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Sick, limping puppy.

Species: Dog
Breed: Yorkie
Age: 3-6 months
Good Evening

I know my puppy needs to go to the vet however the vet will not be visiting the island I live on till Tuesday. So I need your advice as to what to do until then.

I have two yorkie pups the one sick, Sparkles, is also somewhat less social and depressed. He got very sick when i first got him he had bad worms which the vet treated. Gardenia and something with a c. They will not eat dry food or wet food. So i feed both of them cooked chicked and vitamins. sometimes raw meat becuase when the one had worms it was all i could force down his throat with some sryup until the doctor reached.

The problem now:
Anyways now the probelms is I came home thursday night to meet sparkles not puting any pressure on his back leg. The maid was at my house during the day so i had blocked off the room with a board. I am wondering if that board fell on him. the cleaner did not mention anything to me though.

So he ate his normal chicken and went to sleep. Its now 48 hours and there is no improvement he is very lethargic just sleeping all day. drinking some water. he ate this morning he does not want anything tonight. HE IS SKIN AND BONES!! I can feel everything. His brother is nice and solid. I felt all his bones and organs. he does not yelp or cry. just wants to lay down a Sleep.


What can i do until the doctor reaches? And what are the possbilties that could be wrong with him. I keep reading about lyme desease but i dont think the ticks here in the virgin ISlands carry this. I could be wrong and i have not seen a tick or flea on them.

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Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Oh, I'm so sorry to hear that little Sparkles is not doing well.

It sounds like the two parasites that he had were Giardia and Coccidia. These can make a dog very very sick with vomiting, diarrhea and weight loss. However they shouldn't cause limping.

It's hard to say why he is limping. It's certainly possible that he has sustained an injury. But this shouldn't make him so lethargic.

I'm really worried that there is something very serious going on. When I see puppies like this that have multiple problems and don't gain weight like their siblings then I get worried that they may have been born with a serious problem such as a heart condition or possibly a liver problem called a hepatic shunt. Unfortunately if this is the case then there is not a whole lot that we can do.

Lyme disease is really not common in such a young puppy. The animal would have to receive a tick bite and then it takes 4-6 weeks for symptoms to develop. The symptoms are usually muscle pain and lethargy that comes and goes. To me, it sounds like this is more of a sudden thing.

Some kind of infection on Sparkles' foot or leg could cause limping and lethargy. If there is an infection then the sooner he gets antibiotics the better.

Unfortunately there is no over the counter medication for pain that I would consider safe to use for him. These medicines are all processed through the liver and kidneys and we don't know if those organs are healthy.

Is there any way you can get him off of the island to see a vet? His best chance of survival is to have him seen as soon as possible.

Until then, I would try to encourage him to eat. (Perhaps you could make a broth from some canned food?) You can also offer him some unsweetened pedialyte (which is something you can get at the pharmacy that helps children fight dehydration.) If he tolerates it, you can try putting an ice pack over the joints of his sore leg. This might help somewhat with the pain.

I really hope he pulls through!

Dr. Marie.



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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

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