Unknown Problem with dog (cannot afford vet at moment)

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Unknown Problem with dog (cannot afford vet at moment)

This is a discussion on Unknown Problem with dog (cannot afford vet at moment) within the Dog Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; I saw on some other forums that dog owners should always be able to financially cover a vet visit. However, at the moment, my family ...

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Old 02-01-2016, 06:15 PM
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Unknown Problem with dog (cannot afford vet at moment)

I saw on some other forums that dog owners should always be able to financially cover a vet visit. However, at the moment, my family are going through a bit of a financial crisis and everything is happening at once. We are unable to afford a vet at the moment and I wanted to see if there was a way to possibly provide some clues as to what could be wrong with my dog.

My dog is an Austrian Shepherd/Lab mix about 10-11 years old. About 4-5 days ago, he started acting like he didn't feel too well. Even at this age, he's a rather hyper dog. He barks at critters and chases everything around - usually runs everywhere he goes. Over the past few days, he's been laying around a whole lot more and acting like he feels under the weather. These past few nights, he's been getting up and moving around a lot to lay in different spots. It's like he can't get comfortable. Our dogs are only outdoor dogs, but we brought him inside the other night because he can't get comfortable in his dog house and we didn't want him to sleep out in the cold.

This all started happening about a day after he was chewing on some old bone. Our neighbors are frequent hunters and the dogs often find bits of deer bone to gnaw on out in the woods. We've done our best to keep them out of my dog's mouth because he tries to swallow everything he chews, but we think he still got a hold of a bone because we found some pieces of it in the yard. My best guess is that he may have possibly swallowed some sharp bone piece and now it's travelling through his digestive track. This happened to him a few years ago as well, but he passed it in his stool after a couple days.

I've noticed that his abdomen is distended and swollen as well (especially down towards his crotch). I palpated the area to see if it was tender, but he didn't act like anything hurt or bothered him. He hasn't eaten from what we've seen over the past few days, but he has been drinking water still. I watched him drink and urinate yesterday (no blood in it) - so that makes me think he may not be obstructed. He's also been shaking as well. At first, I thought it was just because it was cold outside. But now I'm starting to think he's either feverish or weak from not eating.

The most confusing part about it all is that it has seemed to come and go in spurts. One minute he's smiling and trotting around and acting normal. The next, he's back to lying down and acting miserable. I work in the medical field (am currently attempting to get into physician assistant school as well), so I'm familiar with a lot of bodily processes and malfunctions in people. But when it comes to dogs, I don't know where to even begin. I'm used to people being able to give me some backstory about what they have experienced symptom-wise. But my dog obviously can't do that. So if anybody has any insight or suggestions, my ears are open.

I don't believe it's anything emergent at the current moment. But I just want to help my dog feel better.
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Old 02-01-2016, 07:24 PM
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I'm sorry, but your option is Vet or watching your dog slowly die. Dogs are different than humans in many ways, and there are many things that could be wrong with the dog, from a particularly nasty virus to bloat to thyroid issues to...well a million things...including a blocked intestine that will be fatal.

Sell your stuff if you have to, barter for vet services, but please get that dog to a vet--especally one who will do an x-ray or ultrasound to ensure that your dog dosn't have punctured/blocked/impared intesntine.
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Old 02-01-2016, 07:51 PM
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Check your local shelter, some will provide Vet services at huge discounts, if you can show the need, but you need to get him to a Vet. I know our local shelter will never refuse at least minimal treatment to an animal in need. DO whatever you need to, believe me if the situation were reversed your dog would move heaven and earth for you.
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Old 02-01-2016, 08:01 PM
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Honestly that sounds like something only a vet could help with. There's just way to many things that it could be.

You could opt to wait it out and you may get lucky and your dog be fine, or your dog may suddenly go downhill at incredible speed and die.

If he swallowed a bone or bone fragment he could have a blockage, which will lead to eventual death if not treated, or it could be that the bone splintered and is not puncturing he stomach, intestines, or colon, that leads to death from sepsis if not treated. What really sucks is treatment for both requires major surgery, if you cannot afford the surgery it's kindest to put the dog to sleep rather then leaving it to suffer. The good news is that it's pretty easy to diagnose with an x-ray. I strongly recommend scraping up the money and having one done rather then leaving the dog and hoping for the best. At least you'll know if that's what it is and where to go from their. Is he vomiting up blood, is he still eating? Does he have bloody diarrhea?

It could be a partial torsion of the stomach if the stomach is distended and tender, but usually there will be other symptoms such as vomiting and lack of appetite, if that's what it is.

It could be just an upset stomach, or maybe constipation, both can usually be treated at home. Is he vomiting and / or have diarrhea? Does he have lack of appetite? Unfortunately those symptoms are also ones that will happen if the dog has a blockage or has a punctured digestive tract. The good news is that it's usually easy to treat at home. 100% pure canned pumpkin will help with constipation. Fasting the dog for 12 to 24 hours then putting it on a bland diet of chicken and sweet potato, or chicken and white rice, for a few days will help with an upset stomach Boil the chicken until it's cooked, bake the sweet potato, or cook the rice in the water the chicken was cooked in. Remove the chicken from the bone and discard bone and skin. then mix the chicken and sweet potato or rice. The ratio should be 1/2 or more chicken, to 1/2 sweet potato or rice. So if you use 1/2 cup chicken use 1/2 cup or less of the other.

Before thinking it's simply an upset tummy or constipation, I strongly suggest that you have an x-ray done.
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Old 02-01-2016, 08:39 PM
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I agree with seeing a vet. That said too much bone can cause constipation. Hopefully that is all it is and not something serious.
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Old 02-01-2016, 11:49 PM
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I'm closing this thread.
@Rooster9456 Your dog really needs to see a vet. Given his age and the conditions/symptoms you're describing, you could be looking at something very serious. Taking any sort of advice over the internet could be detrimental to your dogs health because we are not vets, and even if we were, we could not diagnose or treat your dog over the internet without seeing it and running the appropriate tests.

This thread might help you find ways to get money and get your dog treated: https://www.dogforum.com/dog-health/i...ord-vet-26920/

Sell possessions and electronics that you don't need and consider canceling or modifying services to save money, like cable/satellite, cell service, home phone, security, etc.

There's also a credit card called Care Credit that most veterinary clinics will accept. You can typically get 6 months with no interest to pay it off if you spend over $200. They also have special offers for really low APR's if can't pay it off in 6 months and need more time. I believe it's 14%. Healthcare Financing Credit Card | CareCredit

You could also try starting a fundraiser on sites like gofundme and try to get donations from family, friends and others who would like to help on social media. Contacting rescue groups might help too, some are willing to help pay vet bills.

If you cannot afford to treat your dog, then you should consider relinquishing your dog to a shelter where it can receive vet care, or euthanizing.

You are welcome to make a new thread and post updates when the dog has seen a vet.
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