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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16234
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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I've been sick w a cold caught from licking snotty baby

Customer Question

I've been sick w a cold caught from licking snotty baby fingers. Dog seems lethargic, no appetite, not much ouput if any kind. Shall I bring her in?
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 9 months 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 coughing, sneezing, or vomiting?

Is she still drinking normally?

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 9 months ago.
2 days
Don't think she could eaten anything we didn't notice but she's a dog- she doesn't typically forage elsewhere
No diarrhea - she left some tight constipated looking turds overnight which given that she won't walk, I took as a good sign!
Oh, she won't go for a walk.
Or eat.
She's drinking a little & will drink when I offer her water (a little)
No stomach discomfort, no vomit or retching. Also no eating!
Gums look pink & firm not mushy or sticky
Thanks so much. I have a vet I can call later today.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 9 months ago.

Thank you,

First, I am glad to see that she isn't a foraging dog and that those gums and belly are normal at this stage. Now based on the signs we are seeing, we do have a few concerns for your lass and we do need to tread with care. Common causes we need to consider include bacterial or viral gastroenteritis, pancreatitis, IBD, general dietary indiscretions, and ingestion of harmful items (again less likely here). It is also possible to see anorexia related to dental disease, but based on her general demeanour this too sounds less likely for he.

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. As well, if you try this and find her nausea too severe to keep it down, then that is usually a red flag that we need her vet to bypass her mouth with injectable anti-vomiting medication.

Once that has had time to absorb and she is steadier on her stomach, you can try tempting her to eat (as I am sure you have been).You can offer favorites or try her with a light/easily digestible diet. 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). There are also OTC vet diets that can be used (ie Hill’s I/D or Royal Canin’s sensitivity) too. 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.

Though if we try those and she cannot be temtped, then we’d want to consider syringe feeding at this stage. If you do need to syringe feed, I would note that we often will 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.

Since dehydration is a risk here, we need to keep an eye on her hydration. To check this and ensure he’s not becoming dehydrated, there are a few things you can test. Further to checking for gum moisture, you will want to make sure her eyes are not looking sunken and that she doesn’t have a "skin tent" when you lift the skin. To see how to check these parameters for dehydration, you can find a good video HERE (http://www.ehow.com/video_12232503_dog-dehydrated.html). If you are seeing any signs of dehydration already, then that would be our cue to have her seen before this becomes an additional issue for her (especially as it is often dehydration that makes them feel unwell).

Overall, a wide range of agents could trigger the anorexia we are seeing here. And the longer they are off food, the more lethargic and less stool we will see them pass. Therefore, in her case, we’d want to start supportive care to settle her stomach. If she cannot keep that or water down at any point, appears dehydrated already, 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. Depending on their findings, her vet can treat her with injectable anti-vomiting medication, appetite stimulants +/- antibiotics to settle her stomach, and get her back feeling like herself.

Please take care,

Dr. B.

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Expert:  Dr. B. replied 9 months ago.

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