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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 20837
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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My puppy is 5 months old and got into cat food. s stomach

Customer Question

My puppy is 5 months old and got into cat food. His stomach was swelled up but has gone down a lot. He has gone potty. I'm worried because he is breathing really heavy. What should I do?
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about your dog?
Customer: No he otherwise is in good health
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Veterinarian about your situation and then connect you two.
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 today. I do apologize that your question was not answered before. Different experts come online at various times; I just came online, read about your wee one’s situation, and wanted to help.

Again I do apologize that my colleagues could not aid you sooner, but can you tell me:

Any retching, gagging, lip licking or vomiting? 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?

Can you take a breathing rate for me (just count his breaths for 10 seconds + multiply that by 6)?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Keeps water down fine. No vomit. Gums are pink. He is acting normal as in he has energy, breathing rate slows and then gets faster . It will be normal and then probably 60 at its fastest. It's gone down. No tenderness when I touch his belly. Doesn't seem to bother him. He has peen passing gas and has had a bowel movement.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Gums are sticky
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you,

Is he up and mobile when it increases? Does he look sore when it is up?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He's laying down when it increases when he is up and walking around it doesn't seem as bad. He doesn't act like he's sore or hurting he's just breathing heavily through his nose.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you again,

Now if his gums are pink, then the elevation in breathing rate is likely related to discomfort with his overindulgence. So, we do want to monitor both those parameters at this point. Though since he isn’t painful with this food "overdose" and isn’t appearing weak/lethargic; this is positive for your lad.

Now in regards ***** ***** stomach distension due to copious amounts of food (aka "food bloat"), signs we can commonly see include abdominal pain, distension, gas expulsion (via burping or farting), nausea, +/- vomiting or diarrhea. Now in many cases this is often something that resolves on it's own over 24-48 hours without any specific intervention. The dogs that tend to settle without veterinary attention will be those that are not showing adverse signs due to their gluttony. So as long as he is fairly comfortable and the rate drops when he is at rest, we will hopefully we will see him settle and have no other issue with this.

Now one issue that we do have to consider since this was dry kibble is that we can see dehydration and electrolyte imbalances arise due to the this food pulling fluid from the body into the GI. Therefore, if he becomes very lethargic, drinking large volumes, or apearing dehydrated, or weak; then it would be prudent to consider having him checked by your vet and potentially admitted for IV fluids while he is processing and passing all the excess food. To determine if he is dehydrated and needs IV fluid intervention, you can see how to do so HERE (

Otherwise, if he can settle and get comfortable despite him overly filled stomach, I would say that you can choose to monitor him at this stage. Since he isn't showing any dry heaving, straining, or collapse, his gums stay pink, and he shows no distress, then you can keep monitoring. Any changes to this, and we'd want him seen urgently to ensure there are not complications here.

If you choose to do so, then you will just want to provide small amounts of water (1/4-1/2 cup) every 1-2 hours and plan to withhold food for 24 hours. After that time frame has passed, resume feeding but only give 25-50% of his normal meal size. Once 48 hours have passed, provided all has settled, you can restart his normal feeding routine. And when we do, we can offer an east to digest diet (ie cooked white rice with boiled chicken, boiled white fish, scrambled egg, or meat baby food (garlic/onion free). Ideally, we want to offer this as small frequent meals to keep his stomach settled. And we can add a bit of fiber (ie canned pumpkin) to this to help push that cat food through the gut and out the other end.

Overall, I suspect the elevated breathing is a mild sign of discomfort from his over indulgence. Therefore, since he is otherwise comfortable, then hopefully we will avoid any major adverse complications with this. Therefore, you may choose to take the above approach and monitor. But if he becomes lethargic, sore, your check of his hydration reveals that he is dehydrated, or you are seeing any of those aforementioned adverse signs, then we'd want to have him to your local vet urgently. Otherwise, if he remains stable, we should see stomach settle and see him recover from his misadventure with gluttony.

Just in case you need a local emergency vet, you can check @ or via

Please take care,

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 only way I am credited for helping you. Thank you! : )

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you so much!
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

You are very welcome, my dear.

All the best,

Dr. B.


If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond.

**Afterwards, I would be grateful if you would rate my service by clicking on the "Rate my Expert' button at the top of the page as this is the only way I am credited for helping you. Thank you for your feedback!: )

Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

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