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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16288
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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8 yo female lab. weight loss, small appetite, vomiting

Customer Question

8 yo female lab. weight loss, small appetite, vomiting undigested food. This occurs and then other times weeks pass and there is no vomiting.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 11 months ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.

How long has this been going on?

Any increase in her thirst?

Are her gums pink or pale/white? Moist or sticky?

If you press on her belly, does she have any discomfort, tenderness, or tensing?

Could she have eaten something she should not have (ie bones, toys, plants, chemicals, etc)?

Has she had any diarrhea?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
It started in Nov, but she then improved with the bkand diet, but it started again.Her gums are pink and maybe a bit sticky.Her belly feels firm but she doesn't seem to have any pain.Yes, she could have eaten something. She was outdoor dog, but has been inside since not feeling well.She did have watery dia when it first started, but doesn't now.Thank you
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 11 months ago.

Thank you

Ooh, the page just sent along your other answers. So, let me have a wee read and I will post shortly

Dr. B.

Expert:  Dr. B. replied 11 months ago.

Thank you,

First, I am glad to see that we don't have overt belly pain and do have nice pink gums. Though if they are feeling a bit sticky, then we do need to be aware that this is a sign of early stage dehydration (which often makes them feel unwell as it creeps in). So, we need to tread with care.

Now considering all of her signs and the intermittent nature of them, we'd be concerned that we aren't just looking at a dietary indiscretion, parasites nor a sudden GI infection. Instead, this is more suggestive of something chronic and lingering. And while we can see that with chronic bacterial or viral infection, we'd be more concerned about a possible foreign body ingestion that is stuck in the stomach (if Lady does eat odd items), possible metabolic issues (ie diabetes, Cushing's disease, etc), cancer, or even organ disease (ie kidney, liver, etc). And these latters ones are especially a concern since she is losing weight despite not having profuse continuous vomiting.

With all this in mind, the light diet was a good start but it sounds to only be treating the symptoms and not addressing the issue at hand. Therefore, in a situation like Lady's, we'd really want to be thinking about having a check up with her vet +/- a geriatric blood panel. These together will help us pinpoint the issue at hand and ensure we are treating her as effectively as possible to get this settled.

If there is any delay in having that done, then further to the light diet, I would suggest trying her with an antacid. Common pet safe OTC ones we can use include: 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), or Tagamet (More Info/Dose Here @ http://www.petplace.com/article/drug-library/library/over-the-counter/cimetidine-hcl-tagamet). Whichever you choose, we’d give this 20 minutes before offering food to allow absorption. Of course, do check with her vet before use if she has any known health issues or is on any medications you didn’t mention.

Overall, a wide range of agents could trigger the GI upset we are seeing. Still with how intermittent and chronic this is at her age, we'd be concerned about more being afoot then just a bit of stomach upset. Therefore, in her case, we can add an antacid to her supportive care to settle her stomach. But otherwise, we'd be best to have a check up. If she is due a booster soon, consider moving that appointment up for her. When she is seen, her vet can assess her hydration, rule out sinister masses in her abdomen, make sure there is nothing non-edible caught in her stomach or any sinister viruses present. Depending on their findings and if you do have bloods tested, her vet can pinpoint the trigger for her chronic signs. Based on that, they can treat her nausea with injectable anti-vomiting medication and start treatment to address the underlying cause to help halt this for her and help her get some weight back on.

All the best,

Dr. B.

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Expert:  Dr. B. replied 11 months ago.

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