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Should I Visit the Vet Again if My Dog’s Symptoms Persist After Antibiotic Treatment?


Dear VetBabble: Do I need to return to the vet if my dog still has symptoms after antibiotic treatment?

Many dedicated pet owners find themselves in your shoes, wondering whether they should return to the vet if their dog continues to show signs of illness after beginning an antibiotic course of treatment for an upper respiratory infection. Indeed, it can be disconcerting when your fur baby is still sneezing, now coupled with unpleasant yellow discharge even after taking the prescribed medications. It’s important to remember that antibiotics typically take a couple days to show improvement, but when should we worry if there has been significant elapsed time or the appearance of new symptoms?

Understanding Antibiotics and Its Effects

Most pet owners expect a quick recovery once their pet starts antibiotics. However, as discussed in “Why Shouldn’t Antibiotics Always be Prescribed for our Pets?“, antibiotics don’t guarantee an immediate return to health. Not all infections are bacterial and not all bacteria are susceptible to antibiotics, which is why correct diagnosis is critical. Also, they usually take 2-3 days to start working, depending on the nature of the infection and the pet’s overall health. During this period, it’s quite normal for your pet to continue displaying symptoms of the illness.

Recognizing Persistent Symptoms and New Indications

When it comes to symptoms extending beyond typical recovery time, or the appearance of new symptoms, it’s time to reevaluate. Your dog’s persistent sneezing and the new manifestation of a yellowish discharge hint at the need for further medical attention. This is particularly important if it’s been beyond the recognized 5-day window, which suggests potential complications or an inaccurate initial diagnosis. It’s always worth remembering that similar symptoms can result from different causes. Even if the symptoms resemble a common cold as described in “Does My Dog Have a Cold?“, it’s crucial not to attempt self-diagnosis or treatment as it may aggravate the situation.

Knowing When to Return to the Vet

If your dog’s symptoms continue unabated or worsen after this period, it’s recommended to return to your vet as soon as you can. Recognizing signs that the situation is becoming more serious is tackled in “Diarrhea in Dogs: When to Worry“. However, these principles can apply to various health situations, not only limited to digestive issues. Nevertheless, such symptoms as persistent sneezing or a newly emerged yellow discharge are certainly a cause for concern. Even if diarrhea isn’t evident, any noticeable worsening or lack of improvement in your dog’s condition should prompt a visit to the veterinarian office. Taking the time to understand ailments, their symptoms and treatments allow pet owners to better care for their beloved pets and promote swift, full recoveries. It’s always better to seek professional advice when unsure, rather than hoping that the problems will resolve themselves over time. So, in response to your query, yes, it would be prudent to return to your vet given your pup’s persisting symptoms.

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