Lethargic pup
May 14, 2022 2:57 PM   Subscribe

I've had my sweet standard poodle for a month and a half. She's just a year old. Went to the Vet Mon(9th) for vaccines - Lyme, Distemper (already did rabies when I got an initial health check). She tested positive for Lyme; the vet said she was likely exposed before I got her and prescribed Doxycycline. She's usually delighted to gobble up hot dog pieces with the doxy pills inside, but this morning she was lethargic and had no interest.

She was cranky during the night; wouldn't settle, slept on the rug instead of my bed. Midafternoon I made her some rice with lots of beef broth and some canned dog food; she ate that, ate her pills in hot dog bits and drank some water. Her eyes are goopy. She follows me as I move around the house doing stuff, but came outside untethered and didn't even consider taking off, just sat on freshly installed plants in the garden (so she's still on her game to some extent).

So, 5 days post-vax. Maybe she has active Lyme. The vet does not have phone availability today and the emergency vets are really expensive. Nose is damp, armpit temp is 101 (not as reliable, but no spare thermometer), which is in normal range.

Reassure me?
posted by theora55 to Pets & Animals (13 answers total)
It sounds like she's feeling sick, but consider that just like for people, this isn't always an emergency.

It seems like the main symptom is lethargy, and otherwise she's still eating, drinking, eliminating, breathing, moving, etc normally. If I were you, I would just keep an eye on her and call the vet on Monday morning if she still seems sick.

I would go the emergency vet route if she developed symptoms that seemed acutely dangerous, like difficulty breathing, seizures, etc.
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 3:05 PM on May 14 [2 favorites]

My dogs are reliably pretty worn out by taking antibiotics. As long as she continues to hydrate, you are very likely fine until Monday. If she stops pooping, peeing or drinking water that’s worrisome. Those are, at least, the guidelines my vet has given me for judging. I am not a vet. Just someone very prone to intense anxiety about my doggos.
posted by Bottlecap at 3:06 PM on May 14 [2 favorites]

One thing you might want to do is cut back on salt. If the beef broth had salt, and she's having her pills in hot dogs. that's a lot of salt.

Antibiotics knock me on my duff, by the way. It's actually quite common.

Agree with Bottlecap that if she's eating and drinking and pooping and peeing, there's not much cause for worry.
posted by Lesser Shrew at 3:26 PM on May 14 [2 favorites]

If the location in your profile is accurate, a quick look at the weather shows that y'all are having a pretty substantial warm-up for that part of the country, which is probably new for you with her. Some dogs are more sensitive to heat than others (and it's not necessarily consistent within breeds). Most dogs I've had will prefer to lay on the floor when it's hot - hot air rises - and will be a bit lower energy than normal. I don't know about your part of the country, but around here we usually get a *massive* pollen release on the first warm-up of the year, so if your dog has any seasonal allergies (and goopy eyes may be a symptom of that) they may be flared up if your numbers are high locally.

Not saying this is all of it, but combined with the medical factors, it's entirely reasonable your dog may be feeling a bit low. Agree that the drinking/eating/pooping/peeing general assessment indicates you can wait to talk to your vet on Monday if it doesn't resolve (or worsen) before then.
posted by Ufez Jones at 3:36 PM on May 14 [5 favorites]

Side effects include GI distress and lethargy. Did your vet give you a drug information page? Ours often does with signs or symptoms that suggest when should call them. There might be an insert with the medication as well.

I would also avoid salt if possible; you want your dog to stay hydrated.
posted by oneirodynia at 3:45 PM on May 14 [1 favorite]

She looks like a sweetie!

Our eldest standard is on steroids and chemotherapy drugs, and is also refusing food, and being lethargic. But, there's an obvious reason for that. But as the others have said, and IANYV, and don't know much about Lyme, but this sounds like a normal response to a new medication.

Bland foods if you see any vomiting or diarrhea , (rice,cottage cheese), but otherwise, just monitor would be my decision. If it is still an issue on Monday, call your vet.
posted by Windopaene at 4:46 PM on May 14 [1 favorite]

Is she brown or black?

Our youngest, poached the elder's peanut butter and steroid bite the other day, and man she was very excited and zoomy all that night.
posted by Windopaene at 4:50 PM on May 14 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks, everybody. My dogs have generally been really healthy until they really weren't. She perked up a tiny bit this afternoon. I'd be happier if she was drinking more, may give her plain broth.

Windopaene, she's all black and with her velvety fur, she's a ninja when I walk her at night; I let her off leash when it's late and very quiet. She just vanishes, then comes up silently and nuzzles my hand. Ninja Wookie.
posted by theora55 at 5:56 PM on May 14 [2 favorites]

posted by amtho at 6:16 PM on May 14

My dog got a few vaccines last week, too, and spent most of the next 48 hours asleep. She then went on antibiotics for a UTI and has alternated between being extremely energetic and annoying and sleeping like a log. Medical treatment and changes in diet do weird things to dogs.

Sometimes I give her watered down broth when she’s not drinking enough water or I dump hot broth on her dry food to make it tastier and stinkier. It seems to help.

On edit: We use both homemade broth and the powdered-for-dogs stuff to manage salt and exposure to alliums.
posted by A Blue Moon at 6:32 PM on May 14 [2 favorites]

You know those little cheap foil top packets of dog food pate for tiny dogs that they sell in every grocery store, smells like something died and probably has the nutritional content of a sock? I always have a few of those on hand. Mix a few spoons of the dog food mush with a good amount of hot water (let it cool to touch safe) and pour it over the regular kibble.

I have two dogs with VERY different personalities, and both of them love the stink water. LOVE it. It'll get them to eat when they're not feeling well, get them to drink water when I'm worried about dehydration, perk em up when they're feeling down. It's my ace in the hole for a lethargic dog. I've never had it not work.
posted by phunniemee at 6:01 AM on May 15 [2 favorites]

IANAV/IANYV, but it sounds like this could be at least in part temperature and allergy related. My cat gets goopy eyes when allergy season flares up, and in my neck of the woods (which looks to be in the same region as your profile location), we're getting our first real warm weather of the season, and also a bunch of pollen. Some dogs do kind of "wilt" a bit in the hot weather. I bet that's what the just wanting to lie down on the flowers outside and wanting to be on the rug instead of the bed is about.

Also, I've found that if you call emergency vets in advance (at least the ones I'm familiar with), they'll usually take a few minutes to listen to your concerns over the phone, and then give you some indication of if this is a "yes, bring them over NOW" vs a "wait and see" vs a "eh, could go either way" situation. I'm not saying you need to do that yet, but if you get more concerned, it's something to consider.

And right now, just as a general rule, it's always a good idea to call the emergency vet ahead of time. Vets are so overwhelmed these days that when my cat had an emergency, I had to call around to several emergency vets to find one who was accepting emergency patients. Even then, it was a 5 hr wait.
posted by litera scripta manet at 7:49 AM on May 15

Response by poster: I confirmed that she's was peeing and pooping, and she's lively today, so I'm confident she's okay. Thanks for the hand-holding
posted by theora55 at 6:26 PM on May 15 [2 favorites]

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