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My dog won't eat (3 days and normally food obsessed) and now

Customer Question
he won't come in the...
My dog won't eat (3 days and normally food obsessed) and now he won't come in the house, he's just lying outside in the garden and he normally waits for me at the door to run inside
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. What is the dog's name and age?
Customer: Shadow, he's 4.5 yrs old
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Shadow?
Customer: He's normally a happy healthy dog.
Submitted: 1 year ago.Category: Dog
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Answered in 2 minutes by:
9/19/2016
Dog Specialist: Dr. B., Veterinarian replied 1 year ago
Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 22,099
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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Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.

Any retching, gagging, lip licking, drooling, or vomiting?

Can he keep any water down?

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, toys, plants, chemicals, human meds, etc)?

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Customer reply replied 1 year ago
He was vomiting on Friday, he can keep water down, his gums are pink, and he doesn't have any tenderness when I press on him. He did eat a pack of gum on Thursday night.
Dog Specialist: Dr. B., Veterinarian replied 1 year ago

Thank you,

First, I am quite concerned to hear that Shadow has ingested a pack of gum. If you think it had xylitol (a dangerous artificial sugar), it’d be advisable to have him seen right away by his vet to make sure he hasn’t any liver damage from this.

Otherwise, if he has been vomiting, then the nausea will be what is putting him off eating. In regards ***** ***** causes further to gum, we could see these signs with bacterial or viral gastroenteritis, pancreatitis, parasites/protozoa infections, general dietary indiscretions, and ingestion of harmful items (ie toxins, plants, non-edible items).

With this all in mind, as long as he can keep water down, we can try some home supportive care to try to settle his stomach. To start, if he hasn’t just vomited (since otherwise we’d need to rest the stomach for a few hours first), you can consider treating with an OTC pet safe antacid like Pepcid (More Info/Dose @http://www.petplace.com/article/drug-library/library/over-the-counter/famotidine-pepcid), or Zantac (More Info/Dose @ http://www.petplace.com/article/drug-library/library/over-the-counter/ranitidine-hcl-zantac). Whichever you choose, we’d give this 20 minutes before offering food to allow absorption. Of course, do double check with your vet if he has a known health issues or is on any medications you haven't mentioned. Also if you give this and he cannot keep it down due to nausea that is usually a red flag that we need to bypass his mouth with injectable anti-vomiting medication from his vet.

Once he is more settled, you can plan to try small meals of a light/easily digestible diet. Examples you can use are cooked white rice with boiled chicken, boiled white fish, or scrambled eggs, or meat baby food (garlic/onion free only). The aim of these diets is that they will be better tolerated/absorbed by the compromised gut. Therefore, it should get more nutrients in and result in less GI upset. As long as improvement is being seen, I usually advise continuing this until the signs are settled, and then weaning slowly back to what you normally feed.

Since dehydration is a risk in vomiting dogs, we need to keep an eye on his hydration. To check this and make sure dehydration isn’t an issue, there are a few parameters you can test. Further to checking for gum moisture, you will want to make sure his eyes are not looking sunken and that he doesn’t have a "skin tent" when you lift the skin. To see how to check these, you can find a good video HERE (http://www.ehow.com/video_12232503_dog-dehydrated.html). If you do see any of these signs already, then that would be our cue to have him seen before this becomes an additional issue (especially since its often dehydration that makes them feel unwell).

Overall, a wide range of agents could trigger the signs we are seeing. Though if the gum had xylitol then we’d be best to have him seen at this point. Otherwise, we can start supportive care to try to settle his stomach and get him comfortable enough to eat. Though if he cannot keep that or water down, appears dehydrated already, or doesn’t respond to the above within 12-24 hours; then we'd want to get his vet involved. They can assess his hydration, rule out fever, ensure nothing in his stomach that shouldn't be, or any sinister viruses present. Depending on their findings, his vet can treat with injectable anti-vomiting medication, appetite stimulants, +/- antibiotics to settle his stomach and get him back feeling like himself.

Please take care,

Dr. B.

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If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. **Afterwards, I would be grateful if you would rate my service by clicking on the "Rate my Expert' button at the top of the page as this is the only way I am credited for helping you. Thank you for your feedback!: )

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