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Dr. Jo
Dr. Jo, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 2477
Experience:  DVM from Iowa State University in 1994; actively engaged in private regular and emergency practice since that time.
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Our dog is walking slowly, shaking, not eating. Drank some

Customer Question

Hi, our dog is walking slowly, shaking, not eating. Drank some water. She seems to have some discomfort in stomach and has had some dark small stools along with vomit today. She is a bichon. Any help would be greatly appreciated
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 10 months ago.

Hello,
I'm Dr. Jo and I'm a licensed veterinarian with more than twenty years' experience. I'm here to help you with your question about Sissy. I'm so sorry you're having this problem, but glad you're looking for the information you need. So I may know that we are properly connected and that you understand how the website works (including that I must earn your positive rating in order to receive any compensation for helping you) please type in a short reply. Once I know you're there, you can rest assured you'll have my full attention and we can chat back and forth until you're satisfied with the information I've provided.
Thank you.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Ok thank you
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 10 months ago.

Glad you're there. I know what a scary situation this can be.

(typing more...)

Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 10 months ago.

I understand she's an older dog. Can you please help me with the following information:

  • how long has she been ill?
  • does she have a history of any prior illnesses?
  • does she take any medications?
  • when was the last time she was seen by a vet?
  • did she have any bloodwork run recently?
  • did she get into anything unusual that you know of?
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 10 months ago.

Just type in what you want to say then click SEND or REPLY and I'll be able to see your answers.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Noticed this morning after she at some point last night vomited and had small dark stool in the house. She hasnt had blood work done in over a yr. We dont know of anything she got into.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
She isnt on any meds
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 10 months ago.

Okay, thank you... that all helps. I'll be typing in some information below.

Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 10 months ago.

On the one hand, these symptoms could be indicative of some very serious problems, particularly in an older dog. Because of that, it would not be an overreaction to take her to the ER tonight. The sooner you get started on the diagnostic process, the sooner you'll get answers. Also, the sooner you start treatment, the more likely it is that the treatment will be simpler (and less expensive).

With an older girl like this, I'd always prefer to be safe rather than sorry.

That being said, any dog with a sudden onset of vomiting and diarrhea is entitled to a 24-hour fast at home before seeking veterinary care, at least as long as there aren't other signs of an emergency. I'll describe that in more detail below.

(typing more)

Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 10 months ago.

When a dog has an upset stomach with vomiting and diarrhea simply due to something they've eaten (often without anyone's knowledge), it'll go away on its own by withholding food and water for 24 hours in order to give the gut a chance to empty itself, then rest and heal. After the fast, it's best to start with only small amounts of water first. If it's clear the water will stay down, then you can start with tiny amounts of a bland diet. By tiny amounts I mean only a tablespoon at first, before weaning up. A 50/50 mixture of boiled chicken and rice is an easily made bland diet.

I usually only feel comfortable trying that, though, when the dog is acting otherwise pretty normal. Sissy's lethargy and shaking has me worried.

Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 10 months ago.

Does this help to answer your question for now? I want to be as helpful as possible because I know what it's like to worry.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
My wife said she has a bad smell to her , we dont think she has been drinking enough water and could be impaction
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
We give her bottled water is this a bad idea ?
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 10 months ago.

Those are all signs that this is something more than a run-of-the-mill upset stomach from eating something. If she were my patient I'd be driving in to meet you at the clinic so we could do an exam and run some blood work. I'm worried about a lot of different things, including pancreatitis, Addison's disease, and hemorrhagic gastroenteritis.

Bottled water is just fine.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Her stomach moves. She went outside and tried to go but didnt
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 10 months ago.

While unproductive straining to have a bowel movement can occur with an obstruction of the digestive tract, it can also occur any time the colon is inflamed. I'm afraid that doesn't really help to narrow it down.

Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 10 months ago.

Has she been losing weight lately?

Does it seem like her gums aren't as pink as they should be?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
She has been eating normal up to this point. Noticed last night she didnt eat.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Havent noticed her gums up to this point. Im probably not helping to much, just worried about her.
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 10 months ago.

That's a bit of a relief. With Addison's I'd expect a few weeks of intermittent digestive upset before it reaches the crisis state. Unfortunately, both pancreatitis and hemorrhagic gastroenteritis can come on out of the blue.

Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 10 months ago.

I understand about the worry. I really do. It's awful to feel this worried about a precious loved critter, especially when they're this old.

Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 10 months ago.

And the very best thing you can do for your worry (and to help her get the treatment she needs) is to take her to the ER. Like I said before, better safe than sorry.

It's what I'd do for my own dog.

Is there any other information I can provide you with tonight?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
No thats it. Thanks
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 10 months ago.

I'm glad I could be here with the information you needed. Please take a moment to rate my response on your way out of the chat so I may receive credit for helping you tonight.

Thank you for using our website. I hope Sissy feels better quickly.

Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 10 months ago.

Please remember I am here for you and am happy to discuss your question until you are satisfied with the answer I've provided. You may return to this page at any time to review this information and/or post more. You may do so even after you've rated my response. I'll be notified of your response via email and will do my best to help you.
If you are satisfied with the information I've provided, please take a moment to rate my response. I've done my best to provide you with the most accurate, thorough and up-to-date information that is available, and your positive feedback is important to me. Without it, I receive no compensation for helping you.
If you are not satisfied, please let me know how else I may be of assistance.
Thank you for using our website.

Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 10 months ago.

Hello,

Just checking in to ask how Sissy is doing.

Thank you,

Dr. Jo

Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 9 months ago.
Hi,
I'm just following up on our conversation about Sissy. How is everything going?
Dr. Jo