and his legs are getting very long!

 

Whether this had made a difference or not I don't know, but we're keeping our fingers crossed!

 

Let me know what you think.

Cheers,

Lisa

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Eileen,

Thanks for the post. I'm happy to say that 4 weeks on, Kip has not had an episode that we know of. He's outside with our JRT but we do keep a very close eye on him. He's very settled and interested in his training. (how smart are these dogs!) I also tend to add stress into the initial mix now. He was very timid and scared when we first brought him home. It was the first week or so that he had all these episodes, nearly one each day. However now, he runs and is an active puppy with seemingly no side effects! Will keep you posted.

Thanks to all who have helped.

Cheers, not farewell,

Lisa

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