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My 13 year old female lab is retching and gagging

Customer Question
Hello. My 13 year old...
Hello. My 13 year old female lab is retching and gagging frequently, maybe 10-15 minute intervals. She may have ingested pieces of a stick yesterday afternoon. She doesn't seem to be in distress, other than what I described. She's breathing fine, has eaten her food, and is just laying around like she normally does.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. The Veterinarian will know if the dog will be able to digest that. What is the dog's name?
Customer: Razz
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Razz?
Customer: I'm trying to determine if I should take her to emergency 24 hour Vet.
Submitted: 6 months ago.Category: Dog
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Answered in 5 minutes by:
5/9/2017
Dog Specialist: PitRottMommy, Veterinary Nurse replied 6 months ago
PitRottMommy
PitRottMommy, Veterinary Nurse
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 9,441
Experience: 15 yrs experience in vet med, 8 in emergency med. Founder of a non-profit animal rescue
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Hello, JACustomer. I have been a Veterinary Nurse for over 15 years and would be happy to help you today. I'm reviewing your question right now.

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Dog Specialist: PitRottMommy, Veterinary Nurse replied 6 months ago

Have there been any changes to the diet? New food? New treats? Bones? Human food? The opportunity to get into the trash? Torn up toys, etc?

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
Nothing new introduced, intentionally. What she may have found in the backyard, I don't know - but my father believes she chewed up a stick Sunday afternoon.
Customer reply replied 6 months ago
She is resting fine, breathing normally, but will suddenly to into the chocking, retching, gagging thing. Then return to normal.
Dog Specialist: PitRottMommy, Veterinary Nurse replied 6 months ago

A stick could certainly cause these symptoms. We typically associate the retching and gagging with nausea and it's not uncommon for labs, despite nausea, to continue eating.

I can give you some steps to take at home to help your companion’s stomach feel better. However, if you do not see a marked improvement from your pet or you see worsening of symptoms, they absolutely must be examined by a veterinarian.

It often helps to give something to calm the stomach and a bland diet with higher fiber. This can help to reduce the instance of nausea/vomiting, restore/improve the appetite, avoid or address changes in the stool, help to move ingested items through the GI tract, etc.

The first step is to administer a dose of regular pepcid (famotidine) every 12-24 hours. You will want to give 0.5mg/pound of body weight (a 10# ***** would receive 5mg, a 5# ***** would receive 2.5mg, etc). For this, you can visit any human pharmacy and buy the OTC brand name Pepcid, or you can use the cheaper, off-brand “famotidine” that’s available. Either will be useful. For pets avoiding taking medication readily, you will likely need to using a pilling technique like this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-P6NfbxeLX0

2 hours following a dose of famotidine, the time needed for the medication to begin working, you can offer a bland diet. To make this, you’ll combine white or brown rice, boneless, skinless chicken breast and sufficient water for cooking in a stock pot. Boil on medium until it turns to mush and the breast is easily flaked. To avoid more nausea, start with small amounts to begin with and offer the amount every 2-4 hours. A few teaspoons to start is typically sufficient and you can work your way up every 2-4 hours in incremental increases until you’re sure no vomiting will be seen. If your companion requires a more palatable food, try adding in pureed baby food in chicken, turkey and similar flavors. Avoid those that contain onion or garlic in the ingredient panel. Work up to feeding exclusively until at least 3 days following the resolution of the GI upset. After this, work on slowly switching back to the regular food that your companion typically eats.

I will be standing by if you have other questions. Let me know if I can help further. Also, before signing off today, please take the time to use the star rating system at the top of the page to leave a rating for me. Until this is done, the website will not compensate me for helping you. You will still be able to chat with me even after issuing a rating.

I will also check in with you over the next few days for updates on your companion to be sure you don’t need any additional assistance. Letting me know how your companion is doing would be greatly appreciated. If you would like to request me in the future for pet-related questions, you can do so by accessing this page: http://www.justanswer.com/pet/expert-pitrottmommy/?rpt=3800

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
Ok, thank you for that information.
Dog Specialist: PitRottMommy, Veterinary Nurse replied 6 months ago

Certainly. I hope she's feeling better very soon.

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
I tried sending a video. But it was too large. I'm trying to get a shorter video to send. I don't feel like it's her stomach that's bothering her. More of her throat, causing the reflex and eventual gag.
Dog Specialist: PitRottMommy, Veterinary Nurse replied 6 months ago

There is an attachment function on the page that should allow you to post pictures and video. You can also use websites like tinypic.com and youtube.com to upload pictures and video respectively. Once this is done, a set of links will appear. You can then post the link back and I can access them. I’ll be standing by.

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