Get Your Dog Care Questions Answered by Experts ASAP
Hello Barney 13,
I am sorry to hear that your girl is having these problems.
My suspicion is that the anemia that was present was triggered by the fleas, ticks and intestinal parasites. Having said that, the viral infection that may have been there likely prevented absorption of the nutrients that are necessary to make the replacement red cells.
Anemia, if it is severe enough, can be treated with blood transfusions. Otherwise, in a young puppy, supporting her with the food and nursing care that you are giving her should allow her to slowly rebuild the red blood cell counts.
I would be very encouraged to see her eating well, and I think what she needs at this stage is more time.
I hope this helps!
As always, if you have further questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to ask them using the "reply" function.
You are more than welcome to ask as many questions as you have.
I have vaccinated many puppies who would be considered anemic. The fact is that most puppies are borderline anemic just as a result of being a puppy. So, whether the vaccine should be given or not, is really dependent upon the level of anemia.
I will also say that I doubt the vaccine is related. Vaccine reactions generally don't show up like a viral infection. I would be more suspicious about parvo virus (and yes I know it was tested for, but many of these are false negatives early in the disease).
My suspicion is that the anemia is being overblown, especially if it is not low enough to indicate a transfusion.
Puppies can do quite well when recovering from any of these infections, as long as they get appropriate supportive care and stay well hydrated. I would feel better if she was on IV fluids and in hospital, but I think that a need to euthanize her is at least 3-4 days off, especially if she is eating.
I am sorry to hear that things have been labeled as severe as far as her anemia is concerned.
Any good quality puppy food or even critical care food (Like a/d from Hills or Recovery from Iams) is a good option for her.
I think that the pedialyte that you are giving is an excellent idea and you should continue that or "Ensure" to try and keep her hydrated and with some calories.
The things that are likely to help from a food standpoint are calories and protein, so if she will take some canned puppy food or one of these specialized diets, that is ideal.
When it comes to running another Parvo test, my question for you is this? Will it change how you treat? If finances are limited, and you can't hospitalize her, then what you are doing is likely to be her best option, regardless of whether or not she has Parvo.
Please understand, this is not a judgment at all, but an attempt to be realistic in regards XXXXX XXXXX care.
As for a local clinic or society that helps, you would be better to ask your local vets, as I am unsure of what is available in your area.
I would make sure that she stays on antibiotics through this. This is because of a concern about a secondary bacterial infection rather than my belief that there is a bacteria causing this, but she is pretty immunocompromised at this stage, and every little bit will help her!
I continue to be available for follow up questions and continue to hope that all goes well for you,
For the food, I would ask either veterinarian if they carry Iams Recovery diet. If not, the Hills a/d would be my next choice.
This can be fed by placing small amounts in the mouth at a time and seeing if she will take it. Both diets are high in calories and have good protein levels that should help.
For the anemia, there isn't a great fix quickly. The only quick fix is with a transfusion. Otherwise, the body makes red cells in the bone marrow and spleen. These organs need nutrients from calories and protein to function optimally.
An another option to maintain hydration is to give fluids under the skin. Your veterinarians should be able to help teach you this skill.
I hope this helps,
I was hoping that you would be letting me know that she is back to normal and doing wonderfully. I am sorry to hear that is not the case.
In a young puppy who isn't eating well, I would be very concerned about her blood sugar being a cause for the weakness that you describe. These guys simply do not have the reserves that older dogs have to be able to mobilize fat and get energy. From that standpoint, in hospital, I monitor the blood sugar and give IV fluids with Dextrose as needed to maintain the sugar in appropriate levels.
I know that you can't do this at home, but the way to supplement is with the pedialyte or ensure on an hourly or every other hour basis to try and keep the blood sugar up.
An alternative explanation is if she had a distemper virus infection that is now affecting her nerves. This can cause extreme weakness and collapse as well. I don't find this as likely, since she hasn't had the typical symptoms (vomiting, diarrhea, sneezing and coughing), but I can't 100% rule it out.
Please understand that these are educated guesses. Without seeing her and seeing what her blood sugar and anemia are, I can't say that it isn't her low red cell count causing the weakness.
I don't mean to say to you that the anemia isn't a problem. It is. The point that I was trying to get across (and failing) is that you can't do anything about the anemia at this stage. If the vets think that it is not severe enough to need a transfusion, then it should not be severe enough to cause the weakness that you describe. And short of a transfusion, you can't do anything to raise her red blood cell count except for the supportive care and feedings that you are trying.
Have you been trying to feed with a syringe? Watered down foods like the a/d and the Recovery diets can easily be fed through a syringe (and in some cases where we want to do everything, a feeding tube is an option).
As for her long term prognosis, it depends on the underlying cause. If this was Distemper, she may have long term problems. On the other hand, I have seen many, many dogs who have had Parvo as young pups do very well later in life. So, odds are, if she makes it through this, she would live a normal dog's life (maybe a little spoiled, but normal).
I continue to be available for follow up questions if you have them.
I hope that Lilly turns around soon,