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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16155
Experience:  Hello, I am a small animal veterinarian and am happy to discuss any concerns & questions you have on any species.
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2 of my 4 dogs became sick a couple days ago. Not sure why.

Customer Question

2 of my 4 dogs became sick a couple days ago. Not sure why. They were crated in the basement. Came home and they began vomiting and having diahrea. The 2 created upstairs are fine.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee ones today.
What are they bringing up in their vomit?
What does the diarrhea look like? Any blood or mucus?
Are they eating? Can they keep water down?
Are their gums pink or pale/white? Moist or sticky?
If you press on each dogs' belly, any discomfort, tenderness, or tensing?
Did they have access to anything downstairs? (ie bones, toys, rocks, plants, chemicals, etc)? Was it colder, or less well ventilated?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Yes they are eating. First day they were sick they couldn't hold anything down. Food or water would get thrown up. They have pink gums.
I don't know of anything they could have gotten into. They were crated. We left, came home and they were sick. Can't find any spider bites. Although, the basement did smell really stinky that day, Saturday. We moved their crates upstairs. My other 2 dogs are not sick. Not sure what is going on. We don't keep any toxic cleansers in the house. All natural cleaners only. We also are moving, and we moved some stuff off the porch and there was mice feces. Would that make them sick? I want to bring them to the vet but, I have no clue what is wrong with them. They still have diarrhea and are vomiting. No lethargy. No dark vomit, just bile now. Small Fry doesn't have a swollen or tender tummy. His mom, Padme, has a swollen belly. But she is a little chubby.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
They are having diahrea about every 2 hours. No one is sleeping. They keep having accidents in the house. The first day they were sick they vomited about 5 times in a row. Now they are really only having diahrea. But, it is very frequent.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Its dark diahrea.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you,
Now to see both dogs that were kept downstairs, we'd be more suspicious of common exposures, stresses, or one harboring an infectious agent (ie bacteria/virus) that it then spread to the other. Spiders would be less likely here since they usually act in defense and should have sought out both dogs. And mouse feces, while full of bacteria, usually don't cause full blown gastroenteritis.
With this wee mystery in mind, the most straightforward way to determine what is triggering this would be to consider submitting a fecal sample to your vets. You can pool feces from both dogs to keep costs down and even submit this before you have them seen (as long as they are not too poorly to await results, of course).
That said, our focus for the moment is that we need to get these upper and lower GI signs under control. Because if they keep vomiting and passing diarrhea, they will both quickly become dehydrated and the nutrient loss could lead to weakness, loss of energy, listlessness, weight loss, and collapse. Furthermore, if Padme had a swollen belly, we do have to tread with even more care. This could be secondary to her having lost too much protein in her vomit and diarrhea already.
Now in regards ***** ***** care, if they can eat and keep food down, then we can try some supportive care. If they cannot keep food/water down, then we'd have to consider getting their vet involved now so that they can bypass their mouths with injectable anti-vomiting medication and give us a chance to settle this for them.
Otherwise, as long as they can, we can start by trying to settle their stomachs with an antacid.There are a number of antacids that are available over the counter and pet friendly. I would advise only treating with one, but the two I tend to recommend are:
* Pepcid (More Info/Dose @ http://www.petplace.com/drug-library/famotidine-pepcid/page1.aspx#.VGJLgsn9XPg) or
* Zantac (More Info/Dose @ http://www.petplace.com/drug-library/ranitidine-hcl-zantac/page1.aspx)
This medication of course shouldn’t be given without consulting your vet if they do have any pre-existing conditions or are on any other medications. Ideally, it should be given about 30 minutes before food to ease upset gut signs.
Once that is on board, plan to offer a light/easily digestible diet. Examples would be rice with boiled chicken, boiled white fish, scrambled eggs (made with water and not milk), or cottage cheese. There are also veterinary prescription diets that can be used in cases of gastroenteritis, (ie Hill’s I/D or Royal Canin’s sensitivity). The easily digestible diet will be better tolerated by the upper GI and as its easy to digest, we’d expect less diarrhea too. I usually advise that the diet be continued until their signs settle, and that they are then slowly weaned back to their normal diet over a week.
Now even if they can drink now, I am very concerned about the risk of dehydration with this diarrhea. Therefore, do check their hydration. When checking a hydration status, there are a few things we can test. One is whether the eyes appear sunken, if the gums are tacky instead of wet/moist, and whether they have a "skin tent" when you lift the skin. To see how to check these parameters for dehydration, you can find a wee video on this HERE (http://www.ehow.com/video_12232503_dog-dehydrated.html). If either dog is showing those dehydration signs at this point, that is our cue to have them to the vet since oral rehydration usually won't be enough with ongoing signs.
Otherwise, if they stop vomiting with the above, then we can encourage them to drink. And if need be, we can syringe feed fluids, Usually we will use pedialyte (as you have). But do note that a typical maintenance rate for hydration in an animal is 48 milliliters per kilogram of body weight per day. This value will give you the total they need for the day and is a good starting point to give you an idea of their daily requirement. That said, it doesn't take into account what they are drinking nor any diarrhea losses, so these may need to be considered and adjusted here. If either vomits when given pedialyte, I would discontinue this as a therapy. (since we don’t want vomiting because of our intervention). But this can at least help you offset dehydration if it hasn't taken hold yet.
Finally, as long as there is no blood in the diarrhea, there are some anti-diarrheals that you can use here to slow things down for and help normalize their stools. As I am sure you appreciate, these would not be a cure if they have happened to pick up a GI bug, but this should help soothe the gut and aid the body potentially absorb more water/nutrients then it would have if the diarrhea were unchecked. In regards ***** ***** options, the ones we most commonly use in dogs are :
* Kaolin/Kaopectate (More Info/Dose @ http://www.petplace.com/drug-library/kaolin-and-pectin-kapectolin-k-p/page1.aspx) or
* PeptoBismol (More Info/Dose @ http://www.petplace.com/drug-library/bismuth-subsalicylate-pepto-bismol-kaopectate/page1.aspx )
Both are available from your local pharmacy. Furthermore, Pro-Pectalin or Protexin Pro-Fiber (both are available at some pet stores, OTC at vets, or even on Amazon) would be other options you could use. All will slow diarrhea and the last 2 have the bonus of providing support to the delicate good bacteria of the GI.
Overall, we can see these signs associated with a range of issues. Therefore, we need to tread with care. So, do initiate these treatments but if do not see improvement over the next 12-24 hours (especially with Padme's belly) or if they cannot keep water down, then I would advise following up with your vet so that they help diagnose and address the cause for their signs. They will be able to assess hydration, rule out fever, and make sure they've not eating anything odd. Depending on their findings, they can treat both dogs with injectable antibiotics and anti-vomiting medication to settle their stomach and help get them back to feeling like themselves.I hope this information is helpful.
If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!
All the best,
Dr. B.
PS- Are the stools dark or black?
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If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need as this is how I am credited for assisting you today. Thank you! : )
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
PS- Are the stools dark or black?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Small Frys stools were raspberry jamish on Saturday. They got better and are just dark dark brown now. Padmes stool is light colored. But We own Small Fry's dad and he has a very sensitive tummy. If he gets any kind of illness, he gets stool problems. Fry just turned 2 and has never been sick before. I was worried he would have his dads tummy problems. Not sure if it is a symptom of the illness or because he is stressed from the illness.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Hi again,
That is fine, any GI bug would cause the discolorations you have reported. I just wanted to make sure there was no black feces, as that can be a sign of stomach or upper GI bleeds. So, do consider the above for them to see if we can settle these signs and get them two of them feeling better.
All the best,
Dr. B.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok thank you.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
You are very welcome, my dear.
All the best to your wee ones,
Dr. B.
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If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need as this is how I am credited for assisting you today. Thank you! : )
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

I'm just following up on our conversation about Padme And Small Fry. How is everything going?

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