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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 24471
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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Our dog is sick, rapid breathing,fever,clinched teeth. off

Customer Question

our dog is sick, rapid breathing,fever,clinched teeth. off her feed since yesterday. nursing 6 puppies help
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Posted by JustAnswer at customer's request) Hello. I would like to request the following Expert Service(s) from you: Live Phone Call. Let me know if you need more information, or send me the service offer(s) so we can proceed.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

I regret that my state board of veterinary examiners doesn't allow my speaking with customers by phone in this venue. Please stay in this conversation if you wish. The symptoms you've mentioned suggest eclampsia - moderate to severe hypocalcemia (low serum calcium level) of lactating females most often occurring in the first four weeks postpartum. In approximate order of disease progression/severity we see:

Anxiety, restlessness, pacing, whining, disinterest in pups

Pruritis (itchiness) and biting at feet

Ataxia ("drunken sailor"), staggering, and muscle stiffness

Panting, progressing to dyspena (difficulty breathing)

Mydriasis (wide open pupils) and diminished pupillary light relfexes

Tachycardia (fast heart rate) or bradycardia (slow heart rate)

Muscle tremors, collpase, clonic spasms (tetany), and seizures (clenched teeth?)

Hyperthermia (fever)

If I'm correct, your dog requires the attention of a vet at your earliest convenience. Treatment consists of IV calcium gluconate or calcium borogluconate and the pups are removed for 24-36 hours to reduce maternal calicum loss through lactation. Pups can be fed milk replacer every other day to decrease lactation demand on the bitch until weaning at age 3 weeks. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish but I'd rather you were on your way to the vet.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
She has thrown up 2 times. This last time is was a piece of meat I had not given her. Also the first 3 symptoms she does not have. Since she threw up her breathing has become more regular and now she seems really tired
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for the additional information. Her not worsening through that progression of symptoms above would appear to rule out eclampsia. Where would she have found the meat?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Not sure she was outside for about an hour and a half last night. She seems to be breathing easier and resting now
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for the update. Her behavior is encouraging. Vomiting dogs are addressed by NOT doing. They're fasted for 12 hours but allowed to drink. If drinking induces more vomiting, ice cubes should replace the water. Can you take her rectal temperature? Any body thermometer will do when placed 1.5" into her rectum for 1 minute. Normal is 100.5 - 102.5F.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Her temp is 98.9 rectal. I used a baby thermometer
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

No fever, then. Thank you. Will you be home to continue "watchful waiting"? When did she deliver, please? Are you seeing any discharge from her vulva? Are the pups nursing normally?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
They delivered almost 2 weeks ago. I will be homeost of the day. There is no discharge and the puppies were nursing fine till I removed her from them this morning
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

Sounds good. I can't set a follow-up in this venue and so would appreciate your returning to our conversation with an update - even after rating - at a time of your choosing.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
She has thrown up again. It was brown This time. Breathing is still ok and she still isn't fevered.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

You're necessarily constrained to help her because a vomiting dog can't be medicated orally. Your options at this time are to continue observing or have her attended to by her vet. I favor continuing to observe so as not to disturb her pups as long as vomiting doesn't persist which will end up dehydrating and electrolyte imblancing her.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
When I CleaNed out hef bed I found more meat she had thrown up. Alot of it. She acts weak now but more alert than she wad
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

This mystery meat concerns me. Is there a possibility of someone trying to poison your dog?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Don't know but it is possible
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

Keep me posted, please.

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