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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

Just wondered if anyone else has ever been told or worked out the subtle difference between the play bow and prayer position dogs adopt when in pain? I know that there is a very subtle difference but I am unsure what it is.

grateful for any thoughts :)
 

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Kate
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I'm not sure what you mean by "prayer position". I can't picture anything like that. o_O

Dogs take whatever position that helps alleviate the pain. And if there is no position, then they will be restless and pacing.

The main thing that I've noticed is the look in their eyes tends to be distant or distracted.

When a dog is playbowing - it's either an invitation to play or a submissive/evasive gesture. Their eyes will be bright and their entire body is generally alert.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hi Megora - thanks for the reply :)

Basically in the UK (not sure about elsewhere) there is a position known as prayer position where the dog bows its front paws down and sticks its bum up in the air which is VERY similar to the play bow but something they normally do when they have abdominal pain.

Our albie is a bit of a loon so is alert and excited as ever but he is having some tummy trouble right now and i wondered if anyone else had the same and was able to tell the difference by posture alone. im pretty sure that he is feeling a little blue but i would like to be able to pin down whether he is just stretching after a sleep or in discomfort. he certainly isnt in the position to play as its normally when he is waking up or close to when he has woken but i would like to know if its stretchin or pain.... :)
 

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Kate
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Okay... I just went and googled the term I've never heard of the term or seen anything like that... but it's apparently common. o_O

Have you seen any of the other symptoms listed below?

If your dog is in pain, I would rush him to the vet. My Danny had pancreatitis twice in his life, and both times it was pretty serious.

Acute Painful Abdomen in Dogs
An acute painful abdomen is an emergency that may lead to death of the dog unless treatment is started at once. The signs of an acute abdomen are the sudden onset of pain, along with whining and crying, retching and vomiting, extreme restlessness and inability to find a comfortable position, grunting, and labored breathing. The abdomen is extremely painful when pressed.

Characteristically, the dog may assume a prayer position with his chest to the floor and his rump in the air. As the condition worsens, the dog’s pulse becomes weak and thready, the mucous membranes become pale, and the dog goes into shock.
If you see any of these signs, call your veterinarian at once! Early surgical intervention is life-saving.

One of the following conditions may be the cause of acute abdomen:
Bloat
Urinary stones obstructing the bladder
Trauma to the abdomen with internal injury
Rupture of the bladder
Poisoning
Rupture of the pregnant uterus
Peritonitis
Acute pancreatitis
Intestinal obstruction
Twisting of the intestines
 

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Discussion Starter #5
yes that is it exactly, albie was at the vets this morning and has some medicine for his tummy but between my husband the vet and myself it was hard to pin down albies pain level and the prayer position can be a good marker but because its so similar its difficult to tell and we never quite managed to come to a conclusion!

he is alert etc but obviously if he is trying to show us he is in pain then i want to respond and help him.

need a dog body language expert! :)
 
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