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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16179
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 Whipper that stopped eating 3 days ago. Complete

Customer Question

I have a Whipper that stopped eating 3 days ago. Complete loss of energy.. Won't even lift her head when you walk into the room. She still is urinating just not as often. Her heart has begun to race as of today. Thoughts?
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 3 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 situation, and wanted to help.

Again I do apologize that my colleagues could not aid you sooner. If you would still like assistance, can you tell me:

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

Will she drink? Can she keep water down?

Are her gums nice and pink (not white/pale)? Moist or sticky?

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

Could she have eaten anything she should not have (ie bones, toys, plants, chemicals, human meds, etc)?

What is her heart rate (just count the beats for 10 seconds + multiply the number by 6)?

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
She is keeping water down. Her gums are still pink and she doesn't seem to have any belly pain. Her eyes are very red though. And she's mildly shaking. I gave her some pedilight today hoping to keep her hydrated. No retching like day one of her not feeling well. The only access to eatinging anything bad is the creek in my back yard where she likes to hunt. I have also seen her eating deer droppings in the past.
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Heart rate is 114
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 3 months ago.

Thank you,

While that is a quick heart rate at rest, its not one that is dangerously high. Still it does make me suspicious that she may be sore and just putting on a brave face when you check her though. And if she hunts in the back yard and managed to eat something (ie whole rodents, bones, etc), this could be causing her signs with the energy loss being secondary to her lack of nutrition intake. Though of course, we could also see these signs with bacterial or viral gastroenteritis, pancreatitis, parasites/protozoa infections, or general dietary indiscretions.

With this all in mind, as long as she can keep the Pedialyte down down, we can try some home supportive care to see if we can settle her stomach. To start, you can consider treating her with an antacid. Common pet safe OTC ones we can use include 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 check with her vet before use if she has any known health issues or is on any medications you didn’t mention.

After that has had time to absorb, we can start her on small meals of a light/easily digestible diet. 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). There are also OTC vet diets that can be used (ie Hill’s I/D or Royal Canin’s sensitivity) too. When you offer these meals, give her 30 minutes after to settle. If she keeps the food down, you can give a bit more and so on. As her stomach stabilizes, you can offer more. 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.

Since dehydration is a risk, we need to keep a close eye on her hydration. To check this and ensure she’s not becoming dehydrated, there are a few things you can test. Further to checking for gum moisture, you will want to make sure her eyes are not looking sunken and that she 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 her seen before this becomes an additional issue (especially as it is often dehydration that makes them feel unwell). And just to note if you are syringing fluids she needs a daily dose of 48ml per kilogram of her body weight every 24 hours.

Overall, a wide range of agents could trigger the signs we are seeing but I do wonder if she has manage to eat something when hunting. Therefore, we’d want to start supportive care to settle her stomach. 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, fluids, +/- antibiotics to get her back feeling like herself.

Please take care,

Dr. B.

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Expert:  Dr. B. replied 3 months ago.
Hi,

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

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