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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 20928
Experience:  General practice veterinary surgeon with extensive experience in a wide range of species.
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I recently reserved a puppy. She was 4 weeks old. On Saturday

Resolved Question:

I recently reserved a puppy. She was 4 weeks old. On Saturday the owner contacted me and said she'd been at the vet at 03:00 because she had fallen off a chair the previous day. She had subsequently not eaten or drunk anything for 24 hours so the vet said it would be best to put her to sleep. Does this seem normal? I can't bear the thought of it and would prefer they had sold her to so one else!
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 3 years ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you today. I do apologize that your question was not answered before. Different experts come online at various times; I just came online, read about your situation, and wanted to help.

I have to say that that sounds rather fishy and I would suggest that you request a copy of the vet's history or a letter from the vet outlining the pup's medical situation (which I can interpret for you if need be).

When we consider injuries a pup could sustain from a fall from a chair, we do have to appreciate that it is a significant fall for one so young. Still it is not common to see internal soft tissue damage (ie lung bleeds, diaphragm rupture, organ laceration). Instead, I would say that we'd be more likely to see falling puppies present with fractured limbs (ie elbow joint being common). And even though fractures can be a challenge to repair (so this pup may require referral to a specialist orthorpedic surgeon, amputation, or a cast depending on fracture locale and type); euthanasia wouldn't be the "best" option right off the bat.

Furthermore, it strikes me as odd that vet would offer euthanasia instead of trying to treat a puppy who isn't eating or drinking (especially if they haven't noted a problem with its breathing or something more serious then a lack of appetite). Of course, without knowing the whole story or examining the dog, I cannot full appreciate the supposed motivations of the vet or why they'd not offer treatment. Still if I was presented with a puppy that had fallen and was just off its food/water, then I'd at the very least be consider pain relief (since surely it is sore) and supportive care either via syringe feeding (with diets like Hill's A/D, Royal Canin Recovery , etc.), tube feeding or putting this pup on an IV fluid drip.

Overall, I would question the story you have been told since the puzzle pieces don't quite fit. I would advise asking for a copy of the pup's history or for a letter from the vet. Because even if this wee one had a fractured elbow that required specialist surgery (and perhaps would be costly), one would think the breeder would be open about that and perhaps even give you the opportunity to say whether you'd want the pup operated on or not. But euthanizing a puppy because it wouldn't eat for 24 hours (and no mention of supporti or intervention) is not quite right.

 

I hope this information is helpful.

If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!

All the best,

Dr. B.

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