How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dr. B. Your Own Question
Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 20583
Experience:  Hello, I am a small animal veterinarian and am happy to discuss any concerns & questions you have on any species.
Type Your Dog Veterinary Question Here...
Dr. B. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Lucas is 13 yrs old, he's a toy poodle, weighing 4 to 5

Customer Question

Lucas is 13 yrs old, he's a toy poodle, weighing 4 to 5 pounds. Lucas has a history of enlarged heart and a very strong cough along with his this heart issues. Lucas woke up unlike himself and yesterday afternoon at about 4 pm Lucas began to vomit. It is now 4 am today and Lucas has not stopping throwing up. He's no longer making the coughing noises and drinks water only to throw that up also. Please tell me what you may think it can be. He's also lost his balance, tail completely down and he moans of pain. Please help.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B,a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.

Can he keep any water down at all?

Are his gums nice and pink (not white/pale)? Moist or sticky?

If you press on his belly, does he have any tensing, tenderness, discomfort, or pain?

Could he have eaten anything he should not have (ie bones, stones, socks, toys, plants, chemicals, human meds, etc)?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hello,He can keep some water down, he's been trying his best to keep hydrated but once he consumes lots of water he throws it up. I unfortunately can't tell from his gum much since he has a serious gum illness. If I press on his belly he wines, and moans so there is definitely some discomfort there. And no there is no possible way he may of eaten something he shouldn't of
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you,

First, just to note, that even with heart issues or gum disease, we should still be seeing pink gums. Or at the very least, you shouldn't be seeing any changes from Lucas's normal. In any case, this vomiting and belly discomfort isn't likely related to those known health issues and instead we'd be concerned about a bacterial or viral GI bug, pancreatitis (especially with the belly pain), dietary indiscretion, or possibly secondary to other organ or metabolic issues.

Now if he is struggling to keep water down, then we need to tread with care. Not being able to do so at all can be a hint that we will need to use injectable anti-vomiting medication at least initially to settle this severe nausea. That said, if he can keep a bit down, then there are some supportive measures we can try at this stage. Specifically, as long as he hasn't just vomited (since otherwise we may need to rest the stomach and just give sips of water for a few hours first) you can start him 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 @ or Zantac (More Info/Dose @ We tend to want to use these 20 minutes before offering food to allow it to take effect.

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 (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.

Just to note, since dehydration is a real risk here, we need to keep an eye on his hydration. To check this and ensure he isn't becoming dehydrated there are afew 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, then you do want to have him seen by the vet before this becomes an additional issue for him. (since it is often the dehydration that starts to tap their energy level, depresses them, and makes them feel ill). And this is especially important since we cannot syringe fluids into vomiting dogs.

Overall, those would be our above concerns for Lucas's signs. If he is very sore and struggling to keep water down, then we do need to tread with care and think about having him seen by his vet. Especially if he is very painful, since we don't want that to be lingering for him. Of course, if there is any delay in having him seen by his vet, then do use the above to try to reduce those signs. If he settles, we are happy. But if he remains sore, then we would want a check +/- bloods to pinpoint which issue is present and to get him on injectable pain relief, anti-nausea medication +/- antibiotics to settle this for him.

I hope this information is helpful.

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

All the best,

Dr. B.


If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need as this is how I am credited for assisting you today. Thank you! : )

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He's gums are white & his mouth is cold and so are his paws. His body also shakes and he loses his balance. Those are really my biggest concern his vet isn't open until 8 am and there are no pharmacies open either since its 5 in the morning.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He also has only vomited nothing else.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Hi again,

While unlikely related to his vomiting, that whiteness is a major worry here. That tells us that his poor heart likely isn't pushing blood through his circulation as it should. And therefore his shaking, wobbliness, and chilliness are no surprise here. Therefore, I have to say that while we could just try resting his stomach and only giving small sips of water to try to allay the vomiting until his vet is open; that gum color is a major red flag of worry here for Lucas. So, if he appears very depressed and collapsed, then we may even need to have him seen sooner by an ER vet. To find your local ER veterinary clinic, you can check

Take care,

Dr. B.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you very much. I know what I have to do. Thank you
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

You are very welcome, my dear.

Best wishes for Lucas,

Dr. B.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
My dog died this morning, I couldn't even take him to the vet
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

The poor love!

As soon as you said his gums were white, I was very worried for you both. As I noted, this would have been likely related to his heart issue as opposed to the GI signs. And if he declined this suddenly, his heart may just have been past a point where his treatments could help him.

Please take care,

Dr. B.