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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 8563
Experience:  23 years of experience treating dogs, cats, mice, rats, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, & iguanas
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My dogs stomach is making a lot of gurgling noises and he wont eat. This most

Resolved Question:

My dog's stomach is making a lot of gurgling noises and he won't eat. This most often happens in the mornings before breakfast and lasts for most of the day. He goes outside to eat grass, but rarely vomits. If he does vomit, it is white with no food in it. He acts like he feels bad and just lays around trying to sleep. It seems to make him feel better when I put pressure on his stomach. This is a condition that seems to happen more and more lately. He hasn't had any people food in the last day or so.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 2 years ago.

Dr Kara :

Hello, I'm very sorry to hear about Bosco.

Customer:

Hello. He is a sick pup.

Dr Kara :

The increased noises you are hearing are likely due to a hypermotile gastrointestinal tract.
This can be due to a number of reasons.
Has he always been like this and it's just gotten worse or is this a new problem and if so how long has it been present?

Dr Kara :

The grass eating is a response to an acidic, painful stomach. He may be experiencing some reflux into his esophgus which is also painful.
What kind of food is he fed and how often is he fed? What time is his last meal of the day?
Has he had any diagnostics done at his veterinarian? If so what has been checked?
What do his stools look like?

Customer:

I first noticed it at least a year ago and assumed it was a stomach ache because it would go away and only happen on rare occasions. However, it seems to be happening more frequently. He is asleep now and it has actually stopped making noise finally. But I am concerned because it seems to happen in the morning as soon as he gets up.

Customer:

He eats a mix of Blue Buffalo grain free wet food (salmon;turkey;chicken and duck) and he eats salmon dry food by nature's recipe, also grain free. He stool was soft and lighter brown than usual this morning.

Customer:

He has not been checked for stomach problems at the vet.

Customer:

Last meal of the day is at 5:30 pm. First is usually between 6-8.

Dr Kara :

Thanks so much.
I am concerned about conditions such as chronic pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas), inflammatory bowel disease or dietary allergies or less likely in a young dog kidney or liver disease which can affect his intestinal tract by the build-up of products. Along with any of these conditions we'll see increased acid production and sometimes reflux. That will cause abdominal pain and the grass eating.
The change in stool certainly could be just a normal fluctuation or it could be due to intestinal inflammation.

Dr Kara :

So if he were my patient I would run a basic blood panel on him including a full blood count and biochemistry panel to make sure his internal organs were fine. I'd also add a canine PL which is a very specific test for pancreatitis. And of course I'd check a fecal for parasites.
At home I'd recommend Pepcid-ac at one 10mg tab per 20 to 40 pounds of body weight every 12 hours. Make sure one dose is right before bed so he has less acid on his stomach in the morning.
And I would feed a very low irritant diet. My favorite is Purina Veterinary Diets EN. He may need several meals a day, the last before bed. These dogs need something on their stomach more frequently to stimulate motility and to soak up the acid.

Customer:

If I am feeding him more often, should it still be the same amount of daily food just divided into smaller portions? I am unable to predict when this happens it seems to be completely random. The only common element is that it is when he first wakes up. Are there any other symptoms I should be looking for?

Dr Kara :

If he is still not doing as well as we'd like the next step is a true hypoallergenic diet, I usually use Purina Veterinary Diets HA or Hills Z/d, or an endoscopy or exploratory to collect biopsies to get a definitive diagnosis.
If this is inflammatory bowel disease these dogs can need immunosuppressive doses or steroids or other drugs to quiet things down and then dietary therapy as a long term control.
I tend to start dietary therapy with low irritant diet first as diet is the cornerstone in these conditions anyway.
And if he is maintaining his weight I would feed him the same amount, just split into more meals.
I would use frequent meals and pepcid long term as we often cannot predict a flare up. Pepcid is very safe. Once he's on it long term you might be able to use it once daily, before bed so he always has it on board in the morning.

Dr Kara :

How much does he weigh?

Customer:

He weighs about 60 pounds.

Dr Kara :

Then I would give him 2 to 3 of the 10mg pepcid tablets twice daily to start. And make sure that one dose is right before bed.
Definitely you need to be hypervigilant about no extra treats or table food. These dogs do best with a very consistent diet.

Customer:

Okay, thank you. I do know that some days it is worse when he has had people food the day before. But in this instance he hasn't had any for a couple of days. But I suppose that could show an inconsistency if he is used to getting scraps?

Dr Kara :

Absolutely right!
As a trial you can try a 50% boiled hambureger (or chicken) and 50% boiled white rice diet with the pepcid for 7 to 10 days and see how he does. If he's much better then we know he needs a low irritant diet.
Some dogs do take a while to get their gut healed so be patient, but he should feel better with that.

Customer:

Okay Great. Thank you. Are there any signs that I should look for that you would suggest going directly to the vet if they occur?

Dr Kara :

Yes, if the vomiting increases. If you are noticing weight loss.
If he's not feeling better (noises aren't decreasing, lethargy isn't improving) just by changing diet and adding pepcid then he needs to be seen.

Dr Kara :

I am glad I could help. Can I answer any more questions?

Customer:

Thank you very much for your help. I believe that covers all of my concerns. I feel a lot better now. Oh, One thing, is there any chance that this could be GVD? I have heard boxers are prone to developing this.

Dr Kara :

Are you asking about gastric dilatation and volvulus?
If so yes, boxers are prone to that (as are many deep chested big dogs).
Symptoms of that problem are a quickly enlarging abdomen (due to trapped gas), attempting to vomit but unable, and salivation. These symptoms happen quickly and can be deadly.

Customer:

Ok, I don't believe he has it, but thank you. I am satisfied with this chat. You helped a lot!

Dr Kara :

I don't think that's what's happening with your pup as his symptoms are different.
But sure any time we have gut symptoms/irritation we watch closely for those symptoms too.

Dr Kara :

Great, glad to help. Good luck with your pup. His condition is likely manageable but not curable. You just need to be careful with diet.

Customer:

Okay, I will begin the pepcid and monitoring his diet. Hopefully he will be as good as new in no time! Thank you so much. Have a great day.

Dr Kara :

Very welcome, enjoy your day too.

Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 8563
Experience: 23 years of experience treating dogs, cats, mice, rats, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, & iguanas
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