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My 2yo Boston terrier mix threw up after retching twice two…

Customer Question
My 2yo Boston terrier...

My 2yo Boston terrier mix threw up after retching twice two days ago. Yesterday sure seemed tired sms lethargic, but better. Now she's panting heavily and shaking a TON. Her gums are getting a little pale and I'm noticing her holding her body in awkward angles. Her stomach does not feel tight, but she's really strong and fit so it's hard to tell. I'm really worried.

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. This sounds like it might be serious. I'll let the Veterinarian know what's going on ASAP. Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about the dog?

Not that I know of...

Submitted: 2 months ago.Category: Dog Veterinary
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Customer reply replied 2 months ago
I gave her a baby aspirin about 30m ago and she's seeming to be able to rest a little without panting panting so heavily. I'm still worried though.
Answered in 4 hours by:
12/16/2017
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. B., Veterinarian replied 2 months ago
Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 22,276
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?

What does the vomit look like?

Can she keep water down?

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

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

As Aspirin should not be given to dogs with GI signs, can you let me know what dose you gave and what her weight is?

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Customer reply replied 2 months ago
She's about 17lbs and I gave her a safety coated 81mg.
She's shown signs on and off since Wednesday. It's mostly clear vomit with brown liquid from her food.
She's keeping water down fine.
I don't think there's any tension or discomfort in her stomach.
I'm pretty sure she didn't eat anything harmful. She's created during the day and usually stays right with people when we're home
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. B., Veterinarian replied 2 months ago

Hello again,

First, we do need to avoid giving any more Aspirin. As I mentioned before, we do not use anti-inflammatories with GI issues because they can actually reduce stomach mucus leading to increased nausea and in some cases cause bleeding stomach ulcers. So thankfully it wasn't an overdose but its something to avoid using for her current signs. That aside, based on the signs we are seeing, we do have a few concerns. Common causes we need to consider include bacterial or viral gastroenteritis, pancreatitis (especially a concern if she is perhaps hunched --a gut pain sign even when they are stoic), parasites/protozoa infections, general dietary indiscretions, and ingestion of harmful items (thankfully less likely). Of course, we do need to monitor her gums if they are paling as that can be an internal bleeding or reduce GI circulation sign. So, any paler and we'd want her seen right away.

With this all in mind, we can try some home supportive care to try to settle her stomach. To start, to counter nausea and protect her stomach from the Aspirin, 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 here. 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 within 12-24 hours; 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.

Kind regards,

Dr. B.

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Dog Veterinarian: Dr. B., Veterinarian replied 2 months ago
Hi,

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

Dr. B.
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