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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 21418
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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I have a 4lb Yorkie who is having a tummy ache. His stomach

Customer Question

I have a 4lb Yorkie who is having a tummy ache. His stomach is very hard and he is shaking and whimpering when I try to hold him. I changed the flavor of his food this week and I suspect that is the cause. Is there something I can give him to help him?
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. What is the Yorkie's name and age?
Customer: Snickers and he is 5
JA: What is the Yorkie's name?
Customer: His name is Snickers
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Snickers?
Customer: He is current on all vaccinations and heart worm meds
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 months ago.

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

How long has he been showing signs? Was it right after the food change?

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

Can he keep any water down?

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

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

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

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
He sometimes wretches as he did last night. No vomiting or diarrhea. This morning he cried out when I picked him up off the bed. He went outside and sat in the grass and did not run around like normal. He is under the couch but did let me hold him a few minutes ago. His stomach is very hard and he cried out when I put him down
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
He has not eaten anything out of the ordinary and no toys or food meds etcHe has done this once before about 3 months ago and in 24 hrs he was better without meds but I was just wondering if I could give him something
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 months ago.

Hello again,

Now I am quite concerned about Snickers. When dogs have tight bellies, this is often a pain sign. It is something we can see with harmful ingestions (which I am glad to see isn't' likely), but also with severe bacterial or viral gastroenteritis, and pancreatitis. The last one could be triggered by a food change. As well, while less likely if this has suddenly come on, we can see gut thickening, tumors, and IBD cause signs like this; as well we can see tightness from enlarged organs or fluid taking up more space in the belly then it should. I do feel these are less likely for Snickers but they would be concerns to keep in mind at this point and if his belly has been hard for a while.

With this all in mind, for the moment, we can try to soothe his gut to see if we can settle these signs. For that, you can try him with an OTC pet safe antacid [ie Pepcid (More Info/Dose @, Zantac (More Info/Dose @]. 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. Though if 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.

Afterwards, you can consider starting 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). 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 well, if he seems gassy (which can distend the gut), we could treat with Simethicone (1mg per pound every 8-12 hours), add probiotics (ie Benebac, Fortiflora) +/- add activated charcoal to his food.

Overall, Snickers's signs do raise some concerns and with the discomfort he has (the cry when lifted does suggest abdominal pain), we do need to be careful here. So, as long as his gums are normal colored for him and you dont' think he ate anything harmful, we can try the above now. But if this lingers or he is very sore with that belly, then we'd want to get his vet involved. They can assess his hydration, rule out fever, make sure there is nothing in his stomach that shouldn't be there or any sinister viruses present. Depending on their findings, his vet can treat him with injectable anti-nausea medication, gut safe pain relief, gastroprotectants, +/- antibiotics to get him back feeling like himself.

Kind regards,

Dr. B.


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Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 months ago.

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

Dr. B.