Please help: 3 wk/old puppy with a leg infection

I do not have the money to take my puppy to a veterinarian. I wish I could but I just don’t have the wherewithal. I have googled with search words ‘puppy’ ‘infection’ ‘infected foot’ and found info on general care and parasitic infections, but nothing pertaining to general skin infections. Ah wait, I did not input ‘skin infections’. I will go do that forthright. While I search for ‘skin infections’, can someone here help me with this?

I have a three week old puppy with an infection on its hind leg about the size of a pea. It looks like a scratch or flea bite that got out of hand. It can move its paw and it did not whimper when I washed the sore and applied a triple antibiotic. I tried to bandage it, but the bandage did not stay. Other than not being able to crawl as well as the other two pups, it seems okay. I am worried the infection may be bad enough to maim the pup.

My questions are:
Are ‘human’ antibiotics okay to use for a 3 week old pup?
Can I/Should I give it a tiny amount of OTC aspirin/ibuprofen?
Should I do my best to keep the sore bandaged until it heals?
Or should I just apply the ointment and let the sore ‘air’? My concern with this is the mother will lick the ointment off, and will the small amount of contact time be enough to fight the infection?

I will wash the pups and the mother to remove as many fleas as possible, but the flea product I have says to wait untill pups are at least 8-12 weeks old before using. Are there low-cost treatments for fleas on pups, and will it hurt its sore to use them?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Most vets will let you work out time payments for treatment, I urge you to take the puppy to a vet.

Boscibo, it is after hours right now, I will call a vet in the morning to see if he will give me some advice over the phone. I will try some home remedies and if they do not help I will see if a vet will let me make payments.

Looking up ‘puppy, skin infections’ on google, I found a lot of sites about fungul infection. These mentioned using anti-fungul creams and/or shanpoos using sulphur, peroxides, chlorhexidines. The triple antibiotic I have contains polymyxin B sulphate, bacitracin zinc, and neomycin base (as sulphate).
What is the difference between anti-biotic and anti-fungul?

I am going to the store to see what $6 will buy.

I’m with Boscibo, check with some vets in your area about a payment plan. Maybe you could call the local SPCA and see if they have suggestions.

IANAVet but I think little cuts and infections are no more serious for a dog except that they have trouble keeping it clean. Get it looked at, it’s would be terrible for a little problem to be allowed to become serious. With a kindly vet it hopefully won’t be an expensive visit. gl

I’m glad to see you’re going to consult with a vet. Better safe than sorry. If it’s nothing, you’ll have peace of mind; and sometimes vet medications aren’t that expensive.

This is NOT advice about your problem, but rather an anecdote about a helpful vet and peace of mind: Our then-4-month-old pup got a pea-sized lump on her tummy; it was hard and had a scab on it. We noticed it on a Saturday and worried all weekend, while it got bigger. Monday morning we called the vet and described it, and he said it was probably a bug bite of some kind, and we should put warm moist compresses on it for a few days; if it didn’t go away in a week we should bring her in. He was right; it went away. We felt SO much better once we’d talked to the vet.

About a week later she suddenly developed a limp, and we took her in. He examined her and said it was either a sprain or “growing pains” in her bones, and we should try to have her take it easy (shya right!). Office call $7. Again, he was right and she was fine in about a week.

If you have to take the pup in, explain your situation. I know our vet has been in situations where he would rather have had the chance to treat a suffering animal than not have it brought in because the owner couldn’t/wouldn’t pay. And he’s given us discounts on multiple procedures (neutering a litter of kittens, etc.) and has sometimes waived the office call fee. Of course, with four dogs and numerous cats, we’re pretty good customers. :slight_smile:

Please, do your best to get that little one some vet care, and keep us posted!

I will call a vet first thing in the morning and let you know how it goes. A friend of mine who is knowledgable about pets dropped by this evening, and I had her look at the pup. She said it looked like a fungul infection and that antibiotics would most likely not do any good, and that while an antifungul cream would help, the pup would probably need a shot also.

DMSO is availalable at most health food and naural food stores and it is inexpensive and completely safe. Apply topically dilluted with water, better yet do a Google search for DMSO or DiMethylSulfOxide. The true miracle cure.

I had to call around, but I found a vet that would take 1/2 payment now and let me pay the rest in two weeks. My son gave me the money for the payment today.

The infection was severe enough that topical ointments would do little good, especially counting in the effect of the mother irritating the wound by cleaning it. The vet gave me oral antibiotics to give the pup for 10 days, and told me to wash the wound a couple of times a day with hydrogen peroxide until it begins to look better.
He also gave the pup a free dose of worm medicine.

When I asked about flea control, he said that shampoos with pyrithriene (sp?) were okay to use on young pups, but not those with permethrin. Huh, guess which one I have. Glad I get a paycheck in a few days.

$7 for an office visit, Scarlett67? Wow, you’re lucky, standard around here is $35. Still, I am glad I took the little one in, I do feel so much better now. It broke my heart to see the puppy suffer.

zen101, I googled DMSO, and there seems to be a lot of controversy about it. I meant to ask the vet about it, but it slipped my mind. I will check some more into it.

Thanks to all for your advice and caring. :slight_smile:

Yay! Thanks for the report. Keep us posted, and give that little one some extra lovin’. I’m glad you found a kind vet to help you out.

As for cheap office visits, we ARE out in the sticks and I suppose that makes a difference.

I would suggest bringing all the puppies and the mother to the vet because if it is bacterial in nature, it could have been spread to them as well.
I don’t mean to sound harsh or anything, but I am curious how you came to have a litter of puppies and didn’t have the money to take care of them?:confused: I would hope that you have your doggie mother spayed after she’s done nursing the pups, so you won’t have any more unexpected pregnancies, if that was the case, if not please excuse my ignorance of your situation. If you can’t afford to get the mother spayed, ususally your local Humane society can do that at no charge.
I wish you luck with raising a litter of healthy puppies.

OESGal, I considered answering that very question when I first posted. The mother dog is my daughter’s pure-bred schnauzer that she was planning to breed, and yes the pregnancy was unexpected. I have taken steps to prevent any more unplanned situations.

I will be monitering the mother and other two pups, and will call the vet if I see any problems developing. I do think it was a scratch that got out of hand, and something that hopefully will not affect the others. That would have been a good question to ask the vet while I was there, tho. Score two for hindsight, dadgummit.

My daughter is considering getting the mom spayed, for a couple of reasons. One is that she would have to ‘hide’ the fact that the dog is ‘corrupted’. Silly I know, but it has something to do with the “pure-bred” mentality. The second is that she thought having a litter of pups would just be ‘cute’, and now realizes that it does take time, care and - yes, money - to properly care for a litter.

Thanks for the luck, I will lavish it on the pup.

Umm, your daughter shelled out for a purebred, but she’s not taking care of the dog or paying the vet bills for it or the puppies? That horrible noise you hear is my teeth grinding. For the love of God don’t let your daughter breed this dog again. There are too many adorable pups that get put down every year for backyard breeders to be making more of them. Sorry, this is just one of those things that makes me froth at the mouth. If I had a dollar for every time I’d fielded a call from someone who bought a purebred pup and then didn’ t have the cash to get it vaccinated…
Anyway, keep the wound as clean as you can, and you can put antibiotic ointment on it after cleaning. It may not help heal it, but it will provide a little protection from the mother’s tongue. I would NOT put DMSO on it for 2 reasons: it probably won’t help any, and it could make a pup that tiny fairly sick (the stench won’t do you any favors either). Good luck, and keep us posted on your progress.

On DMSO, I have read a lot of the controversial opinions on this wonderful product and can only say this from personal experience.

I adopted a cat off the street with a missing tooth and septic gash in it’s face as well as a serious infection in it’s jaw (It thus became “Stinky” the cat and is still called thus). I treated the infection with DMSO 99.9% pure non-dilluted on a swab. Within three days the smell was almost gone along with any signs of sepsis.

I had a duadinal ulcer due to habitual drinking about ten years back, I quit drinking (doctor said to quit coffee and cigs and i told him to get bent) but the ulcer was painful and slow to heal. After two months it was still painful and causing occasional blood coughing. I gargled a 10-15% DMSO in water solution and swallowed it as well once daily, in two weeks the pain was nearly completely gone and I never had another coughing fit which let to bleeding.

I also use/used DMSO dilluted in hot water to treat arthritis aches in my hands when I would ride my motorcycle in winter.

DMSO has been perscribed in Europe for more then 20 years and has not been connected to any serious health issues when properly used. The only fatality I’m aware of is someone mixing it with heroin and applying it on the skin and overdosing.

Why this drug, which is 100% organic in nature, has not been approved for human use in the US is a mystery to me that lends me to believe in conspiracy theories about drug companies.

Hi dobbinaire,

Glad to hear your puppy is getting better.

In the future, if you would like any advice from actual veterinarians online (with all due respect to the SDMB), you can post questions on the Veterinary Information Network (VIN) Pet Care Forum:

These questions are answered by veterinarians who are used to answering these kinds of questions online. Of course it will not substitute for an actual exam of your pet, but it’s usually better to get accurate information from the outset.

I’d also like to echo the sentiments of CrazyCatLady, who maybe isn’t so crazy. Purebreds are more disposed to health problems, and anyone who has the money to raise such animals should not skimp on proper medical care.

You may want to look into the idea of Pet Health Insurance, where for a relatively small sum each month, some of your future veterinary costs will be covered.

I’m sure you can just call the vet back and ask the question now.

If the vet is too busy to immediately come to the phone, and if the vet is any good it is very likely that he or she is doing something more important when you call, just leave a message (with the full question) with the receptionist, and I’m sure that will cut the time for them to get back to with an answer. If the vet can just tell the receptionist the answer to tell you, you will probably get a return call very quickly.

Your daughter is an idiot. You, sir are a saint.

The myth that any purebred dog is “ruined” from ever having pure pups again after having a mixed breed litter is so ignorant and stupid that anyone who believes this ought to be spayed or neutered along with their dog. That way they won’t create equally moronic offspring. Does your daughter also think that if she has a baby with a black man that even if she concieves with a white man afterward the baby will be half black? Sheesh.

Please read :

Good luck with the pups anyway.

CrazyCatLady, I understand your feelings, but please, the situation isn’t quite that terrible. My daughter received the dog as a Christmas present, she and the dog live with me. The dog is two years old and has had its yearly shots. It has a doggy door it uses to go outside to a fenced yard. It got outside the fence, okay? Like I said, we have addressed that problem.
As for the cash matter, we are (both) in a bit of a bind right now. I do not mean to moan or whine. There have been better times, and there will be better times, we are just in a slump. That is why I posted, hoping for a low-cost alternative. And she is going to help me pay the rest of the bill.
This is not to pooh-pooh what you and OESGalhave said. I am all for responsible pet ownership. And my daughter has paid for much of the dog’s care since she received it. We just happen to be broke this week.

zen101, what you say fits in with the few sites I checked. IIRC, one article semi-seriously(?) said that if aspirin were ‘discovered’ today it would get the same treatment as DMSO. I think the main controversy is in misuse/abuse. This seems to be a substance that must be carefully applied to prevent ill side affects.
Your personal experience with it is helpful. I shall keep it in mind for future consideration and study, but I don’t believe I will use it on a young pup, since I have no experience with it myself.

Thanks for the website, richardb, I have added it to Favorites.

tarpal, the “ruined” idea is something we both heard when she first got her dog. We thought it was silly, too, but we just accepted it and never checked it out. We have also heard that a pure-bred shouldn’t be bred more than twice, something we also haven’t checked for accuracy. Maybe the two links you provided will shed some light on the subject.
BTW, I’m a ma’am, not a sir. :wink:

After just two doses of medicine, the puppy is already more lively. He is crawling better, and beginning to yip again. He did Not like being taken away from mommie to have his wound cleaned. He squirmed so, it took two of us - one to hold him while the other cleaned it. That’s good news that he is getting better, but sad that it hurts him. His passivity scared me almost as much as the infection.