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I adopted a shepherd mix at a shelter today. She, along with…

I adopted a shepherd...

I adopted a shepherd mix at a shelter today. She, along with MANY other dogs were rescued from a hoarding situation. All they told me was that they were kept outside, never been to a vet and were not well cared for but were at least fed. They think she’s about 2 years old. She looks to have had a litter recently because her boobs are very fatty and nipples are very big and crusty. I was not told she had a litter recently but was my assumption. She is very sad and scared. She just wants to be balled up in a corner because she’s so scared and it makes me so sad and worried for her. She allows me to pet her, put my cheek against hers and kiss the top of her head but she does not respond to it and will not make eye contact. The shelter said she was microchipped and had shots today so would that contribute to her feeling sad? She won’t move, eat or drink. She just lays there looking sad. I go sit with her periodically, pet her and then give her some space and repeat. I’m going to take her for a wellness check up ASAP but I was hoping someone could ease ,y mind in the mean time or at least tell me what I can do for her. I’m also pretty sure she’s never had a bath. I washed and rinsed twice when I got her here and she is still the stinkiest dog I’ve ever smelled. I’m going to have to get a professional to wash her as she tried

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. Could be a lot of things that cause lethargy. The Expert will know how to help the Shepherd. Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about the Shepherd?

She seems to be slightly drooly be under her mouth is wet. I’m wondering how I can get her to eat or drink. The shelter is closed so I can’t call to ask how long it’s been since she has eaten or drank

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Answered in 19 minutes by:
3/17/2018
Chelsea Schwarb
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 114
Experience: Associate veterinarian at Towne and Country Animal Hospital
Verified

Hello. My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed veterinarian. I would be happy to help answer your questions. If her mammary glands are really large/ saggy and nipples are hard and crusted then it is very likely she recently had a litter of puppies. If the shelter did not spay her, then you will want to get this done soon. It sounds like she came from a very rough situation, which is heartbreaking. Luckily she found you and will have a loving family now. The first week or two is going to be an enormous adjustment for her. Over the next few days just tell yourself that less is more. The last thing you want is to lose any of her trust by pushing her limits too far, even if it is just because you want to snuggle her. Make her a nice set up in a quiet area of your house where she can have a bed, food bowl and water bowl. You can check in on her once per hour if you must, but make your check in brief. Talk softly and calmly to her. NO high pitch voice for right now. Don't walk towards her or make direct eye contact. I really wouldn't touch her head or put your face near hers for a week or so because that is likely very scary to her. If she isn't moving when you touch her now it is probably because she is freezing up due to fear. I would slowly approach her with your body turned sideways to her (do not walk face forward/head on towards her as this is very threatening to a dog). Offer her your hand to sniff, tell her she is a good girl, then slowly leave her room. After a few days of this routine she is going to realize that you mean her no harm and she will hopefully come up to you on her own to greet you.
We definitely want her to be eating and drinking, however, she may not want to eat anything for the first 24-48 hours at her new house because she is under a lot of stress from the drastic changes in her environment. I would offer her a few options including regular dog kibble (regular dry dog food), regular wet/canned dog food, and if she doesn't want either of those then you can make her a bland diet of chicken breast (skin removed) mixed 50:50 with cooked white rice. To get her drink water you can add a 1/4 cup chicken broth to her bowl of water. You will want to change this water bowl twice per day so it doesn't get gross from the chicken broth.
If her mouth seems to be wet from drooling the first thing I would consider is that she is drooling excessively due to stress and anxiety. The above mentioned steps should help lessen her stress and anxiety.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Thank you. I hate to leave her alone but if this is what's best, ***** ***** One last thing. She is breathing heavily and fast. Is this anxiety or something more serious?

I know, its really hard to give her space but it will pay off in the long run I promise. I think the rapid breathing is most likely due to stress and anxiety. Monitor her for coughing though. If you hear her start coughing, then she may have a respiratory infection such as kennel cough and may need antibiotics. Kennel cough is pretty common especially if she was in a shelter and exposed to a lot of other dogs. Luckily, the prognosis for it is excellent with appropriate care if she was to get kennel cough.

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Please let me know if you have any additional questions or concerns. Good luck with her!
I would appreciate if you would click accept at the top right of your screen if you are satisfied with my help and leave me a review. Thank you!

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Thank you so much for your help. She makes a noise with the breathing like almost like a snoring sound but she's awake. But there's no cough and she had the shot for kennel cough today at the shelter. She doesn't move at all, not even her head, not even an inch, so Im going to go to bed and give her space. Should I wait until she's more comfortable before I try to wash the stink off her again? She is in the corner of our living room in my dachshunds bed. Should I move her to a room where she can be alone even though it stresses her to be picked up? Is it ok to take her for a check up tomorrow with her being so stressed?

You're welcome. I would record a short video of the snorty breathing sound and let her new vet listen to it. I doubt it is anything to be concerned about, but the video will help her new vet confirm if it is normal or not.
I would just leave her where she is for tonight and not pick her up to move her.
I really would not recommend bathing her for at least 7 days. You can purchase waterless shampoo at the pet store. You can spray this on her to absorb some of the smell. It won't be perfect but it should help the smell. When you do think she is ready for her bath I would try doing it at home vs taking her to a groomer for right now. I think the groomer would be too much for her at this point. Use a lot of treats (smearing peanut butter on the side of the tub works really well as a distraction). You may only be able to get half of her body cleaned during one bath and that is fine. Just go slow with her.
I would take her to vet appointment tomorrow. She will be stressed out, but it is important to get her checked out.

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I would ask your vet if he/she has a product called "Adaptil" this is a dog pheromone spray that can be really helpful for stressed dogs.

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It comes in a little spray bottle. You can spray it on her collar, her bed, on yourself. It will promote calmness when she smells it.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
I really appreciate all the advice! We have left her alone where she is and gone to bed. I will find somewhere to take her for check up tomorrow and ask about the Adaptil. Thank you.

Okay great it sounds like you have a good plan for her! You're welcome.

Chelsea Schwarb
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 114
Experience: Associate veterinarian at Towne and Country Animal Hospital
Verified
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Hi,

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

Chelsea Schwarb
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