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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 15678
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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My lab wont eat and is drinking only small amounts of water.

Customer Question

my lab wont eat and is drinking only small amounts of water. i also saw her straining to poop but nothing came out
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. What is the dog's name and age?
Customer: baylee and she is 7
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about baylee?
Customer: she is diabetic
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 months ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with 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 I am worried about Baylee. If she is a diabetic and isn't eating, this is an urgent situation. If we don't get her eating and drinking properly as quick as we can then there is a risk of complications with her diabetes (since we cannot give insulin to a dog that isn't eating for fear of crashing her blood sugar), dehydration, progressive weakness and collapse. So, this isn't something we want to leave to linger.

Just to note, based on the signs we are seeing, we do have a few concerns. Common causes we need to consider include bacterial or viral gastroenteritis, pancreatitis (a major risk with diabetics), parasites/protozoa infections, general dietary indiscretions, and ingestion of harmful items (ie toxins, plants, non-edible items).

With this all in mind, we again need her seen urgently. Any delay and you can at least try an OTC pet safe antacid like Pepcid (More Info/Dose @, or Zantac (More Info/Dose @ to soothe her stomach. Whichever you choose, we’d give this 20 minutes before offering food to allow absorption. Of course, do check with your 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 tempting her with 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. The aim of these diets is that they will be better tolerated/absorbed by the compromised gut. And if she refuses these but isn't vomiting, you can use the baby food or even canned puppy food to syringe feed her until she is seen.

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 ( If you do find these dehydration signs, 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).

Overall, a wide range of agents could trigger the signs we are seeing but in a diabetic anorexia is an urgent issue. 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; then we'd want her vet involved. They can assess her hydration, rule out fever, check bloods to confirm pancreatitis, make sure there is nothing in her stomach that shouldn't be there or any sinister viruses present. Depending on their findings, your vet can treat her with injectable anti-vomiting medication, fluids (spiked with Dextrose if she needs help with her blood sugar) +/- antibiotics to get her back feeling like herself.

Please take care,

Dr. B.


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