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Is she sick or dying?

November 23rd, 2005, 11:48 PM
Hi Everyone,

I am new to this website, and honestly, I found you because I'm worried about my dog. I know it says to go to a vet immediately if you think your pet is seriously ill, but the problem is my vet has not called me back (I've left three messages in the last three days). And, I don't know if she's just sick, or if she's dying. (I genuinely ask you to please not respond to criticize me for not taking her to a new vet already because I am now sick with worry, and I am already beating myself up that I haven't done that.)

I have a 15-year-old mixed breed dog (black lab/german shepherd) who about a year ago had a growth on her front right paw. The vet I went to at the time didn't suggest doing anything because of her age, and because it didn't seem to bother her. However, about 6-8 weeks ago, the growth got significantly larger. So much larger that it started to rub against her body when she walked. This caused, I believe, a friction sore. The sore got a scab and seemed to be healing, but Chelsea and my other dog started licking the scab (all the time). Needless to say, the sore got infected. Chelsea also seemed like she was suffering from a UTI (something she had had a few months before). That was when I placed a call to a new vet (recommended by a friend). She came to our house (mobile vet), and she prescribed an anti-inflammatory (Chelsea was having trouble using her back legs; the vet said that was probably because of the UTI), as well as two antibiotics.

The antibiotics cleared up the UTI, but they didn't seem to do much for the open (oozing) wound. Another call to the vet, two more (different and stronger antibiotics). The sore seemed to drastically improve this time. But, about a day or two before the antibiotics dosing schedule was completed, she started to smell very badly. She had smelled badly before, and the vet said it was because of the sore. Another call to the vet. She decided we needed to continue one of the antibiotics (clindamycin). I started this third round of antibiotics three days ago.

Now to why I'm worried. Two days ago, I came home and found Chelsea lying in the kitchen. Not too unusual, but when I called her so I could walk her, she couldn't get up. She tried valiantly, but she couldn't seem to use her hind legs. This had happened when she had her UTIs, so I wondered if it was just that the infection from the sore had affected her back legs (like the UTI did), and all we needed to do was wait for the antibiotics to start working. She couldn't get up, but she ate (I put the bowl next to her head). The next morning, behind her was a bowel movement. She couldn't even get up to move away from it.

Yesterday, she was still lying in the kitchen (she hadn't moved). She wouldn't eat when I put the food next to her, or when I tried to hand-feed her. However, later in the evening, I heard her eating.

Today, she ate a little bit, but she wouldn't drink. I took a water bottle and I poured some water in her mouth. She started licking the water, but she wouldn't take much.

She doesn't look like she's in pain, and her breathing isn't labored. Her sore is definitely getting much better. But, she won't move the back half of her body. She will raise her head up, and she'll keep it raised, but that's it.

I've called the vet three times, and no response. I will call the emergency vet tomorrow; I'm a single mom of two young kids so I have to wait until the morning to do anything because I have no one to watch them (I don't really want to get them up to take them to the vet at 1:00 in the morning). But, what I'd really like to know is if anyone has experienced this kind of behavior in their dogs. I know Chelsea is an old girl. I don't know if this is what happens when their bodies just start shutting down because of old age. Or, if this is because of the infection. I looked up the drug to see what the side effects were. None of the side effects listed (for humans) are applicable. Does anyone know if this is because of the antibiotics?

Again, I will call a different vet tomorrow and take her (assuming I can find one open on Thanksgiving). But, I would appreciate any information anyone has.

Thank you,

November 23rd, 2005, 11:52 PM
I don't understand why while this dog has been lying there for three days, all of a sudden it's an emergency at 1AM when you can't wake the kids. It was an emergency the minute she couldn't get up.

I know you don't want a flaming, but seriously, this dog is suffering and you're watching it happen. 3 days!

November 23rd, 2005, 11:57 PM
I'm sooo sorry to hear about your dog. I found this site when my dog was sick and it's been a wonderful resource. I have no medical knowledge and couldnt guess what the problem is. But I would call that vet again and I would call others as well. When Joey was sick I called his regular vet, his former vet and another vet someone else recommended. The animal emergency clinics are open 24 hours and even if you can't get there in the wee hours you can talk to someone with some medical expertise and they can give you more insight.

Best of luck to you and keep us posted. I'll say a prayer for your family and pup tonight.

November 24th, 2005, 12:01 AM
You know, you don't know me, and I don't know you. So, I will try and be kind in my response. She did not look like she was suffering. She was eating, alert, looking around. When she had her UTIs, she did not move. It took a few days for the antibiotics to kick in, but when they did, she was back to normal. Because that happened twice, I thought it was the same situation. However, it now seems different.

Even though this is a new vet, she has NEVER been unresponsive. My initial thought was that she must not think this is serious because if she did, she would have definitely called me right back.

It is not suddenly an emergency at 1am. If you were a single parent with two young children, two jobs, and two dogs, you would understand why 1am is the first opportunity I have had to do something more than just worry and leave messages for the vet.

So, thank you very much for your warm reception and useful comments and advice.

November 24th, 2005, 02:14 AM
As a military wife, who's husband is deployed to a war zone, with 3 children and more then one pet - it took me 2 hours to get my dog to the vet when she couldn't get up!

I promise - had that been your child lying on the kitchen floor unable to get up you would have been to the emergency room whether the child seemed to be in pain or not!