For the last few days we've been struggling with what's wrong with Oshi. Last weekend we thought his bottom was worrying him so when Sasha had to get a shot at the vet on Tuesday we had the vet clean out Oshi's anal glands. She also noticed some swelling at the base of his tail but after aspirating it with no result concluded he'd been licking it, perhaps because the anal glands were sore.
On Wednesday he was fussing with his rear end, but he was also wolfing down his food (as he always used to but not so much lately). I figured maybe a worm treatment was in order so we did that. When moving he'd suddenly sit down and fuss with his rear end. His bottom seemed to be really bothering him, with lots of suddenly paying attention to it.
By Thursday he was still fussing, and nibbling, so I tried a flea treatment even though I couldn't see any signs of fleas and it was only 3 weeks since the last one. Great appetite, perfectly good pooping. Also he was spending a lot of time in his bed and seemed reluctant to move. Sometimes he'd cry a bit, and he looked very sad. When he did move he'd scuttle or bolt but suddenly stop to pay attention to his rear end. Check the first couple of seconds of the video below. He was also holding his tail to the left, pressed against his bottom. In these dogs the tail is usually curled over the back unless the dog's frightened or something when it droops. This holding it to the left was definitely weird.
By Friday I was very concerned and things seemed worse so I made an urgent appointment to see Mary the vet again. She checked him over, took his temperature and checked his bottom. He didn't seem to have pain — she could move his tail, work his legs and so on and he didn't mind any more than usual. On the theory that this was possibly allergy related or itching caused by excessive licking because of the previously full anal glands she prescribed Apoquel which "starts relieving allergic dog itch within 4 hours — and controls it within 24 hours".
Saturday morning arrived and Oshi was no better. In fact he was worse with not wanting to move around. I had to coax him out of bed to eat the food he then hoovered up. I carried him to the car. We had a few moments at the dog park before seeing the vet and he did zoom around a bit, but always stopping to worry his rear end. When he 'bolts' (rather than walks) I have the impression he's trying to get away from his rear end. Charlie the weekend vet squeezed Oshi in and after more temperature taking and limb manipulation and exploration of Oshi's rectum concluded Oshi's symptoms were a puzzle. He sent us home with Rilexine antibiotics, and an instruction to give Oshi 1/4 of a paracetamol tablet if he seemed in pain, no more than twice a day.
Sunday: Oshi's no better. He really doesn't want to move around and his legs seem a little weak: when he was having a pee (after I carried him to the dog yard) his front legs seemed to give way a bit so he put down his back leg, but carried on peeing. If there's no change by tomorrow morning we'll be asking the vet to do more thorough tests — perhaps an X-ray (not so desirable for a 14 year old dog because he'll have to be knocked out for it — the risks from anaesthetic are a bit high). One odd thing: around 1 pm we gave him 1/4 of a paracetamol. Within moments he stood up and licked my leg (I was right in front of him), then went into the kitchen and sniffed mightily as though on the track of a wonderful treat. Then he got back on his bed and pretty much refused to move again until I chivvied him out to eat the dinner he wolfed down.
So, we're worried about what's going on with Oshi. He seems mainly fine so long as he's in his bed. He trembles while standing to eat his food and any time he tries to move he goes fast then stops suddenly, maybe sitting, and fusses with his rear. It's mysterious! And worrying!
And suddenly, between writing this and posting it Oshi seems very slightly better … maybe. We'll see what a night's sleep brings.