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My 10 year old Chihuahua had a sore jaw and was prescribed…

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My 10 year old...

My 10 year old Chihuahua had a sore jaw and was prescribed Prednisone. He was 5 lbs and was given 5mg a day for five days. On the sixth day he had labored breathing and I rushed him to the vet. He died five minutes later when his heart stopped. Is Prednisone the cause?

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. What is the dog's name?

Chachi

Veterinarian's Assistant: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Chachi?

He did not have any signs of heart disease and was very healthy other than a sore jaw.

Submitted: 7 months ago.Category: Dog Veterinary
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Answered in 4 minutes by:
1/8/2018
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Ann M., Dog Veterinarian replied 7 months ago
Dr. Ann M.
Dr. Ann M., Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 5,027
Experience: ER and general medicine Veterinarian since 2005
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Hi there and thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed, internship-trained veterinarian with 12 years experience in general medicine and emergency and critical care medicine and I would be happy to assist you. Please be patient as there may be slight delays in responses as I research your pet's issue and as I am typing out a response.

Was any testing done on the jaw- blood tests or muscle biopsies? Or did he just have a sore jaw and the vet put him on pred?

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
No tests. He didn't even open his mouth to make sure that's what it was, as Chachi yelped when he tried. He said that most likely it was a jaw infection. I doubt it.
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Ann M., Dog Veterinarian replied 7 months ago

Is that the only medication he was put on? Or was he also put on antibiotics or given an antibiotic injection?

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Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Ann M., Dog Veterinarian replied 7 months ago

And you are quite certain he had no heart murmur? Did the vet listen to his heart?

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
No, that was it. I was supposed to continue with a pill every other day for another ten days but he died.
Customer reply replied 7 months ago
When I rushed him to the vet on the sixth day, they did an xray as he was dying and concluded he had an enlarged heart. I have another dog with CHF but Chachi had none of the symptoms and very healthy until then.
Customer reply replied 7 months ago
I trusted them and now he's gone and I'm broken and need answers. This was so sudden and unexpected.
Customer reply replied 7 months ago
Prednisone was the only variable in this equation. He went from hiking and swimming in the river one week and dead the next.
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Ann M., Dog Veterinarian replied 7 months ago

If he thought it was an infection, antibiotics should have been prescribed. That is a very high dose of steroids for something like this. I would not have even used steroids, I would have used anti-inflammatory medication. But if I was going to use steroids, my maximum dose for this dog would have been 2.5mg at a time, not 5mg. If there is underlying heart disease, steroids can push it into heart failure... I do think that the steroids caused the heart failure. But, in the end, your dog had heart disease, so that was the cause of death. The only question here is whether or not your vet listened to the heart before starting steroids and whether or not there is a documented heart murmur on the medical record. If there was a documented murmur, then the vet should not have used steroids. But unfortunately not all cases of heart disease have murmurs. (Vast majority do, though.) I would ask to see the medical records to see if they knew he had heart disease. If he had a murmur and they knew about it, then I would say the vet could be to blame here. If they did not know about the heart disease, then no one can be blamed even though it is kind of a high steroid dose (because it's still within the normal range).

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Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Ann M., Dog Veterinarian replied 7 months ago

I am so sorry for your loss and I am sorry you are having to deal with this. Take care.

I hope that I have answered your question thoroughly. If you still have questions or are not yet satisfied with my answer, please reply. If you feel that I have provided anything less than excellent service (5 star rating), please reply to me first before rating my service and let me know how I can better assist you. Thank you for your question; it has been a pleasure being able to provide assistance. Bonuses are appreciated... it's always nice to get tipped for your services.

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Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Ann M., Dog Veterinarian replied 7 months ago

Were you able to read and understand my message?

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Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Ann M., Dog Veterinarian replied 7 months ago

I see that you have read my answer, but I have not heard back from you yet and so this is still in my "active questions". I need to make sure that you do not have any other questions for me so that I can close this question. To help signal to me whether or not we are done, please either rate my service (preferable), or say "thank you" to indicate that you are happy with my service and we are done talking for now, or please ask me more follow up questions. Thanks!

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Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Ann M., Dog Veterinarian replied 7 months ago

Just checking in with you... I will check in with you daily until I hear back from you to make sure you do not have further questions. If you do not have further questions, just reply with "thanks". :)

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