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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16202
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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Normally active black mouth cur won't drink water today.

Customer Question

Normally active black mouth cur won't drink water today. Had one bm, a little soft. Lethargic beginning yesterday and all day today. Just wants to lie in his bed with a quilt over him. Nose dry and warm.
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 6 months ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.

Any retching, gagging, lip licking or vomiting?

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

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

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

What antibiotic was given? Is he on the course of them just now or was it left over?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
No retching, etc.
Black and pink and moist.
Doesn't seem to have tenderness.
Don't think, he ate any thing weird.
Cephalexen 500 mg, not on a course, just left over. (he weighs about 65 lbs.) Drug prescribed for him much earlier.
Beginning to get irratible when I try to examine him, and growling.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 6 months ago.

Thank you,

First, do be careful if he is growling when you examine him. This could be a hint of him being sore, so we do need to tread with care. As well, Cephalexin is fine for bladder issues or skin ones; but its not ideal here as it can cause nausea/vomiting/diarrhea. So, we'd not want to give any more. Especially since his refusal to drink is very suspicious of nausea. Some dogs will refrain from eating and drinking when sick to their stomach to avoid the risk of vomiting. In regards ***** ***** triggers for this, we’d be most concerned about potential bacterial or viral gastroenteritis, pancreatitis, parasites/protozoa infections, general dietary indiscretions, and ingestion of harmful items (ie toxins, plants, non-edible items).

With this all in mind, we can try some home supportive care to try to settle his stomach. To start, if you can safely medicate him, you can try him with an OTC pet safe antacid like 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.

Once that has had time to absorb and he is steadier on his stomach, you can consider starting 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 and reduce upset. As well, rice and protein sources all do have high water contents which will indirectly help get fluids in.

Since dehydration is a risk in this situation, 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).

Though since he hasn’t been vomiting, we can consider syringing fluids (water or electrolytes) as needed. When doing so, we‘d aim to give 48ml per kilogram of his weight daily. Though if he is being grumpy, this may not be a practical option.

Overall, his refusal to drink is a sign we often see with nausea. Therefore, in his case, we’d want to start supportive care to settle his 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, discomfort, 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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Customer: replied 6 months ago.
He did eat a smaller version of his breakfast this morning. And a couple of pieces of chicken about 1/2 hour ago. When my husband tried to wash his face, he didn't want the cloth near his mouth...okay on his head and ears. He usually wants to be where we are. He has a huge pillow on the screened porch (with AC) and is usually out there with us. He did come out for about 2 minutes at noon, but immediately went back to his bed and quilts.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 6 months ago.

Hi again,

If he was reluctant to let him wash near his mouth, then we may have nausea (some will still eat bits and favorites)but this would also raise concerns of oral pain (ie trauma,dental issues, etc.). In that case, we can still try the above but do consider warming the water to a luke warm temperature in case he has a dental issue. As well, you can try tempting with lactose free milk or low salt chicken broth to try to get him drinking for us.

Best wishes,

Dr. B.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Thanks, Doc.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 6 months ago.

You are very welcome, my dear.

Best wishes,

Dr. B