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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 20548
Experience:  Hello, I am a small animal veterinarian and am happy to discuss any concerns & questions you have on any species.
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My puppy is 4 months old and has been a picky eater of last

Customer Question

Hi there, my puppy is 4 months old and has been a picky eater of for the last 5 weeks or so. I took her to the vet and he was not concerned, she will eat eventually but often times will smell it and walk away. My concerns are as follows…5 days ago she got a hold of a rabbit carcus, where I live these can have literally "the plague" but I am told unlikely until it is mid summer. The rabbit looked to have been dead for quite some time and I was told to look out for vomiting, fever and lethargic behavior. She is still growing so I am not alarmed when she decides to sleep for a bit. Today she had good energy, went for a walk with other dogs, played, napped at home for 4 hours while I was at work, and then came outside with me again, keeping up as I trekked up some rocky hills. However when we got home she was extremely tired, would not drink or eat and is shaky when she breaths and is waving around when she sits or stands. Is she maybe just exhausted and hasn't eaten/had enough to drink or could this be to do with the rabbit? I was told symptoms of that would show within a week if she had contracted anything but that it was highly unlikely she had. She is also making these little whimpering sounds when I pick her up or move her too much and seems to be standing funny on one leg but I don't see any signs of a wound. Pleas help, thank you!
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am now noticing she is clearly limping on one leg and is able to jump move quickly still but VERY wobbly when standing or sitting.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Posted by JustAnswer at customer's request) Hello. I would like to request the following Expert Service(s) from you: Live Phone Call. Let me know if you need more information, or send me the service offer(s) so we can proceed.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you today. I do apologize that your question was not answered before. Different experts come online at various times; I just came online, read about your wee one’s situation, and wanted to help.

Again I do apologize that my colleagues could not aid you sooner, but can you tell me:

Is she whimpering when you put pressure on her belly while lifting? Does her belly seem sore or uncomfortable?

Any retching, gagging, lip licking or vomiting?

Any changes to her drinking or breathing?

Are her gums pink or pale/white? Moist or sticky?

When did her leg signs start?

Which leg is she favoring? Can she bear any weight on it?

Any bruises, sores, bites, swelling, or areas of pain or boney instability?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for getting back to me. This morning she seems to have good energy and is not really exhibiting any of the behavior she was yesterday aside from not eating much. I am still concerned about this however because I think she's getting really skinny and I wonder if that alone is contributing to shaking. She does seem to love Kiefer which I gave her a little bit of for her belly health
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

You are very welcome,

I am glad to hear that she is better today. Though I agree that if she has had a poor appetite, then this will mean she has less energy and would be at risk of blood sugar crashes that could cause the shaking/weakness/lethargy you reported.

As well, if she did eat that rabbit, then she likely has given herself some nausea form bacterial contamination of the rabbit body or even due to the pieces of it causing mechanical irritation to the stomach.

With all this in mind and given her poor appetite, I would suggest some supportive care at this stage. To start, you can consider treating her with an antacid. Common pet safe OTC ones we can use include Pepcid (More Info/Dose @, Zantac (More Info/Dose @, or Tagamet (More Info/Dose Here @ Whichever you choose, we’d give this 20 minutes before offering food to allow absorption. Of course, do check with her vet before use if she has any known health issues or is on any medications you didn’t mention. Though if you try this and find her nausea too severe to keep it down, then that is usually a red flag that we need her vet to bypass her mouth with injectable anti-vomiting medication.

Once that has had time to absorb and she is steadier on her stomach, you can consider starting her on a light/easily digestible diet. Examples you can use are cooked white rice with boiled chicken, boiled white fish, cottage cheese, scrambled eggs, or meat baby food (as long as its garlic/onion free). There are also OTC vet diets that can be used (ie Hill’s I/D or Royal Canin’s sensitivity) too. The aim of these diets is that they will be better tolerated/absorbed by the compromised gut. Or if you think she is losing weight, we can actually try her with calorie rich diets (ie Hills A/D, Royal Canin Recovery diet, even canned puppy food) or use a liquid diet (ie Clinicare, Dogsure). As well, there are paste supplements (ie Nutrical) that can also be used. And these will all get more in per bite even if we cannot get much in.

Overall, its great that she is improving after that unpleasant ingestion. Though if her appetite hasn’t returned, I’d suggest trying the above to see if we can soothe her stomach and get her eating for us. Of course, if her appetite remains poor or she has any more weakness signs, we’d want to consider a check with her vet to make sure there is nothing more amiss +/- antibiotics to address any bacterial agents she may have caught from her chewing on this dead rabbit.

Please take care,

Dr. B.


If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond.

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Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

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