If you can check his gums that would be grand, as changes away from that normal pink would be a red flag of circulatory/heart/lung issues.
Now despite his ACL issue and the likely arthritis
that will be lurking in Buddy's joints at his age, I would be concerned that his inability to remain standing and being generally down is due to the weakness he will have associated with his anorexia and refusal to drink (as they will be triggering dehydration and low energy due to self-starvation). And these complications will be even more worrisome for him if he diarrhea, as this will increase his losses of each on top of his refusal to take them in. Therefore, we need to tread with care and act quickly if he is declining this fast.
As well, I would note that the eye signs are likely due to bacterial conjunctivitis but I do suspect this is a minor issue caused by a secondary opportunistic infection that is taking advantage of his body being bombarded by something more sinister internally. And in regards ***** ***** we have to appreciate that we do have a GI issue causing visible signs (anorexia and diarrhea), but it may again be secondary to something else (ie metabolic disease, organ troubles, and even cancer).
In this case, as he is so weak, I do have to say that it'd be ideal to have him seen by your vet at this stage. This way we can get the root cause diagnosed, so that we would know if this underlying issue is as treatable as the infectious issues that are present. If it is, then his vet can start treating for that and provide symptomatic care to address the bacterial eye infection and diarrhea.
In the meantime, I do want to note some supportive care we can start here to see if we can get his stomach
settled, diarrhea slowed, hydration helped, and get him eating.
To start, since we have a loss of appetite and this is often related to nausea (even without vomiting), we can start by trying to settle the stomach. To do so, you can try treating with an antacid. There are a number of antacids that are available over the counter and pet friendly. I would advise only treating with one, but the ones I tend to recommend are:
* Pepcid (More Info/Dose @ http://www.petplace.com/drug-library/famotidine
* Zantac (More Info/Dose @ http://www.petplace.com/drug-library/ranitidine-hcl-zantac/page1.aspx)
* Tagamet (More Info/Dose @ http://www.petplace.com/article/drug-library/library/over-the-counter/cimetidine-hcl-tagamet)
This medication of course shouldn’t be given without consulting your vet if he does have any pre-existing conditions or is on any other medications. Ideally, it should be given about 30 minutes before food to ease his upset gut signs.
Once that is on board, we want to tempt him to eat again. You can offer favorites or consider offering a small meal of a light/easily digestible diet. Examples of this would be cooked rice with boiled chicken
, boiled white fish, scrambled eggs
(made with water and not milk), or cottage cheese . There are also veterinary prescription diets that can be used in cases of gastroenteritis (ie Hill’s I/D or Royal Canin’s sensitivity).The easily digestible diet will be better tolerated and absorbed by the compromised gut and should get some nutrients in and result in less nausea and less diarrhea. You can also feed this as small frequent meals to further decrease the volume of diarrhea he is producing. I usually advise that the diet be continued until the signs settle, and that they are then slowly weaned back to their normal diet.
Now if you found he still would not be tempted, since we have no vomiting, you can syringe feed him to get some nutrition into him. When doing so, its idea to use a critical care diet (ie Hills AD, Royal Canin Recovery) or at least wet puppy food. The reason is because each has more nutrition per bite and a little will go a long way in getting some energy back into Buddy.
Further to all of this, we need to monitor his hydration if he isn't drinking. Dehydration is something older dogs will be more at risk of developing in these situations. Therefore, at this stage, do consider checking his hydration. Further to checking gum moisture, you can test this via checking that his eyes do not appear sunken, and whether the pet 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 (http://www.ehow.com/video_12232503_dog-dehydrated.html). If you are seeing any signs of dehydration already, then that is another indicator that it'd be best to have him seen by the vet before this becomes an additional issue.
Otherwise, I would note that since you have not noted any blood in his stools, you can consider trying him today on a dog safe anti-diarrheals. As I am sure you appreciate, these would not be a cure if his diarrhea is being caused by an infectious agent (ie bacteria will require antibiotics, parasites or protozoa will require anti-parasitic treatment, etc). Still it can slow the diarrhea to aid the body to absorb more water/nutrients then it would have if the diarrhea were unchecked. Furthermore, these treatments will coat the GI and could just settle the GI upset. In regards ***** ***** options for your wee one, the ones we most commonly use in dogs are:
* Kaolin/Kaopectate (More Info/Dose @ http://www.petplace.com/drug-library/kaolin-and-pectin-kapectolin-k-p/page1.aspx)
This is available from your local pharmacy ( I would avoid Pepto Bismol since he is not eating
and the aspirin in it could irritate his stomach more). Furthermore, Protexin Pro-Fiber or Propectalin (which is available OTC at vets, pet stores, and even Amazon) would be another option. All will slow diarrhea and the last 2 have the bonus of providing support to the delicate good bacteria of the GI. So, you can consider trying these as a short term means to slow his losses via the diarrhea.
Overall, I am very concerned about Buddy. His signs suggest that he is being bombarded by a few different issues that may be taking advantage of his elderly immune system. And I would be concerned that he is down because of dehydration and energy loss from his GI signs. Therefore, we do need to tread with care. In this case, you can try the above while monitoring him closely. But it would be ideal to consider a check with his vet at this stage to pinpoint the underlying cause for his signs and get this addressed for him as quickly as possible before he just fades away.
I hope this information is helpful.
If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!
All the best,
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