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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 21419
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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I have a 7 week old pup who has diarrha and vomiting after

Customer Question

I have a 7 week old pup who has diarrha and vomiting after shot day before yesterday
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.
Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today

By shot, do you mean that he had a vaccination?

What is he bringing up in his vomit?

What does the diarrhea look like? Any blood or mucus?

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, rocks, plants, chemicals, etc)?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

He had a vaccination and his vomit is food the diarrhea is watery and brown.gums are pink and moist. he did drink some water no tummy seems ok but puppy I know doesn't feel well

Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.

Thank you Donna,

First, I am glad to see that your wee one has no issues with paling gums, belly pain, and it doesn't sound like has gotten into anything he should not have. The reason I ask is because ingestion of non-edible or dangerous items are a real concern in young pups. But it is good news if we can rule those out right off the bat.

With those aside, as I am sure you can appreciate, just like people, dogs can have GI upset with vomiting and loose stools that is caused by a range of agents. Common ones at this age include bacteria viruses, parasites, and general dietary indiscretions. And I would note that if he was brewing a bacterial or viral gastroenteritis at the time of vaccination, then it is not uncommon to see the infection gain a foothold when the immune system is distracted "mid-fight" by a vaccination. This essentially divides its forces and the subclinical agent is able to rear its head and make out dogs feel poorly.

Now as long as he can keep water down, we can try some home supportive care to see if we can settle his stomach. To start, if it has been a wee bit since his last vomit (since otherwise he may need to have his stomach rested for a few hours first), then you can consider treating him with an antacid to settle his stomach. 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 use are Pepcid (More Info/Dose), Tagamet (More Info/Dose) or Zantac (More Info/Dose). 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. And I would note that if you give one 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 is more steady on his stomach, you can consider starting him on 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 which translates to less vomiting and diarrhea. Therefore, it should get more nutrients in and result in less GI upset. As long as improvement is being seen, I usually advise that the diet be continued until he is settled, and that they are then slowly weaned back to their normal diet over a week.

Since vomiting and diarrhea can quickly dehydrate a dog, even if he can drink, we need to keep an eye on his hydration. To check his hydration status to make sure he is not becoming dehydrated there are a few things we can test. One is whether the eyes appear sunken, if the gums are tacky instead of wet/moist, 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. If you are seeing any signs of dehydration already, since he is young, then you do want to have him seen by the vet before this becomes an additional issue for him .

Finally, as long as you have not seen blood in those stools, you can consider trying him today on a dog safe anti-diarrheals once you address the vomiting. As I am sure you appreciate, these would not be a cure if the 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 ) or PeptoBismol (More Info/Dose ). Both are available from your local pharmacy. Furthermore, Propectalin, Fast Balance, or Protexin Pro-Fiber (which is available OTC at vets, pet stores, and even Amazon) would be another option. All will slow diarrhea and the last few 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 of trying to soothe his upset GI.

Overall, GI upset of this nature can be triggered by a wide range of agent. Since he did just have a vaccine, I do suspect that he was brewing a subclinical GI bug that is now causing signs. Therefore, I would advise the above supportive care for him. Though if he cannot keep that or water down at any stage, then we'd want to consider having him seen urgently for injectable anti-vomiting treatment. Otherwise, if he can keep this down, you can try to settle his stomach over the next 12-24 hours with the above. Of course, if he doesn't settle or he is appearing dehydrated, then we'd want to consider getting his vet involved. They can assess his hydration and just make sure there is nothing in his stomach that shouldn't be there or any sinister viruses present. Depending on the exam, his vet can treat him with an injectable anti-vomiting medication, antibiotics, +/- appetite stimulants if need be to address this for him, settle his stomach, and get him back to feeling well for us.

I hope this information is helpful.

If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!

All the best,

Dr. B.

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