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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 24121
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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My 19 week old puppy has spent the last 3days in and out of

Customer Question

My 19 week old puppy has spent the last 3days in and out of vets visits and stays overnight. She started being very sick, became dehydrated so was on IV fluids each time I took her to the vet. The vet gets her eating again with a lot of gastric medication gastric friendly food. Each time we bring her home, she starts to go downhill again, lethargic not eating or drinking. As soon as she goes back on IV fluids she picks up again. The vet does not know the problem, she is now back in the vet, back on IV fluids, the vet has now decided to do bloods and to worm her, I am very worried, can you help?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 1 year ago.

Hello, I'm Dr. Kara. I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian and I'd like to help. Please give me a few moments to type up my thoughts and recommendations.

Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 1 year ago.

I am very sorry to hear about your girl's weakness, loss of appetite, and previous diagnosis of dehydration.

With her symptoms, young age and great response to intravenous fluids, I am concerned that she is suffering from Addison's disease. Addison's disease, which is a poorly functioning adrenal gland, can lead to lots of vague symptoms including weakness, loss of appetite and sometimes diarrhea and vomiting. Dogs may appear fairly normal on examination and on routine blood tests, other then showing signs of dehydration, so they can be difficult to diagnose.

These dogs cannot handle stress at all because their adrenal gland doesn't produce cortisone when stressed and their electrolytes can be off too if their adrenal gland isn't controlling that normally either. We can see physical collapse in severely affected dogs.

It is more commonly seen in female, young adult dogs.

Testing is an ACTH response test to check adrenal gland function and checking electrolyte levels.

Treatment is steroid replacement therapy and electrolyte replacement.

Many dogs respond very well to fluid and electrolyte therapy, but will relapse quickly if proper medical treatment doesn't follow.

If you want to read more about Addison's disease here is a link to a webpage with accurate information:

I highly recommend screening bloodwork including a complete blood count and biochemistry profile to look for other problems too, but if things look relatively normal other than mild changes in electrolytes and evidence of dehydration then an ACTH response test is indicated.

It has been my pleasure to help you today, and I hope that I have earned my 5 star rating. Please remember to rate my service by selecting the 5 stars at the top of the screen (rating me now does not close your question). You are welcome to ask follow up questions about my response here until you are satisfied, simply use the reply box and let me know. Thank you!

Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 1 year ago.

Hello, I wanted to make sure that you didn't have any further questions for me, and I'd like to know how things turned out for your pup. If you could give me an update that would be great, thank you, ***** *****