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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 24379
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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My 8 month old female GSD was fine day before yesterday, was

Customer Question

My 8 month old female GSD was fine day before yesterday, was a little lazy yesterday, and today will not get up when called. She has a concerned look on her face. When we picked her up to move her to the porch, she didn't struggle but put her tail between her legs. She did get up off the porch to lay under it. She is drinking water. She ate tuna but won't eat the dry dog food. Her gums are pink. What could this be?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. Your GSD's symptoms are quite nonspecific and not pathognomonic (specifically indicative) of any one disorder. In these cases, determining the urgency of having her attended to by her vet is the first order of business. You've already checked her gum color and found it to be nicely pink. Please assess her respiratory rate at rest. She should be taking less than 40 breaths/minute. Finally, please take her rectal temperature. Any body thermometer placed 1.5" into her rectum for 1 minute should suffice. Normal is 100.5-102.5F. This is a two person job! Please let me know what you find.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
She has a temp. of 103.4 degrees and we counted 39 breaths in one minute.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

Thank you. She's febrile which would explain her lassitude. Fever arises secondary to systemic inflammation - usually the inflammation associated with infection - but unless additional symptoms arise the source of the infection remains unknown. Has anything untoward arisen since you first posted?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Nothing. She's eating wet food, drinking, moving herself around occasionally, ears are perked. She still won't come when we call her. She still looks unhappy...
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for the additional information. Is there any evidence of her coming into heat? Has she already been spayed?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
She has not been spayed. What are the signs of coming into heat?
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

Behavior change, swelling of the vulva followed by bleeding (proestrus) and estrus (receptive to male). Please take a look at her vulva and tell me if it looks enlarged to you.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Not swollen at all.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

One less concern...'tis a mystery so far...please return to our conversation in the morning (it's ~7PM here) with an update or have her vet take a look at her if there's been no change for the better.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Dog did not eat last night but it drinking water. She is still listless this morning. We locked her on the porch last night to monitor her. This morning there is a pool of reddish brown liquid (blood?). Her vulva looks a little swollen (more so than last night) but the liquid looks like it may have come out of her bottom, though we didn't see it. Ears warm. Gums pink. Breathing same.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
We have two other older dogs. Both are perfectly fine.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for the update. Please have her attended to by her vet. She has exhausted my "watchful waiting" period. I suspect that that reddish brown liquid represents severe diarrhea.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Vet said it's a severe case of parvo. He said on a scale of 1-9, 9 being the best, ***** ***** a 2. He said she's probably had it awhile even though she wasn't showing symptoms.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

Oh my. Was the parvo ELISA test confirmatory? Did your GSD have a questionable vaccine history?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
She had a positive parvo test. The previous owner said she had completed the Parvo vaccine. Vet sent her home with a shot of antibiotics and a bag of fluid to keep her hydrated. She died 3 hours after leaving the vet.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

My condolences for your loss. I appreciate your taking the time to let me know.

You may receive an inappropriate follow up sent by the site ostensibly sent by me. It wasn't and I apologize in advance should you receive it.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for your help. We won't be having any more puppies while we live on this property. This was a horrible way to watch our dog go. I wish the vet had been willing to put her down. She really suffered those last 3 hours.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

You're welcome. I agree with you.