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Dr. Karen
Dr. Karen, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 175
Experience:  Cornell DVM, small animal practice
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What should I do if my dog is dry heaving and not eating.

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What should I do if my dog is dry heaving and not eating. Started this morning when we got up ... energy level was normal a the dog park, but now that we are back home he won't eat (even his favourite treats)and is very low key
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Karen replied 5 years ago.
DearCustomer

I am sorry to hear your pup is feeling a bit off the mark. I have a couple of clarification questions. What kind of dog is he? How old and how big? What is he normally eating? What have you tried to feed him, how is he acting otherwise (peeing/pooping/etc). Does he have any other symptoms that you can determine? Is he bright, active, and have good color and breathing easily when not dry heaving? Is there any chance he could have gotten into anything in the past couple of days?

Thanks for whatever information you can provide,

Dr. Karen

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Finley is 2 and is a golden retriever / poodle cross. When we got up he seemed fine, then dry heaved as we were going outside. He pee'd and when we got to the dog park pooped (a little soft but not unussual for him). At the park we hiked through the trails for an hour, chased squirels and seemed his normal self. When we got back to the car he wouldn't eat his cookie and when we got home he dry heaved a few times ... wouldn't take his food (regular and gastro), Itried giving him his favs, liver treat and then cheese - - no luck although he did take the liver treat. He is now rather sucky and lying curled up on my bed. He was diagnosed with Giardia and treated successfully several months agao.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Just spoke with his dog walker who siad his was fine yesterday and hasn't had any other reports of her dogs being sick.

 

Expert:  Dr. Karen replied 5 years ago.
DearCustomer

Thank you for the additional information. It sounds like he has an upset stomach for some reason or another. Also, since you have a gastro diet it sounds to me like this happens on occasion?

There are many reasons here why he could have an upset stomach including the stress of the holidays (yes, even the dogs get stressed when everyone else is bustling around and routines are changed up), the extra food sitting around during the holidays, or even possibly something at the park.   The good news is he appeared bright and normal while at the park. This doesn't mean everything is perfect, but usually dogs that are sick can't even make themselves perk up for those fun activities. The liklihood is just that he is a little stomach upset and we can take care of the issue with a little GI rest and some TLC.

I think putting him on a bland diet is a good idea. Usually when an animal is off of food for some reason, especially if they have vomited (or tried to vomit...)I usually give them about 12 hours of gut rest (ie no food, but water is ok), and then start him on plain rice and plain boiled chicken in very small amounts. This I keep on for about 48 hours and then slowly transition back to the normal food. I would keep away from things like cheese that are high fat and rich which can make the stomach more irritated.   

Additional things I like to try in animals that don't want to eat is livening up their normal food with a little no sodium beef or chick broth and warming it up just slightly to make it aromatic and delicious smelling and with the softened food a little gentle and warming going down.   

If he isn't much better by Monday, or if he starts vomiting, having bloody stool, gets bloated, appears weak, pale or non responsive, has issues breathing, or otherwise seems to have worsening signs than a visit to the vet earlier is warranted. However, I think you are catching it early and with some good care, he will be back to his rowdy self.

As to the contact with other dogs during the dog walk, the only thing that might have been that highly contagious would be kennel cough, but I would suspect that it would take a little longer for him to feel off from this (it might not), and if he is routinely around other dogs, if he hasn't been he needs to be vaccinated for this. It is also possible to be a bout of another intestinal parasite, but I think it is most likely a little GI rest will do what we need.

I hope this helps, best of luck to you and your pup, please let me know if there is any way I can be of further assistance,

Dr. Karen

If this information has been helpful, please click the "ACCEPT" button and provide feedback. If you need some more assistance or clarification, please click reply and I will do my best to help you.   

My answer can serve as advice only. I am a licensed veterinarian, actively practicing, but since I have not physically examined your pup, I can not legally prescribe any medicines or diagnose your pet. Please contact your regular veterinarian if you have any worries about the further health of your pup.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Thank you ... what do you mean by pale? His nose is pink (ussually black) but it typically changes colour in the winter months?

Expert:  Dr. Karen replied 5 years ago.
DearCustomer

Sorry for not being very clear. There are two tests to do,

Mucus membranes - flip his lip and look at the color of the gums. They should be a nice bright pink color. If they appear white, or very dark this is bad. Sometimes with pigment it is hard to tell, so try to find a reasonable sized spot on the gums.

Capillary Refill time - this measures whether blood is getting to the periphery (perfusion. Test this by putting your thumb on the gum to apply pressure. After you release your thumb you will see the gum blanch. Capillary refill time is the amount of time it takes (in seconds) for the gum to return to a healthy pink color from the blanched white color. 2 Seconds or less is normal.

These tests can tell you if she is getting enough blood and to the right places.

I hope this helps, best of luck to you and your pup, please let me know if there is any way I can be of further assistance,

Dr. Karen

If this information has been helpful, please click the “ACCEPT” button and provide feedback. If you need some more assistance or clarification, please click reply and I will do my best to help you.

My answer can serve as advice only. I am a licensed veterinarian, actively practicing, but since I have not physically examined your pup, I can not legally prescribe any medicines or diagnose your pet. Please contact your regular veterinarian if you have any worries about the further health of your pup.

Dr. Karen, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 175
Experience: Cornell DVM, small animal practice
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