First, I am glad to see that Duke's belly and gums are normal. This does rule out a number of urgent concerns for him. Otherwise, considering his nausea signs, we do need to tread with care. This is because his signs do raise concerns of a possible bacterial or viral gastroenteritis, pancreatitis, IBD, nausea secondary to systemic issues (ie metabolic disease, organ troubles, cancer), general dietary indiscretions, and ingestion of harmful items (hopefully less likely at his age).
Now if he is off food, that is a side effect of the nausea. That said, we would hope he can keep down a wee bit, otherwise we will find ourselves in a situation where we need to his vet to at least start him off by bypassing his mouth with an injectable anti-vomiting injection. But if he can keep down even a bit, we can try some oral home support at this point. To start, if he hasn’t just vomited (since otherwise we’d need to rest his stomach for a few hours first), then you can consider treating 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)
* 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 again, if he cannot keep it down due to nausea we'd need to have him started on injectable treatment.
Though if he can and settles with the antacid, we can then try 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). 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. As long as improvement is being seen, I usually advise continuing this until the signs are settled, and then weaning him slowly back to his normal diet.
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. Therefore, in his case, we’d want to start supportive care to settle his stomach. If Duke 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. As well, considering his age, they can also test a blood sample to rule out systemic causes. 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,
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