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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 21199
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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He won't eat,, 6 months, golden retriever, chews & digs up

Customer Question

He won't eat
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. What is the dog's name and age?
Customer: peter, 6 months
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about peter?
Customer: golden retriever, chews & digs up everything in site, super hyper, this morning digging he got his snout wedged under a stack of bricks that i think gave way and squished his mouth pretty hard, he gave a few yelps as I pulled him free. 10 hours later he hasn't touched his food, has no energy, looks miserable, 0 interest in any food even steak, and just sits there, completely lifeless.
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 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:

Is he still sore around his muzzle and face? When you open his mouth?

Any gagging, retching, lip licking, drooling or vomiting?

Are his gums pink or pale/white? Moist or sticky?

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

Could he have eaten something he should not have (ie bones, toys, rocks, plants, chemicals, etc)?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I can't tell if he is sore on muzzle and face, he doesn't seem to flinch away per se, but he will not open his mouth at all unless I totally force it in which case he doesn't whine or flinch, just wants to close it again asap. I brought hose over and turned on a trickle (he loves hose drinking) and he paused but then went after it, opened fairly wide and drank for 10-20 seconds like normal, but then he stopped suddenly and sat back down, and made a few weird throat/stomach gurgle type sounds, then threw up all the water he just drank. There also seems to have been some new drooling happening, not a lot but sort of a slow leak. His gums seem pink and white, see attached, they do seem moist and sticky but I think they've always been like that / I can't tell if different than usual. I pressed all over his body, belly etc and he didn't seem to flinch or react to anything. In fact the cat was playing with him (trying) and usually the dog (playfully) annihilates the cat but he just lay there and let the cat chew his tail/legs/all over, and didn't budge an inch.He has free access to house/pen through his dog door and he 100% prefers inside (cool/central air) but this morning we found him voluntarily outside in his dog house (east coat hot/humid/yucky), and he did NOT want to come out, I had to drag him. But he was panting more (opening/closing his mouth) and he also drank from the faucet without throwing up. There was some vomit and a slimy poop in his bathroom area.Could he have eaten something? Yes. He still eats his poop sometimes but mostly is just that he chews on everything and digs up anything/everything no matter what training we try. Chemicals - probably not, we did use a pesticide last month but kept clear of his area and the dilution was very high anyway. His areas are kept pretty clean. He has several toys, favorites being a frisbee, rubber pig, tennis ball and tug-of-war-rope, they get cleaned every month or so.He seemed better this morning than last night but only marginally if any, and super weak/shaky legs (no food), and still won't even even lick hot dogs or steak, even smelling them he just immediately looks away.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you,

With his not being keen to open his mouth, initial reluctance, and unwillingness to play with the cat when you offered the hose, we’d be suspicious that he is sore but trying to put on a brave face. As well, I would say that he does look a bit puffy on the first photo Though the gurgling, drooling, vomiting, and loose stool also raise concerns of nausea and GI upset. Considering both of these, I’d be wary whether he ate something odd when he was digging (where the swelling is soft tissue inflammation) or that he may have been stung by a bee/wasp/spider. The latter can actually cause swelling, discomfort as well as gut upset.

With this all in mind, we’d want to start some supportive care for Peter. Since we have nausea here, we can consider treating with an OTC pet safe antacid like Pepcid (More Info/Dose @, Zantac (More Info/Dose @, or Tagamet (More Info/Dose Here @ Whichever you choose, we’d give this 20 minutes before offering food to allow absorption. Of course, do double check with your vet if he has a known health issues or is on any medications you haven't mentioned. Also if you give this and he cannot keep it down due to nausea that is usually a red flag that we need to bypass his mouth with injectable anti-vomiting medication from his vet.

Once he is more settled, you can plan to try small meals of a light/easily digestible diet. Examples you can use are cooked white rice with boiled chicken, boiled white fish, or scrambled eggs, or meat baby food (garlic/onion free only). The aim of these diets is that they will be better tolerated/absorbed by the compromised gut. Therefore, it should get more nutrients in and result in less GI upset and less diarrhea. You can also add fiber (ie canned pumpkin, all bran) to his food to bulk up his stools. As long as improvement is being seen, I usually advise continuing this until the signs are settled, and then weaning slowly back to what you normally feed.

Finally, if we can get his stomach settled and if you think an insect sting is likely, you can also consider starting an OTC antihistamine. Most commonly we use Benadryl/Diphenhydramine (More Info/Dose @ A low dose (ie. 0.5-2 mg per pound of their body weight twice daily) can just be enough to reduce that allergic irritation. We like to keep the dose low, as it can cause drowsiness (just like people). And of course, this medication shouldn't be used if your wee one has any pre-existing conditions or is on any other medication without speaking to your vet first.

Overall, Peter’s signs do raise a few concerns. So, we’d want to settle his stomach, then counter an allergic reaction if suspect. You can also gently cool compress this area for him. If all settles, we are happy. But if his signs linger or you think he has eaten something harmful, then we’d want a check with his vet to get that checked +/- have them start anti-nausea mediation by injection to settle this for him. And at the same time they can check his face and start steroids to counter an allergy or at least dog safe pain relief to get reduce any soft tissue trauma for him.

Please take care,

Dr. B.


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