Puppy Pneumonia - PLEASE HELP
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Thread: Puppy Pneumonia - PLEASE HELP

  1. #1
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    Puppy Pneumonia - PLEASE HELP

    Last Thursday, December 29th, I adopted a 10 week old puppy from a humane shelter. The next day I noticed some sneezing but she was eating, drinking, and playing just fine. That following Monday morning, she woke me up with a goose-like honking cough - OF COURSE worried dog mommy freaks out and immediately takes her to the vet where we had a free visit (due to the adoption policy).
    The vet wrote it off as a mild case of kennel cough and prescribed her some clavamox.
    The next day she was still eating and drinking - however she was slowly becoming more lethargic.
    I figured I would give the antibiotic a couple days to work; but, Wednesday she threw up twice. I was told this can be a common side effect of the Clavamox, so I called the vet again and she switched me to an amoxicillin oral dosage.

    Honey (my puppy) seemed to be doing somewhat better - still lethargic and not wanting to eat much. I began syringing her pedialite and baby food to make sure she didn't dehydrate or become hypoglycemic.
    Friday morning her coughing was seeming to quiet down, but that night I just felt off. I was up all night researching and driving myself crazy - at 4 AM I decided I was going to take her to a different vet to get a second opinion.

    This vet diagnosed my sweet girl with bacterial pneumonia - in the x-rays her whole left lung was pretty much filled with fluid, but her vitals otherwise seemed pretty good. They did not think she needed immediate hospitalization so they gave her an antibiotic shot of Baytril and sent me with some to give her every 24 hours.

    Again - I was worried. She is only 10 weeks old and all I can find online about puppy pneumonia is horror stories!! I need some positive stories or input.

    Last night, (Saturday Jan 7) her breathing seemed SLIGHTLY off. But because she's so little, I was panicking.
    I took her in to the ER Vet *expensive I know* and they took her back immediately. They wanted to keep her overnight and connect her to an IV and give her oxygen treatments (they did bloodwork as well to rule out parvo). I'm sure they did more than that, but at 1 AM it was a little difficult to keep everything straight.
    It was $800 to keep her for ONE night - $150 more to give her the oxygen treatments.
    I KNOW I am probably going to get responses saying I paid too much, but there are only two ER Vets in the city and I went to the one with the best reviews - I didn't know how else to pick. Furthermore, I'm not sure that the humane shelter can do anything for her illness if I called them? (HELP W THIS TOO)

    When I asked the vet if she was going to be okay, she told me that it's always hard to tell in puppies, but she seems pretty good - she isnt refusing to walk around or eat - and her electrolytes and inflammatory response are up. Furthermore, her respiratory rate went down from 60 to 40 and that was fantastic - via the doctor. The only thing she seemed concerned about on the phone this morning was that her oxygen levels when taken off the machine were not staying up like they hoped. She'd only been there for about 6 hours and it is currently 1:40 pm on Sunday Jan 8. I haven't received another phone call and they said "no news is good news."
    I'm going to call back myself around 4.

    **update**
    The hospital called me again today around 3 pm and informed me that they had willingly taken her off of the oxygen for about three hours and her oxygen levels were staying up by themselves. They also said she was eating and being really alert.

    I am concerned about the fluid though - if I kept her there another night it doesn't seem as though they would keep her on oxygen more since she has been off of it all day today.
    They said for a second night my total would jump up to $1200 - less than doubling the $800 - but still pricey for me. I'm willing to do it if they feel it's extremely necessary, but they are acting like she is progressing well. Also, I'm interested in getting another x-ray to see how the fluid is progressing but since my funds are limited - I'm wondering if it's more frugal to wait a few days to see how the antibiotics are working on it.
    **


    I can afford to keep her there for ONE more night, however I'm getting worried that all the pneumonia stories I'm seeing online end in death. Of course it is worth every penny, but is there any possibility she will make it through this? Can anyone give me some insight or some opinions based on my story and the updates from the vet. I'll continue updating as I get more info. PLEASE help!!!

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  3. #2
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    Re: Puppy Pneumonia - PLEASE HELP

    OH how awful for both you and the puppy! I can't give you any insight, but you sure have my sympathy!
    Here's the article Google picked out for me . . . oriented toward veterinarians and probably similar to the notions your vet is working from
    http://veterinarycalendar.dvm360.com...es-proceedings
    It sounds like there is a wide range of severity, and other people's experiences may not tell you much about what's happening with your pup.
    Good luck!

  4. #3
    Senior Member Hiraeth's Avatar
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    Re: Puppy Pneumonia - PLEASE HELP

    I'm very sorry for you and your pup.

    $800 for an emergency overnight ER stay doesn't sound outrageous - the cost of veterinary services vary greatly from area to area, and in my area, that's pretty reasonable.

    I think you should have an honest conversation with this vet about your budget and what your limitations are. And I'd suggest ignoring the online stories. It's usually only the sad events and bad outcomes that are posted, whereas the good outcomes get overlooked.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hiraeth View Post
    I'm very sorry for you and your pup.

    $800 for an emergency overnight ER stay doesn't sound outrageous - the cost of veterinary services vary greatly from area to area, and in my area, that's pretty reasonable.

    I think you should have an honest conversation with this vet about your budget and what your limitations are. And I'd suggest ignoring the online stories. It's usually only the sad events and bad outcomes that are posted, whereas the good outcomes get overlooked.
    Update!
    My vet told me she was good to come home after 24 hours on IV, nebulizers, and only needed 8 hours of oxygen treatment.
    She is very much the puppy I originally met - of course I'm limiting her activities and keeping her on the antibiotics.
    However she works herself up whining when I have to leave. Granted I'm only gone for about three hours total a day.
    I'm worried she will hurt herself more but I'm not sure what to do to keep her from whining.

    Furthermore,
    She still has a wet cough - I'm assuming this is normal considering the pneumonia was pretty severe?

  7. #5
    Senior Member InkedMarie's Avatar
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    Re: Puppy Pneumonia - PLEASE HELP

    Hoping Honey gets better soon!
    Boone~pbgv, Ginger~brittany & O'Malley~longhaired whippet

  8. #6
    Senior Member cookieface's Avatar
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    Re: Puppy Pneumonia - PLEASE HELP

    Glad to hear she's doing better! Hope she continues to improve quickly. Do you have any pictures of your pup? Folks who give advice generally require payment in cute puppy pictures.

    One thing you could have done is to ask the doctor at the e-vet if you could transfer her to your regular vet (assuming you have one). That may have reduced the cost slightly, but emergency / sick care is always going to be expensive.

    The amount you quoted for the e-vet treatment isn't outrageous at all. My younger dog was at our regular vet for two days (he didn't have 02 treatments, but had x-rays at $140 each) and the total for his care was about $1100. E-vets are expensive, but you're paying for a lot of overhead (e.g., 24/7 care, high quality diagnostic equipment, staff and supplies on hand to treat any kind of illness or injury). We took our older dog to the e-vet for a bug bite - best $100+ I ever spent.

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    Re: Puppy Pneumonia - PLEASE HELP

    Another question!

    I was told to follow up with x rays in about a week - the vet I go to charges $140 for this. I am struggling to pay my bills right now because of the vet cost, but I don't want to skip out on this if it is considered necessary.
    What do you all think?
    Is another x ray necessary? If it is, is waiting longer than a week to get them a bad idea?

  10. #8
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    Re: Puppy Pneumonia - PLEASE HELP

    You might want to discuss exercise with your vet. The article I cited above suggests that movement is good for clearing phlegm; I claim no knowledge, but this may be one case where you want to encourage, not restrict, exercise.

    As for Xrays, your vet may be able to have a listen before doing an Xray. If it sounds really good, the vet may decide an Xray is not needed . . . though follow-up Xray is usually recommended.

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