Sick Rotweiller

Our question this week was:


Our rotweiller is almost 8 years old and recently she's become so thin (but only the back half of her body) that it feels as if she has a hole in her side (she doesn't) and we can get our hands almost around her waist. She's also stopped eating and just lies there and refuses to come out of the garage during the daytime. Her nose is VERY dry and her legs shake and tremble as if standing is an effort. We can't afford high vet bills but she NEEDS to see a vet. Is there anything that I can do to help heal her by myself before taking her to a vet, as the first time I can take her is the weekend due to my work.

Vanessa Finaughty


Hi – thanks for your email.

Goodness, it sounds like you are in a terrible situation. The signs you indicate your dog has are significant and very concerning. From what you wrote, your 8-year-old Rotweiller has lost weight, is weak, lethargic, and not eating.

There are several reasons a dog can have these symptoms and all of the reasons are alarming. It doesn't sound like her quality of life is good and she doesn't feel well.

I'd really recommend that you make your dog a priority and take her to your veterinarian or veterinary emergency clinic for evaluation.

I understand your financial situation and am sorry you are in it but on the other hand, being a dog owner is a responsibility and they rely on you for their care and health. Having a dog comes with many responsibilities, some of which are financial.

At a minimum, your veterinarian may want to do some basic blood tests and a urinalysis to determine her basic organ function. Veterinary medical costs differ in different parts of the country and these tests may cost you $200.00 more or less.

It's not fair to your dog to let her go on the way she is.

As far as what you can do at home, it sounds like the situation is beyond a little home remedy. One thing you can try while preparing to see your vet is encourage your dog to eat providing that she is not vomiting. You can offer some different foods, try hand feeding or whatever it takes.

Good luck,

Dr. Debra

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