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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 15793
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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My yorkie seems to have a belly ache. Her belly gurgles and

Customer Question

My yorkie seems to have a belly ache. Her belly gurgles and she won't eat. She threw up a little. She is drinking but wants to just sleep. I think she maybe ate a bug. Is this normal?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
She has done this before and then seems to be fine by the next morning.
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 Dixie isn't feeling herself today, with a decrease in appetite and increased noise from her stomach. These noises are the result of ingesta moving through the gastrointestinal tract and gas bubbles. In most cases they are completely normal and seem to cause the dog no distress. But in cases where the dog acts uncomfortable it is likely that the pup is experiencing some reflux or abnormal motility, or painful intestinal spasms that are more than the usual. In severe cases this can be linked to pancreatitis which is a painful inflammation of the pancreas leading to increased enzyme leakage. Possible causes of a lack of an appetite include a change in diet, dietary sensitivities or allergies, or eating things that they should not like too many fatty table scraps or garbage, bones etc. Metabolic organ failures (kidney or liver disease), Addison's disease (hypoadrenocortisim), pancreatitis, inflammatory bowel disease or even infiltrative cancers (very unlikely at her age) are other possible causes. Metabolic organ failure or infiltrative cancer seem less likely because she is young and her problem has been intermittent and her symptoms should be consistent with those disease processes. I would be concerned most about inflammatory bowel disease, food sensitivities/allergies, pancreatitis, and Addison's disease because she is experiencing these symptoms more than once and they are intermittent. Ideally if this becomes a repeated problem that is worsening over time I would recommend checking basic blood tests on her including a complete blood count, biochemistry panel and a blood test for pancreatitis called can spec PL (canine specific pancreatic lipase) which is highly specific for pancreatitis. If her electrolyte levels seem unbalanced (high potassium and low sodium) then testing for Addison's disease with a test called an ACTH response test would be appropriate.If those things are normal then the next step diagnostically would be an abdominal ultrasound when she is showing symptoms and endoscopy to collect intestinal biopsies. Has she been fed anything different or gotten into anything different that you know of?Did she just seem to come out of this herself with her last episode or was she prescribed medication by her veterinarian? Today to help with gastrointestinal upset and reflux you can give either: 1) Pepcid ac (famotidine) at a dose of one quarter of a 10mg tablet per 5 to 10 pounds of body weight every 12 hours OR 2) Prilosec (omeprazole) at a dose of one quarter of a 10mg tablet per 5 to 10 pounds of body weight every 24 hoursThese are acid reducers and should help her feel more comfortable. They are quite safe and can be used for a few days if needed. In some cases dogs remain on them long term if this is a repeated problem. I would pick up all food for now and water for a couple hours to allow her stomach to settle after the acid reducers. In a couple hours when you give her water or low salt clear broths like low salt beef or chicken broth to drink but make sure it is in small amounts only. If she drinks too much too quickly that can lead to nausea and vomiting. To get some electrolytes in you can also offer her a 50:50 mix of pedialyte and water. If she seems to feel better by tonight or tomorrow morning offer a bland diet mix of 1/3 boiled, minced, white, skinless chicken or boiled, lean hamburger and 2/3 boiled, plain, white rice or pasta mixed with some low salt chicken or beef broth to make it easy to lap up and swallow as well as increase her fluid intake. If she refuses that you can offer a little meat baby food. Probiotics such as Fortiflora, Proviable, or Benebac can help replace appropriate bacteria. You can add those to the bland diet mix.If things go well and she eats well and doesn't vomit feed her the bland diet for 2 to 3 days then slowly start to mix back in her regular food, a little more at each meal. It should take about 5 to 7 days to slowly convert her back to her regular diet. If she continues to refuse to eat, begins to vomit, runs a fever (more than 103F rectally), has a tense painful belly then she is not a candidate for home therapy and must see a veterinarian for an examination, diagnostics, injectable anti-nausea drugs intravenous fluids and supportive care. Since this has been a repeated problem for her consider cutting out treats and using food pieces as treats to keep dietary changes to a minimum. If you go back to the original food and stop table food and treats and her episodes continue then you may wish to consider using a using a low irritant food, like sensitive stomach diets made by Hills or Royal Canin and available at the pet store or prescription Hills i/d or Purina Veterinary Diets EN, or a hypoallergenic food such as Hills z/d or Purina Veterinary Diets HA. She may have a dietary allergy or a sensitive stomach. Please let me know if you have any further questions.