replied 1 year ago.
First, I would note that if this lump is hard and been present for a while, then its not likely what is putting Poppy off her food. Especially as her vomiting tells us that we have nausea present. Instead, it is likely a mass associated with either the spine, muscle, or nerve tissue in that area. These can be sore, but if she isn't showing that, then this may be something we just need to monitor (+/- have her vet sample for analysis) at this point. Especially since surgery isn't something you are keen to have her undergo and her nausea signs are a more pressing issue just now.
That aside, if we have vomiting, nausea, and appetite loss; this does raise some other concerns. Common causes we need to consider include bacterial or viral gastroenteritis, pancreatitis, parasites/protozoa infections, general dietary indiscretions, organ issues (ie kidney, liver), metabolic disease, and ingestion of harmful items (less likely for Poppy).
With this all in mind, as long as she can keep water down, we can try some home supportive care to try to settle her stomach. To start, if she hasn’t just vomited (since otherwise we’d need to rest her stomach for a few hours first), then you can consider treating her with an antacid. Common OTC pet safe options would be Zantac (More Info/Dose @ http://www.petplace.com/article/drug-library/library/over-the-counter/ranitidine-hcl-zantac) or Omeprazole (More Info/Dose @ http://www.petplace.com/article/drug-library/library/prescription/omeprazole-prilosec). 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.
If she can keep that down and settles, we can then try her with small meals of an easily digestible diet. Specifically, we could try Poppy with cooked white rice with boiled chicken, boiled white fish, cottage cheese, scrambled eggs, or meat baby food (as long as its garlic/onion free). There are also OTC vet diets that can be used (ie Hill’s I/D or Royal Canin’s sensitivity) 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 her slowly back to her normal diet.
Since dehydration is a risk for dogs showing these signs, we'd need to keep an eye on her hydration. To check that she isn't dehydrated, there are a few things you can test. Further to checking for gum moisture, do make sure she doesn’t have sunken eyes and that she doesn’t have a "skin tent" when you lift the skin. To see how to check these parameters for dehydration, you can find a good video HERE (http://www.ehow.com/video_12232503_dog-dehydrated.html). If you are seeing any signs of dehydration already, then that would be our cue to have her seen before this becomes an additional issue for her (especially as it is often dehydration that makes them feel unwell).
Overall, the mass is a concern but it doesn't sound to be what is causing her more pressing signs at this stage. So, having it sampled to know what it is would be ideal, but isn't the urgent issue we need to focus on just now. Instead, we need to address that nausea for her to stop the vomiting of bile and get her eating again. So, we'd want to consider the above just now. Though if you do try these but she isn't settling for us, then we'd want to consider getting her vet involved. They can assess her hydration, rule out fever, make sure there is nothing in her stomach that shouldn't be there or any sinister viruses present. As well, with her age, a geriatric blood test would be ideal to make sure her organs are working as they should. Depending on their findings, her vet can treat her with injectable anti-vomiting medication +/- antibiotics to settle her stomach, and get her back feeling like herself. And again while the mass bothers us, as long as its not ulcerating the skin, making her sore, or found to be anything nasty; we'd just keep an eye on that at her age.
I hope this information is helpful.
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All the best, *****
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