My dog has an inflamed knee and her veterinarian recommended she undergo surgery to fix the cause of the inflammation. For now the doctor gave me a supply of Buprenex for pain management.

While she's on the drug she doesn't eat or do her business. I can't tell if she's drinking either. She is almost always sleeping or half-asleep, with a very stoned look, having sluggish movements and even aborted maneuvers.

When I ask for her attention she peps up and is her attentive self again, but only for a moment. She is quickly subdued back into her medicated state.

She is a 5 lb chihuahua, orally receiving 0.1 ml of Buprenex every 8-12 hours, with the goal of managing pain during healing or until having surgery.

I've decided to do the surgery after understanding what this treatment option is like. But I won't be able to get advice or schedule the surgery until the animal hospital opens again tomorrow.

So, I'm asking about Buprenex here because it is now day two where she hasn't taken in or expelled anything, and I'm not sure if this is normal or enough of a concern to stop treating her pain. I have worries such as:

  • Is this normal, considering she is so inactive?
  • How long can she go without eating or using the bathroom?
  • I haven't seen her drink, what should I be thinking in regards to that?
  • If she moves as if in pain (limping or hopping gingerly, walking awkwardly, bottoming out instead of supporting her weight on the bad knee) but has a normal appetite and digestive cycle, is that better than how she is now?
  • 5
    You need to contact your vet as soon as possible and get direction from them on how to proceed. Commented Jul 27, 2015 at 10:37

1 Answer 1


An animal changing its behavior is almost never a good thing, especially if it is related to eating or drinking. You should contact your vet immediately. Even with minimal movement a dog should be eating daily and drinking much more regularly than that.

You should go to the store and buy some unflavored pedialyte and try to give it to your dog, either through drinking out of a dish or with a turkey baster or something similar. This will give some nutrients until the animal hospital opens.

  • 1
    I have used flavored gator-aid, but I have Rabbits, so they like fruit flavors. Commented Jul 27, 2015 at 17:28
  • 1
    I second this. My experience is with reptiles, so it's not entirely equivalent, but I've learned that a reptile changing its eating habits isn't a good thing if the season can't explain it. Eating/pooping less seems to always prelude something worse. Commented Jul 27, 2015 at 21:21

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.