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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 9304
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience treating dogs, cats, mice, rats, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, & iguanas
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My dog is sick and wont eat or drink. We have taken her to

Customer Question

My dog is sick and wont eat or drink. We have taken her to the vets and they cant find anything wrong with her, what should I do?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 2 years ago.

Dr Kara :

Hello, I am so sorry to hear about your girl.
I can only imagine your frustration.

Dr Kara :

Because this started with vomiting and her appetite remains poor I have to believe that the primary problem is in her abdomen.

Dr Kara :

It is great news that she has stopped vomiting but she needs to eat and drink or she will be too weak to recover.

Dr Kara :

Did she ever have any diarrhea?

Dr Kara :

Did she get into anything that could have irritated her gut or lead to a blockage?

Customer:

No, no diarrhea

Customer:

She had x-rays at the vets and they saw no blockage, she is not in an pain as far as they can tell, he felt her abdomen. I am almost 100% sure she didnt get into anyhting

Dr Kara :

Is she still passing stool?
If she isn't eating and drinking on her own she should be on fluids to at least keep her hydrated.
When is the last time that she vomited?

Customer:

Yes, she still does "if" I can get her to eat anything. she had one this am.

Customer:

She hasnt vomitted since Thursday night

Customer:

They had her on fluids all day Friday, and she came home and then wouldnt eat or drink, I have had to use a dropper to keep her hydrated. Every once in a while I can get her to drink on her own

Dr Kara :

Very good.
I'm assuming that the radiographs (x-rays) that they took were plain films.
Sometimes with a partial blockage they will look normal.
The next step would be contrast films were she is given a contrast agent orally and then films are taken to see it move through her.
Or another option would be an abdominal ultrasound.
That would allow them to look at all her organs as well as look for a partial blockage.

Dr Kara :

If she's not eating tomorrow ask your vet about subcutaneous fluids and an appetite stimulant like mirtazapine.

Dr Kara :

You can also use the medicine dropper and give her meat baby foods or a prescription food called a/d made by Hills.

Customer:

Yes, they want to do a barium (sp?) series.. but it is over $300 and I just spent close to $700 on her Firday.. My Husbands whole pay check, I know it sounds awful, but I have two kids as well, and I have to draw the line somewhere. :(

Customer:

I have been doing the baby food meats as well... I will ask him about the fluids and appetite stimulant

Dr Kara :

I understand. The barium series is exactly what I was talking about.
Have you tried offering a bland diet of 50% boiled hamburger (or chicken) and 50 % boiled white rice?
You can add beef or chicken broth to make it soupy so she can lap it or use a turkey baster and and get it in that way.

Customer:

Yes, I have tried to feed a bland diet, of chicken and rice or hamb and rice, but I can not get her to eat it on her own, she has no interest.. I will try adding the broth, and see if that makes a difference..

Dr Kara :

If you feel she is nauseous at all you can give her pepcid ac (famotidine) at one 10mg tab per 20 to 40 pounds of body weight every 12 hours
OR
Prilosec (omeprazole) at one 10mg tab per 20 to 40 pounds of body weight every 24 hours
These are both acid reducers and will help settle her stomach.

Dr Kara :

You can also try mashed sweet potatoes mixed with meat baby food or alone. Some dogs love sweet potatoes.

Customer:

Oh, I didnt know that, I will have to try, I do feel she has an upset stomach and isnt eating because of that

Customer:

she is also dehydrated, and I think that has to do with it as well.

Customer:

Someone suggested giving her pedialyte to help..

Dr Kara :

Dehydration will definitely interfere with appetite so ask your vet about teaching you to give fluids under the skin.
They can make a huge difference.
And so can acid reducers as an empty stomach full of acid is very nauseating. Kind of like when pregnant women eat saltines to soak up stomach acid and prevent morning sickness.
Pedialyte is OK to replace electrolytes when they vomit but if she's dehydrated then she needs water most of all.

Customer:

I will be calling the vet back tomorrow to see if we can work out a payment plan of some sorts so I can get her the tests she needs. I do not want anything to happen to her. I think she needs to be out back on fluids for longer then one day and see how it goes from there.. if she is getting IV fluids will she be ok not to eat for a while

Dr Kara :

If she's on iv fluids then we can replace fluids and some electrolytes and we can give iv dextrose to give her some energy but she really needs to eat.
But sometimes just getting them rehydrated, reducing stomach acid and giving them some energy with iv dextrose will jump start their appetite.

Customer:

Ok, that is what I wanted to know. I will have to call the vet in the AM and go from there.

Dr Kara :

I think that

Customer:

Will it be a needle?? Giving her fluids under the skin?

Dr Kara :

is the best idea. I the meantime keep doing your best to get fluids in.
Yes giving fluids under the skin involves a needle placed under the skin.
Most sick gogs don't object at all.

Dr Kara :

sorry type there "sick dogs" not "sick gogs"

Customer:

Ok, I have never done that before, but I would do it if I had to.

Dr Kara :

Try offering ice cubes tonight too.
Some dogs will lick those even when they won't drink.

Dr Kara :

Can I answer anything else?

Customer:

ok! I will do that..

Customer:

No I think you have been VERY helpful!

Customer:

I appreciate it very much!

Dr Kara :

I'm glad to try and help.
Best of luck with your girl, she is lucky that you're not giving up on her.
I know it's tough when they are so sick.

Customer:

Thank you! She is my baby!

Dr Kara :

She probably knows that. I am continually amazed by what people can learn to do when their pets need them.

Customer:

:)

Dr Kara :

Please keep me informed of how things go for her tomorrow.

Customer:

Ok :) How do I contact you again?

Customer:

never used this before

Dr Kara :

You can just reply to this question. It will remain open for a few days for a follow up even after we are done tonight.

Customer:

Ok! Perfect. Do I push accept now?

Dr Kara :

If I've answered your questions tonight yes.

Customer:

You did :) thank you again! Have a great night!

Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 9304
Experience: Over 20 years of experience treating dogs, cats, mice, rats, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, & iguanas
Dr. Kara and other Dog Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hey! I just wanted to update you. Roxie is doing great! She did have a blockage, she swallowed a stuffed toy!! I dont know how, but she did, and it came out her her bowel movement the other day. she has been on a bland diet for a few days because of the diarrea, but is now getting back onher dog food. She isnt dehdrated, and she is running and playing again! Thank you for ALL your help that night!
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 2 years ago.
Wow, thanks so much for the terrific news. I'm so glad to hear that Roxie is well on her way back to normal. The things our pups do when we aren't looking.

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Anyway I'm glad that she was able to pass it on her own, no surgery required.
Thanks so much for the good news. Have a wonderful weekend.

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