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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 16295
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian
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My dog won't eat, what can I do?

Customer Question

My dog won't eat, what can I do?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 1 year ago.
Hello, my name is***** and I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian. It sounds like your fellow has a poor appetite. Dogs that refuse to eat and drink usually do so because they feel nauseous. Lack of an appetite and nausea can be related to eating something she should not have, too many treats or table food, eating foreign material (which could cause a full or partial gastrointestinal obstruction), chronic pancreatitis, metabolic organ failure (kidney or liver disease), a dietary allergy or sensitivity, toxin exposure, a viral or bacterial infection, Addison's disease (hypoadrenocorticism), inflammatory bowel disease, or even infiltrative cancers such as lymphoma.If he continues to not eat normally and isn't drinking well if this has been going on for a couple of days he will quickly become dehydrated and weak.Ideally he would see his veterinarian today if this has continued for more than 72 hours. Simple stomach upset should pass within 24 to 48 hours. They could examine him, run blood tests and possibly check radiographs and/or an ultrasound to evaluate him and know best how to treat him.In the meantime they can administer injectable anti-nausea drugs and fluids to rehydrate him. I can give you some suggestions to try and help him and getting him eating in the meantime.At home tonight to try and settle her stomach you can give either:1) Pepcid ac (famotidine) at a dose of one half of a 10mg tablet per 10 to 20 pounds of body weight every 12 hoursOR2) Prilosec (omeprazole) at a dose of one quarter of a 20mg tablet per 10 to 20 pounds of body weight every 24 hoursThese are acid reducers and may help him feel less nauseous so that he will eat and drink. They are quite safe and can be used for several days if necessary. A couple of hours after giving the acid reducer I recommend offering meat baby foods or a bland diet of 1/3 boiled, minced, white skinless chicken or boiled, lean hamburger and 2/3 boiled white rice mixed with some low salt chicken or beef broth to make it easy to lap up and swallow and get some fluids into him.If in spite of all this he continues to not eat he should see his veterinarian for an examination, diagnostics and intravenous fluids and supportive care.Signs that things aren't going well, and he needs an immediate veterinary visit, are vomiting, a tense painful belly, a fever (more than 103.5F rectally) and lethargy.Once he's feeling well and eating well again then start mixing in his regular food, adding a little more regular and less bland at each meal. It should take a week to get him converted back to regular food.Please let me know if you have any further questions.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Will Pepto work just as well?
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 1 year ago.
Pepto Bismol has salicylates (same family as aspirin) and although it can help with diarrhea it probably will make his stomach irritation/nausea worse. I would not give it.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He doesn't have diarrhea, he just threw up, and he lays down alot. He ate a little on Monday, but nothing since then, not even water. I can't afford to take him to the vet that's why I'm relying on you guys to help.
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 1 year ago.
I understand.If you can't get one of the acid reducers I recommended tonight then just have him lick ice cubes tonight and pick one up tomorrow morning.But if this continues then he really needs hands on veterinary care.If your regular veterinarian is beyond your means financially now your other option is to contact your local shelter or humane society and see if they run a low cost clinic or know of one in your area.If not here is a web-page that lists some that may be able to help: sources of help can be found here:
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 1 year ago.

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

Dr. Kara