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Dr.Fiona
Dr.Fiona, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 6273
Experience:  Small animal medicine and surgery - 16 years experience in BC, California and Ontario
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my dog wont eat. she was having to take pills for a bladder

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my dog won't eat. she was having to take pills for a bladder infection and we were mixing them with her food. We got them down but then she wouldn't eat anymore food and she would throw up. We have stopped giving her her pills but she still won't eat, but a minimal amount. How can we get her to start eating again and to take her pills?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr.Fiona replied 5 years ago.
Hi there,

Welcome to Just Answer! I would like to try to help you and your dog but need a bit more information in order to better assist you.

How old is she?

What breed is she?

What is the name of the antibiotic? When did she start the antibiotic?

When did you stop the antibiotic?

Fiona
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

She is a 12 year old American Bulldog.

Antibiotic is Enrofloxacin. She started it July 27th and we took her off of it on August 1st.

She is also on Phenylpropanol for incontinence, which we have also stopped...

Expert:  Dr.Fiona replied 5 years ago.
Hmm...so, she really hasn't eaten since Aug 1st?

is she still vomiting?

any diarrhea?

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
She has eaten some everyday, but it is very difficult... She will eat a burger from McDonalds. Only vomited when we would give her pills and she wouldn't eat. No diarrhea. It's like she is afraid we have put her pills in her food.
Expert:  Dr.Fiona replied 5 years ago.
Ok, thanks for that information.

Does she seem quieter than normal? Does her belly seem painful?

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
She is quieter. No to the painful belly.
Expert:  Dr.Fiona replied 5 years ago.

Hi again,

There are a lot of different possibilities for what may be going on with your dog. Baytril (enroflaxacin) is a great antibiotic for urinary tract infections, and works well in most dogs. It sometimes causes diarrhea, but it is very unlikley to cause vomiting. Also, when we do see vomiting due to antibiotics, it resolves within 1-3 days of stopping the antibiotic. This leads me to believe that your girl's vomiting and lack of appetite is not related to her antibiotics at this point. It sounds like something else is going on...

I will give you a link to more information about enroflaxacin:

http://www.petplace.com/drug-library/enrofloxacin-baytril/page1.aspx




The problems that lead to vomiting that I would be considering if she were on her way in to see me are:


1. One of the things that I think of first in a dog is that she may have a Gastrointestinal Foreign Body.

Dogs eat the strangest things - plastic bags, children's toys, bones, bits of towel, socks, rocks and other things. Often, these foreign bodies pass through the intestinal tract, but sometimes they do not. They may get caught in the stomach or the small intestines.

The symptoms of a GI foreign body are generally vomiting, loss of appetite, depression and dehydration. If your dog consumed an object that is caught in the stomach or small intestines, it might explain the symptoms that you are seeing. This would be particulary true if the object were something like a ball that could bob over pylorus (outflow from the stomach) and then move away again. Thus, water could pass through but not food.

In the case of an obstruction, surgery is often needed to remove the foreign object. I will include further information about GI foreign bodies:

http://www.michvet.com/library/surgery_gi_foreign_body.asp
http://www.petplace.com/dogs/gastrointestinal-foreign-body-in-dogs/page1.aspx

If I examined your girl and was concerned about a foreign body, I would probably recommend x-rays to see if a foreign object were visible. A rock would show up very well on x-rays. A plastic bag would not show up on x-rays. It does, however, show up very well if the dog is given some barium (a type of milkshake like drink) by mouth. Then a determination can be made about how best to get this out of the dog, or whether it might move through on its own.



This would be much more likely in a young dog. Generally, senior dogs are older and wiser and would not be inclined to eat things they should not, but it is always possible.






2. It is possible your dog simply has from eating something she shouldn't have. Table scraps or twigs and leaves could be the culprit! Gastroenteritis is an inflammation of the stomach and intestines and can be caused by a large number of things, including sudden dietary changes.



3. A bacterial infection:

Dogs can be affected by overgrowths of bacteria in the intestines. In an adult dog these might not be more than a nuisance. The 3 most common are Campylobacter, Salmonella and E.Coli. Here is a link with more information:
http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&S=0&C=0&A=2232


4.
PANCREATITIS



THIS IS WHAT I AM MOST CONCERNED ABOUT!


This is an inflammation of the pancreas, often triggered by a high fat meal (such as a McDonald's burger). With "acute pancreatitis" dogs are very sick, with severe vomiting, painful belly and fever. With chronic pancreatitis, it is more like a slow burn version with intermittent vomiting and decreased appetite. I am concerned that the food changes that you had to use to get her to take her pills could have triggered this if your girl is particularly sensitive.






Pancreatitis is a serious medical problem and is diagnosed by having bloodwork done and possibly x-rays. Dogs with pancreatitis may need to go on a course of antibiotics to treat the chronic pancreatitis and may need a prescription food to "put out the fire" of this chronic problem. Typically the diet is ultra-low fat. At first dogs may not want to eat it because of feeling nauseated and it does not tempt her. But with medications they soon feel *much* better and keep feeling well if they stays on an appropriate food.

For more information:

http://www.judithstock.com/Speaking_of_Animals/Pancreatitis_in_Dogs/pancreatitis_in_dogs.html
http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?cls=2&cat=1580&articleid=335
http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&S=0&C=0&A=2214

So, with your dog, you have done a great job of keeping her hydrated and looking after her. It seems to me that the treats you may have had to use to get her to take her pills might have triggered pancreatitis.



The botXXXXX XXXXXne is that there are a number of possibilities for what may be going on. Your vet would need to do a physical exam and possibly some diagnostic tests to figure out what the underlying problem is. I would start with a fecal sample, blood test and abdominal x-rays. It sounds like it is time to find out what is going on!

I feel strongly that she should see a vet as soon as possible!

If she is feeling unwell at the moment, there are some things you can do at home until you can get her in to the vet:


1. WITH-HOLD FOOD until it has been 24 hours since she last vomited. This gives the intestines a chance to rest and heal.



2. When she is fasting, she can have lots of clear fluids.



So, water is fine, but also she can have pedialyte, Gatorade, apple juice diluted 50:50 with water, or chicken or beef broth diluted 50:50 with water. Give the fluids in small amounts frequently. For a dog this size that means about 1 cup an hour.



3. After 24 hours without vomiting, you can start your dog back on a bland diet.



For patients that I see, I recommend a mixture of 75% cooked white rice, and 25% low fat protein. For the protein you could use extra lean ground beef, boiled with the fat scooped off, or chicken breast boiled with fat scooped off or even scrambled egg cooked without fat in the microwave. Feed small frequent meals. For a dog this size, I would suggest 2 or 3 tablespoons every 3 to 4 hours.



4. After 1-2 days on the rice mix, you would gradually change your dog back to the normal dog food.So, on day 3, give the rice mixture, but bigger meals, spaced further apart. On day 4, mix a little tiny bit of the normal food in there, and decrease the frequency so it is down to 3 meals or so. And so on.



5. Keep your dog as quiet as possible - just out to relieve herself and back in.

6. When treating pancreatitis or other digestive upsets for patients that I see, I usually have them on something to block stomach acid production. The drug I usually reach for in dogs is famotidine, which is Pepcid. You can buy it at your local pharmacy. Legally, I cannot prescribe medications for a dog that I have not seen!

Here is more about famotidine, including dose:

http://www.petplace.com/drug-library/famotidine-pepcid/page1.aspx


In patients that I see, I suggest Pepcid given 30 min before feeding. And I don't start feeding until AT LEAST 24 hours have passed since the dog last vomited.



If she were my patient, I would add in the Pepcid, and really encourage her to drink.

7. Another thing which I suggest to patients who are recovering from pancreatitis and other digestive upsets is that they get some “good bacteria” back into their systems. An easy way to do this is by using a product called Culturelle. It comes as a capsule, and for a dog this size, if she were my patient, I would give her 1 capsule daily. It can be mixed in with some water and given by syringe. Here is more:

http://www.culturelle.com/





If your dog continues to vomit, develops blood in the stool, is lethargic or shows signs of abdominal pain, please contact a veterinarian promptly.



I understand you may have financial concerns. Nationally here are some groups that might help you afford the vet bills:

American Animal Hospital Association
http://www.aahahelpingpets.org/
" Through the AAHA Helping Pets Fund, veterinary care is possible for sick or injured pets even if they have been abandoned or if their owner is experiencing financial hardship."

Angels 4 Animals
www.Angels4Animals.org
"Our services range from financial aid to complete treatment
to those pets and pet owners in need."

Care Credit
www.carecredit.com
A credit card company for health care, including veterinary care.
"With a comprehensive range of plan options, for
treatment or procedure fees from $1 to over $25,000, we offer a plan
and a low monthly payment to fit comfortably into almost every
budget."

God's Creatures Ministry
http://www.all-creatures.org/gcm/help-cf.html
"This fund helps pay for veterinarian bills for those who need help."

Help-A-Pet
http://www.help-a-pet.org/home.html
"Our efforts focus on serving the elderly, the disabled, and the
working poor."

IMOM
http://www.imom.org
"We are dedicated to insure that no
companion animal has to be euthanized simply because their caretaker
is financially challenged."

The Pet Fund
http://thepetfund.com/
"The Pet Fund is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit association that
provides financial assistance to owners of domestic animals who need
urgent veterinary care."

United Animal Nations
http://www.uan.org/lifeline/index.html
"The m ission of LifeLine is to help homeless or recently rescued
animals suffering from life-threatening conditions that require
specific and immediate emergency veterinary care. We strive to serve
Good Samaritans and rescue groups who take in sick or injured
animals. In certain cases, LifeLine can also assist senior citizens
and low-income families pay for immediate emergency veterinary care."


They also keep a list of local and national help resources here
http://www.uan.org/index.cfm?navid=163


With these various resources, the one that is most reliable is Care Credit, and I have heard very positive things about them. The other organizations sometimes have funding and sometimes do not, but Care Credit always seems to come through.


I do hope that this helps you to help your dog!


If this has been helpful, please "Accept" my answer and provide feedback.

If you need more information, just click on reply and I will try to provide it!

The above is given for information only. Although I am a licensed veterinarian, I cannot legally prescribe medicines or diagnose your pet's condition without performing a physical exam. If you have concerns about your pet I would strongly advise contacting your regular veterinarian.


Fiona

Dr.Fiona, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 6273
Experience: Small animal medicine and surgery - 16 years experience in BC, California and Ontario
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