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Dr. Peter
Dr. Peter, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 28103
Experience:  16 years of internal medicine, surgery, and preventive care.
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My Black Lab will be 11 years old this April. past three or

Customer Question

My Black Lab will be 11 years old this April. For the past three or four days, he has been throwing up pretty much everyday, and has suddenly gone from a well-trained dog who does not potty on himself or in his kennel, to quite the opposite. He now barks all of the time at all hours of the day and night, and no longer seems to respond to simple requests or even commands as he once did just as recently as last week. I don't know what to do. He always seems thirsty and hungry, almost like he is starving, so he eats EXTREMELY FAST as well as drinks for long periods of time, just to throw it all up later on. What is wrong with Phoenix??
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Peter replied 9 months ago.

Welcome and thanks for asking your question. My name is***** am a licensed veterinarian. I am not set up to make a live call. But, I am happy to answer your question on this thread. First I need to ask you a few questions so that I can be well informed and give you the best advice.

1- Is it fair to say he is drinking more than usual?

2- Any pre existing medical conditions?

3- How long since the last time he vomited?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Phoenix has always seemed to be a heavy water drinker, but lately, I would say that he has been drinking a bit more than usual. He has not vomited in the past three days or so, but his stool is EXTREMELY watery, and has been so for about five days now. My partner and my brother noticed that Phoenix's left hind leg seems to be a bit lazy as well. He has pretty much always been a very healthy and frisky dog, but last summer, we did have to check him into the vet because he was behaving a bit lethargically, vomiting. and pooping all over the place kind of like now. The only difference this time being that he does not appear to be lethargic at all. After the vet examined him, he said that phoenix probably ate something that didn't agree with him, and that his symptoms should pass, and they did. We were so worried at the time because we had just lost another dog, a miniature wired-haired dachshund just a couple months before, and their symptoms were eerily similar. It turned out that our other dog Leibling had cancer, and we had to put him down, so understandably we were on edge when Phoenix began to develop similar symptoms so soon afterwards. But as of now, other than the strange symptoms, Phoenix still seems to be his old happy self when we are around him. The strange behavior only seems to occur when we are not around him. At those times, he barks and sometimes whines until he gets our attention (which is SOOO unlike him; Phoenix has always been a very independent dog). And then of course there is the incontinence. He NEVER poops in the house. Yet for the past five or six days, whenever we wake up for the day and go downstairs, we begin to notice that the entire first floor smells of foul feces because he could not hold it until the morning and as a result has had a runny bowel movement. Keeping him outside overnight is just not an option, because he will begin to bark and whine until we let him in, disturbing the neighbors in the process. It seems like every hour he tells us that he needs to go potty, and if we are not within earshot, he just goes in the house (and it is NEVER urination, but always either a bowel movement, vomiting, or both), which is very unusual for him. On average, he normally only goes to the door to be let out 2-4 times a day. Definitely not every other hour like it is now. But as I stated before, he still seems happy for the most part. His tail is constantly wagging, and his nose is still cold and wet like it always is, so as to what is truly wrong with Phoenix, we are at a total loss. Thanks for your feedback Doc. I will be eagerly awaiting your response.-Aaron
Expert:  Dr. Peter replied 9 months ago.

Aaron, the history and symptoms you are describing in Phoenix can be related to one or several possible medical disorders. I don't believe this is just a behavioral issue. You see, when a dog is vomiting and has diarrhea these are symptoms of either a primary disorder in the gastrointestinal tract or secondary to a systemic disease. If he is drinking more than usual we need to consider things like: Kidney or liver disease, hormonal disorders (diabetes), tumors, etc. as possible causes. It is also possible that he could be suffering from "Cognitive Dysfunction" (CD), basically this is when the brain of an older patient is degenerating and the patient becomes senile. Dogs with CD will often develop symptoms like: Eating and drinking excessively, not recognizing owner, barking excessively or at nothing, defecating or urinating in odd places, etc. Finally, if you are seeing that he is having problems with one of his back leg this could be a sign of either: Arthritis, a pinched nerve, etc.

In this case unfortunately we are very limited as to what you can do at home. In order to determine the exact underlying cause Phoenix will need a hands on examination by family vet, blood work and xrays as initial screening test. Treatment will be based on exam and test results. If cost is a concern I would look into your local ASPCA or Shelter where they often offer veterinary services at a lower cost.

Please do not forget to rate my answer - I hope you found it to be excellent. If there’s more I can do, please use the reply tab and let me know. It’s my goal to provide you with excellent service." Thank you for your business and I hope to work with you again soon!

Dr. Peter

Expert:  Dr. Peter replied 9 months ago.
Hi Aaron,
I'm just following up on our conversation about Phoenix Harper. How is everything going?
Dr. Peter