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Giardia in baby chihuahua

July 29th, 2007, 02:55 PM
Hi all!

I have been scouring the web for the last two days trying to gather information on Giardia.

We picked up our chihuahua puppy on Weds at 9 weeks of age. He came from a farm and a breeder who seems to have a reputable business. She was very knowledgeable about the breed and offered forth information freely.

While "Eddie" was playful and happy for the first 24 hrs, by Friday morning he was weak and sleepy. We made sure he had fresh water and coaxed him to eat through out the day however by 5:30 Saturday morn he was vomitting and had bloody diarrehea. (I was told by the breeder to expect diarrehea for the first day or so as the move to a new home would be stressful.) We rushed him to emergency vet where he was diagnosed with a sever bout of giardia and dangerously low blood sugar. He is still at hospital however we are told that he will make it. As of noon this afternoon my vet bill is sitting at $1000 and there is surely more to come.

The breeder was called and put in contact with the vet. She is adamant that the puppy was healthy when we picked him up whereas the vet advised that Eddie was infected prior to us bringig him home. Before going head to head with the breeder over this and hopefully coming up with a feasible solution, I would like to know if this could have been prevented, if there is any way this was our fault or any other comments you may be able to offer to shed light on the situation.

I would like the breeder to contribute to at least half of the vet bill however I now read on the purchase agreement that I signed that Giardia is not part of the health guarantee. On one hand I am very frustrated that this little fellow has cost us over $1500 (purchase price and vet bill) in only 4 days yet on the other hand I am very thankful that the doctors were able to save him. He got sick so fast that I am now worried he will be prone to further illnesses.

Do I have a valid complaint to bring to the table with the breeder or am I doomed to paying off this large bill on my own?

Thanks for your help!

July 29th, 2007, 03:09 PM
Sorry to hear about your sick puppy. Two of my dogs contracted giardia when they were youngsters ~ it's great you were able to catch it in time. If it were me, I would be asking for at least 1/2 payment if not full on the Vet bills . Here is some information rfom the Merck:

You'll note that transmission is fecal / oral with an incubation period of 5-14 days. More than likely most or all of your breeder's puppies have it by now unless she has thoroughly cleared and steam-cleaned the area and has located and treated the puppy/ dog(s) who played the original host and subsequent hosts.

July 29th, 2007, 05:16 PM
Oh no,not another sick puppy from a"breeder",I :pray:the little guy will be ok:fingerscr

July 30th, 2007, 10:51 AM
Eddie is on IV fluids and being force fed to get his glucose levels back up. We visited last night and were able to coax him to eat, keeping our fingers crossed that he would be able to keep it down. Vet just informed this morn that he also has coccidia. Urg! Everyday that he is in the hospital is costing us $350 and with no pet insurance this is definitely adding up. We are up to $1500 now.

I will be going after the breeder to cover these bills but imagine that it will be a battle.

July 30th, 2007, 04:46 PM
I am so sorry to hear that:sad: hopefully the little guy will be ok:pray:
Sometimes I wonder if these"breeders"give the otherwise sick pups a shot of adrenaline just before beeing picked up,just to make the big $$$ off them:evil:

July 30th, 2007, 08:21 PM
Well we have him home with us now. He was so happy to see me this aft that his whole body shook. His glucose is stable and I convinced the vet to let me play nursemaid because of the high costs there. He is eating in small amounts and I must feed him every two hours - even throughout the night.

Spoke with the breeder earlier and she seemed genuinely concerned. She told me that she contacted all of the other puppy owners and is taking stools samples from those that are still with her to the vet. We talked of costs this morning so I am hoping she will cover at least half of this bill. Eddie has turned into the $2000 dog. Not bad for being with us 5 days eh?

Suffice to say I am signing up for pet insurance ;)

July 30th, 2007, 10:43 PM
:fingerscr for good health from this point forward !!:fingerscr

August 1st, 2007, 01:19 PM
Eddie still has very soft poop - sometimes more formed but the majority still diarreha like. Do I need to worry or will it take a few days for him to recover and "go solid"? Just before we left the vet's Monday eve he pooped all over the floor and when I showed it to the tech she didn't seem concerned so I am not sure when I am supposed to be considering all that he has been through.

August 1st, 2007, 02:06 PM
hi. I am so sorry you had this problem when you picked up your pup. I have a bad feeling regarding this. I have a 4 month old English Springer. I was given a health guarantee where if the pup was very sick and was seen by a veterinarian and paperwork signed, I could get a complete refund. Does this little pup have diabetes or were the glucose levels off because of the giardia. I would seriously think about the overall health of this little pup and your future. Remember, you didn't sign up to get a sick pup. I know the last thing you want is to give the pup dog lovers this would be a nightmare. However, I do believe you have recourse. This illness occurred within 7 days of receiving pup. The health guarantees that I have indicate that within 7 days if you have the paperwork in order from Vet, you can be fully refunded
of receive a new pup.

I would really check over your agreement. I am so glad the little one is feeling better. Hopefully this is the end to medical problems for this pup. I do believe the breeder MUST be involved and you should be compensated.

August 1st, 2007, 04:57 PM
Contract states if pup becomes ill within first 72 hrs that it must be returned and breeder will be responsible for all care costs and the pup returned when well. Under the circumstances we did not return but rather rushed to vet.

Contract also states no cash refunds. Exchange for another puppy instead.

There was no mention of diabetes at hospital but rather glucose levels that were low because of the giardia and severe diarreha. This poor guy had 22 glucose readings in 2 1/2 days.

He was in a chipper mood yesterday and tearing around the kitchen but today he is somewhat blah. I still feed him every two hours even though he really doesn't want to. I give up after a few finger fulls. He has energy, plays a little bit but for the most part just wants to cuddle. His poops are getting to be somewhat less runny but I am paranoid about the glucose levels. If I sense that he is getting worse I will go back to the vet's however at this point I don't know whether to chalk this all up to paranoia or what.

He is on medication for the coccidia, perhaps this will keep the stools loose and make him tired?

Worse than having another baby in the house - ha ha! Never figured I would be such a suck. :laughing:

August 1st, 2007, 05:31 PM
Hi again.
I really do believe you have a chance at recovering loss from your breeder. You have medical records from a Vet that prove he is sick. Under the circumstances you did the only thing you could which was rush the little one to the ER. You had communication with the breeder so they were informed of the problem. Anyway, despite everything you have managed to keep a little sense of humor. You are such a trooper. You will want to know complete medical records and I would have your Vet complete a physical for everything and have it documented.
The point I need to make is that the breeder should be held responsible for some of this. You need to have a frank discusion about the options for you. I really am glad the little one is on the mend. Keep us informed ok!

August 1st, 2007, 06:26 PM
...low glucose readings are *extremely* common in Chi pups (or any toy breed pup, I guess). If they aren't eating or eating well, it is almost a given that they will develop low sugars. A reputable breeder would have alerted new owners about this. Most Chi breeders that I know of won't release their pups till about 10 weeks of age anyways.

Glad the little fellow is doing better. What are you feeding him? You should ask your vet, of course, but I would think that if he were otherwise acting ok that he might do better with every 4 hour feeds. Keep in mind a small amt. to us isn't to a Chihuahua! :dog: My little female Chi weighs about 6.5-7.0 pounds, and is a little on the chunky side.......a teaspoon is a bite for us, half a meal for them. :D

August 1st, 2007, 06:38 PM
Thanks a bunch. In hindsight I should have gotten more first hand information. Breeder gave me a weeks worth of food and said that he was eating twice a day - 1/2 cup of the kibble in total.

I was warned about the low blood sugar and told if he ever looked woozy to take a small dab of corn syrup and rub it on the top of his mouth.

Right now I am concerned about the poop. Still runny but not watery. How many days before I can expect it to be solid?

Eating - he seems to eat more when we finger feed. Both kibble and soft. The vet sent me home with a recovery formula soft food but not much advice on to how much I should be feeding. Just every 2 hrs for the first 48hrs out of hospital. Should I be happy with 3-4 kibbles and a spoonful of soft?

He's lucky that I am a suck and he is so cute. I have taken to calling him "princess" as between the finger feeding and cuddling in my shirt or under a blanket with us he is certainly getting this nursemaid wrapped around his finger.

I read about a product called nutri-cal and was going to go out and see if I could find at the local pet store. It says it promotes energy and appetite and is good for low blood sugar in toy dogs. Has anyone ever used this themselves?

August 3rd, 2007, 08:46 PM
How is Eddie doing? I have been following your post and am so sorry your little fella is going through this. My Winston had Giardia also right after I got him home, but he did not have a severe bout of it. He did not vomit any and was always full of energy and had a great appetite.

You ask about how long to expect the poop to be soft. For Winston he had two bouts of soft poop with blood/mucous lasting around 10 days each. I don't know if this is common in terms of time or not. I think it can be a little hard to get rid of the giardia.

August 3rd, 2007, 11:45 PM
Eddie is doing pretty good - thanks! I have cut the 2 hr feedings back however do have to coax him to eat sometimes. Fussy fellow. Found out by accident (he was sniffing around under the table) that he loves cooked carrots. Have now been using small pieces as rewards for come and sit. I also read about boiled rice and chicken for the runs and have been feeding him small amounts of that on top of the kibble and recovery formula. Part of me figures he will eat when he is hungry but again I worry so I try whatever works. Knowing my luck I am probably adding to the runs :p

He is still a poop machine. Some more formed than others. Can't wait for the day when I see a big lump instead of goo. He is really good about going on the newspaper - no poopy accidents what-so-ever. Peeing though is a different story. Sometimes on the paper or pee pad other times not.

He happens to love his crate with the big fluffy doggie pillow and goes in there on his own when tired. He has a stuffed octopus in there that he has also taken to humping - eekk - not sure what I do about that...

A tempermental fellow for sure. There are times when he wants to do nothing but cuddle and kiss and then other where he doesn't even want to look at you. Some moments where the "Eddie Come" and "Sit" work fabulously, and yet other times where he looks at you as if saying "Ya, right. Forget it."

This is our first dog... I until now have always been a cat person... so I imagine there is lots and lots for me to learn here. Hopefully the health issues will subside and I will learn to relax.

I will try and upload a picture of the recovering princess for you. Any further words of advice would certainly be appreciated. Thanks!

August 4th, 2007, 12:01 AM
Oh, I would LOVE to see a pic! So great Eddie is continuing to be on the mend! You may also give a little plain yogurt (not the sugary kind) to help the tummy out. My dogs all find it yummie too! Winston's poop went from bloody/mucous/soft to ones that were mucous/soft and soft only. So, he stopped having the blood but it was still soft for awhile after that. I thought at the time that not seeing the blood was a sign that things were getting better. Your princess sounds adorable.

August 4th, 2007, 12:49 AM
My pics seem to be too large to upload on here and I am not sure of how to resize. I added a few pics to a freebie site to share with you though.

You may need to cut and paste the url.

As I type the little peanut is sleeping in my lap. A pretty good day today and so I think I will forego waking up in the middle of the night to feed. Fewf.... was beginning to think I was on my forth child here and destined to walk around with baggy, tired eyes for a long time... Ha ha.

August 4th, 2007, 08:16 AM
Not hard to see why you fell in love.... :cloud9: :lovestruck:

August 4th, 2007, 09:18 AM
OMG,what an absolute sweetheart:lovestruck:
:pray: that his tiny body will recover soon:dog:

August 4th, 2007, 07:58 PM
So Cute!!! :cloud9: I love the stripe down his face and those cute ears and tiny nose! He looks so good on the grass, has that alert look about him. :thumbs up I bet he is a blast when he runs and rolls in the grass...thanks for sharing!

August 9th, 2007, 01:53 AM
Well I'm back again to pose another question to all you brilliant folks. Toyed with the idea of starting another thread however figured I'd stick with the original as it has all the pertinent info already in it.

While the little Eddie Spaghetti is doing much much better, he still has some pretty soft and frequent poops. We're talking 8,9,10+ a day. The first one of the day is pretty well formed and solid yet as the day goes on they get softer. Not watery... just goopy. A little smelly too..

Perhaps we are feeding him too much? The low blood sugar and runs from before got me worried so now I basically coax him to eat every 4 hrs or so. He never really eats too much (tsp of soft and a few kibbles) yet again this could just be the novice in me not knowing how much he is supposed to eat in the first place. When we brought home from the breeder she said 1/2 cup of kibble a day. He is no where close to that.

When we brought Eddie home from the hospital 10 days ago the vet gave us a can of recovery formula and another called medi-cal development formula. I still have the kibble the breeder sent home with me and mix it in with the soft stuff. Kirkland Signature Super Premium Puppy.

He also just finished today his medication for the Coccidia. He was on Trimeth - Sulfa Suspension. We have a follow up and 12 week booster on Sunday at the vets and so I will bring up the same questions however a little insider's advice would be great.

#1 - how many poops are in the normal range for the chi @ 1.75 pounds
#2 - how much food does he really need and how many times per day
#3 - how much poop can such a small beast have in him :)
#4 - best food/diet that I can feed for those well formed

Thanks for your paitence. After all we went through in the beginning I find myself second guessing everything. First dog and such a tiny one to boot. I'm telling ya, raising kids is much easier. :p Ha ha.