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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 20279
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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FOUR-MONTH-OLD LAB PUPPY ATE FIRE ANT POISON. HAD M AT THE

Customer Question

FOUR-MONTH-OLD LAB PUPPY ATE FIRE ANT POISON. HAD HIM AT THE VET, (CLOSED NOW, NONE AVAILABLE DURING THE WEEKEND) THEY GAVE HIM intravenus fluids and o injection of SQ/VALIUM. Earlier he was somewhat active, but now is very weak, and has thrown up all the food he ate earlier.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Did you see what the puppy ate?
Customer: He fire ant poison that contained 0.1% bifenthrin. Cannot remember the exact brand---I left the bag at the vets. We have a litter we are raising, they somehow got down the bag and were going at the contents when I found them. The other puppies are not affecte.
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about the puppy?
Customer: Vet did blood work, said there was some kidney "elevation" that they needed to watch, He has an appointment early Monday, but there is no vet service available around here this weekend.
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Veterinarian about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

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

Now this is a very challenging situation you have here. Unfortunately, we are a bit limited in what can be done if there is no veterinary services in reach (even with a trek). You vet did initiate the symptomatic care we do use with these situations but if this pup is listless and vomiting; we'd have wanted him to stay on IV fluids and be treated with injectable anti-nausea treatment. Since that is the ideal and pups are so fragile, I do just want to note that you can check these databases for your nearest emergency options just in case:

http://www.vetlocator.com/ and www.veccs.org/index.php?option=com_hospitals&nationid=1&Itemid=193

Now since you noted he was listless and pups have small body reserves we do need to be proactive here. This lethargy is suggestive of a possible blood sugar crash (since small breed pups are at real risk of this when vomiting ). Therefore, if he does seem weak, wobbly, or dull; you can rub karo syrup (or honey, pancake syrup, etc) on his gums to give him a sugar boost.

Otherwise, we can try some symptomatic care to settle his stomach. To start, you can try this pup with an antacid to soothe his stomach. Common OTC options are 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. Though if he cannot even keep that down, then that will be a red flag that we need him seen.

Once that has had time to absorb and is more steady on his stomach, you can consider starting him on 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 him 30 minutes to settle. If he keeps the food down, you can give a bit more and so on. As his 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 diarrhea is settled, and that they are then slowly weaned back to normal food over a week.

Since vomiting can quickly dehydrate a pup, we need to keep an eye on his hydration. The reason is because no matter how much they drink, we often find that dogs just cannot keep up with diarrhea fluid losses for long (and dehydration is what makes them feel poorly). To check his hydration status to make sure they are not becoming dehydrated there are a few things we can test. Further to gum moisture, we need to make sure his eyes aren't sunken. nor that he 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 he is young, then you do want to have him seen by the vet before this becomes an additional issue.

If you are concerned that he is becoming dehydrated, you can try and encourage him 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, this situation is far from ideal and it is a shame his vet cannot aid you more over this weekend. In this case, you can try the above just now to try to stop his vomiting, keep him eating, and stable over the weekend. But again if he doesn't pick up, then it may be best to make a long trek to the nearest ER to just be safe and get him back onto fluids and anti-vomiting medication by injection.

Please take care,

Dr. B.

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Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

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