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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
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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 dog is barley eating and his stools are not as firm as

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My dog is barley eating and his stools are not as firm as usual. What is most common cause for this
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. How old is barley?
Customer: His name is ***** ***** he is barely eating. He is a 6 year old brittany spaniel
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about prince?
Customer: No

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:

How long has he been showing signs?

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

Can he keep any water down?

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

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

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

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
This has been happening almost two weeks. He is showing none of the other symptoms described above. He can keep water down. He hasn't eaten anything he shouldn't have as far as I know
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
There was a couple days where I could get him to eat a little bit a few last night I bought a small bad of different food to try and he did eat some of that. He also will eat people food without hesitation.
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
I meant a couple days he did eat a small amount of food.last night I bought a small bad of different food to try and he did eat some of that. He also will eat people food without hesitation.

Thank you,

First, in regards ***** ***** question, we tend to see anorexia triggered by underlying oral pain or nausea (even without vomiting). Potential causes at his age for oral pain would be dental disease, oral ulcers and masses. For nausea (more a suspect if he has selective grazing of people food as reported), we can often see this secondary to bacterial or viral gastroenteritis, pancreatitis, parasites/protozoa infections, general dietary indiscretions, and ingestion of harmful items (hopefully less likely for Prince). Though since this has been ongoing a while, I'd also note that we'd have to consider this being secondary to organ troubles (ie liver, kidney), IBD, metabolic disease or even cancer (which can arise in vague ways like this).

With this all in mind, we can try some home supportive care. To start, we can try to counter or rule out nausea 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)]. 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.

Afterwards, we'd want to tempt Prince to eat. Favorites are allowed but you can also try 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 (garlic/onion free). he aim of these diets is that they will be better tolerated/absorbed by the upset gut (it will help with his stools too). If he cannot be tempted and since we can offer or syringe feed watered down Hill's A/D, Royal Canin Recovery, canned puppy food or Clinicare Canine/Feline Liquid Diet. All of these are calorically dense, so a little goes a long way nutrition-wise.

Since dehydration is a risk, we need to keep an eye on hydration here. 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 (especially as it is often dehydration that makes them feel unwell).

Overall, there are a wide range of agents could trigger the anorexia and reduce appetite signs Prince is showing. With this having been ongoing for weeks, we need to be careful and proactive with Prince. So, you can start the above supportive care just now. But if he doesn’t respond to the above within 12-24 hours (since this has been ongoing for quite a while already); then we'd want to get his vet involved. They can assess his hydration, check bloods to make sure we don't have an organ issue, make sure there is nothing in his stomach that shouldn't be there or any sinister viruses present. Depending on their findings, his vet can treat him with injectable anti-nausea medication, appetite stimulant, +/- antibiotics to settle get him back feeling like himself.

Kind regards,

Dr. B.

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If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond.

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Customer: replied 1 month ago.
He is eating food now..his stools are still loose so this could be a bacterial issue right

Hello again,

That is good to hear that he is eating, but if those stools are still loose then we would be most wary of a bacterial infection (though viruses and protozoa could also be to blame). So, you can try some supportive care to firm his stools but if these are lingering then we'd want to have a sample checked by his vet. Though in regards ***** ***** you can add fiber (ie canned pumpkin) to his food to bulk those stools up. Else as long as there is no blood in his stool, you can try OTC Kaolin/Kaopectate (More Info/Dose @ http://www.petplace.com/article/drug-library/library/over-the-counter/kaolin-and-pectin-kapectolin-k-p)) or a kaolin/probiotic paste (ie Propectalin, Canikur, Fast Balance, and Protexin Pro-Fiber) which are all OTC at vets, pet stores, and even Amazon.

All the best,

Dr. B.

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Customer: replied 19 days ago.
I gave him white rice and chicken the last couple of days which the vet agreed I should try..but I think now he is constipated. What can I do? The vet isn't available this time of night. Thanks

Hi again,

Do be aware that they do pass less stool on light diets because the body absorbs more of it (less fillers). So, we can see less stool with this. Though if he is straining to pass stool, then we'd want to stop any of those anti-diarrheal treatments and start him on OTC cat hairball treatment or a mild GI lubricant (ie Lactulose, Miralax). These (and the pumpkin too) will help ease fecal passage for him if we need to do so.

Best wishes,

Dr. B.

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