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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 16255
Experience:  General practice veterinary surgeon with extensive experience in a wide range of species.
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I have a red setter 6 months old has been vomiting and diarrhea

Customer Question

I have a red setter 6 months old has been vomiting and diarrhea all night, has not eaten anything as has not been out also not interested in food, very unusual, could it be beginning of first season which has upset her system?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today. I do apologize that your question was not answered before. Different experts come online at various times; I just came online, read about your wee one’s situation, and wanted to help.

Again I do apologize that my colleagues could not aid you sooner. If you would still like assistance, can you tell me:

Has she been keeping water down?

What has she been bringing up in her vomit?

What does the diarrhea look like (ie color, consistency, any blood or mucus)?

If you press on her belly, does she have any pain or tenderness?

Could she have eaten anything she should not have (ie bones, toys, socks, plants, toxins, etc)?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Yes she can keep water down, mainly he dinner in vomit, diarrhea is very runny and slight traces of blood, she is great chewer but we can't see what she might have eaten, belly feels very full!!
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you,

Now as I am sure you can appreciate, lass's signs are consistent with a gastrointestinal issue affecting both the upper and lower GI. This won't be related to her season, only that she may be a bit immunosuppressed because of it and therefore more vulnerable to infectious agents. And when dogs start vomiting and having diarrhea there can be a number of culprits. The most common of these includes bacterial infection, viruses, parasites, pancreatitis, foreign bodies, and toxins. Now hopefully since she doesn't have any belly discomfort, this is just gas giving you the impression of a full belly. But if she is a chewer, we do need to tread carefully and if we cannot settle her signs at home, then we need have her vet feel her belly +/- xray to make sure nothing is caught.

Now with all this in mind, your first step here since she can keep water down is to see if you can address her nausea (the reason why she is vomiting when eating). To do so,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 that is on board, you can then tempt her with a small volume (a tablespoon worth to start) of a light/easily digestible diet. Examples of this 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). 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 is that they are easy on the compromised GI and tend to be better tolerated. This means less vomiting but also increased nutrient uptake and therefore less diarrhea.

As well, 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). 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 feed it because syringing fluids to a vomiting dog is contraindicated since we don't want to cause further vomiting.

Furthermore, it'd be ideal to assess a 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) 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.

Further to this, once her vomiting is settling you can consider trying her on a dog safe anti-diarrheals. Since the blood streaks are likely due to lower GI irritation from the diarrhea as opposed to Salmonella, Campylobacter and such; I would note that you can try these with her. As I am sure you appreciate, these would not be a cure if her diarrhea is being caused by an infectious agent (ie bacteria will require antibiotics, parasites or protozoa will require anti-parasitic treatment, etc). Still it can slow the diarrhea to aid the body to absorb more water/nutrients then it would have if the diarrhea were unchecked. Furthermore, these treatments will coat the GI and could just settle the GI upset. In regards ***** ***** options for your wee one, the one we most commonly use in dogs is Kaolin/Kaopectate (More Info/Dose) or PeptoBismol (More Info/Dose) available from your local pharmacy. Furthermore, Protexin Pro-Fiber (which is available OTC at vet practices; example) would be another option. All will slow diarrhea and the Pro-Fiber has the bonus of providing support to the delicate good bacteria of the GI. So, you can consider trying these as a short term means of trying to soothe her upset GI.


Overall, when our dogs starts with these type of GI signs there can be a range of potential causes. Her season won't be related but it could be making her more at risk of picking ip a GI bug. Therefore, consider the above at this stage. 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) or she has any further violent vomiting episodes or belly discomfort, then you would want to follow up with her vet at that stage to 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.

I hope this information is helpful.

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

All the best,

Dr. B.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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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