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Dr. Drew
Dr. Drew, Veterinarian
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 16846
Experience:  Small Animal Medicine and Surgery
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My 5 y/o female Chesapeake threw up what appears to be her

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My 5 y/o female Chesapeake threw up what appears to be her days worth of food on her bed in the back room within the last 4 hours. About an hour ago she started whining (and she never whines, only barks), I went to check on her. She came into the living room, stayed in the corner and started whining again 10 minutes later, walked into the hallway and vomited bile lightly (but clearly) tinged with red blood (no coffee grounds in anything, previous vomit of food was just food, nothing irregular, no other instances of bile I can find). I put her on a leash, walked her down the block and she pooped half solid and half very soft - although I wouldn't characterize it as diarrhea (but close). Feces was normal brown, no signs of digested blood, no signs of pain or strain while pooping. She urinated. She walked close to me, though, as she usually walks at the end of the length of the leash.

Her gums are pink and she is not guarded when palpating her stomach. No abdominal distention. Her eyes are clear. Membranes moist. Respirations appear unremarkable. I don't have a HR but I have a stethoscope (I'm an RN) and could find out but I don't know canine baselines for HR/RR.

She refused a milk bone which has never happened and she is now camped out in her spot in the back room. She will wag her tail and lift her head but doesn't want to otherwise get up and move around. I wouldn't characterize her as lethargic.

She is a very hearty dog, never had problems. She is 65 lbs and eats just about everything in the backyard (sticks, grass, acorns, etc.) but always passed or vomited everything. And I'm not aware she has gotten into anything unusual. She is about 20 pounds of food into a new formula I switched her to 2 weeks ago but to date has tolerated it well. What else...?

My only concern is the tinge of blood - these dogs vomit their food sometimes and I'm not an alarmist. So should I take her to the ER tonight or is it reasonable to let her wait it out through the night. And if so, at what intervals should I check on her? (Currently I'm checking every 20 minutes and as of this moment her respirations have slowed to normal resting and otherwise unchanged from my previous assessment)

Drew :

Hello, thanks for your question today! I am Dr. Drew, and I am a licensed veterinarian. I'll be happy to help you in any way I can.

Drew :

I generally don't get terribly worried about a small degree of blood tinge to vomit,

Drew :

as it's common to have some bleeding of the delicate lining of the stomach or esophagus during a vomiting episode.

Drew :

I'm more likely to be concerned if the gums are pale, or of there's signs of digested blood (coffee grounds appearance) in the vomit,

Drew :

as that would be more worrisome as an indicator of serious internal problems.,

Drew :

For tonight, it might be worthwhile to try a dose of pepto bismol liquid,

Drew :

approximately 1mL per 10 pounds body weight,

Drew :

or 1 caplet (not tablet)

Drew :

given every 8-12 hours as needed,

Drew :

as this is a good digestive anti-inflammatory product

Drew :

and is generally regarded as safe.

Customer:

Right, that's what I was thinking, too, about the blood.

Customer:

will she eat pepto liquid straight from a spoon? or is it easier to give the caplet?

Drew :

no, she will not take it from a spoon, you need to use a syringe,

Drew :

or make her swallow a caplet,

Drew :

your choice

Drew :

another option is Pepcid-AC or Zantac,

Drew :

either is safe and effective as an acid blocker to help improve stomach comfort.

Customer:

ok. at what point should I introduce food? (I have an older Chessie that doesn't always finish his food and she sometimes eats it and from the amount she vomited, I'm thinking she had a double breakfast today)

Drew :

I generally wait at least 6 hours after the last episode of vomiting,

Drew :

before offering a small amount of bland food such as white rice

Drew :

if the vomiting persists, even with an empty stomach, then I'd be more likely to recommend seeing a veterinarian rather than attempting to offer food.

Customer:

ok, so far no more vomiting. I'll grab some pepto in a few minutes. OK to wait until morning to feed her? Or is getting food in her stomach as soon as tolerable a priority?

Drew :

sure, for a large dog it's no problem to wait until morning before feeding.

Drew :

a tiny pup, would be a different story.

Customer:

OK - great. I just checked her and she has gotten up and moved around. She seems alright.

Customer:

one more thing -

Drew :

sure

Customer:

in a situation like this - what would I look for to indicate an obstruction? (I keep them outside during the day, and they chew on every organic crunchy available to them and although neither has ever had a problem, I worry about it sometimes)

Drew :

signs of obstruction typically would include repeated vomiting, or a failure to have appetite return after at least 6 hours from last vomiting,

Drew :

we also look for abdominal pain and lethargy, though not all obstructions show those signs initially.

Drew :

the most reliable feature is a persistent lack of appetite, or repeated vomiting despite fasting and supportive care.

Customer:

OK - this dog spins in circles when I have a food bowl in hand so it shouldn't be hard to assess the return of her appetite. In case it doesn't return, say, by tomorrow morning, when (or for what) should I consider taking her to the vet?

Customer:

i.e. right away? before dinner? etc.

Drew :

I'd take her in if she's not interested in food by morning, given that it's a weekend... and many vets have limited Saturday hours.

Customer:

fair enough - anything else?

Drew :

I think that probably covers the main concerns in a situation like this.

Drew :

if you have further concerns, feel free to let me know!

Customer:

Great - I'm good for tonight. You've saved me an ER visit and I'm grateful for that - thank you. --Steven

Drew :

you're very welcome -- I hope Belle feels like herself by morning!

Customer:

Me too - thank again.

Dr. Drew and other Pet Specialists are ready to help you
Hi Steven,

I'm just following up on our conversation about Belle. How is everything going?

Drew
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

She's doing great. Thanks for the follow up.


 


SLM


 


 

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