My puppies have been extremely sick for the past week or so and as of yet they are deteriorating. Their symptoms currently are: - Vomiting upon eating anything more than 10ml, so cannot retain food. - extreme nausea. - complete loss of appetite - lethargy (they are not playing or doing as much activity as they were when they were healthy) - loose motion - Losing weight very quickly (from the 7 puppies 2 are almost at half the weight they had one week ago.
- panting and showing higher heart rate than normal - been this way without change for at least the last one week.

My dog, a 5 year old female German shepherd recently had 7 puppies. The pups are now just over 6 weeks old. About 1 and half week ago we noticed that they were starting to have loose motions so we consulted our vet. We found out that the vet had forgotten to inform us that the puppies need to be dewormed at 3 weeks and so were getting sick because of worm infestation. Our vet then decided to deworm all of them (at 5 weeks). All the problems started after this. One of the puppies started vomiting the next morning and by the end of that day became lethargic and unwilling to play like she used to do. By the second day she refused to eat the puppy food that we were giving them. She continued doing this until the night, when we finally decided to feed her from a syringe. By the morning she started vomiting and was even refusing the syringe food, but we had to force feed her since that was the only way to ensure she eats. She even refused to suck the mothers milk.
Also for these two days we found significant numbers of worms passed in their stool. This sick one even vomited some worms. This carried on till the third day, when my dad returned from his tour. We were careful not to let the puppies lick his luggage and outside shoes as far as possible.

On the fourth day a second puppy became lethargic and stopped eating from its bowl; by night it was also vomiting and feeling nauseous. We started to feed this one by syringes as well. This carried on for the next three days when all the puppies became sick showing similar signs of lethargy, vomiting and loss of appetite. So we called our vet again, who decided to give one of them (the one who fell ill first and was the weakest) shots of long and short acting antibiotics, one oral antibiotic (I am unsure what this one exactly was) and an oral antiemitic. However this brought no change in the puppy, while the rest kept getting worse. The puppy continued vomiting and so upon request the vet gave her drips of 20ml of 5% dextrose. By the night of the next day one of the puppies vomited with streaks of blood in the vomit. After this we changed the antibiotic (I'll add the name soon) and administered it ourselves, orally. We ensured that the doses were properly diluted and adjusted each one according to the weight of each puppy. We also continued feeding them their puppy food (with extra multivitamins) from syringes. Their vomiting did not reduce, so along with the food we also gave them concentrated glucose solutions and electrolyte rich solution (ORS). In the morning we gave them all oral antiemetic. But even after doing so much their nausea and vomiting did not subside. So the following day we gave them all drips if dextrose. This was last night so we are still waiting to see what happens next. Until now they are vomiting profusely and not eating by themselves AT ALL.

Due to all these complications we haven't been able to vaccinate them yet. Also just to let you know the mother did not have proper milk let down so they have been bottle fed from the 2nd week. Until 4 weeks they were all healthy with an average weight of 5kg and very playful and active. Oh and also our vet mentioned that some of them may have mild pneumonia but again nothing has changed till now

I will appreciate any advice or insight that you may have since at this point absolutely nothing seems to work.

We first thought it was an allergic reaction to the dewormer (since my vet decided to give them the adult dog dewormer by just breaking it into small pieces), but now we think on top of that it may also be some kind of viral infection. However given the limited facilities here we have not been able to test any of those two and so we are not entirely sure what is wrong with them, but till now we are treating it like a viral infection.

If you know absolutely anything that can help, then PLEASE share

And please don't tell me to "go to a different vet" as we already have consulted several vets and none has been able to do anything.

So please if you have experience with such a thing let us know what we can do because honestly I'm starting to feel if something doesn't happen in the next few days we might loose them.

  • Your location is important and you should edit your question to include a little detail on that - people don't always read all the comments. My sister and her partner worked as vets in Kenya (Australian) for years and they are very well educated. If your vets are not performing satisfactorily, maybe you could get in contact with one of the foreign embassy's and request they contact any vets in the country with a desperate plea for assistance. I know if she were still there my sister would help you. Commented May 27, 2017 at 15:50
  • Hi. I'll keep that in mind for other questions. So at the moment in Nairobi there are very limited number of vets. We went to what was supposed to be the "best" (Dr. Cockar), after seeing two others, but four of our puppies died in his care. I am definitely going try out your idea, since we are expats here ourselves. Thank you. Commented Jun 8, 2017 at 5:56

1 Answer 1


The symptoms (not eating, vomiting, lethargic) indicate Canine parvovirus (parvo for short). I'll be short with this answer in saying that the pups will perish if not immediately treated by a vet. This can also spread to other dogs very quickly - it's possible that the whole litter could become ill. A lot of the time with a litter of pups a vet will do a fecal on one or two of them and not all of them - this could possibly be why this wasn't detected by your vet.

If you cannot afford vet costs, call a local non profit rescue for help. Some rescues have funds set aside for life and death vet bills for helping the community. Also, a rescue I did work with had medications and vaccines for such situations. It will be worth a shot. I'm so sorry you're not having any luck with vets and that your pup is sick.

  • Here is a link w/ a list of treatments to give to dogs w/ parvo including fluids, vitamins, antibiotics, etc. 1800petmeds.com/education/parvovirus-treatment-dogs-30.htm Please check it out! Any OTHER dogs/pups of 16weeks or older (some will allow 12-14weeks) you have, should get the parvo vaccine , vac names are DHPP, DHLPP, DA2LPPC, 6way or 7in1, they treat for distemper(D),parvo(P), hepatitis(H), parainfluenza,(P), & depending on the mix corona virus(C), & leptospirosis(L) (lepto)... It's possible they could have lepto, but symptoms would include gives & rash, & itching too.
    – Christy B.
    Commented May 28, 2017 at 4:47
  • @Christy B. Thanks for your advice. We continued a similar treatment plan as you described above. However we had changed to a different vet who asked to admit four of the puppies and ended up killing all the four. The rest three that stayed with us are now well and recovering and gaining weight. So thanks a lot. Also thank you so much for informing me about the vaccinations. I was just confused about one thing. Some people have told me that we should not vaccinate our puppies until they have fully recovered, but they have been healthy and recovering for a week now, can I vaccinate them now? Commented Jun 8, 2017 at 5:44
  • I will find out for you. Was it in fact parvo? @Pink_NinjaTurtle
    – Christy B.
    Commented Jun 8, 2017 at 13:12
  • Yes indeed. We came to a conclusion that they did in fact have parvo. However the puppies which got admitted to the vet did not die because of parvo but instead due to the lack of adequate care, as the vet was giving them 15-20ml of dextrose only twice a day (or so we were told) and they were not kept in a warm place which we found out only after they died as we demanded to see where they were being kept. And thank you. Please do find out. I'll be waiting for your response. Commented Jun 8, 2017 at 23:09
  • @Pink_NinjaTurtle From what I've found out, The idea is that if a pup has lived through parvo this means he has built an immunity to the virus. But, although extremely rare, if your pup has a weakened immune system it can catch a different strain (ex. Flu virus has multiple strains). My vet recommend the pup be tested to make sure that he no longer has parvo, and then yes vaccinate to be sure. Only being a week, wait, duration of parvo can last longer than that. Vaccines given FOR the parvo while sick, are fast acting antibiotics to prevent infection & prevent vomiting (oral may not stay down
    – Christy B.
    Commented Jun 9, 2017 at 2:30

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