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My dog is throwing up black/ stuff. She will not eat and is…

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My dog is throwing up...
My dog is throwing up black/ brown stuff. She will not eat and is having trouble standing
Submitted: 8 months ago.Category: Dog Veterinary
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Answered in 12 hours by:
9/24/2017
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. B., Veterinarian replied 8 months ago
Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 22,830
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 she been showing signs?

Can she keep water down?

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

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

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

Any diarrhea or black stool?

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Showing signs 2 weeks. Can keep water down. Gums look healthy. No tenderness in belly. Do not think she could have eaten anything harmful, she is only dog , watched pretty closely. Stool is blackish with a little red and sticks to her.
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. B., Veterinarian replied 8 months ago

Hello again,

Now while I am glad that she hasn't obvious pain nor changes to her gum color, I am concerned to see that Molly has had these signs for a week. Especially as black stool and vomit rings alarm bells of a upper GI bleed. So, while we'd have to be wary of a initial issue like a bacterial or viral gastroenteritis, pancreatitis, parasites/protozoa infections, secondary to kidney or liver issues, or dietary indiscretions; those more serious changes do raise worries of a stomach ulcer, traumatic gut injury (less likely if she didnt' get into anything), or a bleeding stomach tumor.

With this all in mind, at her and with these serious concerns, we'd want her seen to have her checked for these as we may need her on gastroprotectants and gut safe pain relief urgently. Any delay and we can try some home supportive care to try to 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 a 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), 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 food to allow absorption. Of course, do double check with your vet if she has a known health issues or is on any medications you haven't mentioned. Though if you give this and she cannot keep it down due to nausea that is usually a red flag that we need to bypass her mouth with injectable anti-vomiting medication from her vet.

Afterwards, you can consider starting her on an easily digestible 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). There are also OTC vet diets that can be used (ie Hill’s I/D or Royal Canin’s sensitivity) too. 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 the signs are settled, and then weaning her slowly back to her normal diet.

Since dehydration is a risk here, we need to keep an eye on her hydration. To check that she isn't dehydrated, there are a few things you can test. Further to checking for gum moisture, do make sure she doesn’t have sunken eyes 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, her signs do raise a few concerns and I do suspect her weakness is related to an underlying blood loss as well as low blood sugar from her inability to eat. Therefore, if this has been ongoing for a week already, we need to be proactive for Molly. 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 in a few hours; then we'd want to get her vet involved. They can assess her hydration and start gastroprotectants, appetite stimulants, injectable anti-vomiting medication +/- antibiotics to get her back feeling like herself.

Kind regards,

Dr. B.

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