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5 month old puppy with no energy and possible neurological disorder?


baltopup
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I adopted a 5 month old puppy 2 days ago and he is not acting like a puppy at all, meaning he has no energy, doesn't play, walks really slowly and overall seems sluggish. I also highly think there may be something wrong with his back legs. 

I took him to the emergency vet Friday night, where he was extremely tired, falling off balance, and non responsive. The vet didn't do anything, and no blood work was done being that he got it done 2 weeks ago and everything came back healthy. They tried telling me he could potentially have rabies being that he doesn't have his rabies shot yet, but he had none of the symptoms and then discharged him. I was left completley confused and with no answers as to what could be wrong. 

When I brought him back home, he kept pacing around my apartment going in circles staying close to the walls and drooling. I figured maybe the drool was from teething since he did lose a tooth earlier and he might be in pain. I put him in his kennel hoping that might help him go to sleep, but he walked in circles in his kennel until 2am when he got tired. As well, the previous owners told me that he hadn't slept the night before and he didn't sleep at all when I got him until 2 am, meaning he hadn't slept in 24hrs. I figured it was due to the teething and being in a new home. 

However, the next morning he was stumbling when he got out of his kennel and his back legs splayed out when he drank water from his bowl. All he did was drink water and go back to sleep. When I gave him breakfast, he was eating and his back legs splayed out again, almost like a frog. When he walks he loses his balance and stumbles as if he were drunk. He still struggles to walk, when I walk him he walks slowly, doesn't run even when I try running instead he just trots behind me. He also walks with his back legs stiff, and when he walks he sways so I think he has motion sickness. He drools a lot, and I'm not sure if it accounts to the teething or motion sickness. All he does is sleep all day, doesn't play or run around when he is awake, he doesn't even move his tail so I can't tell if he is happy or not. When I take him to the dog park he falls on his back when dogs come up to him or he walks away from them as if he is disinterested. I can't tell if he is simply tired or in pain, he doesn't whimper and he is eating/drinking water. 

I'm a college student and can't afford to pay for an MRI, I already maxed out how many loans I can take this school year to pay for school. I wanted to see if there is anyone who might have an idea of what could be wrong before taking him to the vet again or a neurologist to see if he's having issues with his spine and that's why his back legs may be stiff, being the emergency vet couldn't find anything wrong or maybe didn't try hard enough to find a problem? (At one point the emergency vet told me they googled him symptoms, so I don't trust them and don't want to take him back there) Or if there is a way to help him feel more comfortable and gain more energy? 

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Really wish I could help  -  but your only recourse is to take him to a better vet   - one who will really investigate   -  maybe a homeopathic vet?    Whatever the course,  it is serious by the sound of it   -  and you have got to do something.

 

I feel for you both  - but for the health of your pup  please find the money  - fast.

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Your pup doesn’t sound right at all, it could be anything but have you checked him for ticks if you live or he lived in an area that has them? Some ticks can transmit some pretty bad things, worth looking. Here’s a link - https://coloradoticks.org/the-ticks/other-colorado-ticks/ This describes some of the symptoms of some tick bites - https://www.pestwiki.com/effects-ticks-dogs/ scroll down a bit, it had a funny header on my computer, the article is further down.

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Thank you guys for responding to my post. I wish I had better news but unfortunately I had to make the tough decision to put him to sleep. I took him to a different emergency vet in my area at 4am on Monday because he was severely lethargic, threw up and had diarrhea in his kennel. When I took him my boyfriend was driving and I had him in my lap but he wasn't looking at me and was completely unresponsive when I pet him.

The vet told me that he had distemper that had severely developed and that there was no cure or way to help him at that point. It was truly heart breaking for myself and my boyfriend being that this was our first puppy and we only had the chance to have him for three days. The previous owner didn't tell us he hadn't received his distemper shots, but they did tell us they took him camping about 3 weeks ago which is how he possibly could have gotten it. The vet told us he was neurologic, had enamel dysplasia or "distemper teeth", and a fever. We asked if there was any other possible issue that it could be but the vet said there wasn't and that it had developed to the "second stage", and euthanizing him was the best option for him.

I myself have been thinking back about this everyday and am worried that I made the wrong choice. I loved this pup so much and he deserved so much more and to be happy and healthy, it hurts to know that he went through all that pain and we didn't know how to make it better. The previous vet from the first emergency vet we took him to never said anything, making me believe he didn't really check him or else he would have told us earlier. As well, his first vet that the previous owners took him to never said anything, and I'm just angry that someone could let it progress this far and know he wasn't okay,  they ignored the signs and sold him to us. I can't stop thinking if maybe there was something different that was wrong and it could be curable, or if there was a way to save him and although I asked the vet multiple times they said this was his best option. I'm now really wary of vets being that they previous two didn't help much, and I really hope the last emergency vet was right that there wasn't anything else that could be done. 

Regardless, in the three days we did have him, he really took my heart. He was adorable and I just know that he was fighting to get better. I really hope that I was able to make his last days better and he knew that there was someone in the room with him that loved him before he passed. He was a wonderful puppy and he deserved so much better. 

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That’s so so sad, you must be so upset, it’s not at all the way taking in a puppy should go. Don’t blame yourself, you gave him the best chance you could, as first time puppy owners you can’t expect to get everything right, just like you don’t with your first child.

The one thing I have found about vets is that despite all their training their diagnostic skills are often limited. It sounds as though you found at least 2 of them. I am not a vet and don’t have vet training but I can use the internet and looking at how you described his symptoms and how the symptoms of distemper are listed whilst there are a few similarities it doesn’t sound a clear cut case. According to Petmd the diagnosis for distemper is tissue samples and blood tests, were those done at the last vet you saw? If not how could he be sure? There is a picture of distemper teeth, they are all brown and stained, were his like this? Of course none of this makes any difference to the outcome and at the very least you have made the brave decision to end his suffering.

Did you pay for this puppy? What is clear from the articles is that distemper is very infectious and you have a duty to inform whoever you got him from that that was his final diagnosis. You should also contact both previous vets, they should always practice infection control but they need to know they had a dog in their practise with distemper. 

I find it hard to believe they didn’t know your puppy was sick, there seem to be several stages to distemper, they couldn’t have missed them, if you paid, they sold you a sick dog, that is both unethical and wrong and I think you should ask for your money back. Who knows if they ddin’t have other dogs they were trying to move on? I’m as mad as hell on your behalf and that unlucky pup, I’d want someone’s skin for this!

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