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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 15590
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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Yesterday, my dog started vomiting and having watery diarrhea.

Customer Question

Yesterday, my dog started vomiting and having watery diarrhea. We took him to the vet and he was diagnosed with gastroenteritis. They gave him sub-cutaneous fluids and an anti-diarrheal. Last evening, he was shaking (sometimes violently) throughout the night. I would take him out and he would relieve himself, which was abate the shaking for a bit, but it's still happening. Is the shaking normal? How long does gastroenteritis last? Can we do anything to make him more comfortable?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 1 year ago.
Hello, my name is***** and I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian. I am sorry to hear that your fellow Walter is suffering from gastroenteritis and is shaking.His shaking is likely a pain response and may also be related to an imbalance in electrolyte levels due to his diarrhea. As he gets rehydrated, and his diarrhea and the painful cramping that goes along with it resolves I suspect his shaking will too.With treatment we usually see improvement of some sort in 48 hours, although it may take longer for his stools to fully firm up.So by the end of today he should be feeling better.I see that you were advised to fast him for 24 hours and he was prescribed a medication to control his diarrhea.Was he given any for nausea?Was he given a prescription diet ease his stomach upset?To try and control nausea and settle his stomach today you can try either:1) Pepcid-ac (famotidine) at a dose of one 10mg tablet per 20 to 40 pounds of body weight every 12 hours.OR 2) Prilosec (omeprazole) at a dose of one 10mg tablet per 20 to 40 pounds of body weight every 24 hours.These will reduce stomach acid and should help if this is related to simple nausea and gastrointestinal irritation. They can be used for several days if necessary and can be used along with anti-diarrhea medications.After his food fast you can feed a special diet from your veterinarian called Hill's i/d or if you prefer start a homemade bland diet of 1/3 boiled, lean hamburger (or boiled, white skinless chicken), all fats and juices drained off, mixed with 2/3 boiled, plain white rice. Feed several small meals a day. You might wish to add 2 tablespoon of canned pumpkin to each meal if you are seeing mucous or blood in the stools as fiber helps soothe an irritated colon.Diarrhea does cause changes in motility of the gut and can lead to bacterial overgrowth in the gut. Probiotics such as Fortiflora, Proviable or Benebac can help replace appropriate bacteria. If your fellow continues vomiting, or his stools aren't firming up at all after 48 hours or his abdomen becomes tense and painful he should see his veterinarian again.Please let me know if you have any further questions.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
They gave him an anti-nausea injection at the vet, but no medication.We are just worried it could be parvovirus or something very serious---but I'm hoping our vet (who is reputable) would have caught that yesterday. This dog is a special needs rescue so we're not sure of his medical history. Our dog walker said that he was very listless today (I'm at work right now), which is unlike him, and I'm gauging whether I should leave to bring him back into the vet.
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 1 year ago.
I'm sorry I missed your reply earlier. Has he had any vaccines since you have had him?How long has he been with you?Adult dogs that have had at least one set of vaccines rarely get Parvo virus, and if he has had a set of two it is very unlikely.I suspect that he was given a Cerenia injection (maropitant) and that is excellent for treating nausea but it will only last about 24 hours. If he isn't taking any medications now for nausea I would absolutely recommend an acid reducer be given as directed in my original post.If he wasn't prescribed anything for diarrhea today even with the food fast you can start Kao-pectate at 1ml per pound or 1 tablespoon per 15 pounds of body weight every 6 to 8 hours. This is quite safe and will coat her irritated gastrointestinal tract as well as absorbing bacterial toxins. You can use it for several days until his stools look normal. You can find kao-pectate at the drug store.He may be listless due to dehydration, electrolyte imbalances and intestinal spasms, that is somewhat to be expected.If he has a tense, painful abdomen, continues to have diarrhea after being on kao pectate for 24 to 48 hours, becomes very lethargic, begins vomiting again or runs a fever greater than 103.5F then he really must be seen by a veterinarian as soon as possible. Make sure to take a fresh stool sample with you when you go if they didn't test one yesterday.
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 1 year ago.
Hi John,

I'm just following up on our conversation about Walter. How is everything going?

Dr. Kara