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Bob Quixote
Jul 7, 2006
Martian motherfucker! Do you grok it?

My wife and I own a half Labrador/ half Pitbull female named Molly that we got thirdhand after our rear end in a top hat neighbor abandoned her and her newborn puppies when he moved away (after his ex-girlfriend abandoned her to him when she moved out of his house). We've had her for about 3 years and our landlady tells us that she's about 7.

She's been an outdoor dog as long as we've known her and she's been healthy up until two months ago when we noticed her eyes getting really red. We took her down to the vet and they told us that she has heartworms, and gave her some medicine to kill the larvae before they can prescribe her the heavier stuff to kill the adults. They also gave us some ointment for her eyes which have cleared them up beautifully.

After bringing her back from the vet we moved her inside and decided to have her as an inside dog and she's never been happier, and for the past month her health really started improving.

When I went in this morning to give her the eye medication and take her for her morning walk she was totally unlike her normal self, she's normally a very silent dog and never barks or growls but she started yelping in pain when I led her up to walk. She ate her food with the usual enthusiasm but whenever she tries to stand up from her bed her tail is drooping and she only takes a few steps before yelping in pain and trying to lie back down again. Her breathing is also more shallow than normal & she occasionally makes sounds like snoring.

I have no idea what to do. We don't have the money to take her to a vet again because the last visit cleaned us out (combined with our only car breaking down completely and needing to get repaired by the family mechanic which is going to use up most of my next paycheck).

Does anyone here have any clue what could be causing this sudden attack of pain in her? She was great last night, as enthusiastic on her walk and just looking at her today is heartbreaking. The thread title is pretty much the truth, I haven't owned a dog in about 10 years since getting her & I come from a long line of poor folk who generally don't take animals to vets when they get sick because we usually need the money for things like food so the whole area of pet medicine is beyond me.

(USER WAS PUT ON PROBATION FOR THIS POST)

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Superconsndar
Jul 4, 2007

hello hello frankie you called I can't hear a thing


Yeah even if it weren't against the rules there is literally no way anyone on the internet can tell you what could be causing random pain in your dog. She needs to go to the vet. All you can really do is find the money or give her to someone who can cover her vet bills vv If she's stressed and in pain you'll need to figure something out fast.

Bob Quixote
Jul 7, 2006
Martian motherfucker! Do you grok it?

Superconsndar posted:

Yeah even if it weren't against the rules there is literally no way anyone on the internet can tell you what could be causing random pain in your dog. She needs to go to the vet. All you can really do is find the money or give her to someone who can cover her vet bills vv If she's stressed and in pain you'll need to figure something out fast.

poo poo, sorry... didn't know I was breaking any rules. Just really stressed and didn't know who else to turn to.

Should I close the thread?

pandaid
Feb 9, 2004

RAWR

I know money is tight, but this isn't a wait and see type symptom. Call your vet, give as detailed a description of what's going on as you can, and explain that you'll need help with financing and setting up a payment plan depending on what's going on. Can't hurt to mention that she's a rescue. If your regular vet says they can't help, call another, and another.

Bob Quixote
Jul 7, 2006
Martian motherfucker! Do you grok it?

pandaid posted:

I know money is tight, but this isn't a wait and see type symptom. Call your vet, give as detailed a description of what's going on as you can, and explain that you'll need help with financing and setting up a payment plan depending on what's going on. Can't hurt to mention that she's a rescue. If your regular vet says they can't help, call another, and another.

Money being tight is pretty much how we live 24/7 since we both work as low level retail peons, and the combination of car trouble and her previous vet visits has wiped out the few savings we had. Fortunately our landlady has a major softspot for Molly and lent us $200 to take her in tomorrow morning so hopefully it will be enough.

My worst fear is that this has something to do with her heartworm infection and that we'd have to put her down because its in too late a stage for her to recover from. I'm hoping that my complete ignorance of dog health/physiology means that I'm wrong and that it is something totally unrelated that can be treated.

Velvet Sparrow
May 15, 2006

'Hope' is the thing with feathers, that perches in the soul, and sings the tune, without the words, and never stops--at all.



pandaid posted:

I know money is tight, but this isn't a wait and see type symptom. Call your vet, give as detailed a description of what's going on as you can, and explain that you'll need help with financing and setting up a payment plan depending on what's going on. Can't hurt to mention that she's a rescue. If your regular vet says they can't help, call another, and another.

^^^^ This. If you can, just take the dog into your regular vet's office and ask them on the spot if they can make payment arrangements--much of the time the front desk person will go and talk to the vet directly, it's harder to say 'no' in person than over the phone. If you are an established client they are more likely to work something out.

But it DOES sound like vet time for sure. Examine your dog as much as you can and look for any wounds, and you may want to take a poop sample with you to the vet. Any info you can give them will help.

pandaid
Feb 9, 2004

RAWR

animal cops on TV has told me that heartworm disease doesn't usually result in yelping pain. It could anything from a pinched nerve, to slipped disk, to a broken bone, to something as benign as a sore, to something neurological. Just remember that giving the best care you can is what responsible pet owners do, and if this dog, who was neglected before coming to you, can't be helped within reasonable means then a pain free and dignified end is the last gift that we can give our pet loved ones that we can't always give our human ones.

edit:
in the best case scenarios they'll know what's going on at the visit and prescribe something like steroids or antibiotics. in the worst case you'll look at diagonistic costs like x-ray or blood work. I know, it's hard. Just be honest with the vet about your means. Sometimes they know about other options or resources. When my recently adopted senior pet was facing possible cancer (thank god it wasn't) I didn't want to put her through all the crazyness of that. I asked what my options were if I wanted to just treat the symptoms and 'wait and see'. The vet was very open and honest about quality of life and such and supportive if I wanted to go down that route. But that being said, it could be something that's easy to treat and relieve Molly's discomfort.

Bob Quixote
Jul 7, 2006
Martian motherfucker! Do you grok it?

pandaid posted:

animal cops on TV has told me that heartworm disease doesn't usually result in yelping pain. It could anything from a pinched nerve, to slipped disk, to a broken bone, to something as benign as a sore, to something neurological. Just remember that giving the best care you can is what responsible pet owners do, and if this dog, who was neglected before coming to you, can't be helped within reasonable means then a pain free and dignified end is the last gift that we can give our pet loved ones that we can't always give our human ones.

edit:
in the best case scenarios they'll know what's going on at the visit and prescribe something like steroids or antibiotics. in the worst case you'll look at diagonistic costs like x-ray or blood work. I know, it's hard. Just be honest with the vet about your means. Sometimes they know about other options or resources. When my recently adopted senior pet was facing possible cancer (thank god it wasn't) I didn't want to put her through all the crazyness of that. I asked what my options were if I wanted to just treat the symptoms and 'wait and see'. The vet was very open and honest about quality of life and such and supportive if I wanted to go down that route. But that being said, it could be something that's easy to treat and relieve Molly's discomfort.

Thanks for letting me know about the heartworm thing, I feel a bit more hopeful now. I'm really hoping that its a pinched nerve or something since she's usually a pretty wiggly dog and I could see that being something that could happen to her. We do our best to provide for her and the two cats (also former strays), and the vet we took her to was able to let us pay part of our bill later so hopefully they'll be able to do the same.

EDIT

Ok, gotta stop reading pets.webmd, just read about Bloat and even though she doesn't really have those symptoms it scared the poo poo out of me. Just have to take her in tomorrow morning and hope for the best.

Thanks for being helpful/reassuring guys.

Pile of Kittens
Apr 23, 2005

Why does everything STILL smell like pussy?

Well, the rule is "don't post asking for advice your vet should be giving you" as well as its corollary, "don't post advice that only a vet should give". However, as this is quickly turning into a thread where we discuss your sick dog and the vet visit, I won't close the thread. Besides, there's a "don't leave us hanging after you post about your sick pet" rule. If it helps, we're all rooting for you because you are a goddamn hero taking care of this dog who clearly would still be out in the cold if it weren't for you and your landlady. Let us know how the vet visit goes!

Bob Quixote
Jul 7, 2006
Martian motherfucker! Do you grok it?

Pile of Kittens posted:

Well, the rule is "don't post asking for advice your vet should be giving you" as well as its corollary, "don't post advice that only a vet should give". However, as this is quickly turning into a thread where we discuss your sick dog and the vet visit, I won't close the thread. Besides, there's a "don't leave us hanging after you post about your sick pet" rule. If it helps, we're all rooting for you because you are a goddamn hero taking care of this dog who clearly would still be out in the cold if it weren't for you and your landlady. Let us know how the vet visit goes!

Thanks, I appreciate it and I'll definitely let everyone know what happens when we get back from seeing the vet tomorrow.

Greycious
Feb 24, 2007

Eat a grass.
Have a barf.


Pile of Kittens posted:

Well, the rule is "don't post asking for advice your vet should be giving you" as well as its corollary, "don't post advice that only a vet should give". However, as this is quickly turning into a thread where we discuss your sick dog and the vet visit, I won't close the thread. Besides, there's a "don't leave us hanging after you post about your sick pet" rule. If it helps, we're all rooting for you because you are a goddamn hero taking care of this dog who clearly would still be out in the cold if it weren't for you and your landlady. Let us know how the vet visit goes!

Well I wouldn't go as far as calling him a hero considering he's had the dog for three years and only recently decided it could be an indoor dog.

Yes, it was nice to initially rescue the dog, but instead of leaving her outside all this time without any heartworm preventative and no money to afford vet care, it would have been better to say "I don't know poo poo about dogs and can't afford to care for it, maybe I should find someone who can." Hindsight, though. I'm glad you're doing what you can to care for her now.

pandaid
Feb 9, 2004

RAWR

Greycious posted:

Well I wouldn't go as far as calling him a hero considering he's had the dog for three years and only recently decided it could be an indoor dog.

Yes, it was nice to initially rescue the dog, but instead of leaving her outside all this time without any heartworm preventative and no money to afford vet care, it would have been better to say "I don't know poo poo about dogs and can't afford to care for it, maybe I should find someone who can." Hindsight, though. I'm glad you're doing what you can to care for her now.

don't act like that was done in malice. It only makes you seem all 'holier than thou' which doesn't help anything. OP came admitting they didn't know WTF, and only recently started to understand just how much they didn't know. And, surprisingly, they're open to advice! It's a drat miracle. Don't ruin it.

Superconsndar
Jul 4, 2007

hello hello frankie you called I can't hear a thing


pandaid posted:

don't act like that was done in malice. It only makes you seem all 'holier than thou' which doesn't help anything. OP came admitting they didn't know WTF, and only recently started to understand just how much they didn't know. And, surprisingly, they're open to advice! It's a drat miracle. Don't ruin it.

Yeah like, knowing enough to say "I do not know enough to care for this dog and am improperly caring for it and need to find it a home with someone who knows about dogs" first requires someone to have a certain level of dog knowledge that the OP admits to not having. They're trying.

Greycious
Feb 24, 2007

Eat a grass.
Have a barf.


Sorry I was just trying to point out that calling them a hero is a bit of a stretch.

Topoisomerase
Apr 12, 2007

CULTURE OF VICIOUSNESS


pandaid posted:

animal cops on TV has told me that heartworm disease doesn't usually result in yelping pain.

oh well if animal cops on TV said that

edit: OP, there are indeed sequelae of heartworm disease that could be causing the pain and weakness you're seeing. There are also other things, but something that is affecting her breathing and making her weak and painful is probably not something like a pinched nerve. I'm not trying to be pessimistic, just realistic. It's good that you're taking her in to the vet tomorrow. She sounds like she needs to be evaluated very soon.

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Bob Quixote
Jul 7, 2006
Martian motherfucker! Do you grok it?

Greycious posted:

Sorry I was just trying to point out that calling them a hero is a bit of a stretch.

I agree with you there. Truth be told we did try to find a home for her at first before we took her in because we didn't want animal control to take her and the pups but we couldn't find anyone who wanted an adult dog of her size and the no-kill animal shelters in our area were at capacity so we ended up keeping her. We did find homes for her puppies after they were weaned but by that point we'd already grown really attached to her and had made her doghouse so we decided to keep her permanently which was selfish of us I suppose.

Just got back from the vets office and thankfully it wasn't anything to do with her heartworms, though we did find out that she has Spondylosis when they took an x-ray. The doctor told us that had been the root cause of her pain and slow walking/reluctance to use the bathroom. We were given some anti-inflammatory & pain medication which they say should get her back to her old self again, especially since she's always been pretty sedentary by nature and wont stress herself out too much by being overly-active and aggravating her spine. The medicine itself isn't terribly expensive either so we can keep her on it without stressing our bank account.

Thanks to everyone for the support, my wife and I have greatly appreciated it.

EDIT

Hoping that I'm not breaking any rules by asking this since its not really a medical question, but has anyone here had a dog with spondylosis and have some tips on ways we can make her more comfortable in general & adjust things to help suit her condition?

She seems much happier now that shes had the pain medication in her for a few hours and is lying in her fluffy bed wagging her tail, but she still doesn't want to get up (though we were advised to give her a larger dose than normal for today so I can imagine that is probably due to the side effects of the drugs on her muscles).

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