Thank you for your question regarding your dog who has been dry heaving. As you can probably imagine, there are quite a number of things that could be going on here from an acute gastroenteritis (from getting into the trash, something or he shouldn't have - or even from raw
meat - particularly if it was chicken
), a toxicity or something like an obstruction (partial or complete within his or her bowel).
If your dog has been dry heaving for a few hours now, then I would definitely encourage you to get them examined at your local Vet or emergency vet. It is much better being safe than sorry in these situations as there could be a myriad of things going on here and only a full Veterinary physical examination can help pinpoint the cause of this ongoing dry heaving.
Whatever the case you will definitely need to visit your Vet in the morning - unless he or she seems absolutely symptomless. Please keep a close eye
on your dog's mucus membranes, capillary refill time and respiratory rate tonight as follows:
Mucus membranes - flip the lip and look at the color of the gums. They should maintain a nice salmon pink color. Get your dog to the emergency Vet if they appear white or very pale pink, or if they are a dark deep red color.
Capillary Refill time - this measures blood perfusion and test this by putting your thumb on the gum to apply pressure. After you release your thumb you will see the gum blanch. Capillary refill time is the amount of time it takes (in seconds) for the gum to return to a healthy pink color from the blanched white color. If 2 seconds or less don't worry - if it is taking significantly more time, again - off to the emergency Vet.
Respiratory Rate - if he or she is continuously panting throughout the night this is a sign of shock and or pain and a signal for a trip to the emergency Vet.
In the meantime, you might want to try your dog with a little pepcid. The typical dose for this type of scenario is 0.25mg per pound of body weight up to twice daily. This may help to settle the stomach
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