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Stomach spasms. Ophelia 7. She is on phenobarbital for

Customer Question
Stomach spasms Veterinarian's Assistant:...

Stomach spasms

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'm sorry to hear that. What is the dog's name and age?

Ophelia 7

Veterinarian's Assistant: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Ophelia?

Yes she is on phenobarbital for epilepsy due to toxoplasmosis several years ago she is a rescue from a hoarding situation. She acts like she needs to burp or throw up. She's panting very badly

Submitted: 8 months ago.Category: Dog Veterinary
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Answered in 6 hours by:
10/15/2017
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. B., Veterinarian replied 8 months ago
Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 23,040
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?

Any retching, gagging, lip licking, drooling, or vomiting?

Any change to her thirst or diarrhea?

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

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

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

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
48 hrs
Very thirsty
Tender to touch of abdomen
Do not believe she's eaten anything usual
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. B., Veterinarian replied 8 months ago

Hello again,

Ooh, tender abdomens are a concern. Does she seem distended?

What breed is she?

Any paling of her gums?

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Gums normal
Papillon chihuahua mix
Stomach normally swollen
Trouble walking stairs and walking up sideways
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. B., Veterinarian replied 8 months ago

Hi again,

Now I am glad to see those gums are normal and she isn't a large breed deep chested dog, just as bloat would be a concern for those. Given her breed, that is thankfully less likely but I am concerned to see that you feel her abdomen is normally swollen. Especially as chronic distension can be a sign or organ enlargement (often liver), fluid accumulation (related to heart issues, liver, low protein levels, etc) and also some tumors (hopefully less likely at her age but a concern as well for Ophelia). And all of these could make her thirsty and if they are putting pressure on the other abdominal contents that can make them tender. So, I am concerned that we have more an issue here for her then just a straight forward gut infection, pancreatitis or dietary indiscretion.

Therefore, I will outline some supportive care for her stomach but advise having her seen a soon as her vet is open to check for those additional issues. Of course, if she is very tender then we'd want her seen sooner. Anyway, with this all in mind, you can consider treating her spasms/upset 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)]. 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.

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.

Overall, her signs do raise a few concerns here and I am just worried that we have more ongoing then an upset to the gut leading to spasms. Therefore, we’d want to start supportive care to settle her stomach. If she doesn’t respond to the above within 12-24 hours; then we'd want to get her vet involved. They can assess her, ultrasound her abdomen for the above concerns +/- start injectable anti-nausea medication, gastroprotectants, or antibiotics to get her back feeling like herself.

Kind regards,

Dr. B.

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