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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 21196
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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Rescued a hound today. It hasn't eaten in awhile. A friend

Customer Question

Rescued a hound today. It hasn't eaten in awhile. A friend of mine picked her up yesterday. They fed her a gallon of water soaked food and a bunch of table scraps. When I got this morning she has been vomiting and will not eat. Any help would be appreciated
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.

Now if she was fed such a large amount of food, this reaction is not unexpected. Animals that have been starved need to be fed with care. This is because the sudden addition of large amounts of food (especially unbalanced foods like table scraps) can lead to a condition called "refeeding syndrome". It can cause GI upset, overstretch the stomach (which will have shrunk during the time or starvation) and can actually cause fatal electrolyte imbalances.

Therefore, we do really need to tread with care. Furthermore, if we have vomiting and anorexia, we also have to tackle her nausea so that we can get her eating. Now I would note that you can try her with an antacid just now to try and settle her stomach. But be warned that if this is not enough, she will need to see her local vet for at least injectable anti-nausea treatment +/- IV fluids to stabilize her. In regards ***** ***** OTC options you can use here are Pepcid (More Info/Dose @ Zantac (More Info/Dose @

Once she is more settled, we'd want to keep to a "refeeding diet." This should be high in fat and low in carbohydrates (similar to what her body has adapted to utilizing) Hills A/D and Royal Canin Recovery diet are two very good options for this. Refeeding diets should be formulated to contain adequate potassium and phosphate and magnesium, as these are often low in these dogs. Further to this, you can also offer a dog multivitamin to address other trace minerals and vitamins.

In regards ***** ***** to feed, we need to base this off her current weight and resting energy requirement (RER). To calculate this, we'd use the equation: 70 +(30 xBWkg). [If you can give me her approximate weight, I can work this out for you if needed]. This refeeding approach is usually done over a week. On the first day, we should only feed 1/8 to 1/4 of RER in multiple small feedings (minimally 3 feedings, ideally more). Every day after, we'd want to increase our daily feeds by 1/8 to 1/4 until total RER is achieved. If she responds well to this, then we can offer few choice feeding.

Overall, the amount she was fed was way too much for her condition. It is a mistake commonly made but one that can cause serious trouble for our starved animals. Therefore, we need to try to address the nausea and then start a proper feeding plan now. Of course, if she is too nauseous, dehydrated, or weak; then we'd want her to the local vet for stabilization in these early stages of recovery.

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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