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CriticalCareVet, ER/ICU Specialist
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 63982
Experience:  Emergency and Critical Care Specialist
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Customer Question

My GSD suddenly had a non productive attemp to vomit and when I ran to the other room she immediately tried to eat a cat toy, then looked at the carpet. She has had this once before and I didn't want her trying to eat fiber from the floor. I got her some pita bread and she ate it fast and intensely. She has had constant gas since last night and hadn't moved a bowel today. She since has had a few attempts at vomiting which were not productive. She has hiccuped/ burped and passed gas. I felt her stomach and she didn't seem to have any pain. I listened to her stomach and i did not time the clicks but id say they seemed active and possibly normal range but continuous. I listened to her heart rate and it seemed faster then normal, then again don't know the normal ranges for a dog lol. I do however know it was irregular and S1S2 were audible. She normally has a regular rhythm. I brought her out and she seemed moved her bowels. The first portion was dark ad formed and the rest of it was paler and softer but still formed, just not as much. I was thinking of noting her vitals and checking in an hour and checking if she has soft stool in the AM. It has been about 20 minutes since she last attempted to vomit slightly or relieve gas. Also I did notice her rib cage seemed a little wider then normal when I walked her. She is relaxing. Her abdomen btw was soft and flat. Is this an okay route of action or do you think she's in jeopardy of say bloat? Anything particular you suggest I assess to rule out emergency?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Veterinary
Expert:  CriticalCareVet replied 4 years ago.
Welcome to JustAnswer! I am a licensed veterinarian and specialist and will do my best to assist you today!

1) How long ago specifically did this all start?

2) Is there still a continued attempt at vomiting, but only retching with nothing coming up?

3) Is there pacing, panting, or restless behavior?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I just watched a 20 minute show and paused my show before that when it started which was 20 minutes, then took maybe 10 min to write question, then walked her I guess I would say onset was approximately 60-70 minutes ago. Last attempt was about 10 minutes ago then before that about 15 minutes and she's been laying down for a good half hour sleeping. Right now she is sleeping but when this was at its peak she was pacing around possibly looking for a spot to vomit. And only at onset was she restless. As in she rushed to get something into her mouth immediately. When she came in from having her BM she came on bed and relaxed. At about 10 minutes she started hiccuping then jumped off bed and started attempting to vomit, however it was short where the earlier ones were longer and she paced unable to get comfortable. This was also the last time she attempted to vomit . Her expiration seems a bit louder and more forced than inspiration. Her HR seemed to have calmed. When I push the stethoscope to her heart and abdomen she hiccups. Then when I pressed it to her abdomen she let out some gas. Her bowel sounds have calmed down but still active. Also, not sure this matters at this moment but she sounds like she has a slight murmur possibly. Either that or she's relaxing after a bit and her HR is slowing down. Just thought I'd throw that out there. Also her lungs are clear (had to locate online not knowing dog anatomy)
Expert:  CriticalCareVet replied 4 years ago.
With my normal, every day practice of emergency medicine, I would strongly recommend you take your dog to the ER.

A bloat, with your history - unfortunately must be on the possible cause list.


Could there be other causes? Yes. Absolutely.

This may be no more than a gastroenteritis.

We can also see other causes such as a pancreatitis or even a blockage.

But in a dog of this breed, non productive retching is always a concern, even if their belly is not bloated visually, this does not mean the stomach can not be twisted and sitting under the ribcage.

As I am sure you understand, making a diagnosis over the internet is difficult. I need to take your information and determine possible causes, tests to consider, and then treatment to administer.

If you called my hospital and gave me this information, I would recommend bringing your dog to the ER as soon as possible. A simple lateral x-ray (right lateral) would be able to confirm position of the stomach and rule-in, or rule-out this tentative concern of a GDV, or twisted stomach as this is a life threatening problem and needs to be ruled out.

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