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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 5 month old German Shepherd, he has been vomiting

Customer Question

I have a 5 month old German Shepherd, he has been vomiting up his dog food about 2 to 4 hours after eating and it's undigested he's still very alert, hydrated and playful, I checked his stool when he's done using the bathroom outside and it looks normal so I don't know if it's his dog food or something else
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Hopefully it didn't make a mess. Did the German shepherd eat anything unusual?
Customer: He shouldn't have he's with me 24/7 he won't even go outside by himself I have to go with him the only time in not around is when he's in his dog crate when I'm not home
JA: What is the German shepherd's name?
Customer: Kane
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Kane?
Customer: No that's all, thank you!
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 month ago.

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

How long has he had these signs?

Can he keep water down?

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

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

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

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
He has been vomiting his food back up for 2 days now, his gums are pink and wet they look just like my other dogs gums, he doesn't seem to have discomfort of tenderness in his stomach and yes he keeps his water down just not his food... he might have ate something but it's not likely because he's with me 24/7 and he only has 2 toys he plays with a hedge hog and his ball but I keep it put up until I play fetch with him and I checked his other toy I don't see anything missing off of it!
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 month ago.

Thank you,

First, I am glad to hear that its not likely he has ingested a non-edible item since bringing food back up with minimal signs of digestion hours later can be a feature of foreign bodies blocking the stomach outflow. Though if this is less likely, then we'd ahve to consider that Kane may have a bacterial or viral gastroenteritis, pancreatitis, parasites/protozoa infections, or a general dietary indiscretion.

With this all in mind, we can try some home supportive care to try to settle his stomach. To start, if he hasn’t just vomited (since otherwise we’d need to rest the stomach for a few hours first), you can consider treating with an OTC pet safe antacid [ie 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. Also if you give this and he cannot keep it down due to nausea that is usually a red flag that we need to bypass his mouth with injectable anti-vomiting medication from his vet.

Once he is more settled, you can plan to try small meals of a light/easily digestible diet. Examples you can use are cooked white rice with boiled chicken, boiled white fish, or scrambled eggs, or meat baby food (garlic/onion free only) There 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. Fiber (ie canned or boiled pumpkin) could also be added to these meals to just push anything that could be caught in the stomach and affecting stomach outflow. And if he hasn't been wormed in the past month, we can do that as well to ensure no partial blockage from a high worm burden. As long as improvement is being seen, I usually advise continuing this until the signs are settled, and then weaning slowly back to what you normally feed.

Since dehydration is a risk when our dogs are vomiting, we need to keep an eye on his hydration. To check this and make sure dehydration isn’t an issue, there are a few parameters 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, you can find a good video HERE (http://www.ehow.com/video_12232503_dog-dehydrated.html). If you do see any of these signs already, then that would be our cue to have him seen before this becomes an additional issue (especially since its often dehydration that makes them feel unwell).

Overall, a wide range of agents could trigger the signs we are seeing with Kane. Since foreign bodies are a lesser worry here for him, we can try the above supportive care to try to settle his stomach. Though 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, ensure nothing in his stomach that shouldn't be, or any sinister viruses present. Depending on their findings, his vet can treat 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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Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 month ago.
Hi,

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

Dr. B.