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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 16315
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian
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She's a lab dashund mix, and she's been throwing up since

Customer Question

Hello. She's a lab dashund mix, and she's been throwing up since last night. looked in her ear and they are both red. the right one more than the ledt
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Hopefully it didn't make a mess. Did the dog eat anything unusual?
Customer: maybe she's fast at snagging things that fall on the ground could have eaten onion
JA: What is the dog's name and age?
Customer: Tulls she's a rescue but we think she's about 8
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Tulls?
Customer: no. she's usually in great health
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 6 months ago.

Hello, I'm Dr. Kara. I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian and I'd like to help. Please give me a moment to review your concerns.

Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 6 months ago.

I'm sorry to hear that Tulls has been vomiting since last night & has red ears.

Ear infections in dogs usually involve the external ear canal, and as such don't cause them to be dizzy and make them vomit. An infection can ascend into the inner ear, but that is less common. Certainly if she is walking in circles or consistently leaning one way or the other, has a consistent head tilt or has nystagmus (rhythmic, regular, uncontrollable back & forth or rolling type eye motions) we would need to consider her ear infection as a cause of vestibular disease, and secondary nausea.

But more likely causes of vomiting and nausea include a change in diet, dietary sensitivities or allergies, or eating things that they should not like too many fatty table scraps or garbage, bones etc. Addison's which is a poorly functioning adrenal gland is another possibility for waxing and waning vomiting and nausea. Metabolic organ failures (kidney or liver disease), pancreatitis, inflammatory bowel disease or even infiltrative cancers are possible causes too.

Because we know she's a pup that could have eaten something she should not have recently (toy pieces, bones, garbage) then I suspect that is behind this.
Any changes in food or treats?

How is she feeling otherwise? Does she still have an appetite? If she seems to feel pretty well otherwise and wants to eat that is good news.

Over the counter antinausea drugs (acid reducers) you can give to try and settle her stomach include either:

1) Pepcid-ac (famotidine) at a dose of one 10mg tablet per 20 to 40 pounds of body weight every 12 hours.
2) Prilosec (omeprazole) at a dose of one half of a 20mg tablet per 20 to 40 pounds of body weight every 24 hours.
These will reduce stomach acid and should help settle her stomach. These can be used for several days if necessary as they are very safe.
I'd also pick up her food and water for now. A couple hours after the acid reducer you can offer small amounts of water or ice cubes to lick. She's likely thirsty but we need to settle her stomach first.
No food for 24 hours. Small amounts of water only.

After her 24 hour food fast then start a bland diet of 1/3 boiled, lean hamburger (or boiled, white, skinless chicken) and 2/3 boiled white rice. Give small meals several times a day. Feed the bland diet for several days and if all is going well then start mixing in her regular diet and slowly convert her back.

Watch her for continued vomiting even with the acid reducers, blood in her stool or vomit or a fever (more than 103.5F rectally), a tense painful belly or lack of appetite after her food fast. If any of those occur it is time to seek hands on veterinary care.

She should also see her veterinarian to have her ears treated.
Please let me know if you have any further questions.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Is there anything I can do at home to sooth her ears?She might have eaten a little bit of onion that fell on the floor, could that hurt her stomach?She seems a little sluggish and hasn't been after me to give her food ( she usually eats between 8-10am.) So she hasn't eaten yet today.I gave her a few sips of gatorade so she doesn't get dehydrated.I cannot afford the vet right now, so any further help from you would be greatly appreciated.
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 6 months ago.

Onions can be toxic to dogs, but they must eat a certain amount per pound of body weight to get sick. Unless she is very tiny one small piece would not be enough to be toxic, nor really make her sick, maybe cause some loose stools, but not vomiting.

We need to tackle her nausea/vomiting first. So use an acid reducer, food fast and the bland diet to start.

Of course the ideal situation is to see her veterinarian and have her ear debris tested to see what sort of infection she has to get her on the right medication, but I understand that may not be possible due to finances so I can give you some things to try to help her feel more comfortable.

Since most ear infections are secondary to allergies and the inflammation they cause you can use a combination of antihistamines and high doses of omega-3 fatty acids to help with those. In combination fatty acids and antihistamines work synergistically, much better than either one alone.

You can try:

1)Benadryl (diphenhydramine only don't use the combination products with decongestants or acetaminophen as they can be toxic) at 1mg to 2mg per pound or one 25mg capsule per 15 to 25 pounds of body weight orally every 8 hours.

OR 2)Claritin (loratidine) at 5mg per 25 pounds of body weight once or twice daily.

OR 3)Hydroxyzine at 1mg per pound of body weight orally every 8 hours.

OR 4) Chlorpheniramine at 4mg to 8mg per dog once or twice daily.

OR 5) Zyrtec (Cetirizine hydrochloride) at 1/2 mg per pound of body weight orally every 24 hours. That would be one 10mg tablet per 20 pounds of body weight. Make sure it is NOT the formulation with a decongestant (such as Zyrtec-D) because dogs cannot tolerate decongestants.

Some dogs do better on one antihistamine rather than another.

Give the one you pick a week trial and if it isn't working try another. Be aware that antihistamines can cause sleepiness or hyperactivity in some dogs. These side effects do wear off with repeated use.

Omega-3 fatty acids are fish oil products. 3V by DVM or Derm Caps ES are good brand name products. Use the high end of the dosing schedule for your pup's weight. I recommend an omega 3 fatty acid dose based upon the EPA portion (eicosapentanoic acid) of the supplement as if we do that the rest of the supplement will be properly balanced. Give her 20mg of EPA per pound of body weight per day. For example an 8 pound dog could take 160mg of EPA per day.

I also recommend using a gentle ear cleaner like Oticlens daily now to remove as much of the waxy debris as possible. This removes excess wax and keeps the ear pH at levels that discourage infections. When the ear is sore many dogs won't let you squirt things in their ear but if you soak a cotton ball with the cleaner, then place it at the top of the ear canal and massage the ear from the outside, putting pressure on the soaked cotton ball, the cleaner will be instilled easily. Wipe out excess cleaner and waxy debris with dry cotton balls. If her ear skin surface looks red after cleaning you can apply a light coat of cortisone cream (like Cortaid) with a Q-tip to soothe her ears. DO NOT apply to broken/bleeding skin.

Once you have her infection treated and cleared use the cleaner twice a week as that helps prevent infections and also allows you to know what a normal ear looks like and catch ear infections very early.

Sometimes with an early infection simply cleaning the ear daily is enough to stop it in its tracks.

If she's not improving she will need hands on veterinary help. Do not clean her ear the day of her veterinary appointment so they can gather a sample of the wax for testing.

Best of luck with your girl, please let me know if you have any further questions.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Thank you. These are great tips and I will try some asap!
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 6 months ago.

You are very welcome, my best to your pup.