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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 16234
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 drinking a lot of water and not really eating. He's

Customer Question

My dog is drinking a lot of water and not really eating. He's also really subdued and kind of shaking. He will pant like he's hot, and seems like he doesn't feel good. He also keeps going down in the "downward dog" position and will hold it. He's done that 8 or 9 times tonight. I'm not sure what's wrong with him. Should I be really worried?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
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.
Now I am quite concerned about Eames, as what it sounds like you are describing is the "prayer position" (example @ http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/PetMail/2009-11-26_204402_dog.jpg). This is a behavior we see in dogs will abdominal discomfort. Specifically, it can be seen with pancreatitis, severe GI upset, stomach ulcers, GI twists or blockages, or secondary to ingestion of toxins (ie plants, chemicals, human medications, etc) or foreign bodies (ie rocks, socks, toys, bones, etc). And I would note that any of these could be putting him off his food and causing him to pant with discomfort.
So, these would be our main concerns for him. With these in mind and since he is sore enough to keep taking this position, it would be ideal to consider having him seen urgently. That way we can rule out anything causing a blockage or a toxicity damaging his gut. As well, if he has pancreatitis or a severe gastroenteritis, his vet can treat him with injectable pain relief, anti-nausea medication +/- antibiotics. And that would just help get him comfortable and settled as quickly as possible.
Otherwise, in the meantime, we'd want to keep a eye on his gum color (since paling would be a sign of internal bleeding from a possibly GI damaging foreign body) and its moisture (since sticky gums is a sign of dehydration). As well, you can consider trying him with an antacid to reduce gut ache for him. There are a number of antacids that are available over the counter and pet friendly. I would advise only treating with one, but the two I tend to use are:
* Pepcid (More Info/Dose @ http://www.petplace.com/drug-library/famotidine-pepcid/page1.aspx#.VGJLgsn9XPg) or
* Zantac (More Info/Dose @ http://www.petplace.com/drug-library/ranitidine-hcl-zantac/page1.aspx)
These are usually given 20 minutes before offering food (to allow absorption) and of course you want to double check with your vet if your wee one has a pre-existing condition or is on any medications you haven't mentioned.
Once that has had time to absorb, you can consider tempting him with a light/easily digestible diet. If you do so, start with a small volume (a spoonful) to start. Examples would be cooked white rice with boiled chicken, boiled white fish, or scrambled eggs (made with water and not milk). There are also veterinary prescription diets that can be used in cases of gastroenteritis (ie Hill’s I/D or Royal Canin’s sensitivity). When you offer that spoonful, give him 30 minutes to settle. If he keeps the food down, you can give a bit more and so on. As his tummy stabilizes, you can offer more. The aim of the easily digestible diet is that it will be better tolerated and absorbed by the compromised gut. Therefore, it should get more nutrients in and result in less GI upset. Also by feeding this in small frequent meals, it will reduce the stress on the gut. As long as improvement is being seen, I usually advise that the diet be continued until the GI upset is settled, and that they are then slowly weaned back to their normal diet.
Overall, I am quite concerned for Eames. The signs he is showing you are telling us that he has abdominal discomfort and pain. And the above would be potential triggers for that. Therefore, since he is so sore and young, it'd be prudent to have him seen urgently to make sure nothing is caught in his gut. Otherwise, you can try the above to try to settle him while monitoring closely until his vet is open.
In this situation, just in case you do wish to see an emergency vet, you can check @ http://www.vetlocator.com/.
Please take care