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17th May 2022

Dog owners warned about the “big stretch”

Ellen Fitzpatrick

Always alert.

A pet owner on TikTok has issued an urgent warning to fellow animal lovers about the “big stretch” that dogs do.

Taking to the social media app, the woman warned other dog owners about the pose dogs do when they stretch forwards in the “downward dog” style yoga pose.

The seemingly normal stretch can actually be an alarming animal warning sign, according to the woman, and she has urge owners to take their dog to the vet if they start doing this.

As it seems, the “big stretch” is actually a warning sign of cancer, with the TikToker saying: “Really wish I would have caught this sooner #cancer.”

While it isn’t a sign they are suffering specifically from cancer, it can signal other abdominal related issues and diseases.

@sweetteatate Really wish I would have caught this sooner. #cancer ♬ Get You The Moon (feat. Snøw) – Kina

Dr Anna Foreman, a Everypaw Pet Insurance’s  vet told the Mirror: “The prayer position is something we see in dogs who have abdominal pain, whether this be acute (such as involved in a gastric dilation or foreign body obstruction) or chronic (associated with masses in the abdomen or ongoing inflammatory processes).”

She added that the stretching can help subside pain for a brief moment, the same way humans do “when we eat a large meal.”

“Lymphoma in dogs where we see ‘lumps and weight loss’ (as described in the article) tends to be sub-typed as multicentric lymphoma, a lymphoma which affects the lymph nodes around the body, some of which are in the abdomen,” she added.

“Diagnosis tends to come from palpation of superficial lymph nodes such as the popliteal (behind the knee) and axial (in the armpits) rather than a dog doing this prayer position, however, the two are not mutually exclusive.”

It should be noted that when a dog stretches like this after lying down for a while, there is nothing to worry about. It’s only when they hold the pose for a while and immediately sit or lay down again that we should be worried, or when other symptoms are involved.

The other symptoms for any abdominal issues to look out for include lack of appetite, lethargy and vomiting with acute diseases, weight loss, and drinking more and urinating more in chronic diseases.