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15-year old dog screaming randomly - Have you got experience of this?

(25 Posts)
Rattitude Wed 05-Aug-15 20:48:14

My Mum has a 15-year old dog (poodle and bichon frise mix). He has slowed down recently but he is in fairly good condition. He is deaf though and suffering from cataract.

Last week, he screamed randomly, as if he was in pain, a few times. Initially, it happened when he was on a walk and we thought he had hurt his legs but we checked and there was nothing and he was not limping.

Nothing has happened for the past few days but he screamed again twice today.

Has anybody got any experience of this and what the cause might be? Could some internal issue (tumour?) cause him sudden and occasional pain?

Thanks for any advice.

LimeJellyHead Wed 05-Aug-15 21:11:23

We had the same thing recently with our 15 year oldie. She suddenly went a bit crazy as if something was hurting her or bothering her. Not sure but she seemed to be in some kind of panic or scared about something very acute. We took her to the vet just in case, who checked her anal glands etc... She does have a large lump so it could have been that but it remains a bit of a mystery.

If it always happens on walks, it could be something with his feet or legs?

Rattitude Wed 05-Aug-15 21:35:01

Thanks, Lime. It has occasionally happened when he was in the house too, so it does not seem related to his legs.

Your dog's symptoms seem similar to ours.

We have checked him loosely and we cannot feel any lumps, but it seems as if the issue might be internal.

SunshineAndShadows Thu 06-Aug-15 08:25:52

Vet here and would also suggest AG pain. Common in older dogs and often affects them as they walk - she may try and suddenly sit down.
Ask the vet or nurse to check them

Rattitude Thu 06-Aug-15 09:46:32

Thanks. If the problem is his anal glands, is there a treatment that will sort them out or relieve the pain?

LimeJellyHead Thu 06-Aug-15 10:07:54

Anal glands can be emptied, yes. Ask the vet first.

Yes, it does seem really similar.... our two dogs. Our Darcey has a lump that is possibly hurting her sometimes, so the vet wonders if it is that, suddenly and occasionally giving her a sharp pain.

Rattitude Thu 06-Aug-15 10:13:50

He has screamed twice more this morning so we are taking him to the vet this afternoon.

Lime, is your dog still screaming occasionally?

Fearless91 Thu 06-Aug-15 15:41:29

It doesn't really sound like anal glands in all honesty.

Sounds more like his legs/bones/joints or something may be caught in his paw??

Rattitude Thu 06-Aug-15 15:54:30

We didn't think it was his anal glands either.

We have been to the vet and it was not the usual one. He was not great to be honest. He did not even examine him properly. hmm

He gave our dog a calming injection and some medicine for us to give him for his arthritis. Having looked online, it seems that another common cause might be some spinal cord issue or syringomyelia.

Not sure what to think to be honest. We will wait to see if the yelping stops and go to see the usual vet next week if it does not. Poor little dog!

SunshineAndShadows Thu 06-Aug-15 18:35:47

It's pretty unlikely to be syringomyelia.
Spinal cord impingement willusually present with neurological deficits
Did the vet check for back pain?
It could be an osteoarthritis flare up in which case the medication will help. Did he check the anal glands?

Rattitude Thu 06-Aug-15 21:23:18

Thanks, Sunshine. I am no expert but the vet check was really cursory.

He took his temperature anally so I assume he would have spotted anything wrong with his anal glands then...?

I am not convinced he checked for back pain specifically. He really seemed to focus on his arthritis, which is a bit of an easy diagnosis considering our dog's age. The dog has been fine this afternoon though. Fingers crossed that the injection and the medicine relieve the pain.

SunshineAndShadows Thu 06-Aug-15 23:55:23

Nope taking a temperature would not check AG pain unless he also did a rectal exam?

My own dogs get this and I see it a lot in clients dogs too. The issue may well be arthritis but the AG issue is worth ruling out - many vets don't check them routinely (sigh!)

Does he ever drag his bottom? bite lick or chew at hind feet or flanks?

Of course it could well be spinal/arthritis/a myriad of other things and Internet diagnoses area impossible but I'd want to rule it out.

SunshineAndShadows Thu 06-Aug-15 23:56:01

Regardless, the pain releif will help

Rattitude Fri 07-Aug-15 14:45:22

I am not sure he did a rectal exam. He certainly did not mention the dog's anal glands.

However, he (the dog, not the vet!) does not drag his bottom on the floor. He bites and licks his front legs and paws but he has lots of warts and they bother him. He his wiping his face a lot on the sofa and armchairs but he has always done this to an extent.

Anyway, he has not yelped since we visited the vet, which is good.

Thanks a lot for your contributions. I will try and post a picture later so that you can see how lovely a dog he is. smile

Rattitude Fri 07-Aug-15 20:45:13

Here are a couple of pictures. He has yelped again this evening. sad

TheyGotTheMustardOut Fri 07-Aug-15 20:48:53

We had this with our dog, it turned out to be tumours that had started to bleed internally. Besides the yelping in pain she would become very lethargic due to the bleeding. It happened to another dog I knew as well. Both were elderly dogs.

Rattitude Fri 07-Aug-15 20:59:53

Thanks, Mustard.

How did you/the vet find out that your dog was bleeding internally? Did your dog have to be put to sleep or could anything be done to help him/her?

TheyGotTheMustardOut Fri 07-Aug-15 21:20:55

Our vet had seen it before and made an educated guess and confirmed it via x-ray. It was too advanced for us to do anything but palliative care. We kept her comfortable and as long as she was eating and enjoying life we treasured our time.

It is tough with old dogs and just heartbreaking. I hope for the best for your mum's dog. flowers

Rattitude Fri 07-Aug-15 21:37:27

Thanks for your kind words, Mustard.

imabusybee Thu 13-Aug-15 04:31:07

It could be a trapped nerve - something my poodles suffered with once they were over 10 y/o when I was younger. I understand it's a common issue in older poodles. We relieved it by massaging the area (it was their necks) when they were in pain & treating with an anti inflammatory. Your vet should really be looking to rule out less serious causes (like a trapped nerve) before moving on to thinking about more serious issues that could be causing your poor pooch pain. Hope its fixed soon & something minor xx

Rattitude Thu 13-Aug-15 22:31:48

Thanks, Bee. Our poor little dog was put to sleep on Monday.

The pain relief prescribed by the vet last week had no effect and our dog went downhill. He did not eat nor drink on Sunday, and was walking around the house avoiding us if we tried to stroke him. On Monday, he did not move from the sofa. He also had a sore eye.

We took him to a different vet this time. We had to carry him to the car.

We had already made our mind up when we went to the vet. We never had a proper diagnosis about what caused his pains. The vet did check his anal glands this time, and also conducted a gentle examination: we would have hated for him to suffer a painful examination before being put to sleep. For once, he was not even trembling much whilst being examined.

The vet suggested that the pains might have been caused by tumours bursting...

I think he was dying. It was heartbreaking to see him as he was but it was even more so to have him put to sleep. Thankfully for my Mum, my sister and I were with her to take him to the vet, and he fell asleep in my Mum's arms.

TheyGotTheMustardOut Thu 13-Aug-15 22:51:04

My condolences to you, your mum, and family thanks

I know how tough it is to make that decision and to lose a beloved animal.

Rattitude Thu 13-Aug-15 22:55:35

Thanks, Mustard. It was the first time I went through this and it was tough. The vet was very kind and caring with our dog and us though, which helped a bit.

TheyGotTheMustardOut Thu 13-Aug-15 23:09:43

A good vet makes all the difference. I only ever encountered one terrible vet and it made things so much worse.

imabusybee Fri 14-Aug-15 07:49:39

Oh gosh I am so sorry sad such sad news. flowersflowersflowers sorry for your loss xx

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