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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 16303
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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my 8week old puppy is trying to be sick [gagging] for no r

Customer Question

my 8week old puppy is trying to be sick [gagging] for no reason?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 2 years ago.
Hello, my name is***** and I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian. I am sorry to hear that our little fellow isn't feeling well, gagging and trying to vomit.
I understand that he appears healthy and has been eating well but if even water is making him vomit/gag you need to take it away from him for now.
In most cases vomiting/gagging is triggered by eating something they should not, too much table food, too many treats or something they find outdoors.
More serious causes of vomiting in puppies include viral or bacterial infections, a dietary allergy or sensitivity, congenital internal organ failure (kidney or liver disease), or a full or partial gastrointestinal obstruction.
In a young dog, especially one that hasn't finished his vaccine series like your fellow, a viral infection such as parvo virus or a foreign body leading to a partial or full gastrointestinal obstruction would be the most likely cause and both can be deadly. Not all dogs with viral infections run a fever, sometimes they are too weak to mount a fever response or it is too early in the disease process to see a fever yet.
Because he is a young puppy that hasn't finished his vaccine series and is vomiting ideally he would see a veterinarian now. Young puppies dehydrate easily and he needs fluids.
If that isn't possible for whatever reason there are some things we can try at home, but we cannot replace in clinic intravenous fluids and injectable medication.
To try and settle his stomach you can give either:
1) Pepcid ac (famotidine) at one quarter of a 10mg tablet per 2 to 5 kilograms of body weight every 12 hours
OR
2) Prilosec (omeprazole) at one quarter of a 10mg tablet per 2 to 5 kilograms of body weight every 24 hours
These are acid reducers and may help him feel better and hopefully stop the gagging. They are quite safe and can be used for several days if necessary.
I would pick up all food for now and water for a couple hours to allow his stomach to settle after the acid reducers.
In a couple hours when you give him water make sure it is in small amounts only. If he drinks too much too quickly that can lead to vomiting. You can also offer ice cubes to lick to help keep him hydrated. To get some electrolytes in you can also offer him a 50:50 mix of pedialyte and water.
If there is no vomiting/gagging for 6 to 8 hours offer a bland diet of 1/3 boiled, minced, white skinless chicken or boiled, lean hamburger and 2/3 boiled, white rice mixed with some low salt chicken or beef broth to make it easy to lap up and swallow and get additional fluids into him. If he refuses that you can offer a little meat baby food. If he refuses both then don't push it, he needs hands on veterinary care as soon as possible.
But if things go well and he does eat the bland diet and doesn't vomit feed him the bland diet for 2 to 3 days then slowly start to mix back in his regular food, a little more at each meal. It should take about 5 to 7 days to slowly convert him back to his regular diet.
If he continues to vomit/gag even with the acid reducers, runs a fever (more than 103F rectally), or has a lower then normal temperature (less then 99F), has a tense painful belly or if he refuses to eat he should see a veterinarian for an examination, diagnostics, injectable anti-nausea drugs intravenous fluids and supportive care.
Please let me know if you have any further questions.

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