How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dr Scott Nimmo Your Own Question
Dr Scott Nimmo
Dr Scott Nimmo, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 20222
Experience:  BVMS, MRCVS. { Glasgow UK }
Type Your Dog Veterinary Question Here...
Dr Scott Nimmo is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I just got a shelter pup- 5-6 months old. way too skinny,

This answer was rated:

I just got a shelter pup- 5-6 months old. way too skinny, no muscle mass, lethargic, won't eat. Had fleas and was just neutered. blood test only revealed anemia (caused by fleas I guess) dog has 104 temp. has had antibiotics directly into vein, hydrating with 100cc's twice a day and no change.
Hello and welcome.

My name is XXXXX XXXXX I am an experienced small animal veterinary surgeon, I will be very pleased to work with you today and I will try my best to answer to your question to your satisfaction. However to enable me to do so with accuracy I need a little more information, so before we start can you please answer the following ...

1. How long ago did your pup have the antibiotics?

Then give me fifteen minutes or so to think things through, prepare an answer, and type things up. I will then get straight back to you and we can talk things over.


Customer: replied 3 years ago.

the dog ended up at the shelter on 9/24. I adopted him on 9/28 and picked him up after he was neutered on the 2nd. took him straight to the vet who gave him pills for pain (tramadol) and amoxicillin 100mg. The pup was lethargic when I first saw it on the 28th and very skinny. he kept going downhill and I couldnt' get him to eat anything so I took him to the vet yesterday, 10/5. he gave him 2 antibiotics right into the vein because he wanted them to act quicker than i.m. we forced fed a can of science diet a/d and they hyrated him twice. I brought him home and this morning I had to give him a white milky liquid that i had to keep in the fridge and give it to him with a syringe. I think it is Calvomox or something like that. I can't read it all that well. the pup just hasn't perked up much though he follows me around the house and is always wagging his tail. he is going potty like clockwork so no problem there and the stools look normal. He is just skin and bones. I first thought he got like that from being in the shelter and designated as a stray, but this dog was in great shape and was potty trained. My guess is that it was the last of a little and due to failure to thrive they dumped it.

Hello again Margaret and thanks for the quick reply.

I so admire you for taking this little guy in ...

I have worked out an answer for you, please read it through and see what you think ...

1. If he has a temperature of 104 yesterday then of course this is high and more than likely indicates he is in the grip of some kind of infection or other.

2. Antibiotics given IV now and then a course of antibiotics for the next week or so plus a very high level of support is without doubt the right way to go. Clavamox is an excellent antibiotic by the way.

3. However antibiotics do not work instantly so it could be another two days or so before it kicks in and you start see any improvement so all you can do is to sit things out for a bit longer.

The botXXXXX XXXXXne is you are doing just right by your dog but you have to give it a little more time ...

I hope I have covered your question fully enough but if you would like further clarification or to talk things over a bit more then I will be on-line for the next hour or so and I will be more than pleased to continue working with you.


Customer: replied 3 years ago.

thank you. I am concerned that this could be some chronic or debillitating issue as he is just a pup and so emaciated. He also has a runny nose, what I assume is kennel cough and coughs up water that resembles foam. He just now walked into the room wagging his tail and walks over to lay on his bed. He has acted like an old man now for over a week. He had no fever on Tuesday. the shelter noted his temp as 101 and so did my vet later in the day. my vet expected a turn around pretty quickly and wants me to leave him up there tomorrow so they can watch him. I asked about a urinalysis and an xray and he said they wouldn't help. is that correct? all i know is that i am reading all sorts of things on the internet. i plug in the symptoms and i see URI, distemper, all sorts of things and even untreatable infections. I am willing to hang with this little guy. We have gotten all our dogs from lab rescue. this one was on the lab rescue site at a shelter. first time i Have ever gotten a shelter dog and it hasn't been a great experience. I want this little guy to thrive and live to be an old guy like my other labs. if this infection doesn't go away, then what? and he didn't have the infection prior and yet was still very much underweight. thoughts?

Hello again Margaret,

Glad to talk this over with you further,

1. Sometimes you see this sort of situation with pups from shelters, you just do not know how he was treated before he came to you or what diseases he was exposed to. All you can hope to do is to carry on as you are obviously doing and hope that he makes a turn around as he gets older. I have know this happen so hang on in there!

2. I agree with your vet that at present x-ray and urinalysis are not a priority but a comprehensive blood panel may give you some more clues. However if I was dealing with this sort of case I would go with the antibiotics plus a high level of supportive care and then review things a week to ten days from now.

This is not easy for you I know, but who better to have given this little guy a home ?


Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I know. sometimes I felt that God just gave him to us, so he would know what it was like to be loved before he died. I guess we shall give it another week and see what happens. hopefully we will find an answer. i just don't know how long this little guy and keep going. he is running on empty. thank you!

Hello again Margaret,

You are certainly trying your best and doing the right things, I will contact you again in another week to check Ryley's progress.

Good luck,

Dr Scott Nimmo and 3 other Dog Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you