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nekovet
nekovet, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 21201
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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10 yr old Black Lab has been sick several times today.

Resolved Question:

10 yr old Black Lab has been sick several times today. Vomited back breakfast...allowed him to eat some grass also brought back up after few mins. Generally excellent health not had this sort of incident before. Any advice please?
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  nekovet replied 11 months ago.

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

Can he keep any water down?

Are his gums nice and pink (not white/pale)? Moist or sticky?

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

Could he have eaten anything he should not have (ie bones, toys, plants, chemicals, human meds, etc)?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Just tried some water hasn't come back. Gums seem OK and had good poke at his belly no problem.
Not aware eaten anything he shouldn't.
Expert:  nekovet replied 11 months ago.

Thank you,

First, I am glad to hear that Harry hasn't likely eaten anything harmful and that he hasn't any of those other signs I asked about. Though we do need to tread with care since he has been sick so many times today. Especially as his signs do raise concerns of possible bacterial or viral gastroenteritis, pancreatitis, general dietary indiscretions, or could be secondary to organ/metabolic issues at his age.

Still, as long as he can keep 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 his stomach for a few hours first), then you can consider treating him 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 Milk of Magnesia (0.5tsp every 8 hours). 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 I'd note that 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 that has had time to absorb and he is steadier on his stomach, you can consider starting him on a light/easily digestible diet. Examples you can use are cooked white rice with boiled chicken, boiled white fish, cottage cheese, or scrambled eggs (made with water and not milk). 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 him slowly back to his normal diet.

Since dehydration if he has vomited quite a bit , we need to keep an eye on his hydration. To check this and ensure he’s not becoming dehydrated, there are a few things 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 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 him seen before this becomes an additional issue for him (especially as it is often dehydration that makes them feel unwell).

Overall, there are a wide range of agents could trigger this GI upset we are seeing. Though if he has kept that water down, then we can try supportive care to settle his stomach over tonight. If he cannot keep that or water down at any point, 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, 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 +/- antibiotics to settle his stomach, and get him back feeling like himself.

Please take care,

Dr. B.

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Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Thanks
Expert:  nekovet replied 11 months ago.

You are very welcome, my dear.

All the best for you both,

Dr. B.