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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16696
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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Have a three yr old Llewellyn English setter. He began

Customer Question

Hi, have a three yr old Llewellyn English setter. He began acting odd today and wouldn't eat. He usually runs outside in our back yard non stop but became lethargic and occasionally would groan like he was hurting. Then he would also stretch his back legs out and play bow it seemed to make him feel better?
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 4 months ago.

Hello, I'm Dr. Kara. I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian and I'd like to help. Please give me a moment to review your concerns.

Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 4 months ago.

I am very sorry to hear about your pup's refusal to eat, lethargy, groaning, and extending his front legs and chest down with his rear end up in the air.
The front legs and chest down, rear end up in the air position is called a prayer bow and is often an indication of abdominal pain in a dog when he is showing the other things that you are seeing. It is a stretching motion attempting to relieve pressure/pain in the abdomen.
Please do not give any more aspirin or Benadryl. Both can be gastrointestinal irritants, and are unlikely to be helpful in a dog with abdominal pain.
Possible causes of nausea and abdominal pain include a change in diet, dietary sensitivities or allergies, or eating things that they should not like too many fatty table scraps or garbage, bones etc. Addison's which is a poorly functioning adrenal gland is another possibility for waxing and waning vomiting and nausea. Metabolic organ failures (kidney or liver disease), pancreatitis, inflammatory bowel disease or even infiltrative cancers are possible causes as well.
Has he eaten anything he should not have recently (toy pieces, bones, garbage)?
Any changes in food or treats?
You can give him an acid reducer to try and settle his stomach. Either:
1) Pepcid-ac (famotidine) at a dose of one 10mg tablet per 20 to 40 pounds of body weight every 12 hours.
2) Prilosec (omeprazole) at a dose of one half of a 20mg tablet per 20 to 40 pounds of body weight every 24 hours.
These will reduce stomach acid and should help settle his stomach. These can be used fro several days if necessary as they are very safe.

I'd also pick up his food and water for now. A couple hours after one of the acid reducers you can offer small amounts of water or ice cubes to lick.
No food for 12 hours. Small amounts of water only.
After his food fast then start a bland diet of 1/3 boiled, lean hamburger (or boiled, white, skinless chicken) and 2/3 boiled white rice. Give small meals several times a day. Feed the bland diet for several days, then start mixing in his regular diet and slowly convert him back.
If his nausea and abdominal pain continues then he may need injectable medication from his veterinarian to get his stomach upset under control.
So watch him for continued symptoms even with the acid reducers, blood in his stool or vomit or a fever (more than 103.5F rectally), a tense painful belly or lack of appetite after his food fast. If any of those occur it is time to seek hands on veterinary care.
Please let me know if you have any further questions.