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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 20649
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 8 week old puppy is constantly throwing up clear liquid

Customer Question

Hello there. My 8 week old puppy is constantly throwing up clear liquid (frequency is about every 20 minutes) . She is extremely lethargic and will eat minimally. She has her first round of shots complete and I am in the process of scheduling her next round.
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 8 months ago.

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

How long has she had these signs?

Can she keep water down?

Are her gums pink or pale/white? Sticky or moist?

If you press on her belly, does she have any discomfort, tensing or pain?

Could she have eaten anything she should not have (ie plants, toxins, toys, bones, medications, etc)?

Any diarrhea?

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Posted by JustAnswer at customer's request) Hello. I would like to request the following Expert Service(s) from you: Live Phone Call. Let me know if you need more information, or send me the service offer(s) so we can proceed.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 8 months ago.

Hi again,

I cannot see a reply from you but as I cannot offer a phone call at this time, I do want to give you my thoughts about this very serious situation. First, I have to say that I am quite worried about how much she is vomiting. Pups are high risk for dehydration, weakness and collapse with profuse vomiting, so we need to tread with care. Especially if she is severely nauseous as reported since often dogs that severe need us to bypass their mouths with injectable anti-nausea medication.

Just to note, our main worries for her signs would be bacterial or viral gastroenteritis, pancreatitis, parasites/protozoa infections, general dietary indiscretions, and ingestion of harmful items (ie toxins, plants, non-edible items).

With this all in mind, 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 consider treating her with an antacid. Common pet safe OTC ones we can use include Pepcid (More Info/Dose @http://www.petplace.com/article/drug-library/library/over-the-counter/famotidine-pepcid), Zantac (More Info/Dose @ http://www.petplace.com/article/drug-library/library/over-the-counter/ranitidine-hcl-zantac), or Tagamet (More Info/Dose Here @ http://www.petplace.com/article/drug-library/library/over-the-counter/cimetidine-hcl-tagamet)
Whichever you choose, we’d give this 20 minutes before offering food to allow absorption. Of course, do check with her vet before use if she has any known health issues or is on any medications you didn’t mention. Again if you find her nausea too severe to keep it down, then that is usually a red flag that we need her vet to bypass her mouth with injectable anti-vomiting medication.

As we are allowing that to kick in since this sounds to be taking a toll on her, we can try boosting her blood sugar by rubbing a sugary syrup (ie glucose syrup, honey, karo syrup, pancake syrup, or even non-grape jam) onto the gums. This will get some sugar into her and hopefully perk her up for us.

Once the antacid has had time to absorb and she is steadier on her stomach, you can consider starting her on a light/easily digestible diet. Start with a small volume (a spoonful). 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). When you offer that spoonful, give her 30 minutes to settle. If she keeps the food down, you can give a bit more and so on. As her stomach stabilizes, you can offer more. 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. 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 for a pup with such severe vomiting, we need to keep an 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 are seeing any signs of dehydration already, then that would be our cue to have her seen before this becomes an additional issue for her (especially as it is often dehydration that makes them feel unwell).

Overall, a wide range of agents could trigger the GI upset we are seeing. Therefore, in her case, we’d want to start supportive care to settle her stomach. If she cannot keep that or water down, appears dehydrated already, or doesn’t respond to the above; 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, her vet can treat her with injectable anti-vomiting medication +/- antibiotics to settle her stomach, and get her back feeling like herself.

Please take care,

Dr. B.

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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!: )

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Thank you for the reply. It doesn't seem to be typical vomiting, as the liquid coming out is clear (like water) and seems to completely surprise her when it exits because she shakes her head back and forth. The frequency concerns me, and I will likely be bringing her to the vet shortly.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 8 months ago.

You are very welcome,

We can see clear fluid if the stomach is empty and if there is a lot of force in each vomit that could catch her by surprise (especially if this is her first vomiting experience). But given how severe this sounds, it would be ideal to have her seen and that way we can just get her settled as quickly as possible.

Best wishes,

Dr. B.

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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 8 months ago.
Hi,

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

Dr. B.