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What's happening with my dog

Discussion in 'Dog Chat' started by BeauBeau, Jan 12, 2019.


  1. BeauBeau

    BeauBeau PetForums Junior

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    Hi everyone,
    I have a 19 months old male English cocker spaniel. Really well behaved, trained, never had any major issues with him. I was going on a trip last week and on the morning of I woke up to find out he had runs and left his stuff at two different places in the room (he would normally never toilette at home - house broken since 4 months of age). Runs happened before so I checked if he had appetite (he did) and if he was energetic (he was), so I thought nothing much of it. Because I was going on a trip, I had to leave him at a dog hotel (he has stayed there before and never had issues with it). He doesn't suffer from separation anxiety. When I picked up four days later they told me he threw up the day before so they gave him some vet recommended food instead of the food I left for him. I didn't think much of it (he threw up before - he is a cocker spaniel, always eats stuff he finds in the street and occasionally throws it up - its my biggest worry that one day he will eat something really bad, but I can't stop him, or can I?). He seemed fine otherwise, was happy, energetic, wanted to eat. The next day it was all fine. To reward him, I gave him a portion of raw meat he was raised on (I bought it at a special store and defrosted it) for supper. He loves it and has eaten it as a puppy and sporadically as a teenager/adult.
    This morning when we left the house he did his no.2 about five minutes after we went out and it was very very runny one. We had a long walk, he was running, energetic, playful with other dogs, he was happy to get treats, etc. I did see him once licking his mouth like when they do after eating so I scolded him a bit but that was it. He made that guilty face when he knows he shouldn't have eaten it. It was all fine until we got home. I put his breakfast in front of him (his regular dry food) and he wasn't so interested. Normally he jumps at his bowl and eats everything in a second. This morning no, I actually had to give him a piece or two to make him eat. He then started eating it, but very slow and didn't finish his normal portion. He left a third behind. He seemed very sort of quiet. A friend of mine came over for coffee whom he knows well and he was very happy to see him. His tail was wagging, he was jumping, he wanted to play, but then again he went quiet, calmed down, retreated to his bed and 2-3 minutes later threw up, big one, everything he ate for breakfast, if not more. Since then he has been very quiet. He is a cuddly dog but not too cuddly. He likes to sit in my lap but after five minutes he gets too hot and bored and leaves. Today I took him in my lap after he threw up to comfort him and he set there for 45 minutes, cuddled up. I took him outside for a short pee walk and he seemed fine, interested in what's going on around him, did his stuff (did not do no.2 - probably nothing had to come up since he threw up all), we came back home and he is sleeping now.
    I read online that dogs get stomach flu and that its pretty normal. But I am really worried its something serious. I can't take him to the vet until Monday and I am keeping him off food until tomorrow afternoon. I will give him some chicken broth and rice.
    Has anyone had this sort of experience?
    Many thanks
     
  2. mrs phas

    mrs phas karma is a funny old thing

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    Could he have eaten something like a ball or a large stone, a piece of sponge etc that is blocking the food being swallowed, so he has no choice but to throw it back up

    To stop him being a scavenger, muzzle train him, use a Baskerville so he can breath and drink naturally, no cloth muzzles
     
  3. BeauBeau

    BeauBeau PetForums Junior

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    Thanks mrs phas!
    Ill look into muzzle training.
    Otherwise, does this sort of thing sound serious?
     
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  4. Rafa

    Rafa PetForums VIP

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    If he's vomiting food he's eaten, then it shouldn't be serious in the short term, but does need to be investigated.

    The fact that he's pooping would suggest he doesn't have an obstruction.

    It does sound as though he may have a problem with his bowel, such as inflammation or infection.

    If he's no better on Monday, I would let your Vet see him.
     
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  5. fernlady

    fernlady PetForums VIP

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    Firstly, there is no need to scold your dog, he doesn't know what guilty means & secondly take him to the vet.
     
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  6. Sarah H

    Sarah H Grand Empress of the Universe

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    Once they have had a tummy upset it can take a while to get over it as it can strip the digestive tract of all the good bacteria, and it can take a long time to repopulate it. I'd definitely see the vet, and try to get some probiotics from them as well as whatever they want to give him, as this will help get the gut bacteria back up and running which in turn will help him feel better.
     
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  7. Sairy

    Sairy PetForums VIP

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    I don't get why you scolded him for licking his mouth after eating a treat. Am I missing something?
     
  8. BeauBeau

    BeauBeau PetForums Junior

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    Not a treat, but some leftovers or whatever it was he found in a park and ate.
     
  9. Udon

    Udon Guest

    He’s not going to learn what it is you want him to learn from that negative interaction though. He’s just learning a negative reaction with you is possible, and it might interrupt your connection with him.
     
  10. Sairy

    Sairy PetForums VIP

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    OK. For future reference there is no point in telling him off for this. Once it's eaten, it's eaten and he won't connect the fact that you are telling him off for the fact that he has just eaten something. If you are having issues with him eating things he shouldn't on walks then keep an eye on him and teach a good "leave" command so you can stop him before he starts eating it. If it's really bad then you could try putting a basket muzzle on him (make sure you introduce it slowly and make it a positive thing) to help prevent him picking things up.
     
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  11. BeauBeau

    BeauBeau PetForums Junior

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    I am not sure I agree with this. Dogs are smarter than we think. If he knows how to put on a guilty face and tail between his legs when he eats something he shouldn't it means he knows it's something naughty to begin with. And if he is aware I can see him before he puts something in his mouth in the street he won't do it. And then I give him a treat for NOT picking it up. So, he will only do it behind my back so to speak. I consulted with the vet and a dog trainer about this and both agreed. I can't see my cute cocker spaniel with a muzzle on.
     
  12. Sairy

    Sairy PetForums VIP

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    Dogs do not feel "guilt" - it is a human emotion. The "guilty" look you are referring to is your dog knowing you are unhappy and him trying to appease you. If you have told him off for licking his lips previously then he may now connect this with being told off so is more likely to try to appease you quicker, but he doesn't think "oh I'm being told off because I was naughty and ate something I shouldn't" - they just don't think like that.

    I would encourage you to look at modern scientific research on dog behaviour.

    Why can't your dog wear a muzzle? Are muzzles only designed for certain breeds???
     
  13. JoanneF

    JoanneF PetForums VIP

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    Dogs don't feel guilt in this way. And to a dog with food, possession is ten tenths of the law. He is reacting like this not out of guilt but because his human has turned angry for reasons he doesn't understand and he is displaying appeasement signals, not guilt.
    Fair enough. Train a good 'leave it', 'drop it' and be prepared for some vet bills.
     
  14. JoanneF

    JoanneF PetForums VIP

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    Cross posted with @Sairy!
     
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  15. Burrowzig

    Burrowzig PetForums VIP

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    No, he's just very good at seeing that you're annoyed, and acting to appease you. He won't act guilty the same way if he thinks you don't know he did something 'wrong'. Of course to a dog, a natural scavenger, eating what they can, when they find, it is pretty much hard-wired into them. Not wrong at all in terms of being a dog.
     
  16. Ceiling Kitty

    Ceiling Kitty Hides away from much through humour...

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    There is no need for a muzzle to have such negative connotations - the dog's cuteness factor doesn't come into it. Don't judge a dog by its muzzle!

    If you can't get on top of the scavenging behaviour then a muzzle may become a useful tool - unless you can better imagine your cute Cocker Spaniel on an operating table with the vet cutting into his guts to retrieve whatever bit of rubbish he last ate!

    I agree with what has been said re the 'guilty' look. Dogs aim to appease angry humans and the body language they display in doing so may resemble what humans think of as guilt. It isn't. Some basic reading around canine body language should help you get a better handle of what he's telling you.

    I'd also be wary of setting up too many negative connotations around scavenging with a breed prone to resource guarding, such as the Cocker Spaniel - far better to stick with the positive reinforcement instead.
     
  17. Gemmaa

    Gemmaa PetForums VIP

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    I've recently started putting a muzzle on my 'cute' terrier because he keeps eating random things on walks. I decorated the muzzle with Duck Tape so it looks a bit friendlier. A couple of people have asked if he bites, but I've just explained why he wears it.
    I would rather a few strangers thought my dog was nasty, than risk him eating something poisonous and dying.
     
  18. BeauBeau

    BeauBeau PetForums Junior

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    You may notice that there were no negative connotations about muzzle, but a simple expression of preference. No need to be so sensitive. If you like it, go for it.
     
  19. Gemmaa

    Gemmaa PetForums VIP

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    Not being sensitive, but hey, if you want to risk your dogs life, go for it!
     
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  20. Sairy

    Sairy PetForums VIP

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    You said " I can't see my cute cocker spaniel with a muzzle on."

    This implies that only dogs that aren't "cute" wear muzzles. Could be seen as a negative connotation.
     
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