Have to Make a Hard Decision & I Need Input Please
I have a litter of 5 - 10 week old puppies. 3 of them are wonderful, one has an under bite and one I think has more serious health issues.
The 5th one is my hard decision.
Background: Morning of his 2nd day (Saturday) I found him away from Mom wet and cold. Took him to my local vet. They said glucose was low and his temp was 95. They gave him glucose, sub-cue fluids and told me to keep him warm and feed Esbilac every 2 hours. I did this and took him along with the rest of the litter to their tail & dew claw appointment on Monday with my "breeder vet". This vet did dew claw & tail, gave him an antibiotic shot (said he probably had pneumonia from his temp being so low), stuff for diarrhea, said to feed goats milk with Pedialite every 3 hours and to continue to keep him warm. I did this and he seemed to improve a little.
About a week later I noticed his breathing seemed off (almost like an asthmatic wheeze). My local vet gave me an antibiotic to give him 2x/day for 10 days. While I was giving him this he developed a problem with milk. Both mom and goat. He would start screaming and flailing about and milk would fly out all over. I stopped the Pedialite and doubled the water to get it so he could drink it. (Note: The rest of the puppies were starting to eat real food by this time and I had tried him too since the milk had been a problem.)
Since the milk problem he's been moved to Natures Variety Prairie food and had trouble with acid poo's. I was able to fix the acid problem with yogurt and he's now up to 7lbs. (The rest of the litter is 10.5lbs to 15lbs)
Current symptoms: He's wobbly when he walks, falls over easily and then pushes himself around in circles as if he can't get up and seems to have problems seeing. During the last 2 weeks he's had seizures. I think he's been having them for quite some time but they've been happening during the night while I'm asleep. Today however he's had 2 and I've gotten more information from my bitch's breeder (i.e.; possible neurologic and/or liver problem).
My problem is: Right now I'm not working and money is extremely tight. I can't afford to have all the testing he needs done. But this little boy is very sweet and it's a life. I don't care that I've invested a lot of time on him. If he has a chance I want him to have it, even if he's not going to be a show dog.
Any ideas? Any input? Any suggestions on what I should do next? I will say goodby if that is for his best. I just don't want to let him down.
I am by no means a breeder but have owned lots of dogs in my life. Maybe you will have to put him down eventually but how many times have we seen the "runt of the litter" turn out to be exceptional and very special? Not all dogs are show dogs. I say give him a chance. I had a Golden Retreiver that had epilepsy. It was very easily handled with medication and he was the light of our (and the childrens) lives for many years. Hopefully things will turn around for him but if you have to put him down you can take comfort in the fact that you gave him that chance. Sending positive vibes your way.
Please God...... everyday, help me be the person my dog thinks I am.
It sound like you real don't have the resources to take care of this special needs pup. I would seriously consider euthanasia and a sabattical from breeding until your finances improve and you can do additional testing on your bitch.
As the breeder you have to prevent this pup from suffering, and unless you can find an angel that can truly address these issues ending the suffering is kindest.
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My first instinct And unattached opinion would be to put the poor thing out if his misery. If you had the funds to test the pup and were willing to keep and treat the dog for the rest of his life I would try. If the answer is no then you have your answer. Why would you want to place that pup in someone else's care and put them thru all that if you weren't willing(not saying your not) to do so yourself? There are many well meaning people that just can't take care of such a special needs properly and just suffers longer.
If indeed it is liver related then he stands a good chance of living a relatively healthy life if under the right protocol and if surgically repairable.. Repaired. However you need to run a serum bile acids test and full CBC/blood Chem to get an initial indication of whether it is liver related. You have options. I would run these tests altogether would think it would cost 150-300 to run the bloodwork. It would be best to do a SERUM bile acids.. They don't eat all night have blood run in he morn are fed and blood is run again (can't remember lol) 2 or 4 hours later. Not sure if the pup could handle that but it is the most accurate and it's how top liver specialists run the test. Good luck!
ETA: yeah he's old enough to test if indeed a liver issue which a lot of the symptoms really sound like hepatic encephalopathy. Let me know there may be some individuals that can help. He has a chance if it's liver disease. If it is liver disease he has to be on a low protein food and NO red meat.
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Last edited by Ladyscarletthawk; 12-27-2012 at 06:39 AM.
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Yours is a difficult situation. These kinds of problems are part of why I don't ever see myself as a breeder. As much as we all can have a sympathy/empathy response of give the little guy a fighting chance I think it sounds like he is neurologically damaged and unlikely to live a "normal" life. Certainly there are many people who have wonderful lives with special needs pets. However since it sounds like you don't have the resources to do anything and everything that might be required to put this pup on track I think it would be the kindest course of action to euthanize him. Sometimes the most generous thing we can do is to free them from the burdens of their bodies.
I agree with Pluto that you should consider suspending your breeding until you are in a situation that will permit you to do the testing on the bitch that needs to be done to figure out what is going on in her line. I am sure your goal is to improve our well loved breed and your current situation sounds risky.
Lily AKC: CGC CD HIT CDX, RN RA RE RAE RAE2 RAE3 RAE4 RAE5 Multiple Rally High Combined, NA NAJ; APDT: RL-1; CPE: CL1-R, CL1-H, CL1-F, CL1-S, CL1
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