I had my pup to the vet this am, but she is getting sicker instead f better. Going back is not financailly feasible for

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Customer: I had my pup to the vet this am, but she is getting sicker instead f better. Going back is not financailly feasible for me. She is vomitting frequently and cannot keep water down. She 8 weeks old and weighs about 2 lbs. Can I give her dexamethasone ?.. I have some tabs left from my daughters dogs' treatment from last spring. This pup is very sick
Answered by MD for Pets in 23 mins 13 years ago
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MD for Pets
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Specialities include: Dog Veterinary, Dog Medicine, Dog Diseases, Small Animal Veterinary

Hi thereCustomer

I am so sorry to hear about your little puppy.

I would definitely not give this puppy dexamethasone, which is a steroid. There are no diseases in a puppy this young where steroids would be indicated. Additionally, steroids can do more harm than good, by suppressing the immune system and causing ulcers in the stomach.

In such a young puppy, my biggest concerns would be for parvoviral infection, other viral infection, parasites, bacterial infection, and many other concerns. Even if your puppy has had some vaccinations, they can still become ill with this virus.

Since parvo virus attacks rapidly dividing cells, the most commonly affected cells are those that line the intestines (hence the vomiting and diarrhea from cell loss in the intestines) and the bone marrow, making the white blood cell count of infected dogs dangerously low (another reason for no steroids). The even bigger complicating factor is that since the intestines are damaged by the virus, the normal bacteria in the intestines can escape the intestines, but these dogs can't fight the infection since their white cells are so low. This is why parvo patients are so critical, in addition to the large amount of fluid loss through vomiting and diarrhea.

 

The mainstay of treatment of parvo is hospitalization, aggressive intravenous fluids, and broad spectrum intravenous antibiotics. Many dogs are hospitalized for 3-5 days (though some longer). The prognosis for survival varies on how sick they are, and how well they respond to treatment, and if we are able to stave off infection until the GI cells and bone marrow recover. The cost will vary drastically from hospital to hospital and geographic location, so this is something I unfortunately can't help give information about. A word of caution though; this is a disease that I do not recommend treating at a hospital without 24 hour care. These patients can be so sick and complicated that they need someone working with them frequently.

 

It always makes things more difficult when financial constraints exist, however, if a puppy this young cannot keep food or water down, the chances of it becoming dehydrated quickly are very high, as are the chances of her blood sugar becoming dangerously low, since young puppies do not have large stores of sugar in their liver, so brief periods of not eating can lead to dangerously low blood sugar. Based on what you are describing, it really sounds as if your puppy needs further care (and testing for parvovirus if it hasn't yet been done).

 

One option would be to contact the humane society or SPCA in your area to see if they offer low cost hospital care. Another option is to apply for care credit (which can be done online at the link below). If you qualify, they can take care of all of the payments up front at a hospital that accepts care credit.

 

http://www.carecredit.com/

 

I hope this information is helpful and I will keep my fingers crossed for your little girl to be ok.

 

Dana

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