Your Opinions on What's Wrong With My Dog

I don’t think this is a GQ, because I probably won’t get a factual answer, more like suggestions. Maybe you guys have had older dogs go through the same thing.

Bean is nine years old. Last January, we got a new puppy, which was tough going for a while. Things seemed to be settling down to normal.

Recently, Bean’s been acting weird. Three or four nights ago, she woke us up whining and whimpering beside our bed. When my husband spoke to her, she jumped up in the bed with us and refused to budge. (Generally, she gets upset when one of us wiggles or rolls over and jumps out with a grunt of disgust.) Since then, every night, she starts whimpering in the wee hours, begging to come into our bed.

She’s been moving kind of slowly, so about a week ago, I took her to the vet to get her pain medication changed. She’d been on Deramaxx, but he changed it to Rimadyl, and suggested I give her a baby aspirin once a day. I read the warnings on the medicine, but I didn’t see anything about behavioral changes.

She’s also be vomiting more lately. She always was a puker. (She throws up a thin, yellow liquid, only a couple of tablespoons, and then seems to imediately feel better.) It used to be every once in a while, but it seems to be happening about once a week now. When I spoke to the vet, he didn’t seem all that concerned about it, and suggested Pepto, but she’ll have nothing to do with it.

Should I be concerned, or is this a normal part of the aging process?

My opinion? Get another vet. Seriously. Good luck!

Maybe it’s stress related.

Even though your dog is off the Deramaxx, I wonder if it has something to do with it. Deramaxx really did a number on my old dog’s digestive system. I heard the warnings but trusted the vet. Our dog started having horrible diarhrea. He was just not okay. I took him off the Deramaxx and gave him all kinds of heavy-duty (but over the counter) antacids. He recovered. Good luck with Bean.

If you haven’t done a urine and blood screen, do it (for the dog). Older dogs can have kidney and liver problems, especially if they are taking medicine long-term. Also, check for ‘new and improved’ dog food, even if you haven’t changed foods, has the food changed? it could be a food allergy causing the barfing. Also, dogs can have deficiencies in pancratic enzyme, there is a suppliment you can put in the food to aid digestion. I concur with the get a new vet, though. This does not sound normal.

Well, first of all, Dermaxx, Rimadyl, aspirin, are not “pain medications”. They are non-steroidal antiinflammatory drugs. The hallmarks of inflammation are redness, swelling, heat, and pain, so dealing with inflammation will address pain.

I would never use aspirin with carprofen (Rimadyl). I have seen that combo lead to full thickness GI ulceration.

Your dog’s behavior is possibly due to GI pain. I would seek a second opinion and explore the possibility that NSAID administration is causing GI discomfort/ulceration.

Either get a new vet or explain to the old one that you need your dog’s health to be assessed “from scratch” to determine what she’s suffering from, what medications are needed. etc. etc.

If she hasn’t had a blood screen lately that might be a good idea. Old dogs and kidney failure go together like peanut butter and jelly. One of the first symptoms can be vomiting, so you might want to get that checked out.
Mixing/changing/adding medications is a good way to cause gastritis or even ulcers. Aspirin and other pain killers will be additive in the regard.
IF you still aren’t getting any satisfaction, and your dog is getting worse - you might ask for a referral to an internal medicine specialist.

Good luck

I assume that a dog on chronic NSAID administration is having yearly (at least) bloodwork done.

I can’t remember if they did this at her annual checkup or not.

I am going to take the suggestion and take her back in to have a soup-to-nuts checkup done.

hillbilly queen, I can’t imagine that it’s stress, because nothing has recently changed. She seems to at least tolerate the puppy’s presence, and we make it a point to demonstrate that her status is higher. (She’s allowed on the furniture and in our bed where the puppy is not.)

I would guess she’s got some reflux esophagitis, possibly related to all the anti-inflammatory drugs, and that is why vomiting a bit makes her feel (a bit) better.


Bean’s blood work came back today. I took her in the day before yesterday and said she needed to be checked out all over. The vet examined her, said that nothing was physically wrong, but that they’d send off a blood sample for analysis. She gave me an antibiotic (guessing she might have a bacterial imbalance in her tummy) and an anti-vomiting drug.

The vet called me, left a message, and said that the results show she has a slight enzyme inbalance. She thinks the antibiotic might clear it up, but I should call her after the course of drugs is finished to let her know how Bean is doing and that she wants to do more blood work in a month. She said that if the antiiotic doesn’t clear it up, it may be her gall bladder.

What happens then? Since I didn’t directly speak to the vet, I didn’t get to ask what happens if it is a gall bladder problem. Does that mean surgery?

Did the vet say anything about GI upset? vetbridge is right. I’ve read about dogs having problems with some of the NSAIDs like Rimadyl.

She mentioned that, and asked me if Bean was able to keep her food down. I said I never saw any food particles in her vomit-- it was just bile. She gave me the anitbiotic and also an anti-vomiting drug.

I haven’t found any puddles since then, and maybe it’s just wishful thinking, but Bean seems a little better to me.

Still, if it is her gall bladder, what am I looking at, treatment wise? Anybody know?

Gall bladder disease (infection/stones/tumors) is relatively rare in the dog and would require ultrasound to confirm. Bile stasis (slow emptying of the gall bladder) can be suggested by blood tests. There are several drugs that promote gall bladder contraction (Ursodiol is one) and several antibiotics that get good biliary penetration.