Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.
If we are seeing a sudden onset of both vomiting and diarrhea, then we do have to consider that she may have picked up a GI bacterial bug and has a bit of gastroenteritis. In regards XXXXX XXXXX food to offer, the rice is a start but we would want a protein source as well. Cheese would not be advisable since it is rich and could actually make things worse for her. Instead, protein sources that you can offer with the rice would be boiled chicken, boiled white fish, scrambled eggs (made with water and not milk), meat baby food (do avoid the ones with garlic powder in the ingredients) or there are also veterinary prescription diets that can be used in cases of gastroenteritis (ie Hill’s I/D or Royal Canin’s sensitivity). These diets aim for provide nutrition to the stressed gut without making it work hard to digest the food. As well, I would advise frequent small meals to minimize strain on the already stressed gut, and to help lower the volume of diarrhea.
Further to this, we can also start some supportive care for Shelley if she is still actively nauseous. Of course, if her vomiting is profuse or she cannot keep water down, those would be signs that we'd want her seen urgently by her vet before this gets out of control. Otherwise, to address her nausea which is likely playing a role in her vomiting, you can try her with an antacid. There are a number of antacids that are available over the counter and pet friendly. I would advise only treating with one, but the two I tend to recommend are Pepcid (LINK) or Zantac (LINK). This medication of course shouldn’t be given without consulting your vet if she does have any pre-existing conditions or is on any other medications. Ideally, it should be given about 30 minutes before food to ease her upset gut signs.
Now if the diarrhea settles with the light diet, then you may not need to treat this. Still if she is having severe diarrhea (that isn't bloody since we often don't want to slow the blood containing diarrheas), you can consider a safe anti-diarrheals to slow things down for their gut. As I am sure you appreciate, these would not be a cure (since cures would depend on the culprit and might include antibiotics or anti-parasitics, etc.) but would slow the diarrhea to aid the body potentially absorb more water/nutrients then it would have if the diarrhea were unchecked. In regards XXXXX XXXXX options, the ones we most commonly use is Kaolin (More Info/Dose) available from your local pharmacy or Protexin Pro-Fiber (which is available OTC at vet practices; example). Both will slow diarrhea safely for an older lass and the Pro-Fiber has the bonus of providing support to the delicate good bacteria of the GI.
Further to all these supportive measures, we do want to keep a close eye on her water intake and her hydration. Since she is an older lass she will not have the body reserves she used to have. This means that if the vomiting and diarrhea continues, she can quickly become dehydrated. To check her hydration status to make sure she is not becoming dehydrated there are a few things we can test at home. One is whether the eyes appear sunken, if the gums are tacky instead of wet/moist, and whether she has a "skin tent" when you lift the skin. To see how to check these parameters for dehydration, you can find a wee video on this HERE. ( They use a big dog but it makes it easier to see and the principles are exactly the same for smaller ones) If you are seeing any signs of dehydration already, then you do want to have your lass seen by her vet before this gets out of control.
If you are concerned that she is becoming dehydrated from the fluid loss via diarrhea, you can try and encourage her to drink but offering fresh water or even low-sodium chicken broth. If she isn’t amenable to these, and only if her vomiting has stopped, you can syringe feed pedialyte. Pedialyte is good here because it will get both fluids and lost electrolytes back into your girl. A typical maintenance rate for hydration in an animal is 48mls per kilogram of weight a day. If you do give syringe pedialyte, this should obviously be divided up into multiple offerings through the day rather then all at once. This value will give you the total she needs for the day and is a good starting point to give you an idea of the feline daily requirement. (we aren’t calculating losses, so you can add an equivalent volume to match how much diarrhea is being producing). If she vomits when you have given pedialyte, then therapy should be discontinued (since we don’t want vomiting because of our intervention).Overall, if Shelley has had some sickness and diarrhea, I would advise the above steps. If you do so over the next 24 hours and do not see her settling (sooner if she is dehydrated or cannot keep water down), then that would be our cue to follow up with her vet. If you need to do so, consider taking a fecal sample with you to show the vet. The vet can have a feel of her stomach and if necessary can send the feces off for testing. As well, they can treat her with injectable antibiotics and anti-vomiting medication to settle her stomachs and help her get back to feeling like herself.Finally, just to note in case you were keen to have her seen today, some veterinary practices in our country have holiday office hours. As well, I wanted to mention that most veterinary practices here do have contingency plans for emergency care for their patients even when they are not open. Therefore, it is worth ringing the practice. If they are open, you can get her seen today. If they aren't, then they will likely have a message to direct you on how to contact their out of hours service. And if you don't have a vet you can find one local to you, you can check you can check the RCVS Register (HERE) to find your local Vets Now (LINK) who are open all nights/weekends. In any case, if you wanted to get her checked out sooner then there are options to have her seen today too.
I hope this information is helpful.
If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!
All the best,
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