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Dr. Deb
Dr. Deb, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 10374
Experience:  I have owned, bred and shown dogs for over 40 years.
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Our rat terrier apparently ate something that did not agree

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Our rat terrier apparently ate something that did not agree with her.....she has thrown up a bit and now her eyes seem to be bulging. She is just lying on the couch, not wanting to move much. Did she eat something poisonous??

Hi Barbara, I'm Dr. Deb. I will do my best to assist you today.

I'm sorry for this concern for Sadie. I do have a few questions to ask about her first, if you don't mind:

1. Can you tell me the color of her gums? Are they moist or dry?
2. Do you have a thermometer so you can take her temperature?
3. Is she painful when you press on her abdomen in between her legs?
4. Did you see her eat something she shouldn't?
5. Any blood in the vomit?

There may be a slight delay after I receive your answers since I have to type up a response to you. Thanks for your patience. Deb

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Sadie is a rescue dog we have had since she was approx. 1 year old. She is very touchy so we have never been able to do anything near her mouth other than pet her head. I don't know about her gums.. Even changing her collar requires a muzzle! Taking her temperature is also out of the question. I did see her grab something out of the long grass on our last walk. There was no blood in the vomit. She did snap when her tummy was petted prior to her throwing up.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I should let you know that Sadie is taking Denamarin because her kidney and liver number values are elevated.

Thanks for the additional information. As you no doubt can appreciate, this is going to be somewhat difficult to assess the extent of her distress since she won't let you adequately examine her.

It's certainly possible that she ate something poisonous but her symptoms could just as easily fit with other causes of gastric upset:
inflammatory bowel disease
ingestion of some sort of food that was moldly or rotten,
what she ate is acting like a foreign body,
She's having a flare-up involving her kidneys or liver, etc.

If she's getting a little dehydrated, then this might account for what you're seeing with her eyes.

I'm a little concerned about her lethargy, though. If she were just vomiting, then you might have more flexibility in treating her at home..which you still can...but I don't like the sensitivity in her stomach region either.

If you want to see if you can get the vomiting under control, then you could give her Pepcid AC at a dose of 1/4 mg/lb twice a day. For example, if she weighs 20 lbs, then her dose would be 1/2 of a 10 mg tablet.
But in all honesty, I don't know how you're going to get the pill into her. You could try to crush it and mix it with water and use a syringe or eye dropper to squirt it into her mouth but I don't think she's going to let you do this. And I don't want you to get injured by trying.
You can't mix the pill in any food since she's not eating...and I usually recommend withholding food in cases like this for at least 8-12 hours so that things can settle down.

A compromise position might be to continue to monitor her for now. If she continues to vomit, then I'd have her seen. But if the vomiting appears to have subsided and 8-12 hours have passed, tempt her with a bland diet of boiled chicken and white rice (1 part chicken and 4 parts rice). Offer just a small amount at one time. If she eats it, then you could put the Pepcid into it.
If she still refuses to eat and is still lethargic (even though she's not vomiting), then you probably should have her seen.
And, obviously, if she continues to vomit, you may not have another option but to take her to your vet.

I hope this helps but I understand how difficult this situation is for you both. Deb
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for your expertise. Sadie just ate a very small milk bone......she usually demands one after my husband and I eat dinner but this time I took one to her as she didn't even get off the couch (this was before I read your response about withholding food). She seems to be moving around slightly on the couch, repositioning only the front part of her body. She has only thrown up the one time but we'll see what happens. Hopefully, she will feel better in the morning. Why do these things always happen on the weekend?? Thanks again. Barb

You're welcome.
I hope that she's going to get past this quickly and that it's not too serious...I'm sure that this is your fervent wish as well!

These things always happen on the weekends and right before a long planned vacation....and who says our pets don't have a sense of timing!!!

I hope you'll keep me posted about her. Even after you've rated (if you do, of course), we can still continue to communicate at no additional charge to you. I can also send you a follow up email tomorrow to which you can respond when you have the time to do so.


Good luck, Deb

Dr. Deb and 2 other Dog Specialists are ready to help you


Thank you for the rating and bonus; it's greatly appreciated.
I'll look forward to chatting with you tomorrow about Sadie; hopefully, you'll have good news to report.

Regards, Deb

Kindly ignore the request for additional information.

I'm just following up on our conversation about Sadie. How is she feeling? Deb
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Good Morning Dr. Deb


Sadie bounced back quickly. She was apparently feeling fine when she woke up and seemed so all day yesterday. The way she was acting gave us a scare the day before but apparently she has nine lives......she does act like a cat much of the time!! Thanks again for your advise.



That's wonderful news! Thanks so much for letting me know.

I hope she continues to act like a cat since they have an amazing ability to heal...... most of the time, anyway:) Take care, Deb