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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 15690
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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He's been less active, has thrown up twice this week (clear

Customer Question

He's been less active, has thrown up twice this week (clear liquid) and has a dry nose.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Hopefully it didn't make a mess. Did the dog eat anything unusual?
Customer: Not that we are aware of. He also has a little limp in his walk. We checked to see it here was in thing in his paws bUT didn't see anything.
JA: What is the dog's name and age?
Customer: Baxter. He' 5 years old
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Baxter?
Customer: He's an inside dog. He is also a service dog. We live in Arizona and it's pretty hot here.
JA: OK. Got it. 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 then connect you two.
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 4 months ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.

How long has he had these signs? Just this week?

What did his vomit look like?

Can he keep water down?

Are his gums pink or pale/white? Moist or sticky?

If you press on his belly, does he have any discomfort, tenderness, or tensing?

Could he have eaten something he should not have (ie bones, toys, plants, chemicals, etc)?

Has he had any diarrhea?

Which leg is he favoring? Does he just seem a bit stiff?

Any areas that feel swollen, unstable, or sore when handled?

Expert:  Dr. B. replied 4 months ago.

Any issues with ticks with your lad?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
No ticks in our area. Been less active since Sunday evening. No diarrhea, vomiting clear liquid, able to keep water down, no tenderness in the stomach area, no swelling that we can see. We think it's the right rear leg that he is favoring.
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Gums are pink and a little tacky.
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Baxter is 7 and not 5 years old
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 4 months ago.

Thank you,

First, I am glad that we can rule out tick borne disease, since they can cause odd GI/lameness issues. With that aside, we are likely looking at 2 different concerns. Though we can sometimes see lameness just secondary to weakness and potential secondary strains when they aren't 100%. So, we'd want to monitor that lameness, rest him (avoid stairs, climbing/jumping off this, etc) at this stage while trying to address the upper GI signs.

Now based on the GI signs we are seeing, we do have a few concerns. Common causes we need to consider include bacterial or viral gastroenteritis, pancreatitis, parasites/protozoa infections, general dietary indiscretions, and ingestion of harmful items (ie toxins, plants, non-edible items).

With this all in mind, as long as he can keep water down, we can try some home supportive care to try to settle his stomach. To start, if he hasn’t just vomited (since otherwise we’d need to rest his stomach for a few hours first), then you can consider treating him with an antacid. Common OTC pet safe options would be Pepcid (More Info/Dose @, Zantac (More Info/Dose @, or Tagamet (More Info/Dose Here @ Whichever you choose, we’d give this 20 minutes before offering food to allow absorption. Of course, do double check with your vet if he has a known health issues or is on any medications you haven't mentioned. Though if you give this and he cannot keep it down due to nausea that is usually a red flag that we need to bypass his mouth with injectable anti-vomiting medication from his vet.

Once that has had time to absorb and he is steadier on his stomach, you can consider starting him on a light/easily digestible diet. Examples you can use are cooked white rice with boiled chicken, boiled white fish, cottage cheese, or scrambled eggs (made with water and not milk). There are also OTC vet diets that can be used (ie Hill’s I/D or Royal Canin’s sensitivity) too. The aim of these diets is that they will be better tolerated/absorbed by the compromised gut. Therefore, it should get more nutrients in and result in less GI upset. As long as improvement is being seen, I usually advise continuing this until the signs are settled, and then weaning him slowly back to his normal diet.

Since dehydration is a risk with it being hot there and those gums starting to get tacky, we need to keep an eye on his hydration. To check this and ensure he’s not becoming dehydrated, there are a few things you can test. Further to checking for gum moisture, you will want to make sure his eyes are not looking sunken and that he doesn’t have a "skin tent" when you lift the skin. To see how to check these parameters for dehydration, you can find a good video HERE ( If you are seeing any signs of dehydration already, then that would be our cue to have him seen before this becomes an additional issue for him (especially as it is often dehydration that makes them feel unwell).

Overall, these signs do raise a few concerns for your lad. Therefore, in his case, we’d want to start supportive care to settle his stomach. If he settles, we'd want to monitor the lameness and would ideally it settle during the same time frame or shortly after. Though if he cannot keep that or water down, appears dehydrated already, or doesn’t respond to the above within 12-24 hours; then we'd want to get his vet involved. They can assess his hydration, rule out fever, check his leg, make sure there is nothing in his stomach that shouldn't be there or any sinister viruses present. Depending on their findings, his vet can treat him with injectable anti-vomiting medication +/- antibiotics to settle his stomach, and get him back feeling like himself.

Please take care,

Dr. B.


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