Dog Health Questions? Ask a Dog Vet for Answers ASAP
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I would like to help you and Lua with this question, but need a bit more information in order to better assist you.
She has been eating and drinking fine with plenty of energy up until tonight.
Her vomit was her food the first time, she has tossed up flem about 4 times since the first. Lua ate dinner about 4:15pm tonight.
She is soft behind her ribs
There are a lot of different possibilities for what may be going on with your Lua. The ones that I would be considering if she came to see me are:
1. The most likely thing, unfortunately, is that the stuffed toy has become 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.
I suspect that the stuffed toy spend 5 days bobbing around in the stomach, but has now moved into the small intestines. This would explain the symptoms that you are seeing.
Earlier in the week, the toy was likely bobbing around in the stomach. And now I think it has moved into the intestines.
In the case of an obstruction, surgery is often needed to remove the foreign object.
I will include further information about GI foreign bodies:
If I examined your Lab 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 stuffed toy might 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.
2. Pancreatitis -
This is an inflammation of the pancreas, often triggered by a high fat meal.
With "acute pancreatitis" dogs are very sick, with severe vomiting, painful belly and fever.
However, with a low-grade, chronic fulminant pancreatitis it is basically a "slow burn" version of acute pancreatitis. The pancreas remains inflamed, with periods of pain and nausea, and vomiting intermittently.
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:
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!
Given that she is now starting to have muscle tremours I would recommend seeing an emergency veterinarian if at all possible. They could start her on intravenous fluids, so that she did not become dehydrated. Sometimes, with IV fluids and improved hydration, GI foreign bodies will pass on their own.
If it is possible, please take her to an emergency vet now!
If that is not at all possible, there are some things you can do at home until you can get her in to the vet:
1. WITH-HOLD FOOD for 24 hours since she has been vomiting today.
This gives the intestines a chance to rest and heal.
2. When she is fasting, she can have lots of clear fluids. DO NOT START THESE UNTIL IT HAS BEEN 4 HOURS SINCE SHE LAST VOMITED!
So, water is fine, but also she can have chipped ice, pedialyte, Gatorade, apple juice diluted 50:50 with water, or onion -free chicken or beef broth diluted 50:50 with water. Give the fluids in small amounts frequently. For a dog this size that means about 1/2 cup every 30 min.
3. After 24 hours, 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 1/2 cup 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.
If your Lab continues to vomit, develops blood in the stool, is lethargic or shows signs of abdominal pain, please contact a veterinarian promptly. And do plan to be ON your vet's doorstep when they open in a few hours!
Good luck with Lua!
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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.