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Dr.Fiona
Dr.Fiona, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 6273
Experience:  16 years experience as a companion animal veterinarian in British Columbia, California and Ontario
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My dog has been throwing up 2-3 times/week for the past 4-6

Customer Question

My dog has been throwing up 2-3 times/week for the past 4-6 weeks- should we be concerned?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr.Fiona replied 5 years ago.

HI thereCustomer

Welcome to Just Answer! I would like to help you and your English Springer Spaniel with this question but need a bit more information in order to better assist you.

 

Is there a time of day when your dog is more likely to do this?

 

How many times a day do you feed him?

 

What is usually in the vomitus?

 

Any diarrhea?

 

Fiona

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
There does not seem to be a certain time of day that he does this- he has done it in the middle of the night, morning, and afternoon.

He is fed 2 times/day- once in the AM and once in the PM- we give him Purina lamb and rice plus table scraps usually.

The throw up is usually runny/liquidy and either clear or yellow/green. Sometimes there is grass in it. He does like to grab tissues eat them so once or twice there was that kind of material, but mostly liquid.

His poop was a little runny a few weeks/maybe a month ago, but now it is pretty much normal.

Thanks for your help!
Melissa
Expert:  Dr.Fiona replied 5 years ago.

Thanks Melissa for that additional information...

Let me grab a coffee and be right back!

Expert:  Dr.Fiona replied 5 years ago.

Hmmm.... do you ever see FOOD in the vomitus? or is it always just liquid with bile (that yellow or green coloured liquid is bile)?

 

Is he on any medications?

 

Has he lost weight recently?

 

Have you cut back on the quantity of food or increased his exercise?

 

 

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Hi,
Usually there is no food in the vomit and he is not on any medications- we do give him 'Ultracalm' when there are thunderstorms, but he hasn't had any since about July.

he has no weight gain or loss that is noticable and he has been eating the same and exercising the same- the other week he was limping for a day or so but then was fine- he does a lot of running and jumping over fences!

Expert:  Dr.Fiona replied 5 years ago.
Thanks for that info.... and he didn't ever do this before 2 months ago? Or did it happen sometimes, but now it's more?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
He has thrown up before- but usually once or twice now and then and then it was over- not consistently like he has been now.

I should have said too that 5 years ago he did eat our carpet and had to have surgery to remove it, but he recovered well and there were no problems until now- just in case that helps- thanks!
Expert:  Dr.Fiona replied 5 years ago.

Hi Melissa,

 

 

You have described to me a 6 yr old English Springer Spaniel who has been vomiting bile 2 or 3 times a week for the last 4-6 weeks. He eats twice a day.

 

What you are describing in your dog sounds like he may have bilious vomiting syndrome.

 

Let me explain...

 

Basically, in dogs their stomachs are tiny and their metabolisms are fast. They use up the food in their stomach very quickly, and then their stomach is empty. The stomach contains gastric acid, which is very irritating to the stomach lining, especially when there is no food to soak it up. When the stomach is empty, the acid irritates the stomach so much that the dog starts to feel nauseated. Then, he won't eat. So, the stomach remains empty and irritated. The dog then vomits - and it is stomach acid and bile that comes up!.

 

So, it becomes a cycle - empty stomach --> nauseated --> vomit --> nauseated and so on.

 

The way to break the cycle is to get your dog eating many small meals.

 

Sometimes we have to give dogs with this problem an antacid to help them - common options are cimetidine (Tagamet), famotidine (Pepcid) or ranitidine (Zantac). For patients that I see, I usually recommend Zantac.

 

Here is more about Tagamet:

http://www.petplace.com/drug-library/cimetidine-hcl-tagamet/page1.aspx

 

More about Pepcid:

http://www.petplace.com/drug-library/famotidine-pepcid/page1.aspx

 

And more about Zantac:

http://www.petplace.com/drug-library/ranitidine-hcl-zantac/page1.aspx

 

Keeping your dog's stomach from getting empty will also help to break this cycle. This is particularly true of a bedtime meal. He needs to have something before bed to prevent his stomach from getting so empty overnight. You can divide his meals so he is getting the same amount of food, but split into 3 or 4 meals instead of 2.That way we can get that stomach acid soaked up in some food and prevent the stomach from getting irritated. So, even if you have to resort to a bit of bread or low-fat crackers, then do that to get hiim to eat.

 

If getting your dog to eat is a challenge, you could try canned easy-to-digest foods from your vet (I/D or Gastro are a couple of brands) or pick up some jars of human baby food. Just make very sure the baby food has no onions, onion powder, garlic or garlic powder in it. Beech Nut makes a line of baby food that has nothing but meat (beef, chicken, turkey or veal) in it.

 

Here's a link:

http://www.beechnut.com/Our%20Baby%20Food/Results.asp

 

If you cannot find this, you could find another meat baby food - just read the label carefully to be sure there are no onions, onion powder, garlic, or garlic powder in it. YOu could put this as a little gravy on his dry food. Sometimes offering the food on your finger for her to lick it off will get him started on eating. Sometimes you have to put a bit in his mouth to get a dog started.

 

An easy to digest food available from your vet is Hill's i/d (intestinal diet). Here is a recipe for it, provided by Hill's:

I/D recipe - canine (also known as Canine Highly Digestible Diet):

1/2 cup Cream of Wheat cooked to make about 2 cups

1+1/2 cups creamed cottage cheese

1 large hard-cooked egg

* 2 tablespoons dried brewer's yeast (inactive)

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 teaspoon potassium chloride (salt substitue product)

1 teaspoon (4.5g) dicalcium phosphate (get at drug and health food stores, or substitute bone meal)

1 t (5g) calcium carbonate (Tums)

 

Also add a balanced supplement which fulfills the canine minimum daily requirements (MDR) for all vitamins and trace minerals. This would be available from a veterinary clinic.

* Usually available from a large animal feed store or health food store

 

Cook Cream of Wheat according to package directions, including salt. Cool. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Keep covered in refrigerator. Yield: 2.2lbs

 

Feeding Guide - feed sufficient to maintain normal body weight

Body wt Approx Daily Feeding

5lb 1/2lb

10 lb 3/4lb

20lb 1+1/2lb

40lb 2+1/3lb

60lb 3lb

80lb 3+1/4lb

100lb 4+1/2lb

 

 

So, in summary, it sounds to me that your dog vomits bile and stomach acid because his stomach gets irritated from being empty for long periods. This is best treated by giving frequent small meals and antacids if needed. Famotidine is one option, another would be ranitidine. The dose is in the link above!

 

Here's a link to more about bilious vomiting syndrome:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bilious_vomiting_syndrome

 

 

I hope that this has been helpful. If it has, please hit the green "Accept" button and leave feedback. I will still be here to provide more information if you need it!

 

The above is given for information only. Although I am a licensed veterinarian, I cannot legally prescribe medicines or diagnose your pet's condition without performing a physical exam. If you have concerns about your pet I would strongly advise contacting your regular veterinarian.

Best wishes to you and to your dog!

Fiona

 

 

Dr.Fiona, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 6273
Experience: 16 years experience as a companion animal veterinarian in British Columbia, California and Ontario
Dr.Fiona and 6 other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thank you- we will try those things-- so I don't have to worry about stomach cancer or anything serious like that?
Expert:  Dr.Fiona replied 5 years ago.

Melissa,

Well, it's not impossible that he has stomach cancer... but in 14 years I have seen that twice in dogs (and let's just guess that I see 2000 dogs a year). I see bilious vomiting syndrome about twice a day!

;-)

Hope he feels better soon!

Fiona

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