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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 14580
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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This older small dog is not eating or pooping< but drinks

Customer Question

this older small dog is not eating or pooping< but drinks water and also very lethargic and sounds a bit wheezy and is in heat & discharging more blood than normal. This has been going on for 4 days. She is a Chihuahua
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 1 month ago.

Hello, I'm Dr. Kara. I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian and I'd like to help. Please give me a moment to review your concerns.

Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 1 month ago.

I am sorry to hear that your pup isn't eating well, has had an abnormal heat cycle with heavy bleeding that has continued longer then usual and is lethargic.

Dogs that do not eat won't/can't produce much stool, there simply isn't anything to make stools. Please do not give her another suppository, as I highly doubt that this is related to constipation.

Since she has had an abnormal heat cycle and she is drinking more water then usual with a decrease in her appetite I am very concerned.

An increased vaginal discharge can indicate a uterine infection called a pyometra. Pyometras can rupture, causing peritonitis and/or the infection can spread to her other organs leading to abscesses in her kidneys, liver spleen and even her heart valves. The toxic metabolites from the infection can affect her appetite and cause her to drink lots of water as the infection progresses.

Early on the symptoms of an open pyometra and endometritis can be very similar as long as the pyometra is draining. That is because if the infection is draining she may not feel the effects of the bacterial toxins as quickly as if the infection was closed in and the toxin levels build up more quickly in her uterus and bloodstream. But dogs that have endometritis feel fine otherwise, and have no changes in appetite or water consumption.

Antibiotics alone do not work to treat a pyometra as they have poor penetration into an infection filled uterus and do not address the pool of infectious material and toxins in her uterus. We sometimes use prostaglandin injections and combination antibiotics in dogs that owners want to breed another time, but the success rate is variable. And even if it works if she isn't bred successfully on the next heat the chances of the infection returning are very high. At her age it is unlikely that she would be a good candidate for breeding anyway.

Ideally she would see her veterinarian for an examination and to check her vaginal discharge to try and diagnose her probable pyometra. The sooner that she is examined the better as if this is a pyometra the sooner that is addressed the better chance she has of doing well. Treatment for a pyometra is stabilizing her with intravenous fluids and antibiotics and surgery to remove the infected uterus. The longer that you wait the more opportunity this infection has to spread and the more difficult it will be to save her.

Because her appetite is off and she seems to be drinking more water than usual she should be seen as soon as possible.

Please let me know if you have any further questions.

Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 1 month ago.

Her wheezy breathing could be due to the toxin buildup and acidosis secondary to an infection and not eating, and or the pressure of an enlarged uterus on her diaphragm, making it difficult for her lungs to fully expand.

Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 1 month ago.
Hi Alden,
I'm just following up on our conversation about Alden Rosbrook. How is everything going?
Dr. Kara
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 1 month ago.

Hello, I wanted to make sure that you didn't have any further questions for me, and I'd like to know how things turned out for your pup. If you could give me an update that would be great, thank you, ***** *****

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