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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 14865
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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My 12 lb, 18 months old, began vomiting during the night.

Customer Question

My 12 lb ***** *****, 18 months old, began vomiting during the night. She slowed way down early this afternoon. She periodically drank a little water & then vomits again (very small amts). By 5 pm she's stopped going to her dish. I've given her water in a syringe every 2 hrs but she brings up phlegm after a couple minutes. She seems so lathargic and shivers now & then. What should I do? Can she wait to get medical attention tomorrow morning?
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 9 months ago.

Hello, my name is***** and I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian. I am sorry to hear that your girl isn't feeling well, shivering, lethargic with vomiting even water and now not drinking on her own.

She is likely dehydrated because she is vomiting, but if even water is making her vomit you need to take it away from her for now.

In most cases vomiting is triggered by eating something they should not, too much table food, too many treats or something they find outdoors.

More serious causes of vomiting in young dogs include viral or bacterial infections, a dietary allergy or sensitivity, congenital internal organ failure (kidney or liver disease), Addison's disease (a poorly functioning adrenal gland) or a full or partial gastrointestinal obstruction.

In a young dog, especially one that hasn't finished her vaccine series, a viral infection such as Parvo virus or a foreign body leading to a partial or full gastrointestinal obstruction would be the most likely cause and both can be deadly. Not all dogs with viral infections run a fever initially, sometimes they are too weak to mount a fever response. Addison's disease is another possible cause given we see it most in young, female dogs.

Because she is young, she cannot even keep down water, this has been going on all day, and she is lethargic ideally she would see a veterinarian now. Young, small breed dogs dehydrate easily and she needs fluids.

If that isn't possible for whatever reason there are some things we can try at home, but we cannot replace in clinic intravenous fluids and injectable medications so if she isn't responding quickly she should see a veterinarian promptly.

To try and settle her stomach you can give either:

1) Pepcid ac (famotidine) at a dose of one quarter of a 10mg tablet per 5 to 10 pounds of body weight every 12 hours

OR

2) Prilosec (omeprazole) at a dose of one quarter of a 20mg tablet per 10 to 20 pounds of body weight every 24 hours

These are acid reducers and may help her feel less nauseous and hopefully stop the vomiting and improve her appetite. They are quite safe and can be used for several days if necessary.

I would pick up all food for now and water for a couple hours to allow her stomach to settle after giving one of the acid reducers.

If she stops vomiting in a couple hours when you give her water make sure it is in small amounts only. If she drinks too much too quickly that can lead to vomiting. To get some electrolytes in you can also offer her a 50:50 mix of pedialyte and water.

If there is no vomiting for 6-12 hours offer a bland diet of 1/3 boiled, minced, white skinless chicken or boiled, lean hamburger and 2/3 boiled, white rice mixed with some low salt chicken or beef broth to make it easy to lap up and swallow and get additional fluids into her. If she refuses that, you can offer a little meat baby food. If he refuses both then don't push it, she needs hands on veterinary care as soon as possible.

But if things go well and she does eat the bland diet and doesn't vomit feed her the bland diet for 3 to 4 days then slowly start to mix back in her regular food, a little more at each meal. It should take about 5 to 7 days to slowly convert her back to her regular diet.

If she continues to vomit tonight even with the acid reducers, runs a fever (more than 103F rectally), or has a lower than normal temperature (less than 99F), has a tense painful belly, or if she refuses to eat even after the acid reducer is given she should see a veterinarian for an examination, diagnostics, injectable anti-nausea drugs, intravenous fluids and supportive care.

Please let me know if you have any further questions.

Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 9 months ago.

Hello, I wanted to check in and see if you had any further questions after reading my response. If you do please feel free to respond with them. If not and you found my information helpful please remember to rate my response positively so I may receive credit for my work thank you, ***** *****