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Child has no appetite, fever, urinating less frequently, abdominal pain, difficulty breathing. Any suggestions?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2009
Answered : 983 Questions
My daughter is 4 years old. She has been pale and has had no appetite for 4 days (she has lost 2 1/2lb was around 2st 12lb to start with) and was running a very high temperature - she's normally around 36oC and was around 38.9oC.. She has wanted to drink a lot but has been urinating less frequently than normal, though no pain when urinating. Stools pretty normal! 2 days ago she had severe abdominal pain over the course of 6 hours that seemed to be under her rib cage. She had great difficulty breathing because of the pain and was obviously very distressed. It was not continuous but came and went, each episode lasting around 15 minutes and 4 or 5 episodes in that time. The emergency doctors at A&E did a urine test and said there was a minor UTI, for which they have prescribed 7 days of antibiotics. Her temperature is now down but today she has developed painful swelling in her right groin which I am assuming is a lymph node. She has had no pain since that day. Any suggestions? As she is not quite right, but doesn't seem to be in pain, I don't want to take her to the doctor in case they think I'm wasting their time. All the UTIs that I have had or know of just don't seem to fit the pattern, nor to be as painful as this. She normally just gets on with it, and as she is very happy-go-lucky, runs around a lot and hurts herself fairly frequently, it was very scary to see her inconsolably writhing in pain on the corridor floor at the hospital after we'd been there 4 1/2 hours...
Posted Sun, 22 Jul 2012 in Child Health
Follow-up: Child has no appetite, fever, urinating less frequently, abdominal pain, difficulty breathing. Any suggestions? 36 minutes later
I don't know if it's relevant but I did wonder if she had tonsilitis coming on on Saturday as her breath smelt like it - though I couldn't see any swelling then or now. The lymph nodes on her neck have been swollen since Saturday too.
Answered by Dr. Aparna Kohli 4 hours later
Thanks for writing in.
UTI can be pretty painful in children who may find the burning in urination difficult to tolerate. Usually, we would confirm a UTI with a urine culture and microscopy. But since your daughter has already received antibiotics, this test would probably be not useful since if bacteria have been present, they would already have been eliminated.
Its possible that the swelling in the groin of your daughter is an enlarged lymph node. Having said that, it is not common for children with UTI to have enlarged lymph nodes in the groin. This is why I would want her examined by her physician as the nature of the lump can only be ascertained by a physical examination.
Hope this helps
Let me know if you need further assistance
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Child has no appetite, fever, urinating less frequently, abdominal pain, difficulty breathing. Any suggestions? 5 hours later
Thank you, I will make an appointment soon.
Answered by Dr. Aparna Kohli 3 hours later
Thanks for writing back.
Wish you and your daughter the very best of everything. Please close this discussion if you have no further questions.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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