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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 17682
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 4 month old puppy has been puking since 8 last night

Customer Question

My 4 month old puppy has been puking since 8 last night first it was her food then it was white foam now it looks like I really can't explain and there is a little blood in it she has her first boosters and has never been outside I'm so upset I don't know what's wrong with her and she won't eat or drink
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 been showing signs?

Can she keep anything down at all? Even a sip of water?

Are her gums nice and pink (not white/pale)? Moist or sticky?

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

Could she have eaten anything she should not have (ie bones, stones, socks, toys, plants, chemicals, human meds, etc)?

Any diarrhea?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No diarrhea her puke looks like really gross like I really can't explain and it looks like very little blood in it and last night her stomach was making very loud gurgling noises and she won't drink nothing gums are a little pale pink and kinda tacky
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you.

First, I must say that I am quite concerned about Letty.

The reason is because pups have a very small body reserve and we can see issues like this quickly lead to dehydration and nutrition loss. This is especially a concern if her gums are tacky since that is an early stage sign of dehydration. As well, the blood is likely a hint that the throat is getting eroded here and irritated from her vomiting. Therefore, we need to be proactive here and tread with great care for Letty.

Now as I am sure you can appreciate, just like people, dogs can have GI upset with vomiting that is caused by a range of agents. These include bacteria viruses, parasites, toxins, foreign body ingestion, and general dietary indiscretions. That said, hopefully toxins and foreign bodies are less of an issue here for her.

In regards ***** ***** we can do to try to help her, I'd first note that since pups are prone to blood sugar crashes when vomiting, we need to keep an eye out and address that if seen. So, if she does seem weak, wobbly, or dull at any point; I'd note that you can boost her blood sugar by rubbing karo syrup (or honey, pancake syrup, etc) on her gums. Hopefully, you won't need to but it is an option just in case.

Otherwise the key to success of home supportive care will be whether she can at least keep something down. If she could not do so (or stops being able to do so at any point), this would be a red flag that we will at least need to start her on injectable anti-vomiting medication from her vet to settle her stomach enough to give you a chance with oral based treatments. That aside, if she hasn't just vomited, you can consider treating her with an antacid to settle her stomach. Pet safe OTC antacids we could use here include Pepcid (More Info/Dose @ http://www.petplace.com/article/drug-library/library/over-the-counter/famotidine-pepcid) or Tagamet (More Info/Dose Here @ http://www.petplace.com/article/drug-library/library/over-the-counter/cimetidine-hcl-tagamet). These are usually given 20 minutes before offering food (to allow absorption) and of course you want to double check with your vet if your wee one has a pre-existing condition or is on any medications you haven't mentioned.

Once that has had time to absorb and is more steady on her stomach, you can consider starting a light/easily digestible diet. If you do so, start with a small volume (a spoonful) to start. Examples would be cooked white rice with boiled chicken, boiled white fish, or scrambled eggs (made with water and not milk). There are also veterinary prescription diets that can be used in cases of gastroenteritis (ie Hill’s I/D or Royal Canin’s sensitivity). When you offer that spoonful, give her 30 minutes to settle. If she keeps the food down, you can give a bit more and so on. As her tummy stabilizes, you can offer more. The aim of the easily digestible diet is that it will be better tolerated and 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 the she is settled, and that they are then slowly weaned back to their normal diet.

Since vomiting can quickly dehydrate a pup, we need to keep an eye on her hydration. To check her to make sure she isn't getting dehydrated there are a few things we can test. 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, since she is young, then you do want to have her seen by the vet before this becomes an additional issue.

If you are concerned that she is becoming dehydrated, you can try and encourage her to drink but offering fresh water or even low-sodium chicken broth. Don't be tempted to syringe feed fluids at this stage, since this is contraindicated for vomiting dogs (since it can make them vomit more).

Overall, GI upset of this nature can be triggered by a wide range of agents and we do need to proceed with care with a vomiting pup. Therefore, you can start supportive care to settle her stomach at this stage. If she cannot keep that or water down, then we'd want to consider having her seen urgently for injectable anti-vomiting treatment. Otherwise, if she can keep this down, you can try to settle her stomach at home. Of course, if she doesn't settle in the next few hours, is appearing dehydrated or deteriorating, then we'd want to consider getting her vet involved. They can assess her hydration and just make sure there is nothing in her stomach that shouldn't be there. Depending on the exam, her vet can treat her with an injectable anti-vomiting medication, antibiotics, +/- appetite stimulants if need be to address this for her, settle her stomach, and get her back to her usual self.

All the best,

Dr. B.

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Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

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