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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16155
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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Our dog keeps trying to throw up and when he does there is

Customer Question

Our dog keeps trying to throw up and when he does there is white foam. I took him out for a walk and he pooped normally and peed, but stopped a couple times to try to throw up. Only once did he throw up a little bit of white foam. Should I take him in to an emergency vet today?
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 he had these signs?

Can he keep water down?

Are his gums pink or pale/white? Moist or sticky?

If you press on his belly, does he have any discomfort, distension, tenderness, or tensing?

Could he have eaten something he should not have (ie bones, toys, plants, chemicals, etc)?

Has he had any diarrhea?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
These signs have been going on for a little over an hour. He seems to be able to drink water, no diarrhea, he was sleeping in his bed when he started trying to cough and throw up. When pressing on his belly there is some tensing. He is shaking and breathing loudly
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
I caught him chewing on a small stick two days ago but didn't see any different activity after that. You can hear his tummy rumbling
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 9 months ago.

Thank you,

First, I am glad to see that he can take some water down and hopefully those gums (or inner eyelid) are nice and pink as they should be. Now if he did chew that stick and eat any, we could see delayed signs of this nature. Otherwise, we also have to be wary of a potential bacterial or viral gastroenteritis, pancreatitis, parasites/protozoa infections, or general dietary indiscretion.

In any case, since that stomach rumbling and the vomiting are telling us that he has significant nausea, we do want to address that no matter the trigger. To start, if he can keep a bit of water down, then we can try him with an antacid. Common OTC pet safe options would be 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 double check with your vet if he has a known health issues or is on any medications you haven't mentioned. Though I would note that if you give this and he cannot keep it down due to nausea that is usually a red flag that we need to bypass his mouth with injectable anti-vomiting medication from his vet.

Yet if he can keep that down and steadies, we can plan to start him on a light/easily digestible diet. Examples you can use are cooked white rice with boiled chicken, boiled white fish, cottage cheese, or scrambled eggs (made with water and not milk). 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.

Since dehydration is a risk here, we need to keep an eye on his 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 his eyes are not looking sunken and that he 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 him seen before this becomes an additional issue for him (especially as it is often dehydration that makes them feel unwell).

Overall, a wide range of agents could trigger the GI upset we are seeing. Still, since the stick could be a red herring, we'd want to start supportive care to settle Jude's stomach. If he cannot keep that or water down, appears dehydrated already, or doesn’t respond to the above within 12-24 hours; then we'd want to get his vet involved. They can assess his hydration, rule out fever, make sure there is nothing in his stomach that shouldn't be there or any sinister viruses present. Depending on their findings, his vet can treat him with injectable anti-vomiting medication +/- antibiotics to settle his stomach, and get him back feeling like himself.

Please take care,

Dr. B.

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Expert:  Dr. B. replied 9 months ago.
Hi Penny,
I'm just following up on our conversation about Jude. How is everything going?
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