I started Pawbly because I know that many people have questions about just about everything and when they are in search of answers they will go looking for those answers in the easiest and quickest of places.
My dear husband is a magnet for the little tangents and tidbits of info. He has more random useless trinkets of snippets of info on just about everything rolling around in his noggin at all times. On those long drives to the grocery store, or a friends house, he will parlay them to me. His favorite past time is to ask me about one of his factoids and quiz me about my knowledge of it. It's very impressive. How he ever amassed such an abundance of material is a mystery to me. Somehow he collected it in his travels, his treasure trove was done via person to person chatter. For the rest of us mortals we go surfing with a purse seine on the sea of the world wide web.
Pawbly was developed to help provide people with pet questions a place that local experts could be found to help them find and understand their answers. Very simple, very important, and desperately needed.
When we started building Pawbly we had to discuss and agree on a few things.
First, Pawbly could never take the place of bringing your pet to the vet. I know, better than anyone, that to understand a pet, to understand a guardians concerns, and to put all of the pieces of the puzzle together I need a pet and their parent in front of me. I need my eyes, my ears, my nose, and a long dialogue to get the mystery solved and the treatment plan in place. There is no way it is going to happen on the internet.
Second, I knew that the public was going to find me, (Pawbly is free, after all), and they will want a cheaper easier option to replace their getting in the car, and paying for a service. So we had to devise some fail safes and some warnings. Pets in need of emergency care should not have their guardians looking for 'cures', 'treatment options', or advice on the internet, or anywhere else other than in a vets office.
Third, we had to talk in a common language. This is very hard to do on a computer. Getting an understanding of your pet, your perceptions, and your options is about talking. And, lord, people are terrible bad at putting their pets clinical signs into an understandable, comprehensive, and medically based list of pertinent facts in words. Boy, people add a whole lot of useless fluff, silly insignificant details, and those patients of ours can't talk. Vets need to use our hands, our senses, and questions to help you and your pet, so that means we have to make our fears, concerns, and worries audible in a return dialog. I have to think worst case scenario in every appointment, and I have to verbalize the same in a reply to a question.
You can see what I am talking about when you see the question I was asked today:
"My 14 week old puppy has the sniffles. His poor nose sounds like rice crispies crackling and popping as he breathes out his nose. He eats good, full of energy and been getting reg shots and vitimins. Is there any thing I can give him or just let it run its course ?"
Here is my reply;
Congratulations on your new puppy..
A 14 week old puppy that is sick in any sense of the word should see a vet immediately.
Now I can't tell you if your puppy is sick because sneezing in many cases is not sick, but anything other than clear infrequent sneezing can be one of the first signs of illness.
IF your puppy has a congested nose (I am guessing that sniffles is congestion) then I would urge you to go immediately to your vets office. A puppy (14 weeks is very young) with a congested nose most likely has a respiratory infection and these can very quickly (like within a few hours) lead to pneumonia, dehydration, and other very serious and life threatening illnesses and diseases. If you can get your puppy to a vet right away and if it is just the beginnings of an upper respiratory infection then antibiotics may be all that is necessary.
There is no other over the counter cure available for infection and you need a vet to diagnose, prescribe, and treat a respiratory infection. Also many puppies will not eat if they can't breathe well or smell, so they will not get better if they are not eating. Their blood sugar can drop quickly and they sometimes require intra-venous glucose supplement therapy to maintain normal blood sugar levels.
Puppies that are sick need immediate aggressive diagnostics and treatment.
Please don't wait, and please don't hesitate to call your vet and make an appointment.
I hope that your puppy is just having an occasional benign sneeze, but if it "sounds like rice crispies crackling and popping as he breathes out his nose" then I am very worried about congestion and infection.
Always better safe than sorry.
I hope that this helps.
If you need us, we are open today until 6, and if you call tell them what we talked about and that you need to be seen ASAP today.