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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16304
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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My 16 month Maltese seems a lethargic and has vomited yellow

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Hi my 16 month Maltese seems a lethargic and has vomited yellow bio yesterday, no worms in it just a bit foamy. he did eat grass in the morning yesterday and I am worried that it s the crap our association puts on our grass for weeds., But his skin looks purple and not the light pink as usual. I have kept him away from all dogs (with this flu) I have kept him from the groomer ( grooming him myself) with organic dog shampoo every week and have kept him from the vet to afraid he's so little to have him catch anything. He is up to date on his shots, rabies due in a month. This year I did not put him on the Heart worm pills, but on the liquid on his back for tick, fleas and mosquitos. I wash him every week and check out everything on his body. I brush him daily and have found nothing on him. But I am worried he's not himself. Please please help. My husband says I am over reacting but my pup is everything to me.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 2 years ago.
Hello, my name is***** and I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian. I am sorry to hear that Murphy vomited yellow material yesterday and seems a little quieter than usual. Yellow in the vomit means that the small intestine is refluxing bile into the stomach so that when he vomits you see the yellow color.That isn't normal as bile doesn't belong in the stomach, and it does mean that there is some reverse motility, but it isn't specific for any particular disease process.Foam is simply stomach or esophageal mucous mixed with air as they retch and vomit and is not concerning in and of itself. Dogs with nausea or gastroesophageal acid reflux often eat grass or foreign material to settle their stomachs or make themselves vomit. They may swallow repeatedly and lick things trying to soothe their nausea and acid burn. If they can rid themselves of whatever is irritating their stomach that way then all is good. But if he is vomiting repeatedly and continues to be uncomfortable then we need to stop him from eating any more grass. It becomes a vicious cycle where the more they vomit the more their stomach acid burns their esophagus and the worse they feel. If he seems to feel pretty well otherwise some dogs seem to vomit more on an empty stomach so feeding him small meals several times a day, and maybe a snack before bedtime, may be very helpful. It may also be helpful to put him on an acid reducing medication as too much stomach acid, especially on an empty stomach, is very irritating and predisposes to vomiting. In many cases nausea or vomiting is triggered by eating something they should not, too much table food, too many treats or something they find outdoors.More serious causes of vomiting include viral or bacterial infections, chronic pancreatitis, esophageal reflux, a dietary allergy or sensitivity, inflammatory bowel disease, internal organ failure (kidney or liver disease), a full or partial gastrointestinal obstruction or even infiltrative cancers such as lymphoma (very unlikely at his age). If he seems to feel well other wise you can give acid reducers to try and settle his stomach. I recommend giving him a dose before bed so that it is in his system in the morning. You can give either: 1) Pepcid ac (famotidine) at ¼ of a 10mg tablet per 5 to 10 pounds of body weight every 12 hours OR 2) Prilosec (omeprazole) at ¼ of a 10mg tablet per 5 to 10 pounds of body weight every 24 hours These are both acid reducers and should help her feel better. They are quite safe and can be used long term if necessary.I would pick up all food for now and water for a couple hours to allow his stomach to settle after the acid reducers. In a couple hours when you give him water make sure it is in small amounts only. If he drinks too much too quickly that can lead to vomiting. To get some electrolytes in you can also offer him a 50:50 mix of pedialyte and water.If there is no further vomiting in a few hours offer a bland diet of 1/3 boiled, minced, white, skinless chicken or boiled, lean hamburger and 2/3 boiled white rice mixed with some low salt chicken or beef broth to make it easy to lap up and swallow. If things go well and he eats and doesn't vomit feed him the bland diet for 2 to 3 days then slowly start to mix back in his regular food, a little more at each meal. It should take about 3-5 days to slowly convert him back to his regular diet. If he continues to vomit even with the acid reducers, runs a fever (more than 103F rectally), has a tense painful belly or if he refuses to eat he should see a veterinarian for an examination, diagnostics, injectable anti-nausea drugs intravenous fluids and supportive care. It is not unusual for a dog's skin color to change from pink as a puppy to have bluish or gray colored skin. It is simply due to increased pigment from cells called melanocytes. If your fellow were very itchy and licking and scratching this area quite a bit and there was hair loss and thickening of the skin the coloring could be secondary to irritation and inflammation. But if he isn't itchy, there is no hair loss or thickening of his skin and he just has blue gray pigmentation on his skin then this may simply be normal pigmented skin coloring. No treatment is needed and these are of no concern. We often see it more on areas of the skin that have less fur naturally, like the abdomen.Some dogs that are spotted in color can have areas of pink or white skin and blue/black splotches.See this link for an example: that have a more consistent pigmentation will have a more even blue/gray appearance. See this link: your pup isn't itchy and has a normal coat and skin otherwise I would not be concerned.Now if the change in color is deeper in color (purple/black) and is a more intense color and blotchy like a bruise would be on a person that can indicate bruising and bleeding and that is of concern. That can indicate internal bleeding from things like tick borne diseases. Then he should be examined promptly. I understand that you are trying to protect but skipping heartworm prevention can be dangerous. Heartworm is transmitted by a mosquito bite so even dogs with no contact with other dogs can get it, and this is prime time for infection. If you don't want to take into a clinic perhaps a mobile veterinarian can come to you, get him tested and on prevention.Here's a link to help you find one in your area: let me know if you have other details or a particular question based upon my response.