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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 21241
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 chihuahua is about 10 years oldTook him to the vet because

Customer Question

My chihuahua is about 10 years old
Took him to the vet because he was not eating or drinking. Did blood and stool samples. Said he had an infection but not sure what kind. Gave him fluids and antibiotics. Eating only small amounts of chicken. Walking slow and watery eyes. I feel like the vet just wants more money. I have to give him water with syringe .
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 today. I do apologize that your question was not answered before. Different experts come online at various times; I just came online, read about your wee one’s situation, and wanted to help.
Again I do apologize that my colleagues could not aid you sooner. If you would still like assistance, can you tell me:
Has he had any vomiting, retching, gagging, or lip licking?
Did his vet put him on any anti-nausea treatments to soothe his stomach?
Are his gums nice and pink (not white/pale)? Moist or sticky?
If you press on his belly, does he have any tensing, tenderness, discomfort, or pain?
Could he have eaten anything he should not have (ie bones, stones, socks, toys, plants, chemicals, human meds, etc)?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
He is an indoor dog
He is antibiotics this is the 7th day no progress now he is not pooping
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you,
First, if he isn't eating, then we would expect to see a decline in stool production (since little in means little out). As well, if he isn't responding to their treatment, then we do have to be concerned that something is being missed, the infection isn't sensitive to the antibiotic used, or that we need to be also treating the nausea that is likely putting him off his food.
Therefore, with that in mind and since it has been a week, we'd want to consider potentially ringing your vet to update them on the situation and see if they will dispense anti-nausea treatment +/- further care for this infection that is suspected.
Otherwise, you can potentially try some supportive care to see if we can break his fast. First off, to address any nausea inducing his anorexia, we can start by treating with an antacid. There are a number of antacids that are available over the counter and pet friendly. I would advise only treating with one, but the two I tend to recommend are:
* Pepcid (More Info/Dose @ http://www.petplace.com/drug-library/famotidine-pepcid/page1.aspx#.VGJLgsn9XPg) or
* Zantac (More Info/Dose @ http://www.petplace.com/drug-library/ranitidine-hcl-zantac/page1.aspx)
This medication of course shouldn’t be given without consulting your vet if he does have any pre-existing conditions or is on any other medications. Ideally, it should be given about 30 minutes before food to ease his upset stomach.
Once that is on board, you will want to try and see if you can get him eating (as you have). If he hasn’t been keen to have his favourites, then I would advise also trying to tempt him with a light/easily digestible diet. Examples of this would be boiled chicken, boiled white fish, scrambled eggs (made with water and not milk), meat baby food (do avoid the ones with garlic powder in the ingredients) or there are also veterinary prescription diets that can be used in cases of gastroenteritis, notable Hill’s I/D or Royal Canin’s sensitivity.
Further to this, if tempting doesn’t work, then we do have to consider initiating syringe feeds to get food in. In that case, you may want to try Hill's A/D from your local vet. This is a critical care diet that is comes as a soft, palatable pate. It is calorically dense, so a little goes a long way nutrition-wise and this could just help get some more calories into him even if we can’t get a huge volume of food in.
As well, for syringing food, you can use the animal version of Ensure (balanced for animals dietary requirements) called Clinicare Canine/Feline Liquid Diet. It is actually by the same people who make Ensure, but is formulated to meet out pet's dietary needs. Your vet should be able to order it for you but it is available without a prescription. This way it would a means of getting food into him and buying you time to uncover the reason for his anorexia and lethargy.
On top off all of this, if Squirt isn't drinking, then we need to monitor his hydration status. If possible, you do want to check his hydration now. To check this and make sure he is not becoming dehydrated there are a few things we can test at home. One is whether the eyes appear sunken, if the gums are tacky instead of wet/moist, and whether he has a "skin tent" when you lift the skin. To see how to check these parameters for dehydration, you can find a wee video on this HERE (http://www.ehow.com/video_12232503_dog-dehydrated.html). If you are seeing any signs of dehydration already, then you do want to have your wee one seen by the vet before this gets any further out of control.
In regards ***** ***** you can do to help stave off dehydration at home (though do note that if he is already then he will likely need more the oral rehydration), keep encouraging him to drink by offering fresh water or even low-sodium chicken broth. As well, wet foods (as mentioned above) are 35% water, so getting him to eat will help us deal with water intake as well. If he isn't amenable to drinking, then do keep up giving the unflavored pedialyte. Though be aware that he needs a maintenance rate of 48mls per kilogram of body weight a day. If you do give syringe pedialyte, this should obviously be divided up into multiple offerings through the day rather then all at once. This value will give you the total he needs for the day and is a good starting point to give you an idea of their daily requirement. If he does vomits if you give pedialyte, I would discontinue this as a therapy. (since we don’t want vomiting because of our intervention).
Overall, Squirt's signs are telling us that something seriously amiss. The challenge is that it can mean a wide range of underlying issues. If an infection is suspect, then we need to consider changing the current treatment and addressing any stomach upset. Therefore, do start the above but also consider updating your vet. They can change antibiotics +/- give anti-nausea/vomiting medication and appetite stimulating medications by injection to help settle his stomach and get him back on track as quick as possible.
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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