Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.
How much blood was in the stool? A spoonful, more, less, or was it all blood?
Can he keep water down?
Are his gums pink or pale/white? Moist or sticky?
If you press on his belly, does he have any discomfort, tenderness, or tensing?
Could he have eaten something he should not have (ie bones, toys, plants, chemicals, etc)?
Hi again Hazel,
No worries, I am just glad to hear that it sounds to have been a small volume and that his gums are pink. That allows us all to breathe a wee sigh of relief that this isn't a situation of profuse volumes pouring out like we can see with hemorrhagic gastroenteritis, parvo and some of our nasty hemorrhagic bacterial infections.
Still, I am concerned if he is as nauseous as you reported, as this will cause his vomiting but also put him off eating. As well, to be this nauseous and have diarrhea puts him at real risk of dehydration, which would explain why he is feeling quite rubbish. And I would note that our main suspects for these signs would be a bacterial or viral gastroenteritis, pancreatitis, parasites/protozoa infections, general dietary indiscretions, and ingestion of harmful items (ie toxins, plants, non-edible items).
With this all in mind, as long as he can keep a bit of water down, 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 the stomach for a few hours first), you can consider treating with an OTC pet safe antacid like Zantac (More Info/Dose @ http://www.petplace.com/article/drug-library/library/over-the-counter/ranitidine-hcl-zantac) or Milk of Magnesia (0.5tsp every 8 hours). 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. Also if you give this and 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.
Once he is more settled, you can plan to try small meals of a light/easily digestible diet. Examples you can use are cooked white rice with boiled chicken, boiled white fish, cottage cheese, or scrambled eggs (made with water and not milk). There are also OTC vet diets (ie Hill’s I/D or Royal Canin’s sensitivity) that can be used 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 and less diarrhea. You can even add weetabix to this as a fiber source to bulk up the stools quicker. As long as improvement is being seen, I usually advise continuing this until the signs are settled, and then weaning slowly back to what you normally feed.
Since dehydration is a risk for your lad with his upper and lower GI signs, we need to keep an eye on his hydration. To check this and make sure dehydration isn’t an issue, there are a few parameters you can test. Further to checking for gum moisture, you will want to make sure his eyes are not looking sunken and that he doesn’t have a "skin tent" when you lift the skin. To see how to check these, you can find a good video HERE (http://www.ehow.com/video_12232503_dog-dehydrated.html). If you do see any of these signs already, then that would be our cue to have him seen before this becomes an additional issue (especially since its often dehydration that makes them feel unwell).
Finally, since the blood sounds more likely related to colonic irritation from the diarrhea as opposed to those profuse issues, you can consider trying a pet safe anti-diarrheal. As I am sure you appreciate, these would not be a cure for infectious issues; but it can still be of benefit. It will reduce diarrhea load, allow the body to absorb more water/nutrients, and soothe the upset gut. In regards ***** ***** options, the one we most commonly use is OTC Kaolin/Kaopectate (More Info/Dose @ http://www.petplace.com/article/drug-library/library/over-the-counter/kaolin-and-pectin-kapectolin-k-p)). Otherwise, Propectalin, Canikur, Fast Balance, and Protexin Pro-Fiber (which is available OTC at vets, pet stores, and even Amazon) would be another option. All will slow diarrhea and those last ones have the added bonus of providing support to the delicate good GI bacteria. So, these can be used as a short-term means of soothing his upset GI.
Overall, a wide range of agents could trigger the GI upset we are seeing. And if he has upper and lower GI signs and isn't keen to eat/drink, we do need to tread with care. Still if he is able to keep a bit down, then we'd want to start supportive care to try to settle his stomach. Though if he cannot keep that or water down at any point, appears dehydrated already, 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, ensure nothing in his stomach that shouldn't be, or any sinister viruses present. Depending on their findings, his vet can treat with injectable anti-vomiting medication, fluids, appetite stimulants, +/- antibiotics to settle his stomach and get him back feeling like himself.
Please take care,
If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. **Afterwards, I would be grateful if you would rate my service by clicking on the "Rate my Expert' button at the top of the page as this is the only way I am credited for helping you. Thank you for your feedback!: )
You are very welcome, Hazel.
I am glad I could give you peace of mind and a plan of action. :)
Best wishes for you both,