How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dr. B. Your Own Question
Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 21437
Experience:  Hello, I am a small animal veterinarian and am happy to discuss any concerns & questions you have on any species.
Type Your Dog Question Here...
Dr. B. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I have an 8 year old pit/lab mix....for about 4 or 5 days

Customer Question

I have an 8 year old pit/lab mix....for about 4 or 5 days she's hasn't eaten and drinks little water...she is prone to ear infections but I've noticed her top of her tail is swollen...what could it be
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: Cleo
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Cleo?
Customer: My husband tried to clean the ear with Ear Cleanser...after she stopped eating and just lays down all day
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 5 months ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you today.

How long has she been showing signs?

Any discomfort with her ears?

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

Is that swollen tail base sore if you press on it? Any sores or signs or injury?

Are her gums pink or white/pale? Moist or sticky?

Any change to her breathing?

If you press on her belly, any tensing, tenderness, discomfort, or pain?

Could she have eaten anything harmful (ie bones, toys, plants, chemicals, human meds, etc)?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
She didn't seem uncomfortable when I pressed her stomach but she did with her tail. I put some drops in from her vet when it touched the back of the ear she whimpered a little
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Sorry I meant when I touched her ear
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 5 months ago.

Thank you,

Now I am concerned that we may have more than one issue here for Cleo.

With her being a lab cross, her appetite loss doesn't quite fit with the other signs she is showing. Her tender ears raise worries of an ear infection or allergies; which her swollen tail base hold similar concerns (abscess or allergic induced irritation) +/- bruising if she has injured herself there. Though neither usually puts dog off food. So, we'd also have to be wary that if that tail swelling is an abscess that the infection may be sneaking into her blood stream and causing nausea as well.

With all this in mind, given that this has been ongoing for days, we need to be proactive here. Especially since this will be potentially stealing her energy, dehydrating her and possibly could lead to weight loos. Therefore we'd want to start some supportive care. To start, if you are suspicious of nausea at all with her, consider trying her with an OTC pet safe antacid like Pepcid (More Info/Dose @ or Zantac (More Info/Dose @ Whichever you choose, we’d give this 20 minutes before food to allow absorption. Of course, do double check with your vet if she has a known health issues or is on any medications you haven't mentioned.

Afterwards, you can consider tempting her to eat. Favorite can be tried or you can try her on an easily digestible diet like cooked white rice with boiled chicken, boiled white fish, cottage cheese, scrambled eggs, or meat baby food (as long as its garlic/onion free). Though if we cannot tempt her then, we can offer or syringe feed watered down canned puppy food, Hill's A/D, Royal Canin Recovery, or Clinicare Canine/Feline Liquid Diet. All of these are calorically dense, so a little goes a long way nutrition-wise. As well, since she is drinking poorly and dehydration is a risk, the fluids in the above syringe feeding will get fluids in but we can also use Pedialyte. Aim for a daily total of 48ml per kilogram of her weight to keep her hydrated.

Now as we do that, we need to address her ears/tail region. Now if we have infection we are limited with what we can do at home. You can gently flush Cleo's ears with salt water (1tbsp salt to a pint warm water) a few times daily to reduce bacterial/yeast concerns. As well, Benadryl/Diphenhydramine (More Info/Dose @ can be used to reduce any allergic irritation. And you can also gently warm compress that tail region to see if we can reduce that for her. Of course, if we start these but don't see her start to eat for us, then we'd need her local vet to assess her. Depending on their findings, her vet can treat her with injectable anti-nausea medication, appetite stimulants +/- antibiotics to get her settled before she wastes away before our eyes.

All the best,

Dr. B.


If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need as this is the only way I am credited for assisting you today. Thank you! : )