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How fast to the vet? SAD UPDATE post 12

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  • How fast to the vet? SAD UPDATE post 12

    Dog - chow/golden mix, starting yesterday evening, seems very lethargic, had no interest in breakfast this am. Gums look ok, has not thrown up, poop looks pretty normal. Yesterday all day was fine; two walks, ate breakfast and dinner. Did not get into anything. He a low energy sort anyway but something is NQR.
    I'm wondering if his hips maybe are bothering him - he does have hip dysplasia, but has exhibited no symptoms in forever. He is almost 7.

    Thinking I will give him 24 hours, What say COTH? Thoughts?
    Last edited by 2tempe; Dec. 14, 2012, 10:29 PM.
    We don't get less brave; we get a bigger sense of self-preservation........

  • #2
    Temp normal? Is he on any NSAIDs for his hip dysplasia? Stools normal this morning?

    If it were my dog and I was pretty sure he hadn't gotten into anything, vitals were normal and stool was normal this morning, I would likely offer food again tonight, recheck vitals and if not eating by tomorrow morning, I'd take him in.

    If he's running a fever, I'd take him in now.

    If he's on NSAIDs, I'd contact my vet and think about taking him off the NSAIDs for a few days and consider switching drugs.

    If you did more exercise than usual yesterday, I would still wait til tomorrow.

    The only time I'd "rush" in same day for these symptoms would be if it were Friday because once you get to the weekend, the cost of being seen and the turnaround on testing increases. And Mondays are crazy at nearly every clinic.

    So that's what I would do....
    A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

    Might be a reason, never an excuse...


    • #3
      I vote to call. Talk to your vet about the symptoms, come up with a plan from there. I always call before I come in, more often than not what I thought was an emergency, isn't.


      • #4
        I *always* call after a temp and respiration. At the very least, I am giving them a headsup. Opening the lines of communication is smart, that way if at 4:00 he starts violently vomiting or some other awful thing they are not surprised when you call via the cell phone on your way.

        If his vitals are normal I would monitor drinking, not offer more food until evening.
        "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
        The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.


        • Original Poster

          Thanks for input - he is not on anything for hips other than a glucosimine type supplement. Exercise in the last few days no different than normal.
          Whoever above posted re Fridays, YES I hear you on that. Why is it that animals always seem to be not well on a WEEKEND?

          Fortunately I can be pretty darn sure that he hasn't gotten into anything - we have a 'well manicured" yard, and really, he is a slug most of the time. He is a trash can raider, but that can was out of his Inv. Fence range for yesterday due to garbage collection, so safe there. Hehas what I call his "furrowed brow" look
          We don't get less brave; we get a bigger sense of self-preservation........


          • #6
            Weekends and holidays. Like clockwork! LOL

            Well, hopefully, he just has a little bug or an upset stomach and will bounce back with some rest today. But I really would monitor his temp, resps, HR, etc. If it's a pain response, he may have elevated HR as well. I'm not a vet though and you know your pooch best.

            If no change in diet, no new bag of food, no chance of garbage gut, etc and no other symptoms other than lethargy and not eating, I wouldn't be in a panic today. And I'm the type to err on the side of caution but I also have a rather large balance on my care credit account.
            A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

            Might be a reason, never an excuse...


            • #7
              well, with those kind of vague non-symptoms I think I would just wait and see. Depends on the dog of course- some dogs, if they skip a single meal you know they are at deaths' door, others, it's fairly normal to skip a meal here and there.


              • Original Poster


                Dog had some fever early this afternoon. Took him to the vet; red blood cells quite low, fever. Bone marrow still producing. Possible diagnoses include tick-borne illness, auto-immune problems and cancer. Xray ruled out problems around the spleen (hemangiosarcoma) but there is a funny spot in the stomach area. Will head to specialist as soon as I can get in for ultrasound and further diagnosis; meanwhile on meds to deal w/ the first two options. Fingers crossed but very worried - he is just 7. Especially worried after reading other thread here about old dog suddenly gone down hill. I'm so not ready to deal with losing a dog...
                We don't get less brave; we get a bigger sense of self-preservation........


                • #9
                  ((hugs)) You're not losing your dog today.

                  Glad you were monitoring for a fever. Good job. Not sure where you are, but shouldn't be too hard to get an ultrasound right away and that should give you more info.

                  Even if it IS cancer, you'll have some time So don't panic just yet.

                  Jingles for you guys. ((hugs))<---those are for you. I suspect you've been giving lots of those to your pup already.

                  Best wishes.
                  A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

                  Might be a reason, never an excuse...


                  • #10
                    I hope you are able to get in for an ultrasound soon so you don't have to worry. Do you have an emergency clinic near by? If we are booked for outpatient ultrasound appts, we always give people the option of coming in to be worked up through the er. If he starts to get worse or you are just too worried, that may be an option for you.


                    • #11
                      Glad you took your dog in. Its amazing how quickly our pets can go from seemingly ok, to very ill. I always advise clients that call, that if they are concerned enough to call...they should likely come in to be checked out.

                      I hope your pup's ok I agree that you should get into see a specialist ASAP, and if not, get in through the backdoor (ER at a referral practice).


                      • Original Poster

                        Last post, 7:45 Wed. nite, I was reeling from the low red cell, maybe tumor, get to specialist situation. By 10: 30 pm my dog could not stand by himself. I somehow carried a 56 lb dog out to car, and hussled off to emergency clinic. They got him stablized w/ fluids AND a BLOOD TRANSFUSION; I had to leave him overnight, while the transfusion done. LefT there about 12:45 AM, didn't sleep much but picked him up at 7 am. They had already contacted specialist facility - I was there at about 8:15; they confirmed he had an aggressive form of auto immune anemia; were going to schedule ultrasound and xrays to look for tumor. Talked to me a long time re the condition and the treatment. If tumor, then surgery and the anemia will correct itself; if no tumor, complicated process, which is somewhat like a chemotherapy routine and includes first more blood transfusion, then many drugs designed to shut down immune system and put the cell-destroying process into remission. This could take months... Significant risks to the process including blood clots, embolysm (sp??) and liver damage. Likelihood of success with his form was MAYBE 50%. And success (remission) might only last a very short time. During treatment, dog had to be basically isolated and property-bound. No walks, no dog parks, no visiting friends, Only weekly trips to the vet for bloodwork. Drugs for the rest of his life to keep him stable...
                        Ultrasound showed no tumor, so cause of the anemia was unidentified. After many tears and 5 hours sitting there thinking about it, I decided to let my boy go and not put him through such a nasty process. Hardest thing I have done.
                        Other animals over the years have been put to sleep, but they were all older, very close to natural ends, and no treatment option at all. The option of treatment here was agonizing; but in the end, it really didn't sound like it would provide any quality life at least for quite a while, and most likely not then either.

                        It also amazes me that even with another dog and two cats, there is still a big hole in the house and I keep expecting to see him on the couch draped over his pillow. His chow mix personality was a bit odd but loveable non the less and we miss him a lot...The price we pay to have them in our hearts.
                        We don't get less brave; we get a bigger sense of self-preservation........


                        • #13
                          I'm so sorry for your loss, 2tempe. I just got to this thread now and was hoping for a better outcome. Many hugs to you tonight.


                          • #14
                            Oh, 2tempe, I am so, so sorry.


                            • #15
                              {Hugs} to you...I am so sorry
                              Certified Spiritual Medium/ Animal Communicator


                              • #16
                                So sorry for your loss. It is the hardest thing we ever have to do, but the right one when you value the quality life your dog has. Remember the good times.
                                Breeders of Painted Thoroughbreds and Uniquely Painted Irish Sport Horses in Northeast Oklahoma


                                • #17
                                  So sorry.


                                  • #18
                                    Oh, I am so very sorry to read this. Such a sudden illness and now he is gone.... What a big part of your household he obviously was and it is very painful to have such a huge absence with no time to prepare for the loss. Take care and pour your love into your other guys.


                                    • #19
                                      I am so sorry. It sounds like you made the most generous and selfless decision you could have made for him considering the treatment options available.


                                      • #20
                                        My deepest condolences. It's especially hard to lose one suddenly, when you think you have more good years ahead. But I think you made the best choice for him.