We were scared our sick puppy wouldn’t pull through

February 21, 2020

The first time your puppy is sick or injured can be a worrying time for new dog owners. First time puppy parents Vanessa and Tina share their experience of when their sick puppy Yumi had to be rushed to the vets for emergency treatment. Spoiler alert: it has a happy ending

Yumi is a maltipoo – a Maltese cross poodle who joined our family in July 2019. We decided on this breed as we wanted a hypoallergenic dog that wouldn’t shed as we run a guesthouse (which is dog friendly). 

We looked at two other dogs before Yumi chose us and we just knew she was the one. Since she joined our family, we’ve been on lots of adventures together, including walking in the park, going on road trips, to the beach, food shopping at the supermarket and even clothes shopping! 

Yumi was pretty good and easy as a first time dog. We have the breeder to thank for that. She’s very well socialised and always wants to say hello to people and other dogs. She was quickly toilet trained and slept well in her crate. That was until she discovered the bed, and now she sleeps there instead…

Sick puppy

We had a frightening experience with Yumi when she was about six months old. Yumi was upstairs with Tina saying hello to a guest and all of a sudden was violently sick. Tina brought her downstairs to me so I could keep an eye on her to see how she was. 

But she continued to be sick and didn’t want to eat or drink. She wasn’t herself and wanted to be on her own which wasn’t like her at all. Worried, I called the vets and took her in. They gave her anti-sickness jab and ranitidine (to treat ulcers of the stomach). It was upsetting to see and we didn’t know what else we could do as it was our first time seeing her so ill. She just wasn’t herself and that’s when we knew something was up! We took her home from the vets, gave her medicine and just chilled with her for the rest of the day. 

Turn for the worse

The next day she seemed better and was eating and drinking again, so we thought that’s great, it’s nothing serious. But later that night she took a turn for the worse. This time it was coming from both ends! We took turns cleaning up – it’s just like having a baby keeping you up all night! We were exhausted! 

I phoned the out of hours vet and we took her in, they put her on an IV drip to rehydrate and did an x-ray to see what was going on in her tummy. We wondered if she had eaten something or had a blockage, or maybe drank something out of the pond that might have caused it. 

Thankfully she didn’t have a blockage, but the vet wanted to keep her overnight as they didn’t know what was wrong with our sick puppy. We didn’t like that one bit as she’s been with us everyday since we got her. Coming back home without Yumi felt like something was missing. Our happy little pup! 

“We both sobbed most of the day not knowing if she was going to make it home. She had been the best pup and we couldn’t bear the thought of losing her.”

Yumi had to stay another night as the vets still weren’t sure what it could be and were worried that her white blood cell was low. And she still wasn’t keeping down any food. We kept in contact with the vets and they said they had to call another vet hospital ‘to see what else they could do.’ This was a terrifying moment as we thought we were going to lose her. It was horrible. We both sobbed most of the day not knowing if she was going to make it home. She had been the best pup and we couldn’t bear the thought of losing her.

Sadly we weren’t able to visit her for a couple of days due because her white blood cells were still low and there was a risk of infection. We were just willing her to produce more white blood cells and then she would be ok! 

Better news

Finally we were told we could go and see Yumi. When we got there she was so excited. She got up and said hello, and even wanted belly rubs to show off her shaved bits. We knew then she was getting better as before she wouldn’t move at all. To see her face made us really happy and we were so grateful that she was finally on the mend. 

It was definitely a frightening situation for us as first time dog owners and we still don’t know what caused her to get a stomach infection. By the time she got home she was a kg less in weight. She was prescribed some probiotics and antibiotics to take home and we made her take them with sweet potatoes. We also fed her chicken and rice for dinner as it is bland and good for sick puppies. 

Ever since that she’s been fussy on her food! And she doesn’t really want to eat the biscuits! 

Our advice is to make sure you have pet insurance. We’re grateful we did as Yumi’s time with the vets would have been very expensive without it.  

Keep up with Yumi’s adventures on Instagram: @yumiontour

Related content