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Dogs/Siberian Husky Loss of Appitite


Hi dr.
We have a female husky.  She has been acting strange since last night.  She has lost her appetite and really doesn't want to drink water.  I have taken her to the vet.  It is not tick bite fever blood work says her white blood cells are high and have fever of 37.  She was given two times antibiotics when we got home she vomited yellow water.  She has eaten chicken and rice.  I am worried it could be cat flu?  Looking forward to hear from you.  Stephanie


Hi Stephanie,

Even though your dog has tested negative for a tick-borne infection there is always the possibility of a false negative, your vet might want to rerun the tests. Because your dog has an elevated white blood cell count, it means that she's actively fighting off some kind of  inflammation or infection, though it's impossible for me to say what that might be. Here's some info on deciphering your dog's blood work:

Antibiotics are the treatment for tick borne disease, as well as for other infections which could have the same symptoms of not wanting to eat. Your dog would need to be on antibiotics for 2-4 weeks or longer. Antibiotics make no distinction between the beneficial bacteria that always populate your dog's stomach and the harmful bacteria they are meant to kill. This can lead to intestinal problems caused by those beneficial bacteria being wiped out. Probiotics, which are live bacterial cultures such as lactobacillus acidophilus, bifidus and bulgaricus are available in capsules at health food stores, they will help restore your dog's beneficial "flora", or microorganisms. Give the probiotic two hours after every dose of antibiotic. However, if your dog is not experiencing diarrhea then it is debatable if she would benefit from a probiotic, in the majority of cases of antibiotic therapy the normal flora recovers on its own without assistance eliminating the need for probiotics.

"Cat flu" in dogs is usually Canine Parvovirus and doesn't resemble the flu, nor is it contracted from cats. The symptoms are high fever, listlessness, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea with a very bad odor, discoloration of the gums and rapid dehydration. In short, your dog would be acting like she's really REALLY sick. Cat flu is most likely to occur in puppies and very young dogs that have weak immune systems.

Vomiting yellow fluid isn't really a symptom of a particular condition, it just means your dog's stomach was empty at the time she was retching.

Because your dog is vomiting, it's important to keep her hydrated (almost more important than having her eat!). If she isn't drinking enough water, try to get fluids into her by mixing either water or low-sodium chicken broth into her food. Another option is to give your dog Pedialyte or a sports drink such as Gatorade (without caffeine) to ensure she stays hydrated. She might lap this up on her own, because they're sweetened. If not, here are directions for getting fluids into your dog with either a syringe or squirt bottle:

Dogs who are vomiting and not eating are at high risk for hypoglycemia, which can lead to more vomiting and more not wanting to eat. The sweetened Pedialyte and Gatorade would also raise your dog's blood sugar, which might make her feel more like eating. They also work on restoring electrolyte imbalances caused by vomiting. If you can't get her to eat anything, there are  liquid meal replacement products you can buy (such as DogSure) or you can get from your vet.

Anything you can get your dog to eat would be helpful. Many dogs can't resist dry cat food (just a little to jump-start her into eating), or a little hard boiled egg, jarred baby food mixed with cooked rice or baked potato could work. Give her small amounts of food every 2-3 hours, so she doesn't distend her already sore stomach. If she vomits after eating, let her stomach rest for 12 hours before trying to feed her something bland again. Report to your vet if she can't keep any food down!

A dog's normal temperature is 38C to 39.2C, so she does not have a fever.

If your dog as has finished the course of antibiotics your vet gave, and her symptoms still are present, you need to contact your vet's office and let them know what's going on. She may need to be re-examined or she just might need additional medication.

Best of luck,



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To date, I've owned 7 dogs, all of which have lived into old age. Having cared for them in all stages of life, I feel I can offer sound advice to other pet owners, and people considering getting a dog. I am knowledgeable about the AKC (American Kennel Club) dog breeds, training and exercise, caring for sick and elderly pets, feeding, as well as many holistic treatments pets can benefit from. My only request is that you write me using standard English and punctuation.


My life experience in this field is more like "on the job training" rather than an actual degree in animal welfare. You may benefit from my experiences over the past 30 years. Aside from the dogs I've owned, I'm also involved in "breed rescue" and have fostered several dogs, all of which have been adopted to wonderful "forever homes". I find helping people who want a dog very rewarding.

Real life experience, based on over 30 years of dog ownership.

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