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My dog started to vomit yesterday morning. He won't eat but

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is taking water, which he...
My dog started to vomit yesterday morning. He won't eat but is taking water, which he is every so often throwing back up. He is 11 and fairly quiet as a norm, but he is clearly uncomfortable as he keeps moving positions and kicking his legs when lying down... he vomited 3 or 4 times yesterday but only once today so far after he came out for a walk and ate grass, which he threw up along with the most recent water intake.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. This sounds like it might be serious. I'll let the Veterinarian know what's going on ASAP. Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about your dog?
Customer: not that i can think of... he hasn't as far as i know eaten anything he shouldn't have. He has a sensitive stomach so only has his kibble and raw vegetables as a treat. He will eat carrion if he finds it though
Submitted: 1 year ago.Category: Veterinary
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Answered in 16 minutes by:
8/21/2016
Veterinarian: Dr. B., Board Certified Veterinarian replied 1 year ago
Dr. B.
Dr. B., Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 22,033
Experience: General practice veterinary surgeon with extensive experience in a wide range of species.
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Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you today.

Now if your lad older and has a tender belly, then we do need to tread with care. It is quite possible that this is due to a bacterial or viral gastroenteritis, but with his additional signs we'd also have to be wary of pancreatitis, a general dietary indiscretion, or a possible underlying health issue (ie organ dysfunction, masses within or compressing the gut).

With this all in mind, as long as he can keep some water down, we can try some home supportive care to try to settle his stomach. To start, if he hasn’t just vomited (since otherwise we’d need to rest the stomach for a few hours first), you can consider treating with an OTC pet safe antacid like Pepcid (More Info/Dose @http://www.petplace.com/article/drug-library/library/over-the-counter/famotidine-pepcid), Zantac (More Info/Dose @ http://www.petplace.com/article/drug-library/library/over-the-counter/ranitidine-hcl-zantac), or Tagamet (More Info/Dose Here @ http://www.petplace.com/article/drug-library/library/over-the-counter/cimetidine-hcl-tagamet). 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. Also if you give this and 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.

Once we can get him more settled, you can plan to try small meals of a light/easily digestible diet. Examples you can use are cooked white rice with boiled chicken, boiled white fish, or scrambled eggs, or meat baby food (garlic/onion free only) There are also OTC vet diets (ie Hill’s I/D or Royal Canin’s sensitivity) that can be used too. 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 long as improvement is being seen, I usually advise continuing this until the signs are settled, and then weaning slowly back to what you normally feed.

Since dehydration is a risk if he did bring up the water this time, we need to keep an eye on his hydration. To check this and make sure dehydration isn’t an issue, there are a few parameters you can test. Further to checking for gum moisture, you will want to make sure his eyes are not looking sunken and that he doesn’t have a "skin tent" when you lift the skin. To see how to check these, you can find a good video HERE (http://www.ehow.com/video_12232503_dog-dehydrated.html). If you do see any of these signs already, then that would be our cue to have him seen before this becomes an additional issue (especially since its often dehydration that makes them feel unwell).

Overall, a wide range of agents could trigger the signs we are seeing. Therefore, we’d want to start supportive care to try to settle his stomach. Though if he cannot keep that or water down, appears dehydrated already, or doesn’t respond to the above within 12-24 hours; then we'd want to get his vet involved. They can assess his hydration, check bloods to make sure his organs are working as they should, ensure nothing in his stomach that shouldn't be, or any sinister viruses present. Depending on their findings, his vet can treat with injectable anti-vomiting medication +/- antibiotics to settle his stomach and get him back feeling like himself.

Please take care,

Dr. B.

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