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Old 01-21-2010, 05:51 PM   #1
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Unhappy shelter animals

Why is it so hard to find a good healthy dog from a shelter? We adopted a dog back in Aug 09, we had to take it back because he wouldn't eat (we had him for a week). They told me he probably had something serious going on. Since then we've been trying out dogs since we can't get our money back. We are now at our 5th one. We love her and have had her for almost 2 weeks. She was sort of bony when we got her but I figured she would fatten up after a while since we feed our dogs high protein dog food. Our other dog (pure bread Lab) is very healthy.
Well She hasn't had much energy since we got her. A week ago she had diarrhea, I just assumed she wasn't used to the food and would eventually get used to it. Well this morning I was observing that she still hadn't gained weight and actually looked bonier then when we first got her. I continued observing her walking to the side of the house where I saw her about to poo. Well what came out of her was browning water.
I've been depressed today because I know we'll have to take her back to the shelter. I would figure that shelters would do health screens on their animals before putting them up for adoption.
The requirement at this shelter is that the money you pay to adopt, automatically goes to getting a free Vet check and neutering or spaying. We usually wait 2 weeks because of the past dogs we've gotten there that ended up showing signs within that time. If we take them to the Vet before then, then we are stuck with any Vet bills the pet has which can be costly.
In So Cal, there were Shelters that wouldn't adopt out a pet unless they knew it was pretty much healthy or they would tell you what it had (if you chose to adopt it), and would cover any costs until the the pet was well.
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Old 01-21-2010, 06:31 PM   #2
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Maybe you should take her to the Vet and get blood work done. I understand the Vet bills can be expensive (having two dogs and a cat of my own) but if something is wrong with the pup, you should take her in. Maybe if the pet's you've been adopting from this shelter aren't healthy, you shouldn't adopt anymore from there. I think when you adopt/buy/take in an animal, your making a promise and commitment to take care of them for the rest of their lives.
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Old 01-21-2010, 06:49 PM   #3
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I have 5 shelter pets (3 dogs~ 2 cats) and have never had a sick one yet thankfully. 1 cat did have fleas though. Two were bones sticking out skinny from being strays so long I did have a friend though that adopted a pup with parvo though

I'd try a different shelter. I would also get that free health check right away. I've taken every pet straight from the shelter to the vet because if they are ill i want to know before I get attached. I know vet bill bite btw. I just had an emergency very $$$ visit today for my 10 year old pound puppy
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Old 01-21-2010, 06:49 PM   #4
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All of our current 4 critters (2 dogs, 2 cats) came from shelters. Three of them had massive, unbelievably foul smelling diarrhea within 2 days of coming home. (We got them at different shelters at different times.) They all had the same intestinal bug that was easily taken care of with meds. Yes, they had been treated for worms, but this kind of thing still shows up. A simple stool sample should rapidly identify what the organism is (assuming it is an infection) and perhaps a change in diet.

Rescue pups are the best. They seem to know that they have been "saved", and our lives have been so greatly enriched by their presence.

Guess I'm trying to encourage you to hang in there and get her checked out because your lab might get infected too.

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Old 01-21-2010, 06:55 PM   #5
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Get the shelter dog to the vets - you don't want any other animals that you have infected with whatever this dog might have...one vet treatment is more cost effective than two!
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Old 01-21-2010, 06:59 PM   #6
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They won't do the medical care for you? I don't understand why they take them back... why don't they just get them healthy with you? I guess I don't understand maybe? This sounds abusive to me. Most kenneled dogs have coccidia or some sort of virus/bacteria but it is treatable. I would resport this shelter to the spca or what ever is equivalent!
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Old 01-21-2010, 08:03 PM   #7
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We have 4 shelter animals (2 dogs, 2 cats) and they are all healthy. It was a requirement with all the animals we adopted to get them to the vet within a week of adopting and if any issues were found out that it was possible to have qualify for a 'health grant'.

Do you have rescues in your area versus a shelter? Some shelters are definitely better than others.

Also, sometimes dogs get diarrhea because their food was changed so I'm not sure if that was the case with the dog you adopted.
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Old 01-21-2010, 10:27 PM   #8
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Are you adopting from a reputable shelter?

Some shelters have good intentions, but not good anything else.

Sounds like a bad case of coccidia, an intestinal virus, or loaded with worms.

Add the stress of whatever happened to the dog before it came to the shelter and then when you take it home. A lot to deal with.

I work for a veterinarian, I would start with collecting a stool sample and taking it in and having your vet run a fecal. This will tell them a lot about what is up with the dog. Collect some poo in a baggie and take it to your vet. Let them run the fecal and call you back with the findings. This will give you a starting place.

It may be a simple matter of some antibiotics, and a few days of a special diet.

I do some foster work, with strays we get, you can not believe the weird stuff I've run into.

My current foster, a Pembroke Welsh Corgi, had more issues than Playboy when I brought him home. After 2 months, he's made leaps and bounds! His problems were all behavioral. He was a psycho dog from ****.

Scared of everything, hadn't seen another dog in 4 years, food bowl possessive, chew bone possessive, angry, no manners. We have 3 dogs of our own. He is finally getting it. He really is a sweetie, but it has taken a TON of patience and calm, assertive correction to get him where he is now. I am at a point, where I am confident that we can now look for a home for him. A month ago, I would not have let him go, he was not ready.

Shelter dogs take patience, and it may cost some money, but in the end they can be worth it! You have to remember, there is most likely no history on the animal and it's previous treatment, and health problems can crop up.
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Old 01-21-2010, 11:03 PM   #9
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Everyone else has given some great advice,so I'll just add my experience.

We adopted Nikki last year from a shelter,and while she vet checked through them,they expected me to take her to my own vet for a check up within a week of bringing her home.Luckily she was healthy,and aside from the expected problems of changing her food,she was in good health.She was skinny when we got her and even almost a year later,could still use a few more lbs...but she has gained a bit.

Like others,I would take the pup in to your vet with a stool sample and hopefully a simple test can find the problem...especially seeing that it's been more then one dog you've brought home.

I can't imagine not having Nikki now.It feels like she's been here much longer then 10 months,and I love that she has made herself so at home with us.
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Old 01-22-2010, 08:41 AM   #10
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Thank you, I will try to collect a sample. I'm hoping its nothing. I know Google-doctoring isn't always accurate but from what I read yesterday, they said it could be a very serious condition.
She did have diarrhea a week after we got her but that was probably due to the food. The water poo is what concerned me.
I so want to keep her. We've already had a dog die from cancer a couple months back, we had him since he was a pup. I just don't want to relive that again.
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Old 01-22-2010, 05:17 PM   #11
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She's pregnant, waiting on fecal results now.
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Old 01-22-2010, 05:29 PM   #12
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Oh my, you would've definitely thought they would've discovered that prior to adopting out!

And one thing I'd say is it is a tough world for animals, you can fix a dog when she is pregnant and abort the pups. I know others may disagree but there are already so many dogs out there that don't get homes, I have a tough time thinking about bringing more dogs into this world.
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Old 01-22-2010, 07:13 PM   #13
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Problem is that we were already struggling with that choice but in this area they won't abort. don't know if it was due to how far along she is or what but that was the first thing they told me. When I informed the shelter they just told me "Okay, well when the pups are 6 weeks you can bring them here and we'll adopted them out for you and you can get her spayed 3 months after she has the pups, free of charge."
Her teets were out when we got her from the shelter. I just figured she had her pups and they decided to get rid of her. But then recently I noticed she wasn't fattening up or her hind bones were sticking out. I thought she was seriously ill because she wasn't gaining weight. Then a couple hours before I took her to the vet I told me dh "This is just a speculation but what if she's pregnant because her tummy is getting big and so are her teets?" He thought I was over doing it on my suspicions.
They think it can be any day now.
If so, they told me we had to separate our dogs (the other dog is a male) because when she does have her pups she will be very protective. Is this true? do we have to separate them? The only thought I have is to bring her in the house till she has her pups but even then, we can't have her and the pups in the house.
HELP!! I've been a mommy to a mama cat and a litter of kittens but never mama and pups.
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Old 01-22-2010, 07:45 PM   #14
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Why can't you have her and her pups in the house? You don't have any indoor space for your dogs?

I imagine that she is probably just too far along to abort the pups.
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Old 01-22-2010, 07:48 PM   #15
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Yew, definitely keep the dogs apart. There is nothing more protective than a mother dog. Dont' ever allow another dog around the pups .
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