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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 21419
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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My 14 yo Springer spaniel paws at water and spills bowl but

Customer Question

My 14 yo Springer spaniel paws at water and spills bowl but has not drank all day. VET is closed today. Is this possible emergency
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.
Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.
Has she had any gagging, retching, lip licking, or vomiting?
Are her gums pink or pale/white? Moist or sticky?
Do her eyes look sunken?
If you lift the skin over the back of her neck, does it just snap back down (as your skin on your arm will if you do this to yourself)? Or does the skin tent and stay up/slowly drop down?
If you press on her belly, does she have any discomfort, tenderness, or tensing?
Could she have eaten something she should not have (ie bones, toys, rocks, plants, chemicals, etc)?
How is she otherwise? Bright, dull, lethargic?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
She ate some canned chicken with broth .iseems happy .items pink.teeth are very bad. So now I'm thing tooth jaw pain
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you,
Has she been eating poorly as well then?
Did she struggle to eat that chicken?
Any drooling, teeth grinding, pawing or rubbing at her mouth?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Seems hungry. Keeps pawing and spilling water. Soaking some dog food in chicken broth with some meat. Seems like mouth is sore.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Only pawing at water. Did swallow some food so not totally blocked . throat seems fine. Teeth v bad but 14!
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I will try to keep hydrated with wet food until I get her to get.thanks
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you,
Now you didn't note whether you checked her skin tenting, or if her gums were sticky or moist. These parameters are all worth checking for Sassy since these are how we determine if a dog is dehydrated. Because if her skin is tenting, her eyes are sunken, and her gums are sticky; then those are all signs of dehydration and we'd be leaning towards having her seen urgently to get her on fluids to correct this while pinpointing and treating the root of her signs.
Otherwise, if we have a hungry dog that cannot eat or drink properly, then we do have a few concerns here. Dental/oral pain would be on the top of that list. As well, we could see this with nausea secondary to GI upset, GI bugs, or if Sassy has an underlying internal/systemic issue.
In regard to approach here if she doesn't have those dehydration signs, you can start syringe feeding her food and fluids. To do so with fluids, we'd want to aim to give her ~48 ml per kilogram of her body weight over the day. This can be divided into multiple offering through the day and you can use Pedialyte (as it has electrolytes/glucose) as well.
In regards ***** ***** it is fine to try broths and chicken, but you can also use puppy food for her. Pate style puppy wet food may be easier for her to eat and can be watered down for her to lap or you to syringe feed. As well, since it has more nutrition per bite, a little will go a long way. And of course there are also dog critical care diets (ie Hills A/D, Royal Canin Recovery) that could also be used.
Overall, you suspect her mouth is sore, this is an urgent situation but may not be an emergency one for her. If you can syringe feed her food and fluids over the weekend, you can choose to have her see her regular vet when they are open. But if she is painful, dehydrated, or you cannot provide the supportive care for her over the weekend, then we'd want to consider having her seen sooner to address this for her.
I hope this information is helpful.
If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!
All the best,
Dr. B.
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Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.
Hi Donna,

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

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