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Guest puppy unwell - urgent help needed!

(8 Posts)
Focusfocus Mon 22-Dec-14 10:17:28

A six month old JRT pup is in our care since yesterday, for the next ten days, owners on holiday. Said pup is about 6 lbs in weight and we can see her bones. She has been on two meals a day from the outset - and our little (younger) shih tzu cross looks like a fat toad beside her.

Anyway, since arriving yesterday JRT pup has been fiercely possessive about my pupp's bone, snarly at her outside of play fight times, moaned and whined all night. Has a great appetite, and fed her exactly as owners instructed, but this morning, one hour alone downstairs - cue - explosive diarrhea everywhere. Cleaned up, heaving, cleaned her as she was covered, there out some stuff as smeared in stenchy shit.

My pup has for stressed and is refusing all food at the moment.

I realise these are separate issues, but any help would be much appreciated.

Thanks all x

SpicyBeat Mon 22-Dec-14 10:53:00

So puppy sounds very stressed at coming to stay. This would explain the guarding behaviours and potentially the upset stomach.

As a first step remove all high value items that could be subject to guarding behaviour - bones, toys etc. If you need to give these to your dog, do so in a separate space. It might be a good idea to separate them for some of the time so pup can get their stress levels down.

If you are confident pup hasn't got hold of something they shouldn't, I would monitor the sickness today and unless you become seriously concerned or she goes down hill, in which case vet immediately. I would probably split her meals up into three or four as well as she might cope better with that.

Focusfocus Mon 22-Dec-14 12:14:47

Thanks spicy best. I also called vet who said to being her in if things go downhill. Vet also said this isn't the right weight for a 6 month JRT. I'd also have thought so. From what I can see she's been on about 1/3 of what a puppy needs to eat in this breed and from the outset in two meals a day. No treats at all either. I don't wish to be judgmental of anything' but it does seem the owners are very keen on her staying 'slim'. In my eyes she is lighter than my shih tzu cross, who is younger, and I can absolutely see her bones. But she could be a miniature as owners say. Maybe that's what it is, and I am wrong.

ProcrastinaRemNunc Mon 22-Dec-14 12:39:43

I think you're well placed to be justifiably judgemental, actually. What you describe does sound concerning but otoh, terriers can go through fluctuating growth spurts and at times, appear slimmer than they should.

Is she up to date on vacs and paraciticides? If not, I'd take her to the vets. If there is any chance she may have accessed a poison (grapes, raisins, chocolate, medicines, etc), I would take her to the vets. Otherwise, I'd watch and wait for a few hours but I would err very much on the side of caution, with a pup so young, small and with potential nutrition and growth problems.

Completely agree with removing all desirable items and periods of separation.

If vet has advised that she is underfed, I would up her food 'on vet advice', although I'd never normally interfere with a visiting dogs feeding routine.

SpicyBeat Mon 22-Dec-14 14:16:28

I've shied away from the weight issue because JRs vary so much and because it can be quite subjective. Without knowing the parents or even seeing a photo I wouldn't like to comment. For example my parents think my trim healthy staffie x is a bag of bones. They have a very different idea to me as to what a healthy dog looks like.

bakingtins Mon 22-Dec-14 14:46:19

If I'm correct that the vet said her weight was too low without seeing the dog confused then her weight is a red herring. There is no breed standard for a "jack Russell" and they vary enormously in size. My adult JRTx only weighs 4kg, the previous one was nearer 10 kg and they were both slim. You should be able to just see, and easily feel with minimal fat covering, her ribs. I'm a vet and the average client with an overweight dog thinks they are fine, clients with slim dogs are often told by other dog walkers that their dogs are underfed. If the owners are concerned with keeping her slim they are absolutely right, studies suggest by doing so they will extend her life by 2 years.

It sounds like the change in environment and perceived competition with your pup are stressing her out. Good advice from spicy to remove high value items and give each of the dogs their own space. It would probably help to split the same total amount of her own food into small frequent meals until her tummy settles, but there is nothing wrong with 2 meals a day for a 6 month old pup and if they are feeding a good quality food not stuffed full of cereals then the feeding volume will be quite small.

ProcrastinaRemNunc Mon 22-Dec-14 16:10:54

That's the thing. Because there's no breed standard (kennel club recognised, at least), extra attention does have to be paid to feeding amounts and weight gain, via observation rather than following feeding guidelines.

The comment of the vet involved may well be a 'red herring' but it could be useful to use this comment as a way to open conversation with the owner about the pups weight, given your previous concerns.

How is she now?

Focusfocus Mon 22-Dec-14 17:13:42

She is better now. Have given her lots of lots of cuddles to aid recovery, she slept on my chest after work and is playing with my pup now.

About weight - I am no veterinarian, but I am interested in nutrition in general and have been for a while. So yes, I am very aware of obesity and it's impacts on all species, and take extra care with my pup regarding what's going into her system - she was started on a good brand, followed up by a high end brand without cereals and treats are liver or chicken I bake, and measured.

I am sure it may well be a case of miniature breeds and I will not be raising this issue. It is just that to my untrained but well-read eye the sheer amount of food (of say - Pedigree Chum/Bakers variety) from the very outset (8 weeks) had seemed significantly and surprisingly lower than the high energy needs of a growing puppy. I just wanted to come back and re-stress that it's not my perception of bonyness but rather my accumulated impression from the amounts I had been hearing.

But as I said, outside of my professional expertise in a completely different area, nutrition is just my personal interest so I am sure I am getting this wrong.

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