Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.
Can you tell me if you mean that her stools are jam consistency?
Or do they look bloody, red, and like cranberry jelly?
Are her gums nice and pink, not pale/white?
Any belly pain if you press on it gently?
Thank you Julia,
First I must say that I am glad that you do plan to follow up with her vet tomorrow, as hemorrhagic diarrhea like this can be associated with a number of serious issues that we do want to support her against. In regards ***** ***** top concerns with cranberry sauce type diarrhea, we would be especially concerned about viral hemorrhagic gastroenteritis (HGE), parvo, and bacterial agents like Salmonella or campylobacter. As well, we can see this on occasion with foreign body ingestion but hopefully at Roxy’s age this would be less of a worry here.
Now in situations like this, our approach will completely depend on her ability to keep water down. This is because dogs that are too nauseous to keep water down (when we aren’t pressing on their bellies) often will need injectable anti-vomiting treatment to settle their stomachs and help us start treating them.
In regards ***** ***** you can do tonight, you can consider trying her with an antacid at this stage. 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 30 minutes before offering food to give it time to be absorbed.
Once this is on board, if she is settling and not vomited further, then tempt her with a small volume (a tablespoon worth to start) of a light/easily digestible diet. Examples of this would be rice with boiled chicken, boiled white fish, scrambled eggs (made with water and not milk), or meat baby food (do avoid the ones with garlic powder in the ingredients). Furthermore, 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 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. Of course, if you try these but she is still too nauseous, then rest her stomach overnight until she is seen (since we often will rest stomachs for 8-12 hours in actively vomiting dogs). That way you get let her stomach settle and avoid further vomiting, which could increase her risk of dehydration further.
Further to this, we do keep an eye on her water intake as profuse vomiting and diarrhea can quickly dehydrate a dog (and dehydration will make them feel worse and complicate their situation). While monitoring her water intake, it is important to have an idea of her hydration status at this stage. 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) If you are 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. If you are 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.
Finally, while I know her diarrhea is disturbing, I would just note that this is an instance where we do not want to administer any anti-diarrheals. The reason is because the body is actually flushing out that infectious agent. And if we were to slow it and it was one of those above concerning agents, then we could actually make her feel more poorly (since slowing diarrhea can leave bacterial toxins or viruses in contact with the gut longer to cause increased infection).
Overall, Roxy does sound to have a cause of hemorrhagic gastroenteritis caused by one of the aforementioned agents. The key for tonight is to try to settle her nausea to reduce vomiting and get her eating, keeping her hydrated and monitoring that hydration. If we can do that until she is seen, then we will be doing the best for the body in the face of this infectious agent. Once her vet can see her, they will be able to examine her to rule out foreign bodies, check her stool, and parvo test her (if this is a concern after their examination). 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.
I hope this information is helpful.
If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!
All the best,
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