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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 21418
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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Our australian sheperd began throwing up Monday morning. He

Customer Question

hello
our australian sheperd began throwing up Monday morning.
He hasn't eaten but finally took a little water this evening
He is shaking a bit when breathing in
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
He walked from the car on his own. He peed outside and he jumped up on the bed. He has been throwing up bile today. He is shaking upon breathing in. He is just laying around. He seems otherwise alert.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years 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 have to say that I am very concerned about your lad.
Your lad's refusal to eat does raise concerns of severe nausea being an ongoing issue for him. Now as I am sure you can appreciate, just like people, dogs can have GI upset with vomiting and anorexia that is caused by a range of agents. Specifically we have to consider that we can see these signs with general bacterial infections, viruses, parasites, pancreatitis, inflammatory disease (ie IBD), metabolic/organ issues (if he is older), toxins, foreign body ingestion, and general dietary indiscretions.
Now the severity of his situation will depend on what other signs you are seeing. For example, if he had any belly discomfort, if his gums were pale/sticky (instead of pink/moist), or he couldn't even keep water down; then those would be red flags that we'd want him seen urgently. Otherwise, if he isn't showing these signs, hasn't eating something dangerous, and can keep water down; then we can try to see if we can settle his upset stomach.
Now if he can at least keep the water down, that is a positive for us. This is because it means that we can try some supportive care for him at home. Of course, if that changes and he cannot keep water down or is too nauseous to drink, then that is often a red flag that we will at least need to get him on injectable anti-vomiting medication to settle his stomach and tackle this.
To start, since he has had vomiting and won't eat, you can consider treating him with an antacid to settle his stomach. If he has just vomited, you could consider fasting him for a few hours before giving this to increase the chance he keeps it down. 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 over a week.
Since vomiting and anorexia can quickly dehydrate a dog, we need to keep an eye on his hydration. I am glad his gums are wet but other signs to monitor are whether the eyes appear sunken, and whether he has a "skin tent" when you lift the skin. To see how to check these parameters for dehydration, you can find a wee video on this HERE (www.ehow.com/video_12232503_dog-dehydrated.html). If you are seeing any signs of dehydration already, since this has been going on for days already, then you do want to have him seen by the vet before this becomes an additional issue.
After checking, if you are concerned that he is becoming dehydrated, you can try and encourage him to drink by offering fresh water or even low-sodium chicken broth. Furthermore, you can offer rehydration solutions like Pedialyte. Pedialyte is nice (though aim for a flavorless one) because it will get some of those lost electrolytes back into him as well. Do note that you should not give this via syringe if his vomiting doesn't settle first.
Overall, GI upset of this nature can be triggered by a wide range of agents. Therefore, we'd want to consider supportive care to settle his stomach at this stage. If you try this over the next 12-24 hours and don't see improvement, you find he cannot keep the above down, or he is appearing dehydrated, then we'd want to consider getting his vet involved. They will be able to assess his hydration, make sure there isn't anything in his stomach that doesn't belong, and treat him with an injectable anti-vomiting medication, antibiotics, +/- appetite stimulants to stop his vomiting, settle his stomach, and get him back to eating for you.
I hope this information is helpful.
If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!
All the best, *****
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