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Dr.Fiona, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 6273
Experience:  16 years experience as a companion animal veterinarian in British Columbia, California and Ontario
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Yorkie: eating, drinks water, but vomits an energy

Resolved Question:

I have a 19 month old Yorkie, male, He is not eating, drinks water, but vomits an hour later, will not urinate or defecate, breath smells, no energy, stomach is tight but no signs of bloating. This has all happened in the last 12 hours.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr.Fiona replied 6 years ago.

Hi there,

Welcome to Just Answer!

I would like to help you and your dog, Charlie, with this question, but need a bit more information in order to better assist you.

In the last few days to week, has Charlie had anything other than dry dog food to eat?

In particular, has he had anything high in fat (barbecue, hamburger, pizza, cheese, etc)?

Is he energetic and playful or is he quiet and lethargic?


Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Just dry dog food, very lethargic.
Expert:  Dr.Fiona replied 6 years ago.
Is he fully vaccinated?

What has been in the vomitus? What was it originally, and what is it now?

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Originally it was yellow, but now just clear, in fact, charlie just drank and vomited 5 minutes later
Expert:  Dr.Fiona replied 6 years ago.
And is he fully vaccinated?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Expert:  Dr.Fiona replied 6 years ago.
Ok, that's good!

Could you please go and check a few things:

1. Count how many breaths he takes in one minute when he is resting.

2. Lift his lip above his canine teeth – so you can see his canines and the teeth behind them. Are his gums sticky and tacky, or are they wet and slimy when you touch them with a finger?

3. Are his gums and tongue:
- dark red
- dark pink
- bubble gum pink
- light pink
- white

- yellowish

Are they lighter or darker than your own?


Can you take his temperature? (don't worry if you can't do this)

Instructions here:


Customer: replied 6 years ago.
31 breaths per minute, his gums and tongue are light pink, gums are sticky and tacky, could not get tempature
Expert:  Dr.Fiona replied 6 years ago.
Ok- that's fine about the temperature!

I am working on your answer and will be right back....
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Expert:  Dr.Fiona replied 6 years ago.


There are a lot of different possibilities for what may be going on with Charlie. The ones that I would be considering if he were on his way in to see me are:

1. One of the things that I think of first in a dog is that he may have a Gastrointestinal Foreign Body.

This is definitely what I think is most likely for your dog!

Dogs eat the strangest things - plastic bags, children's toys, bones, bits of towel, socks, rocks and other things. Often, these foreign bodies pass through the intestinal tract, but sometimes they do not. They may get caught in the stomach or the small intestines.

The symptoms of a GI foreign body are generally vomiting, loss of appetite, depression and dehydration. If your dog consumed an object that is caught in the stomach or small intestines, it might explain the symptoms that you are seeing. This would be particularly true if the object were something like a ball that could bob over pylorus (outflow from the stomach) and then move away again. Thus, water could pass through but not food.

In the case of an obstruction, surgery is often needed to remove the foreign object. I will include further information about GI foreign bodies:

If I examined Charlie and was concerned about a foreign body, I would probably recommend x-rays to see if a foreign object were visible. A rock would show up very well on x-rays. A plastic bag would not show up on x-rays. It does, however, show up very well if the dog is given some barium (a type of milkshake like drink) by mouth. Then a determination can be made about how best to get this out of the dog, or whether it might move through on its own.

2. It is possible Charlie simply has gastroenteritis from eating something he shouldn't have.

Table scraps or twigs and leaves could be the culprit! Gastroenteritis is an inflammation of the stomach and intestines and can be caused by a large number of things, including sudden dietary changes.

This is less likely as he sounds too sick for this to be the case.

3. A bacterial infection:

Dogs can be affected by overgrowths of bacteria in the intestines. In an adult dog these might not be more than a nuisance. The 3 most common are Campylobacter, Salmonella and E.Coli. Here is a link with more information:

4. Pancreatitis:

This is an inflammation of the pancreas, often triggered by a high fat meal. With "acute pancreatitis" dogs are very sick, with severe vomiting, painful belly and fever.

However, with a low-grade, chronic fulminant pancreatitis it is basically a "slow burn" version of acute pancreatitis. The pancreas remains inflamed, with periods of pain and nausea, and vomiting intermittently.

Pancreatitis is a serious medical problem and is diagnosed by having bloodwork done and possibly x-rays. Dogs with pancreatitis may need to go on a course of antibiotics to treat the chronic pancreatitis and may need a prescription food to "put out the fire" of this chronic problem. Typically the diet is ultra-low fat. At first dogs may not want to eat it because of feeling nauseated and it does not tempt her. But with medications they soon feel *much* better and keep feeling well if they stays on an appropriate food.

For more information:

The botXXXXX XXXXXne is that there are a number of possibilities for what may be going on with Charlie. Your vet would need to do a physical exam and possibly some diagnostic tests to figure out what the underlying problem is. I would start with a fecal sample, blood test and abdominal x-rays.

It sounds like it is time to find out what is going on!

Given how lethargic Charlie is today, I would strongly recommend that you take him in IMMEDIATELY to see your vet or to an emergency veterinarian if your vet is not open.

There may be something going on that needs immediate attention, and I don't like the fact that he cannot even keep water down. He is surely dehydrated by now, and there is no way for you to rehydrate him at home since he vomits even water.

If he were my patient, I would check his red cell count to make sure there is no internal bleeding and to assess his hydration, check him for a fever and take some abdominal x-rays.

Until you can get him in to the vet:

1. WITH-HOLD FOOD for 12 hours since he has been vomiting today. This gives the intestines a chance to rest and heal.

2. When he is fasting, he can have lots of clear fluids.


So, water is fine, but also he can have pedialyte, Gatorade, apple juice diluted 50:50 with water, or onion- free chicken or beef broth diluted 50:50 with water.

Give the fluids in small amounts frequently. For a dog this size that means about 1/4 cup an hour.

In a toy breed like this, it is very important to keep calories going in to him as small dogs are prone to low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). Giving pedialyte or Gatorade, etc will help to prevent this.

Here is more about it:

Given what you have described, you should definitely get little Charlie in to see a vet as soon as possible!

Good luck with your Yorkie!

If this has been helpful, please "Accept" my answer and provide feedback.

If you need more information, just click on reply and I will try to provide it!

The above is given for information only. Although I am a licensed veterinarian, I cannot legally prescribe medicines or diagnose your pet's condition without performing a physical exam. If you have concerns about your pet I would strongly advise contacting your regular veterinarian.


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