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14 month standard schnauzer. Loss of appetite, listless

Customer Question
14 month standard schnauzer...

14 month standard schnauzer. Loss of appetite, listless sleeps all the time deep cough when walking x 1.5 days. Has all shots up to date including shot for kennel cough

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'm sorry to hear that. Could be a lot of things that cause lethargy. The Expert will know how to help the dog. What is the dog's name?

He salt and pepper, so is name is*****: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Raider?

No he is usually full of mischief and playfull

Submitted: 9 months ago.Category: Dog Veterinary
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Answered in 14 minutes by:
9/10/2017
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. B., Veterinarian replied 9 months ago
Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 23,048
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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Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you today.

How long has he been showing signs?

Is the cough harsh?

Any change to his breathing, retching, lip licking, drooling, or vomiting?

Will he still drink? Drinking more or less?

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

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

Could he have eaten anything harmful (ie bones, toys, plants, chemicals, human meds, etc)?

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Customer reply replied 9 months ago
Vomited twice yesterday. Cough is harsh, drinks water. abd discomfort. No bones, plants or meds. When he vomited he went into his crate and turned his back to me as if he was ashamed
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. B., Veterinarian replied 9 months ago

Hello again,

Now if Raider has had vomiting with a harsh cough, we have 2 considerations. We may have nausea leading to the vomiting with a secondary inflammation of the throat then triggering the cough. Or we could have an upper airway infection leading him to coughing his throat raw and thus making him prone to vomiting due to throat sensitization. Therefore, our main suspects with his signs would be a possible bacterial or viral gastroenteritis, pancreatitis, parasites/protozoa infections, dietary indiscretion, or upper airway infection.

With this all in mind, we can try some home supportive care to try to settle him. To start, you can consider treating him an OTC pet safe antacid [ie 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)]. Alternatively, since we have some throat irritation/inflammation concerns, we could use a liquid antacid (ie Milk of Magnesia 0.5tsp every 12 hours) 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. Though if 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.

Afterwards, if he is weak and lethargic, we can try boosting his 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 his and hopefully perk him up for us. Then once the antacid has kicked in, you can consider starting an easily digestible and soft diet like cooked white rice with boiled chicken, boiled white fish, cottage cheese, scrambled eggs, or meat baby food (as long as its garlic/onion free). 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 continuing this until signs are settled, and then weaning slowly back to your normal diet.

Finally, as dehydration is a risk here, we need to keep an eye on his hydration. To check that he isn't dehydrated, there are a few things you can test. Further to checking for gum moisture, do make sure he doesn’t have sunken eyes and that he 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 him seen before this becomes an additional issue (especially as it is often dehydration that makes them feel unwell).

Overall, his signs do raise some concerns here. Therefore, we’d want to start supportive care to settle his stomach. If he 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 his vet involved. They can assess his hydration, listen to his airway/lungs, make sure there is nothing in his stomach that shouldn't be there or any sinister viruses present. Depending on their findings, his vet can treat him with injectable anti-nausea medication, antibiotics +/- dog safe anti-inflammatories to nip this in the bud. Kind regards,

Dr. B.

******************************************************************************

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Customer reply replied 9 months ago
He drank a little water this morning and he did eat a few doggie treats
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. B., Veterinarian replied 9 months ago

Hello again,

That is positive and we'd hope if we start the above we can get him eating better and feeling more comfortable with this.

Best wishes,

Dr. B.

******************************************************************************

I aim to provide best care for you just as I do for my own clients & their pets. If you have any other questions, please ask – I’m happy to help but please rate me with the **STARS** (or leave a written rating of 1-5; 5 being great) as this is the only way I am credited for my work by the site & this allows me to continue to help here. This is included in your question fee. Once you rate, your question will not close & you can still ask follow-up questions. Thank you. : )**

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