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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16458
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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My 2 yr old dog - that I just adopted from a shelter 2 days

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My 2 yr old dog - that I just adopted from a shelter 2 days ago- has pneumonia. The emergency vet hospital believes it was from when she was spayed and she might have vomited after the anesthesia wore off. I can't get her to eat or drink all day, so I got a syringe and have tried to get 3/4 oz of water in her, but it's soooo difficult- she's 43lbs.
I was given 2 antibiotics, and told to watch her, but I'm worried. She has no energy, but still wags her tail for me, poor baby.
Do I need to be patient? I can't afford $1500+ for a hospital stay for her. Anything else I can do? Her temp last night was 104, and I feel she still has a fever.
help- thank you
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 2 years ago.
Hello, my name is***** and I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian. I am so sorry to hear that your rescue pup Rylee has pneumonia after her spay.
Aspiration pneumonia can be an unfortunate complication of any anesthetic procedure, so it is certainly possible that her pneumonia is secondary to vomiting as she was recovering from her spay. Coming from a shelter viral pneumonia (Distemper or influenza) or pneumonia secondary to kennel cough (infectious tracheobronchitis) are other possibilities as well. Until you know why she is sick I highly recommend isolating her from other pets and treating as contagious. Wash your hands well and change clothes between being with her and around other pets.
I am not surprised she doesn't want to eat, between the stress of a new environment, the effects of a fever and poor blood oxygenation due to pneumonia and pain after surgery I would not expect her to have a good appetite. If this is secondary to reflux of stomach contents the stomach acid could have led to painful esophageal burns and that too will interfere with her appetite.
It will be very difficult to keep her properly hydrated if she isn't drinking. I highly recommend asking them to teach you how to give subcutaneous fluids (fluids under the skin) to keep her hydrated.
It will take several days before the antibiotics start to get her feeling better. They too can make her a little nauseous which can interfere with her appetite, so ideally they would be given with a meal.
We really need to get her eating.
To help with nausea and decrease the burning feeling effects of stomach acid on her esophagus ay home you can give either:
1) Pepcid ac (famotidine) at a dose of one 10mg tablet per 20 to 40 pounds of body weight every 12 hours
(one 10mg tablet for a dog her size is fine).
2) Prilosec (omeprazole) at a dose of one 10mg tablet per 20 to 40 pounds of body weight every 24 hours (one 10mg tablet for a dog her size is fine)
These are acid reducers and should help her feel a little less nauseous as well as decreasing the effects of stomach acid burn. They are quite safe and can be used for several days if necessary.
You might ask for a prescription for an appetite stimulant too, like mirtazapine.
To stimulate her appetite start a bland diet of 1/3 boiled, lean hamburger (or boiled, white skinless chicken), all fats and juices drained off the meat, mixed with 2/3 boiled, plain white rice. Add warmed low salt chicken or beef broth to get additional fluids into her and make the food more palatable. Feed several small meals a day.
I also recommend trying a prescription food called Hills a/d. It its highly palatable and formulated to be highly digestible and high in calories. It is in a pate form that can be force fed with a syringe.
You may need to hand feed her and offer her water or ice cubes to lick as she may be too tired to get up and eat/drink on her own.
Do not expect your girl to get better quickly. I think that this will be a long road, but she should feel significantly better in 3-5 days.
Please let me know if you have any further questions.
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 2 years ago.
Hi Jennifer,

I'm just following up on our conversation about Rylee. How is everything going?

Dr. Kara