Ask a Dog Vet and Get Answers to Your Dog Veterinary Questions
Hello, my name is***** and I am happy to help answer your question today. What is your dog's name?
Thank you, ***** ***** understand your concern- it is very alarming when our pets aren't acting right, especially when we have financial constraints. I too am concerned by the rapid breathing, lethargy, and not wanting to drink voluntarily. With the history of diarrhea then swimming in a salt water pool, I worry that Missy could be severely dehydrated and in need of veterinary care. The rapid breathing concerns me with the history of recent swimming, as dogs can get a syndrome known as near-drowning, in which they actually inhale some amount of water but not enough to be noticed at the time.
My recommendation is to take Missy to an emergency veterinarian today. I understand that you have financial constraints, but veterinarians are used to working within budgets. Be up-front about the amount of money you can afford, and at the very least they can examine her and make recommendations for at-home care. If they feel that her condition is dire or unlikely to improve without treatment, they will encourage hospitalization and try to help you find funding (through sources such as Care Credit or others). If no funding is found, they may ultimately recommend humane euthanasia (again, only if her condition is extreme and unlikely to improve) as an alternative to expensive treatments.
Do you have any further questions or need any clarification?
Well that's the hard part. If she's not willing to drink voluntarily (which can happen when they don't feel well), then we are left with injectable fluids (either under the skin or into a vein), which isn't something that you can do at home. As far as encouraging her to drink at home, you can try diluting low sodium chicken broth into her water, but you have to be careful because chicken broth (even the low sodium kind) is very salty and in general we want to avoid adding salt into a dehydrated animal. You can also dilute pedialyte into her water to try and encourage drinking. Always offer small volumes at a time so she doesn't drink down a whole bowl and then vomit, but offer small amounts frequently.
Of course. I'm sorry I know how upsetting this is. I wish you and Missy the best.