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Dr. Andy
Dr. Andy, Medical Director
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 29957
Experience:  UC Davis Graduate, Interests: Dermatology, Internal Medicine, Pain Management
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My dog is bloated in his abdominal area and not eating. He

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My dog is bloated in his abdominal area and not eating. He drinks water only and seems to crave it. He is very lethargic and not himself at all! He ate food last night but promptly threw it up. (I had to leave him home in the kitchen while at work). Also, important information: He has a past history of eating DIRT! Could he have ingested too much dirt or maybe something that is blocking his intestinal tract? He is about 12 or 13 years old and is slowing down in many respects. He needs cataract surgery and his legs are becoming weak. I'm just thinking that maybe he has something like cancer or a serious blockage of his intestines which may be causing this...and I wonder about the DIRT~!!! When he is feeling better his bowels move normally except I've noticed a small hernea protruding from his anus. His appetite is always good when he's normal... but not now. His appetite is diminished now but he still shows interest in some foods (like he licked the cream cheese off the lid).
I am sorry to hear about how your pet is doing.
You have packed a lot of information into this question, so I really need to simplify and condense my recommendation.
Based on your dog's symptoms, age, and history (whether he has ingested dirt or not), we really need to get him examined by a veterinarian.
The bloated appearance can represent gas distension, organ enlargement (spleen or liver), a mass inside the abdomen, to name a few.
Many of your questions would be answered by abdominal x-rays, as well as, a basic blood test for an overall health assessment. In addition, at the visit, the vet will be able to treat the digestive symptoms to get him comfortable until you have some answers.
So, we really need that exam and some basic tests.
If we can get this primary concern resolved, I would also discuss with your vet about trying him on some non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication for degenerative joint disease. You may be surprised how much better he might walk on this medication. But again, we need to get him tested and get the digestive tract fixed first.
Good Luck
Please let me know if I can be of any further assistance.

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Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I wish you had given some thoughts about ingesting dirt because it seems to be something he needs.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I wish you had given some thoughts about ingesting dirt because it seems to be something he needs.

It's not a question of something he needs, as opposed to, something he wants to ingest to possible quell any digestive upset. If you feed a normal dog food, then it is highly unlikely that he is suffering from any type of nutritional imbalance. I am more concerned the behavior is due to stomach and intestinal disease.
At all costs, do not let him eat it.
To calm the stomach, in the mean time, you can give some over-the-counter antacid (Pepcid).
Here is the dose:
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I wish you had said something about the ingesting dirt because he seems to need it.

Here is a link you may find interesting regarding dirt or foreign body ingestion.

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