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Sick Puppy

2006 Views 20 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  Greg Wile

I wanted to share some issues I am having with my 10 month old lab. She had been vomiting off and on for about 3 weeks (maybe every three days) so I called the vet and they said she may be eating things that upset her stomach and if I really wanted to check things out I should bring in a stool sample. Well I brought in a stool sample and it all checked out fine except for some small pieces of plastic, I then changed her dog food and watched her like a hawk to make sure she wasnt eating any "foregin" objects. For 3-4 days the vomiting appears to have stopped BUT. . . yesterday after returning from work I found her covered in diarrhea (something she would NEVER do in her crate) and looking VERY unhappy. The diarrhea continued when I let her outside and I notice a small amount of blood in it. The blood is very red with some mixed in and some drops on leaves. Called vet this morning and am bringing her in at 12:00.

As you can imagine I am very concerned. . . any words of advice? Has anyone else encountered this before?


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That really sucks man. Make sure and get her to a good vet. The constant vomiting should have been a sign that it wasn't just eating foreign objects. Has she had all of her parvo shots and others? You might try a different vet if they can't find anything. Best of luck!

duckman, please keep us posted. Hope that everything checks out "OK" :thumbsup: The plastic sounds bad. You said that you changed dog foods, did you think that the plastic came from there? or did you just think that she wasn't digesting it very well. It's probably the later, i'm just curious.

I switched my dog from puppy to adult food(chicken and rice) and it gave her a fit. She was vomitting and getting me up all night to go outside. I came home once and she had diarrea all over her crate and looked miserable. I switched her over to lamb and rice by the same company and she has been fine.

As for the plastic, I see that with my dog too. When they are young like this they are self destructive little buggers and you have to watch them 'cause they will eat anything. We don't have any stuffed toys anymore b/c she tares them apart and eats the insides.

I hope that helps.

Well I am back from the vet and though she was "concerned" she said that she thought that the stomach upset may be caused by simply switching dog foods from lamb and rice to science diet (mostly chicken and corn). What Harvey described is almost identical to what I am seeing with my pup. Diarrea, looking miserable, vomitting, etc.

The vet however was concerned with the bleeding and said she had colitis (sp?) so gave her meds for 5 days to correct. Also, suggested switching back to the lamb and rice.

Also realize that I am going to have to watch her like a hawk. . . since I am new to the puppy world I had been caught a little off guard!!

Thanks for the posts guys!

Also, I think the plastic came from certain squeeky toys not dog food. I origionally replaced dog food because I thought maybe it was causing the vomiting.

Ram98 - What is Parvo?
i had the same problem last year with my lab mix. the vet said it had something to do with his pancerous (sp). they ended up keeping him for 4 days to give him meds and to watch him. but it was from him eating table food and changing his dog food. he ended up being fine after the ordeal but he no longer gets people food of any kind and a higher grade of dog food. good luck with your pup.
two words. "PET INSURANCE"
Duckmann, here's some info on Parvo I found on Man, I love Google!
The bottom line is, make sure your puppy has all his shots... Parvo is standard with the puppy vaccinations.


What is Canine Parvo?

Canine parvovirus (CPV) infection is a relatively new disease that appeared in 1978. Because of the severity of the disease and its rapid spread through the canine population, CPV has aroused a great deal of public interest. The virus that causes it is very similar to feline distemper, and the two diseases are almost identical. Therefore, it has been speculated that the canine virus is a mutation of the feline virus. However, that has never been proven.

How does a dog become infected with parvovirus?

The causative agent of CPV disease, as the name infers, is a virus. The main source of the virus is the feces of infected dogs. The stool of an infected dog can have a high concentration of viral particles. Susceptible animals become infected by ingesting the virus. Subsequently, the virus is carried to the intestine where it invades the intestinal wall and causes inflammation.

Unlike most other viruses, CPV is stable in the environment and is resistant to the effects of heat, detergents, and alcohol. CPV has been recovered from dog feces even after three months at room temperature. Due to its stability, the virus is easily transmitted via the hair or feet of infected dogs, contaminated shoes, clothes, and other objects. Direct contact between dogs is not required to spread the virus. Dogs that become infected with the virus and show clinical signs will usually become ill within 7-10 days of the initial infection.

How does this disease affect the dog?

The clinical manifestations of CPV disease are somewhat variable, but generally take the form of severe vomiting and diarrhea. The diarrhea may or may not contain blood. Additionally, affected dogs often exhibit a lack of appetite, depression, and fever. It is important to note that many dogs may not show every clinical sign, but vomiting and diarrhea are the most common signs; vomiting usually begins first. Parvo may affect dogs of all ages, but is most common in dogs less than one year of age. Young puppies less than five months of age are often the most severely affected and the most difficult to treat.

How is it diagnosed?

The clinical signs of CPV infection can mimic other diseases causing vomiting and diarrhea; consequently, the diagnosis of CPV is often a challenge for the veterinarian. The positive confirmation of CPV infection requires the demonstration of the virus in the stool or the detection of anti-CPV antibodies in the blood serum. Occasionally, a dog will have parvovirus but test negative for virus in the stool. Fortunately, this is not a common occurrence. A tentative diagnosis is often based on the presence of a reduced white blood cell count (leukopenia). If further confirmation is needed, stool or blood can be submitted to a veterinary laboratory for the other tests. The absence of a leukopenia does not always mean that the dog cannot have CPV infection. Some dogs that become clinically ill may not necessarily be leukopenic.

Can it be treated successfully?

There is no treatment to kill the virus once it infects the dog. However, the virus does not directly cause death; rather, it causes loss of the lining of the intestinal tract. This results in severe dehydration, electrolyte (sodium and potassium) imbalances, and infection in the bloodstream (septicemia). When the bacteria that normally live in the intestinal tract are able to get into the blood stream, it becomes more likely that the animal will die.

The first step in treatment is to correct dehydration and electrolyte imbalances. This requires the administration of intravenous fluids containing electrolytes. Antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs are given to prevent or control septicemia. Antispasmodic drugs are used to inhibit the diarrhea and vomiting that perpetuate the problems.

What is the survival rate?

Most dogs with CPV infection recover if aggressive treatment is used and if therapy is begun before severe septicemia and dehydration occur. For reasons not fully understood, some breeds, notably the Rottweiler, have a much higher fatality rate than other breeds.

Can it be prevented?

The best method of protecting your dog against CPV infection is proper vaccination. Puppies receive a parvo vaccination as part of their multiple-agent vaccine given at 8, 12, and 16 weeks of age. In some situations, veterinarians will give the vaccine at two week intervals and an additional booster at 18 to 20 weeks of age. After the initial series of vaccinations when the dog is a puppy, all dogs should be boostered at least once a year. Dogs in high exposure situations (i.e., kennels, dog shows, field trials, etc.) may be better protected with a booster every six months. Pregnant bitches should be boostered within two weeks of whelping in order to transfer protective antibodies to the puppies. The final decision about a proper vaccination schedule should be made by your veterinarian.

Is there a way to kill the virus in the environment?

The stability of the CPV in the environment makes it important to properly disinfect contaminated areas. This is best accomplished by cleaning food bowls, water bowls, and other contaminated items with a solution of one cup of chlorine bleach in a gallon of water ( 4 to 8 ounces of bleach in a gallon of water OR 250 mL in 4 liters of water). It is important that chlorine bleach be used because most "virucidal" disinfectants will not kill the canine parvovirus.

Does parvovirus pose a health risk for me? How about for my cats?

It is important to note that at the present time, there is no evidence to indicate that CPV is transmissible to cats or humans.
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Like 98ram said, you may want to get a second opinion from another vet. I don't know if you are happy with your vet or not, but if you are not confident in what your vet is telling you, there is nothing wrong with a second opinion.

Is the dog eating its food really fast? If it is, this could cause the vommiting for sure, but I don't know about the other symptoms. If the dog is eating too fast, try putting large rocks in the dogs food bowl. MAKE SURE that the dog cannot fit them in its mouth. This will make the dog root around the rocks to get the food and slow it down.

Good Luck and keep us posted.
man gsp, your like an ol' wise man. "rocks in his food bowl" Thats a good idea, don't know how you figured that one out. My dog would puke if he drang a bunch of water before he ate. I started waiting to feed him at least half an hour after he drank a water. He stopped puking. Sounds like your dog has a little bigger problem.
I am sorry to hear about your pup's problems. I hope she mends quickly.
ACE she ate so fast it was unbelievable. She reminded me of a lab, because I have seen several labs just scarf food down. I have heard that bad things can happen if a dog eats too fast, so I wanted to slow her down.
my lab i have to remind to eat. He eats twice a day, about 5 cups. He is very skinny and weighs 73lbs. He is built like a rock, very muscular. But he has never been a good eater. He sometimes just looks at it and says na not right now. other times he is ready to eat. even when he is hungry he takes his time. I've thought about changing dog foods, but the vet is happy with his weight and his build. he digests his food very well also, so i figure why change it just to make me happy watching him wolfe his food down.
Some dogs live to eat, others eat to live. :yes:
I'm with huntingwife. Those sound like symptoms of Parvo, esp the bloody diarrhea. Your vet should be able to perform a simple parvo test. If not, go to a different vet. Do you know if one was done? Most breeders will give the first round of shots and the owner needs to follow up with the remaining shots. The dog needs to have at least two booster shots after 12 wks of age.

Good luck. I hope your dog comes out ok.

Hope yer pup has a vigerous and safe and FULL recovery....
Ill be thinkin about her.

Keep us updated! :thumbsup:


Well after terrifying me with her antics over the past several days it appears that my little girl "Onyx" is on the mend. She isn't vomiting or having any more runny poo problems so I guess all is fine. . . BUT will continue to watch her like a hawk!

What was done: Well first, I ended up changing her food back to Sci Diet - Lamb and Rice from Reg Sci Diet. Second, the meds from the vet seem to help her somewhat sensitive posterior. Lastly, I spent a 1/2 hour last night picking up every little scrap of anything off my lawn and driveway that I thought might possibly look tasty to her.

Thanks for the info esp. Ram 98 that Parvo stuff was a real eye opener. I know that she has had all of her puppy shots and the vet additionally tested her temp (she didn't like that much!) and also stool but there was no blood test she said that would only be necessary if the vomiting and runny poo continue.

Duck Mann
Glad to hear the little fella is doing better. Parvo is nasty nasty nasty stuff. I got a little scared when you said there was blood in the vomit or stool.
Glad to hear your pup is doing better.
That is way cool that yer pup is gettin better! :thumbsup:

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