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HELP. Sick Dog - Desperately Worried Owner!

by Lorraine O' Shea

Firstly, my extreme apologies for such a long post, but it is a long story no matter what way I put it so here goes: I'm hoping someone can help me out. I have a female JRT approx 1.5 yrs old. Her name is Nell. 2 weeks ago she was making hacking noises so I took her to the vet. He said she had Kennel Cough/Bronchitis and an elevated temperature. However, I said I felt this was strange as she does not play with other dogs where I live and the other only dogs she has contact with are my Mums and they are all fine. However, he gave her a steroid injection and then gave me antibiotics and other tablets for her. She was very lifeless after the injection but later improved. Before finishing the course of tablets, I had to take her back to the vet again as she started shaking and her stomach was making strange churning noises all the time and she was just not herself. The vet said her stomach was probably upset from the antibiotics and gave her an injection to supposedly replace the friendly bacteria in her gut. He said that there was no need now for her to take the antibiotics any more. He also took blood and said everything was fine and her temperature was normal now also. He has just put the shaking down to the fact the dog is sick so may be feeling the cold. She is very much a house dog and the house is nice and warm. He has now given her Cimetidine 200mg twice per day. She is a 5.2kg dog. I googled these tablets and although they are human medication, vets are allowed to prescribe it. I found a thread that said 5mg per 1lb of dog - which would mean my dog should only have approx 60mg for her weight? He has her on 400mg per day. At the end of all of this, Nell is just acting very strange and doing a lot of things she would not normally do. She normally would follow me everywhere in the house and is a very active dog, playing with togs, jumping all over the furniture, hiding pigs ears all over the house, barking at anyone that passes by the house etc. She has now stopped most of this with the exception of the barking now and again. A few times when I have rubbed her she has moved away whereas normally she would be glued to me. This morning I took her for a walk which she just loves (sick or not) and by the time we got back to the house she was shivering! She sits down the other end of the couch from me now just starting blankly at me sometimes. She seems to be eating normally but is drinking lots of water. Initially I wasn't sure if this was the steroids but she is still the same now (almost 2 weeks after the injection). So now that the Vet has said there is no need for the antibiotics, I am at a loss to understand what is going on. I am reluctant to go back to the Vet as I think the constant injections and tablets the last couple of weeks are making her worse, not better. Can anyone help here or has anyone experienced similar? I have her on Science Plan dog food now (Vet said plain and best for when sick). Her normal diet is dried dog food, I cook her Mince Meat and treats of dental sticks, pigs ears/rawhide bones and the odd bit of Doggy Chocolate. I don't feed her scraps. Both myself and Nell would be very grateful for any help you can give us. I'm sure she wants to be back to her normal self as much as I want her to be!

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Aug 14, 2012
Sick dog - JRT - Ireland
by: KJ

Maybe too much of too many things may have been given to your dog. As with humans, it all may be too much for your JRT (that includes those injections.) You may want to go to the store and get a couple 28oz. boxes of white Minute Rice. Get a pot out and boil 8-9 cups of water. Follow the directions and stir in (1) entire boxful. When its cool and fluffy (and I refrg or freeze it right away what's not going to be used that day) - add it to a small portion of whatever food your dog liked before, Just mix this 'bland' oooked white rice right into it. Maybe cut up a bit of a hotdog and dice it/mix it into the rice, too as everyone likes variety. (-: I've done this for many years (over 30) as I take in abused, abandoned and neglected dogs so I know very little about them when they come in my door. I also agree Sc. Diet is not always better/the name itself just spells $$. Let your JRT get its insides straightened out and rest. Watch its stool to be more normal. If it works - they'll slowly return to their old-selves on their own w/o further expense...and (no) the cooked rice will not harm them one way or the other. I wish you luck.

Jan 29, 2012
Sick dog
by: Anonymous

Diseases of the heart and lungs should be ruled out before making the diagnosis. Did your vet do this?

Dogs with mild to moderate symptoms respond to proper nutrition and a low-stress routine that avoids situations that trigger episodes of coughing. Moderate exercise is beneficial. Using a harness or head halter instead of a collar is important because that can trigger the cough.

Overweight dogs should be put on a weight-loss diet. Eliminate cigarette smoke and other atmospheric pollutants that can trigger coughing.

Personally I am not a fan of Science Diet, I think there are fillers int here. A great option is to go with an entirely grainless diet. Many of the high quality foods now put out grainless formulas. Some good grainless diet's include: Innova EVO, Wellness CORE, Blue Wilderness, Nature's Variety Instinct, Orijen, Fromm Surf & Turf, Now! and Sold Gold Barking At The Moon, Taste of the Wild.

Hope your pup starts feeling better soon!

Jan 26, 2012
Nell still sick
by: Lorraine & Nell

Hi there, I did contact another vet and he said he thought she actually had a collapsed trachea for which I am now giving her medication. Vet said common enough in small dogs but I never heard of it before. The shivering stopped thankfully. However, although she had stopped vomiting, she started again this week and despite giving her medication for this, she is still eating grass (obviously trying to make herself sick). She is so sad looking, sleeping a lot, no interest in her toys, following me everywhere and howling at me the minute I go away from her. I just seem to be going around in circles.

Dec 30, 2011
Dog sick
by: Anonymous

It sounds like Nell may still be sick. Kennel Cough can be hard to get rid of sometimes or maybe it's viral infection of some sort or she has an infection of some sort that is causing her to shake/shiver and not be herself. I'm sure it has been very hard for you to see her like this. Is there a different vet in town so that you can get a second opinion?

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