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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 19709
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 12 year old Boxer mix refuses to drink water, even when

Customer Question

my 12 year old Boxer mix refuses to drink water, even when I try to dribble some into her mouth, had only a tiny portion of her usual food. Hasn't been ill, normal activity yesterday morning, but pretty much on her bed all day and night. Is she shutting down? My husband passed away in '14 from cancer and this has me wondering if she is as well
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.How long has she had these signs?Any retching, gagging, lip licking or vomiting?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 1 year ago.

this started yesterday around 10am PST. No retching, gagging or vomiting; lots of lip licking; gums are pink and moist. Belly is completely soft and non-tender, no guarding. Stool has been soft for ~1 wk, no diarrhea. Outdoor activities always supervised (backyard is under construction, she's not allowed there).

Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you,Now Dahlia's signs are not necessarily suggesting that she is shutting down. They just raise suspicions of a significant nausea making her less keen to drink (or eat properly) and thus risk vomiting or GI upset. Of course, we do have to be aware that that can be triggered by a range of issues. Common ones would be a GI infection, pancreatitis, general dietary indiscretions, IBD, cancer, metabolic disease, organ troubles, and ingestion of harmful items (hopefully less likely at her age).Now with this all in mind, we can try some home supportive care to see if we can settle her stomach. To start, you can consider treating 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.If she can keep that down and settles, we'd then want to tempt her with a light/easily digestible diet to see if she will eat better. Start with a small volume (a spoonful). Examples you can use are cooked white rice with boiled chicken, boiled white fish, cottage cheese, scrambled eggs, or meat baby food (as long as its garlic/onion free). The aim of these diets is that they will be better tolerated/absorbed by the compromised gut. Therefore, it should get more nutrients in and result in less GI upset. As long as improvement is being seen, I usually advise that the diet be continued until her signs are settled, and that they are then slowly weaned back to their normal diet.If she cannot be tempted then we need to be more aggressive with our with our care. Syringing fluids is important (though note that she needs 48ml per kilogram of her body weight syringed daily); but you may find it easier to get fluid sin as you syringe feed her. To syringe feed, we can water down calorie rich diets (ie Hills A/D, Royal Canin Recovery diet, even canned puppy food) or use a liquid diet (ie Clinicare, Dogsure). As well, there are paste supplements (ie Nutrical) that can also be used. And these will all get more in per bite even if we cannot get much in.Overall, a wide range of agents could trigger the signs we are seeing. Therefore, in her case, we’d want to start supportive care to settle her stomach. If she cannot keep that down, or doesn’t respond to the above within 12-24 hours; then we'd want to get her vet involved. They can assess her hydration, rule out fever, make sure there is nothing in her stomach that shouldn't be there or any sinister viruses present. Since she is elderly they can also check bloods to make sure her organs are working as their should. Depending on their findings, her vet can treat her with injectable anti-vomiting medication, fluids, appetite stimulants, +/- antibiotics to settle her stomach, and get her back feeling like herself. All the best, ***** you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need. Thank you! : )