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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 24432
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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My dog won't eat. It's been almost 24 hours since he didn't

Customer Question

My dog won't eat. It's been almost 24 hours since he didn't eat. The vet said they would do blood tests and physical exam. aif the blood tests are negative what then?My dog has diarrheal Could that be why he won't eat?
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 9 months ago.

I'm sorry to hear of this with Bart. His anorexia and diarrhea are symptoms of the same disorder. They're important symptoms but they're not pathognomonic (specifically indicative) of any one disorder. They could represent a simple dietary indiscretion - ingesting some thing new, inappropriate, spoiled, or perhaps a non-food item - or they could represent more serious major organ problems. I might "watchful wait" for up to 72 hours as long as my patient is stable to see if he remisses unaided. 24 hours of those symptoms doesn't give me enough of a track record to know what I'm facing. A thorough physical exam and diagnostics in the form of blood and urine tests are rarely wrong to have performed - if only for baseline information - but I might be jumping the gun in performing them.

To answer you directly, if nothing untoward is found in such testing and I don't see any improvement in my patient, I might move on to imaging in the form of X-rays or ultrasound. Primary gastrointestinal disorders are poorly represented in blood and urine tests. I'm not as concerned about Bart's caloric intake as I am with his hydration status. If he's also not drinking, he should be rehydrated with either subcutaneous or intravenous fluids. In many cases, simply rehydrating and rebalancing electrolytes suffices to normalize patients suffering from a simple gastrointestinal distress.

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.