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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 21419
Experience:  General practice veterinary surgeon with extensive experience in a wide range of species.
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hello , i have an 11yr old staffordshire terrier

Resolved Question:

hello , i have an 11yr old staffordshire bull terrier bitch Roxy she has been bringing up her food since yesterday. Shes not vomiting straight away ,but a few hours later. Shes been pooing ok , but this morning small part of it was black bit like a slug,then the rest normal . She seems spritely , plays with our other staffie ,and eats and drinks as normal, doesnt show any signs of illness. any idea of her problem . thank you

Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 3 years ago.

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

Poor Roxy!

First, I do just want to make a small note about that bit of black feces you saw. I would advise not panicking about it at this stage but monitoring any further bowel movements. If you see any more black material, we would want to have a check up with the vet urgently. The reason is because black feces can be a sign of internal bleeding within the gut. So, if you see any more black feces, her vomit has brown coffee ground type material or fresh blood, or her gums start to pale, then these would raise worries about bleeding in her stomach or intestines and we'd not want to delay having her seen.

Otherwise, when dogs start low grade vomiting there can be a number of culprits. Most common of these includes bacterial infection, viruses, parasites, pancreatitis, foreign bodies, and toxins (the last 2 hopefully being less likely here at her age). In all of these cases, as long as she isn't dehydrated and keep water down, our first step is to rest her stomach if they are actively vomiting. Now usually I will ask people to rest their stomachs by withholding food but if we have any risk of a stomach ulcer present, this wouldn't be ideal. Therefore, instead or removing all access, I would suggest resting via stopping her normal diet and just giving small meals frequent meals of a light diet option. This will be easy on her stomach, hopefully allay her vomiting but also keep that stomach from being at risk.

In regards XXXXX XXXXX diet options, you can tempt her with a small volume (a tablespoon worth to start) of a light/easily digestible diet. Examples of this would be to give a combination of rice with one of the following: 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). As well, there are also veterinary prescription diets that can be used in cases of gastroenteritis (ie Hill’s I/D or Royal Canin’s sensitivity). Now if she can keep the small amount, she can have a bit more after 30-45 minutes. And as she keeps it down, she can have a bit more and so on. The aim of these light diets are that they are easy on the compromised GI and tend to be better tolerated.
As well, do keep an eye on her water intake as profuse vomiting can quickly dehydrate a dog (and dehydration will make them feel worse and complicate their situation). If you had been concerned that she is becoming dehydrated, you can try an encourage her to drink but offering fresh water or even low-sodium chicken broth. You can offer her Pedialyte but do not try to syringe syringe feed it because syringing fluids to a vomiting dog is contraindicated since we don't want to cause further vomiting.

Now when dogs her age suffer from vomiting of this nature, dehydration can come on quite quickly (and the dehydration is what makes them feel particularly poorly). Therefore, at this stage, it’d be ideal to check her hydration status. To check this and 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 any size dog). And if you had been seeing any signs of dehydration already, then that would be a red flag to have her seen urgently by the vet before this gets any further out of control.

Even if we can settle the vomiting by light diet, we do have to be concerned about associated nausea and that possible stomach ulcer lingering in the back of our minds. Therefore, do consider putting her on 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 (More Info/Dose) or Zantac (More Info/Dose). We tend to give these 20 minutes before offering food to give it time to be absorbed and it can be used 2-3 times daily. So this would be something to try Roxy on now.

Overall, when our dogs start vomiting there can be a range of potential causes. Therefore, if she is hydrated, not continuously vomiting, and is able to settle, then consider resting an antacid now and then try the above. If you initiate these treatments and do not see improvement over the next 12-24 hours (we don't want to let it go too long since she is an older lass), she just cannot stop vomiting, or you see more black feces then I would be prudent to take her to the vet so that they can make sure there is nothing worrisome afoot. The vets will be able to have a feel of her to make sure she has no sinister lumps or bumps or anything that shouldn't be there. As well, the vet will be able to cover her with antibiotics against bacterial gastroenteritis and anti-vomiting medication by injection to help settle her stomach and get her back on track as quick as possible.

And just to note if you do want to have her seen tonight, I wanted to mention that most veterinary practices here do have contingency plans for emergency care for their patients. This means that if you ring the practice, they will likely have a message to direct you on how to contact their emergency service. And if you don't have a vet you can find one local to you, you can check RCVS register (LINK). or you can check here to find your local Vets Now (LINK) who are open all nights/weekends.

I hope this information is helpful.

If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!

All the best,

Dr. B.

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If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need. Thank you and hope to see you again soon! : )

Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Hello Dr B , thank you very much for your reply. Since your answer ,Roxy has vomited again ,bringing up just a small amount ,with mucus. She does seem ok and shows no signs of dehydration. Her meal time is usually 5pm ,we wont feed her until early tomorrow morning, unless she goes to her bowl looking for her food,then we will give her a small amount. Just to say ,we did give her a different brand of food a few hours before she first vomited, maybe this is the cause. But on your advice we will feed her as you say and keep an eye on her drinking, and her poo . If the vomiting persists tomorrow we will contact the vet. thank you for your help ,much appreciated

Expert:  Dr. B. replied 3 years ago.
You are very welcome,

It is quite possible that the new diet (especially if it was very rich or given as a quick diet change without weaning her over to the new food) may have caused her stomach upset. And I would say that would be our best case scenario for wee Roxy. So, do try the above with her and if it is just a bit of benign upset from the new diet, we should see her signs just settle down over the next 24-48 hours with that supportive care.

All the best,

Dr. B.

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If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need. Thank you and hope to see you again soon! : )
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