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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 15675
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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I have a 4 yr old female whippet who has suddenly gone a bit

Customer Question

Hi, I have a 4 yr old female whippet who has suddenly gone a bit quiet, not eating, looking sorry for herself. Any ideas?
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. What is the dog's name?
Customer: Bryn.
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Bryn?
Customer: No health problems before now. We had her on a walk about five hours ago and she was fine, full of energy.
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Her breathing is a little shorter than usual, but not panting or anything. Mouth closed, breathing through her nose.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 months ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you today. I do apologize that your question was not answered before. Different experts come online at various times; I just came online, read about your wee one’s situation, and wanted to help.

Again I do apologize that my colleagues could not aid you sooner, but can you tell me:

Any gagging, retching, lip licking, drooling, vomiting, or diarrhea?

Is she drinking at all?

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

If you press on her belly, does she have any discomfort, tenderness, or tensing?

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

Since you noted that she is breathing changes, can you take a breathing rate for me (just count her breaths for 10 seconds + multiply that by 6)?

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Hi, her breathing is about five breaths per 10sec, so 35 per min. Not deep or gasping. When I press her stomach, no real reaction. Her gums are pink and moist. She could well have eaten something (she will eat any bone she can find...).
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 months ago.

Thank you,

First, I am glad her gums are pink (a sign of good oxygenation), her breathing rate is nearly normal, and that she didn't react to you pressing on her belly. This removes a number of our urgent concerns. Though with those aside and her having a sudden lack of appetite, I'd question whether Bryn is nauseous. Some dogs will eat and then vomit; though others will refrain to avoid doing so. With that as a concern, we'd have to be wary of her having eaten something harmful (like a bone), but also a brewing gut infection, pancreatitis, parasites/protozoa infections, or general dietary indiscretion.

With this all in mind, we can try some home supportive care to see if we can settle her stomach. To start, if she hasn’t just vomited (since otherwise we’d need to rest her stomach for a few hours first), then you can consider treating her with an antacid. Common pet safe OTC ones we can use include Pepcid (More Info/Dose @, Zantac (More Info/Dose @, or Tagamet (More Info/Dose Here @
Whichever you choose, we’d give this 20 minutes before offering food to allow absorption. Of course, do check with her vet before use if she has any known health issues or is on any medications you didn’t mention. As well, if you try this and find her nausea too severe to keep it down, then that is usually a red flag that we need her vet to bypass her mouth with injectable anti-vomiting medication.

Once that has had time to absorb and she is steadier on her stomach, you can consider starting her on a light/easily digestible diet. Start with a small volume. Examples you can use are cooked white rice with boiled chicken, boiled white fish, cottage cheese, scrambled eggs, or meat baby food (as long as its garlic/onion free). 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 that the diet be continued until her signs are settled, and that they are then slowly weaned back to their normal diet.

Overall, her sudden lapse in appetite and being a bit quiet does raise suspicions of her potentially having eaten something she should not have. Though since she has none of those urgent signs I asked about, we can try supportive care to settle her stomach while keeping a close eye. If she cannot keep that or water down at any point, appears dehydrated already, or doesn’t respond to the above within 12-24 hours; then we'd want to get her vet involved. They can assess her hydration, rule out fever, make sure there is nothing in her stomach that shouldn't be there or any sinister viruses present. Depending on their findings, her vet can treat her with injectable anti-nausea medication, appetite stimulants, +/- antibiotics to settle her stomach, and get her back feeling like herself.

Please take care,

Dr. B.


If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. **Afterwards, I would be grateful if you would rate my service by clicking on the "Rate my Expert' button at the top of the page as this is the only way I am credited for helping you. Thank you for your feedback!: )

Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 months ago.

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?


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