Emergency Help for an Upset Stomach

by Beverly B
(Cornwall, England)

My 15wk old started vomiting on the Sunday- Monday he had diaohere and no energy. I took him to the vets, they kept him in and gave him fluids overnight and antibiotics. I brought him home the next day around 5.30pm- he seemed full of energy - but the next day was back to no energy and needing fluids again.

He has had 2 bouts of iv fluids in 4 days plus 6 days of antibiotics. I am making sure that he is feeding every 2 hrs little & often on Royal cain intest from the vets at £2.50per tin. Yesterday day 1 of no antibiotic injections he was full of beans but now day 2 he has no energy, and is very confused.

He is not dehydrated as I am making sure he is drinking plenty of water.

Please help as I have now run out of money to pay any further vet fees. I realy don't want to do the unspoken but at the same time don't want him to suffer.

I paid £450.00 for him 3 wks ago and a further £600+ at the vets.

I just don't know what to do, every time I look at him I cry.

Please help.

Anonymous Answers:

Give your pet dextrose powder and some carbo foods like potatoes, carrots and rice.

Our Answer

Hello Beverly. By now your puppy’s health problems must have been resolved. We hope that he is healthy, well and bouncing around like the little bundle of love he was meant to be. It can be emotionally and financially stressful when our little four-legged babies get sick. That’s why even though our answer will be too late to help you, we might be able to help other Shih Tzu moms and dads who find themselves in a medical emergency with their pet.

First -- Puppy proof your home. Puppies are like sharks, they constantly move and eat. You can prevent a variety of potential medical emergencies by removing toxic plants, electrical cords and choking hazards from your dog’s reach. The American Humane Association reminds new pet parents to look around their home, yard and garage for possible toxins and sharp objects that could harm their pet. Remember that shoelaces and string toys are hazardous to animals; if swallowed they can lodge in a dog’s intestinal track causing all types of digestive problems, including death.

Second -- Seek medical help. Beverly, you were right to take your puppy to the vet right away. Small-breed dogs like Shih Tzus, especially young Shih Tzus, can get dangerously ill, even fatally ill very quickly from dehydration. Just because your dog appears to be drinking enough doesn’t mean he’s not in danger of being dehydrated. Signs of dehydration include dry sticky gums, lethargy and sunken eyes. One easy test to determine dehydration is to gently pull on the scruff of skin at the back of your Shih Tzu's neck. If the skin doesn’t spring back in two seconds or less your dog is dehydrated and needs medical attention.

Third -- Feeding bland food. Bland food from the vet can be expensive and really increase the cost of already pricey medical care. You can provide the same thing from your own kitchen by mixing 1 lb. of cooked ground chicken with 1 cup of pureed, cooked pumpkin and ½ cup of cooked white rice. If your sick dog doesn’t feel like eating for a day or two, don’t panic. As long as he’s drinking water and not showing signs of dehydration, skipping a few meals won’t hurt him. If the vet is concerned about the dog’s calorie intake try warming the food to enhance the smell factor and hand feed him a bite at a time.

Fourth -- Expect emergencies. Like children, puppies get sick and like children, it’s crucial that we get them to the doctor when they do. When you’re weighing the pros and cons of adopting a new puppy consider all the costs. If you’re not certain you have the resources to cover a reasonable amount of vet bills for the puppy’s first year then maybe it’s not the best time to take on the financial responsibility of a pet. If you do find yourself in the heartbreaking position of not being able to provide your Shih Tzu with the medical care they need, surrender your pet to the SPCA or a Shih Tzu rescue organization where they can get life-saving medical care. Euthanizing a pet because you can’t or don’t want to accrue vet bills is not a decision any animal lover wants to live with.

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