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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 21259
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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I have a 6 lb Morkie. Last night I fed her wet dog food &

Customer Question

Hello, I have a 6 lb Morkie. Last night I fed her wet dog food & she ate it all. Then, before bed I gave her a begging strip treat after she used the bathroom outside. In the middle of the night she threw up everywhere & had diarrhea. Today, she is shivering, her nose is warm, and she won't eat. She drinks water every now & then, but pretty much has laid around all day.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. This sounds like it might be serious. I'll let the veterinarian know what's going on ASAP. Is there anything else the veterinarian should be aware of about the dog?
Customer: She is 4 years old
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 10 months ago.

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

What does the diarrhea and vomit look like? Any blood?

Can she keep the water down?

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

If you press on her belly, any discomfort, tenderness, or tensing?

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

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
It looked chunky. It was the color of the dog treats. It was red, but I do I don't believe there was blood. Her diarrhea was brown like normal. The first time she drank water she could not keep it down. The last few times she has kept it down. My vet friend told me to give her gaterade and she has kept that down. I'm not sure if she ate something she should not have. I don't have anything laying around that she could have possibly gotten into. I have twin 6 month old babies. It all started pretty much after she ate her dog treats. She has the brand before but never the peanut butter flavor. She is doing better this morning, but still pretty lethargic and shivering. Her gums are pink. She doesn't seem to have any tenderness on her belly. I pushed in all over it and she didn't seem to mind.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 10 months ago.

Thank you,

Now if there was quite a bit of blood, we'd want her seen urgently. If it was a small amount, it is likely due to the throat being irritated/inflamed by stomach acid and that usually stops when we stop the vomiting. Now based on the signs we are seeing, we do have a few concerns. Common causes we need to consider include bacterial or viral gastroenteritis, pancreatitis, parasites/protozoa infections, general dietary indiscretions, and ingestion of harmful items (thankfully less likely here).

With this all in mind, as long as she can keep water down, we can try some home supportive care to see if we can settle her stomach. To start, if she hasn’t just vomited (since otherwise we’d need to rest her stomach for a few hours first), then you can try an OTC pet safe antacid like Pepcid (More Info/Dose @http://www.petplace.com/article/drug-library/library/over-the-counter/famotidine-pepcid), or Zantac (More Info/Dose @ http://www.petplace.com/article/drug-library/library/over-the-counter/ranitidine-hcl-zantac). Whichever you choose, we’d give this 20 minutes before offering food to allow absorption. Of course, do check with your vet before use if she has any known health issues or is on any medications you didn’t mention. As well, if you try this and find the nausea just too severe to keep it down, then that is usually a red flag that we need the local vet to bypass her mouth with injectable anti-vomiting medication.

After that has had time to absorb, we can start small meals of a light/easily digestible diet. Examples you can use are cooked white rice with boiled chicken, boiled white fish, cottage cheese, scrambled eggs, or meat baby food (as long as its garlic/onion free). There are also OTC vet diets that can be used (ie Hill’s I/D or Royal Canin’s sensitivity) too. When you offer these meals, give her 30 minutes after to settle. If she keeps the food down, you can give a bit more and so on. 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. Fiber (ie canned pumpkin) and OTC canine probiotics (ir Fortiflora, Benebac) can also be added to this to firm stools and help support the gut. As long as improvement is being seen, I usually advise that the diet be continued until her signs are settled, and that they are then slowly weaned back to their normal diet.

Since dehydration is a risk, we need to keep a close eye on her hydration. To check this and ensure she’s not becoming dehydrated, there are a few things you can test. Further to checking for gum moisture, you will want to make sure her eyes are not looking sunken and that she doesn’t have a "skin tent" when you lift the skin. To see how to check these parameters for dehydration, you can find a good video HERE (http://www.ehow.com/video_12232503_dog-dehydrated.html). If you do find these dehydration signs, then that would be our cue to have her seen before this becomes an additional issue (especially as it is often dehydration that makes them feel unwell).

Overall, a wide range of agents could trigger the signs we are seeing. It is possible the treats are involved but given how unwell she feels and the upper/lower GI signs a treat she has had before would not be expected to trigger this. Therefore, we’d want to start supportive care to settle her stomach. If she cannot keep that or water down at any point, appears dehydrated already, or doesn’t respond to the above within 12-24 hours; then we'd want to get her vet involved. They can assess her hydration, rule out fever, make sure there is nothing in her stomach that shouldn't be there or any sinister viruses present. Depending on their findings, your vet can treat her with injectable anti-vomiting medication +/- antibiotics to get her back feeling like herself.

Please take care,

Dr. B.

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