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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16210
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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I have a 4-year-old, female Black-mouthed Cur. She is always

Customer Question

I have a 4-year-old, female Black-mouthed Cur. She is always full of energy, except that has changed since about 1.5 days ago. She is lethargic, she is not eating, and visually acts sick. It is not like her normal behavior at all. She has not been throwing up or having loose stools, so if this was caused by her eating something she should not have eaten (like a fallen green pecan, which is happening right now in our neighborhood full of pecan trees in the Dallas area). She is a Parvo survivor (got it as a puppy at a animal training center when she was four months old). She gets anti-flea/anti-heartworm medications each month. She went to our Vet just two weeks ago for her annual shots and a checkup and was doing great then. I am worried.
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.
Are you seeing Lucy gag, retch, more grass then usual, or licking her lips more?
What have you tried tempting her with ?
Is she drinking?
Are her gums pink or pale/white? Moist or sticky?
If you press on her belly, does she have any discomfort, tenderness, or tensing?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have not seen her gag or anything like that. I have successfully tempted her with treats. She is not drinking as much as normal. Her mouth is naturally black and purple. Not sure about moist or sticky. I am not at home with her and cannot press on her belly.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you,
If she is pigmented in her mouth, can you flip her lower eyelid down and tell me if that is pink? (when you can if you are not home just now)
Since she isn't gagging, what signs are you seeing that make you suspect she is sick? Just her lethargy and anorexia?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
She is not acting like the energetic dog she always is. She is moping instead of running or trotting. She is not constantly excited as she usually is. She is behaving very oddly.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you again,
Now I am glad that she doesn't have any severe GI signs, but if she is lethargic as well as off food, then we do need to tread with care. The reason is because that moping tells us that this is making her feel unwell and is tapping her energy reserves. And if she isn't willing to eat or drink properly, then that raises concerns of these signs being related to an issue that is making Lucy nauseous. (And often they will only dare try to eat those items, like treats, that they really love). Therefore, with this in mind, we'd be suspicious of her potentially having a bacterial or viral gastroenteritis lurking, but also have to be wary of pancreatitis, parasitic infestations, metabolic conditions, or ingestion of something harmful (ie toxin and/or foreign material).
Now if foreign bodies and toxins are less likely here, then we can start some supportive care to see if we can break her fast. First off, to address any nausea inducing her anorexia, we can start by treating 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/article/drug-library/library/over-the-counter/famotidine-pepcid)
*Zantac (More Info/Dose @ http://www.petplace.com/article/drug-library/library/over-the-counter/ranitidine-hcl-zantac)
This medication of course shouldn’t be given without consulting your vet if she does have any pre-existing conditions or is on any other medications. Ideally, it should be given about 30 minutes before food to ease her upset stomach.
Once that is on board, you will want to try and see if you can get her eating (as you have). If she hasn’t been keen to have her favourites, then I would advise also trying to tempt her with a light/easily digestible diet. Examples of this would be 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 in cases of gastroenteritis (ie Hill’s I/D or Royal Canin’s sensitivity).
Now if you offer these but she refuses and since Lucy isn't vomiting, then we could also initiate syringe feeding her. If you need to do this, then I'd advise a critical care diet (ie Hills AD, Clinicare, Dogsure, etc) or the use of wet puppy food. All can be fed directly or watered down to syringe and each has more nutrition per bite to get calories into her even if we cannot get a large volume in.
On top off all of this, you do need to keep an eye on her water intake and hydration status. If possible, you do want to check her hydration now. To check this and make sure she 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 she 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 is lethargic and refusing food, it can be a sign associated with a number of issues. Still, in this situation, we'd want to try to settle her stomach and get Lucy eating for us. Of course, if you initiate these treatments and do not see improvement over the next 12-24 hours (sooner if she does appear dehydrated or her conjunctiva isn't pink as it should be), the it would be prudent to have her checked by her vet at that stage. They can make sure she hasn't a fever, dehydration, and can check her for lumps or bumps that don't belong in her abdomen. Depending on their findings, the vet will be able to cover her with antibiotics,anti-nausea medication and appetite stimulating medications by injection to help settle her stomach and get her 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 Gary,
I'm just following up on our conversation about Lucy. How is everything going?
nekovet