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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16230
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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My dog hasn't been himself since Thursday afternoon, he has

Customer Question

My dog hasn't been himself since Thursday afternoon, he has slowly got more lethargic, stopped eating, seems tucked up and tight in the abdomen. I've noticed tonight that he has started to drool?
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 one today.
Has Boss had any vomiting, retching, gagging, excessive grass eating, lip licking?
Can he keep water down?
Are his gums pink or pale/white? Moist or sticky?
You noted that his belly was right, but if you press on his belly, does he have any discomfort or tenderness? Is he bloated?
Could he have eaten something he should not have (ie bones, toys, rocks, plants, chemicals, etc)?
Has he had any diarrhea?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He had vomited once on Thursday night that I noticed, I noticed he urinated a couple of times this afternoon, however I haven't seen him drink. I will go check him gums, he doesn't indicate that he is sore when I press on his belly but it seems really tight, his back is hunched and tail tucked. There is a small possibility he may have eaten something. His stools are soft but not super runny.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you,
Now I am glad to hear that Boss does not have stomach discomfort, though this tight tucked up appearance is worrying that he is hiding some from us. Especially if there is a chance he has eaten something that could cause a blockage. As well, do check his gums since paling or white gums will be signs of internal bleeding and an emergency sign that we’d need to react to quickly.
Now as long as those gums are pink, then I do want to outline some supportive care we can try to soothe his stomach. A lack of appetite is often a sign of nausea (even without vomiting). As I am sure you can appreciate, this can be triggered by a range of issues at his age. Common ones are viral or bacterial gastroenteritis, pancreatitis, parasitic infections, and again eating things they should not have.
With all this in mind, the first step we can take here would be to start Boss 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 he does have any pre-existing conditions or is on any other medications. Ideally, it should be given about 30 minutes before food to ease his upset stomach.
Once that is on board, you will want to try and see if you can get him eating (as you have). If he hasn’t been keen to have his favourites, then I would advise also trying to tempt him with a light/easily digestible diet. Examples of this would be rice with boiled chicken, boiled white fish, scrambled eggs (made with water and not milk), meat baby food (do avoid the ones with garlic powder in the ingredients) or there are also veterinary prescription diets that can be used like Hill’s I/D or Royal Canin’s sensitivity. Whichever you choose, offer it as small meals. And if we have loose stool, you can add a spoonful of canned pumpkin or all bran to bulk up his feces without risking slowing the gut down (which isn’t advisable if we have a possible blockage lurking).
On top off all of this, you do need to keep an eye on his water intake and hydration status. If possible, you do want to check his hydration now. To check this and make sure he is not becoming dehydrated there are a few things we can test at home. One is whether the eyes appear sunken, if the gums are tacky instead of wet/moist, and whether he has 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 you are seeing any signs of dehydration already, then you do want to have your wee one seen by the vet before this gets any further out of control.
Overall, when a dog has anorexia and a tight belly, we do need to tread with great care. The challenge is that it can mean a wide range of underlying issues. So, as long as those gums are pink/moist and he isn't overly sore, then you can try the above. If you initiate these treatments and do not see improvement over the next 12-24 hours (sooner if he does vomit, becomes bloated or is dehydrated already), then it would be prudent to get his vet involved so that they can make sure there is nothing sinister afoot. Depending on their findings, the vet will be able to cover him with antibiotics and anti-nausea medication and appetite stimulating medications by injection to help settle his stomach and get him back on track as quick as possible.
I hope this information is helpful.
If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!
All the best,
Dr. B.
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Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Hi Tanya,

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

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