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Dr. Joey
Dr. Joey, Board Certified
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 4723
Experience:  15 yrs in practice, specialist canine/feline medicine
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Bernese mountain dog - vomiting, loss of appetite, blood in

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Bernese mountain dog - vomiting, loss of appetite, blood in stool - what's wrong?

DR. Zoe :

Hello, I am Dr. Zoe, a licensed veterinarian here to help. How long has Sophie been experiencing these signs? Does she also seem weak/depressed?

DR. Zoe :

Unfortunately, these signs are not specific for any one particularly problem. If there is a fair amount of blood in her stool I can focus on that and say the main issues that cause moderate blood in stool with vomit and loss of appetite include intestinal parasites (whipworms or hookworms in particular but if she is on monthly heartworm preventive such as Interceptor or Trifexis then this is unlikely), hemorrhagic gastroenteritis syndrome, Addison's disease, ingestion of foreign object that is trapped in her system, pancreatitis, and there are other issues.

If she is becoming progressively weak/depressed then she needs to be seen by a vet ASAP and I do not recommend waiting until tomorrow, unless it is not an option to be seen today (in which case I can give you some hints to help her but these will probably not cure her issue). She needs a thorough exam followed by lab work (CBC, Chem panel, electrolytes and stool check) which will screen for most of the issues that I listed. If nothing is found on lab work we usually follow this with x-rays to look for something trapped in her system.

DR. Zoe :

Hello, I see that you have given me a poor rating but I have not received anything from you. I am finding that the system is very glitchy today and I wonder if you may not have received my replies. I am going to switch us into another setting so we can actually have a dialog. I am still here and very much want to answer your questions. I am quite worried about Sophie.

I have not received any replies from you about Sophie; so I suspect our connection for a live chat was not very good. I am still here and very much want to know your questions and how I can help you.


Our chat has ended, but you can still continue to ask me questions here until you are satisfied with your answer.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I'm sorry about the bad rating, and I will change it if possible. I didn't realize that the answer would be by email. Sophie is not weak or depressed. She had stool in her blood only once - yesterday. She has vomited green stuff on occasion most of her life. She is still active and playful. She has a history of ingesting socks, etc., but nothing seems to be missing. She just wolfed down some chicken and most of the rice with it. She has been on Science Diet. The loss of appetite and excessive vomiting I guess is my major concern

The fact her attitude is good is reassuring. But absolutely this is concerning to have more vomiting than normal. With a history of ingesting odd items, this must be on the top of our list as a concern. There may be something trapped in her stomach or upper digestive system. A one-time blood in stool means the colon is irritated but is not cause for alarm. If she is having a lot of blood and very loose stool then this is a major concern.
Please be sure to push on her abodmen/stomach to see if she is in any pain. If she resents this (vocalizes, moves away, tries to bite) then this hurts and it is very concerning; this indicates she needs to be seen right away on emergency today. Or if her abdomen seem swollen/distended, this is another reason to have her seen today.

On the one hand if she is not able to keep anything down (vomits after eats) and is having a vomit every 2 to 3 hours then I must recommend you have her evaluated right away. This is not a good sign and I am very concerned she may become dehydrated, or that this may indicate she has a true intestinal blockage (which needs to be addressed ASAP).

On the other hand, if she is keeping her food down for the most part and only vomiting once every 6-8 hours then we can certainly try some supportive care at home (I'll give you a recommendation in just a moment) and monitor today. If this continues into tomorrow then she must go to her regular vet.
What to try at home: Give her famotidine 20mg (Pepcid AC) every 12 hours. No bad side effects and can really help with the bland diet. And continue the white rice and boiled chicken breast in small amounts every 8 hours.
Dr. Joey and 3 other Dog Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

She just vomited the chicken and rice, and we'll be calling the er vet. How can I change the negative rating I gave you?

I believe you have already done so on changing the rating (thank you).
Yes, I think having her evaluated today is the best for her. I really hope she has not swallowed another sock. Perhaps, though, with some aggressive IV fluid therapy we can get it to move through the system, if so. But my top concern is if it is trapped this can cause significant damage to the digestive tract.

Please keep me posted.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

She has pancreatitis - unusual for the Bernese - and has been kept at the ER and regular vet for 2 days now. She's on fluids and doing better. There was no obstruction. The ER says stress "might" have caused the pancreatitis, and my nephew has been under a lot of stres lately. Thank you again for all your help - she really needed the fluids!

Pancreatitis is optimistic. This means we can support her through the inflammation and she will potentially return to normal with no adverse long-term consequences. I am so glad that you had her evaluated.

Please keep me posted and of course let me know if you have any future questions (now or about her current therapy, or new issues).

Dr. Zoe