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Dr. Joey
Dr. Joey, Board Certified
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 4723
Experience:  15 yrs in practice, specialist canine/feline medicine
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My dog has been vomiting and has diarrhea. I think he may have

Customer Question

My dog has been vomiting and has diarrhea. I think he may have parvo. I cannot afford to take him to a vet. Is there anything I can do to save my dog?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Joey replied 2 years ago.
Hello I am Dr. Joey. Thanks for trusting me to help you and your pet today. I am a licensed veterinarian with over 15 years of experience. I look forward to working with you.
Oh my, I am so very concerned for Frankie. If he has been vaccinated against the "distemper combo" vaccination then he is probably protected against parvovirus gastroenteritis, but if he is not vaccinated, then you are correct this is a major concern. To confirm parvo causes profound diarrhea that is bloody and vomiting. It becomes rapidly life-threatening due to the profound dehydration. If there is no bloody stool or overt blood smell to his stool, then parvo is less likely and another issue causing marked diarrhea/vomit is possible such as pancreatitis, ingestion of unusual item that is trapped in his system, organ issue (liver, kidney), toxin exposure, and the list continues.
Unfortunately there is not much to be done at home if a dog is both vomiting and having diarrhea. Our top concern is fluid loss. So, getting him to drink is critical, especially an electrolyte solution such as Pedialyte for kids. But, our issue is that anything that goes in by mouth will come back up. This is why in this situation at-home care usually does not work. :(
My top recommendation is to have him seen by a veterinarian. If you have a budget, then present this from the start. As veterinarians, we appreciate this and we are pros at working within a budget, maybe even to help you do at-home care with subcutaneous (not intravenous or into the vein but under the skin) fluids. The veterinarian could give him an injection to stop the vomtiing and perhaps enable him to keep by mouth medications down long enough to work.
I really wish I had good news for you that there is something easy at home to do. If you are unable to have him seen I do have a few suggestions you could try that I might recommend if Frankie was my patient but please be aware this probably will not work because he cannot keep medication down because of vomiting:
1) Feed a bland diet: Try white rice and boiled chicken breasts (chopped) in about 3 meals per day.
2) Give famotidine 10mg every 12 hours for nausea/vomit. You should be able to find this medication at any pharmacy over-the-counter. It has no bad side effects and does a great job to settle stomach acid and reduce nausea.
3) Peptobismol liquid: Give every 8 hours for diarrhea. This medication must be given 1 hour after any other medication as it will coat the system and can potentially prevent absorption of other medications.
4) Probiotic supplementation: Start a probiotic such as one made for dogs (Proviable or Fortiflora) or you may use culturelle as made for people (1 capsule daily). Or if you cannot get any of those products then give 1 tsp of plain yogurt once daily.
I am at a point I need to know what questions you have. We can continue our dialogue in this setting.
I hope that the information I provided has been helpful.
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Expert:  Dr. Joey replied 2 years ago.

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

Dr. Joey