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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 14579
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian
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My one year old Westie is usually very - however when I got

Customer Question

My one year old Westie is usually very chipper - however when I got home from work at noon today she did not want to get up. I picked her up and carried her to my room and when I put her down she was shaking and refused to walk. Should I take her to see a Vet or wait?
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Could be a lot of things that cause lethargy. The Veterinarian will know how to help the dog. What is the dog's name?
Customer: Ironically her name is Pearl! Some background info may help - yesterday I grilled some steak that had been marinating in a plastic ziplock bag. I threw the bag with the extra marinade away, but I just found it and its empty - could she have food poisoning?
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Pearl?
Customer: Not that I can think of
JA: I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Veterinarian about your situation and connect you two.
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 7 months ago.

Hello, my name is***** and I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian. I am very sorry to hear about Pearl's lethargy and shaking.

Her behavior indicates pain, and possible nausea in a young dog. Abdominal discomfort/nausea in a younger dog can be from several causes. Common ones are a quick change in diet, too many treats, especially fatty or spicy treats, eatings things they should not such as things found in the yard, toy pieces or garbage, viral or bacterial or parasitic infections.
More serious causes include chronic pancreatitis, esophageal reflux, a dietary allergy or sensitivity, inflammatory bowel disease, internal organ failure (kidney or liver disease), a full or partial gastrointestinal obstruction or even infiltrative cancers such as lymphoma (not likely at her young age).

In her case I suspect her symptoms are due to eating the marinade. Marinades act by hydrolyzing (breaking down) proteins in the meat to tenderize them. These effects can be extremely irritating to the gastrointestinal tract, and can cause pancreatitis in some dogs. It is also possible that she is feeling the effects of ingesting the bacteria from the meat.

At this point we can try some things at home but she may need to see a veterinarian if she isn't coming along well.

To try and settle her stomach now you can try either:
1) Pepcid-ac (famotidine) at a dose of one half of a 10mg tablet per 10 to 20 pounds of body weight every 12 hours.
2) Prilosec (omeprazole) at a dose of one quarter of a 20mg tablet per 10 to 20 pounds of body weight every 24 hours.
These will reduce stomach acid and should help if this is related to simple nausea and gastrointestinal irritation from eating something she should not have they should help.

I would not feed her any food for 24 hours even after the acid reducers are started.
This should help stop gut spasms and restore normal gut motility.

Starting a couple hours after the acid reducers small amounts of water or ice cubes given frequently are fine as she needs fluids.

You can give her pedialyte to replace electrolytes too but Gatorade is much too high in sugar which can make her intestinal irritation worse.

If things are going well after her food fast and the acid reducers start a bland diet of 1/3 boiled hamburger (or white skinless chicken), all fats and juices drained off mixed with 2/3 boiled, plain white rice. Feed several small meals a day. You might want to add probiotics to her meals to replace "good bacteria" too. Good brands are Proviable, Fortiflora and Benebac.

Once she feels better (no vomiting for 48 to 72 hours) start mixing in her regular dog food very slowly. Less bland more regular with each day. It should take a week or so to convert her back.

If Pearl is continuing to feel poorly though, it would be best that she see a veterinarian now.

If she has a tense painful abdomen, becomes very lethargic, begins vomiting, or runs a fever greater than 103.5F then she really must be seen by a veterinarian as soon as possible.

Best of luck with your little one, please let me know should you have any further questions.

Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 7 months ago.

Hello, I wanted to make sure that you didn't have any further questions for me, and I'd like to know how things turned out for your pup. If you found my response helpful please don't forget to rate it so I may receive credit for it, thank you, ***** *****

Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 6 months ago.
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Dr. Kara