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Doc Sara
Doc Sara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 952
Experience:  I am a dog and cat veterinarian with a lifetime of experience in our family veterinary hospital.
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My two month shitzu seems to have a bad cold. Her face

Customer Question

My two month shitzu seems to have a bad cold. Her face around her nose is all wet from what seems to be running nose. She is also sneezing. Is this like humans, a cold? How should I proceed? Thank you
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Doc Sara replied 1 year ago.

Hi there, I'm Dr. Sara. I'm a licensed veterinarian who works exclusively with dogs and cats. I'm sorry to hear that Panda has been congested. How is she acting? Is she still eating and drinking and playing like normal?

~Dr. Sara

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
She is whining a bit, sneezing and her nose area is very wet. She is not as perky as before
Expert:  Doc Sara replied 1 year ago.

Is she still eating and drinking normally?

~Dr. Sara

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
She has not been eating her formula. This just started when I came home. She was alright this morning when I left
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I can say she has not be eating or drinking like before
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
She is not playing like before either. She does want to stay in her bed. Even though she is not playful, she seems restless and uncomfortable
Expert:  Doc Sara replied 1 year ago.

OK thanks for the extra info. I'm really relieved to hear that she's still eating well. With these teeny ones it's very important that whatever is going on, they continue to eat frequently, as they are very prone to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).

Puppies can definitely get infectious "colds" just like people do. Many times it's viral, while sometimes it can be bacterial. Antibiotics don't help for viral issues - only time and TLC will get you through a virus. In general if they are still eating and drinking normally and growing well, I don't get too concerned about a watery nose or eyes. If she's sounding congested or her appetite continues to decrease, I'd suggest having her looked at by your vet tomorrow. If she has any sort of respiratory difficulty or labored breathing or blue-tinged gums, those would be red flags to indicate that she should be seen at an emergency clinic ASAP.

You can humidify a congested puppy by running a humidifier or having her in the bathroom while you run a hot shower to steam up the room - this is a good way to moisturize the nasal passages and break up congestion.

Please let me know what other questions I can handle for you.

~Dr. Sara

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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Is there any medication I can give her like a antihistamine or decogestant? she is sneezing a lot and her nasal area is very wet,
Expert:  Doc Sara replied 1 year ago.

Unfortunately in a puppy that small and young, there are no decongestants or antihistamines that I could call safe - their metabolisms are not fully formed yet, so it's not a good idea to use most medications. Truthfully, even in adult dogs we rarely if ever use decongestants because they have questionable benefit, if any. Just as in children, the best thing to do is make sure that they stay hydrated, well fed, and rested, as well as know when to call the doctor.

~Dr. Sara

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your response. I acquired panda due to certain circumstances, away from her mother at 5 weeks old. I have been feeding formula and she has grown considerably. What are the next steps necessary for puppies her age ,ie: shots, vaccinations or other normal health procedures for dogs?
Expert:  Doc Sara replied 1 year ago.

She should start her vaccination series between 6-8 weeks of age, so it sounds like she's due for her first vet visit any time now. They'll likely do her first distemper and a broad spectrum deworming. Puppies should have a distemper-adenovirus-parvovirus combination vaccine every three to four weeks until they are 14-16 weeks of age, so you're likely in for 4 booster vaccine visits in the next few months. They will advise you on when your state requires a rabies vaccine and when they recommend starting any other vaccines like lyme, lepto, kennel cough, or others that might be necessary in your area. Also, take a stool sample to her first visit so that they can check for intestinal parasites.

I'm glad to hear that she's thriving in your care - keep up the good work!

~Dr. Sara

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks again. One final question. Panda is peeing and pippin anywhere she wants and rarely on the training pads. I am sort of expecting this cause of her young age. Any training advise for now or up coming weeks?
Expert:  Doc Sara replied 1 year ago.

Good morning :) It's not unusual at all for a pup this young to have no clue that she's supposed to eliminate in a certain place - you can start potty training now, though. I'm not a big fan of the indoor pee pads because they created a gray zone - pets do better with black and white. I pee and poop outside, not inside. I usually see the pee pads being used as a crutch for incompletely house trained dogs - owners put them down and hope that the dog uses them when they can't get outside.

There are two important parts to house training a dog: the first is the ‘training’ part and the second is complete and absolute supervision.

Let’s start with training - You can, and should, train a dog to pee or poop just like you can train them to sit. Go outside with your dog, (take cookies!) walk around the yard with them and tell them to ‘go potty’ or whatever word you want to use to teach them to go - just like you’d tell them to sit if you wanted them to sit. When they do go to the bathroom, keep using your 'key phrase' (in my example, I'd say 'good potty!) over and over, then as soon as they're finished, give them the cookie. It's important the the reward happen RIGHT AFTER the behavior (in this case the peeing). If you wait until they come inside, then all they learn to do is come back inside, not necessarily to pee or poop. Depending on how fast they pick it up, you can have your dog pottying on command within a few weeks.

The second part of house training is the supervision part. She can't be allowed to be out of your sight where she might have an accident. I know this is really really tough, especially if you have kids to watch too, but it's really important that you catch her before the has the opportunity to make a mistake, then give her the opportunity to do the right thing, followed by LOTS of praise. If she's been punished for peeing or pooping in the house before, often the 'take home' message is 'don't pee in front of the humans, they get angry and yell at you' which results in a dog that then sneaks off to pee where you can't see. It helps to have them drag a leash around the house attached to their collar so that if she starts to go to the bathroom you can calmly pick up the leash and lead her outside. This is less likely to scare them than you reaching for the collar to 'drag' her outside. Always make sure that once you get outside, you're prompting her to go by using your key words and rewarding her as soon as she's done peeing outside. It's OK to put her in her crate for a short period of time if you're having a really hectic time and can't watch her - as long as she relaxes in the crate and just 'hangs out'.

Hope everything is going well!

~Dr. Sara

Expert:  Doc Sara replied 1 year ago.
Hi,
I'm just following up on our conversation about Panda. How is everything going?
Doc Sara