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nekovet
nekovet, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 21745
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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2 days ago my 7 month old Chihuahua pup got hit on the head

Customer Question

Hi, 2 days ago my 7 month old Chihuahua pup got hit on the head by a very hard antler chew, and I heard a CLUNK. I think it was more the centre of his head than the front. He ran behind the sofa in shock, but came straight to me and has been OK. However, since yesterday he's vomited 3 times, not a lot, and not straight after food but hours later, it's undigested food and yellow bile coming up. Other than that he's been totally normal, playing, sleeping, drinking, a little fussy with food but that's normal. No dizziness or lethergy, no problems walking, no bumps, his eyes are bright and alert. Should I be worried? It just seems a bit of a coincidence. Thank you.
Submitted: 28 days ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  nekovet replied 28 days ago.

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

Now given the delay in signs and no other head trauma associated signs at this time, I don't feel that Scamp's vomiting is directly related to the antler hitting his head. Instead, we'd be more worried of GI upset form chewing that or a possible bacterial or viral gastroenteritis, or non-related parasites/protozoa infections.

Now as he sounds otherwise well in himself, 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 an OTC pet safe antacid [ie Pepcid (More Info/Dose @http://www.petplace.com/article/drug-library/library/over-the-counter/famotidine-pepcid), 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. Though if 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.

Afterwards, you can consider starting an easily digestible diet like 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 signs are settled, and then weaning slowly back to your normal diet.

Finally, as dehydration is a risk for Scamp, we need to keep an eye on his hydration. To check that he isn't dehydrated, there are a few things you can test. Further to checking for gum moisture, do make sure he doesn’t have sunken eyes 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 (especially as it is often dehydration that makes them feel unwell).

Overall, his signs do raise some concerns but the antler hitting his head isn't likely to blame at this stage. In any case, we’d want to start supportive care to settle his stomach. If he cannot keep that or water down at any point, appears dehydrated already, seems weak, 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-vomiting medication +/- antibiotics to settle his stomach, and get him back feeling like himself.

Kind regards,

Dr. B.

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