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Dr. Deb
Dr. Deb, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 10861
Experience:  I have been a practicing veterinarian for over 30 years.
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My 18 month old Labradoodle was not himself yesterday. Off

Customer Question

My 18 month old Labradoodle was not himself yesterday. Off his food and quiet. Offered a raw beef bone from the butcher, he completely ate it. Last night around midnight he started vomiting. He kept this up till 4.00 am when all he could bring up was coloured watery liquid. I kept loving him and reassuring him. He refused water. He eventually went to sleep. I gave him a 17 minute treatment with a negative ion device.

I should add, we are on holiday in France and had been travelling during the day in our campervan. He has a very large airy crate and we walked him during the day but he just was not himself.

This morning he seemed much better. He didn't want to eat or drink but he was happier. As the day went by, he had a good walk and then drank plenty of water. His wee and poo have been completely natural throughout! We didn't give him anything to eat until this evening when we gave him a small meal of fresh meat and a natural chicken and rice 'biscuit'. He ate all this and enjoyed it, then drank some water after. He seems back to normal now.

Our theories:- He is crazy about swimming and swims in a river or lake nearly every day - possible infection from water?

Marrow bones always make him sick but this was not a marrow bone.

He is a very dainty eater for a big dog and has quite a sensitive constitution. He cannot stomach additives or E numbers so we are very careful with his food.

Could he have picked up an infection or what?

I am completely perplexed because he was so ill during the night, I thought as one point we might even lose him! Even his breathing was laboured. Tonight he appears absolutely normal.

Any ideas or comments please?

Many thanks
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 4 years ago.
Hello Tricia, I'm Dr. Deb. I recently came online and see that your question about Charlie hasn't been answered. I'm sorry that you've had to wait for a response but I can help you if you would still like your question answered.

As I'm sure you know, there are any number of reasons why a dog, especially a young dog, can vomit. However, when the episode is of such a short duration as you describe, then I usually attribute it to:
1. Food poisoning. Moldy food is something to consider, possibly something he found in the water that he ate....these are the things I would be considering.
2. Ingestion of something (such as the raw beef bone) that significantly irritated his stomach after ingestion or triggered an episode of Inflammatory Bowel Disease. I always suspect this problem in dogs who have very sensitive stomachs where it doesn't take much to trigger gastrointestinal signs. It's possible that the beef is what he's reacting to, regardless of the form.
3. Ingestion of certain drugs can cause a transient gastritis event.
4. Ingestion of poisons or toxins might as well but usually these dogs are sicker a little longer.
5. A bacterial infection or even a virus is possible, I suppose but they usually last longer than <24 hours.

Often, when a dog starts to vomit (regardless of the cause), the vomiting center in the brain is triggered and dogs can continue to vomit. Additionally, with excessive acute vomiting, their electrolytes can become unbalanced which can explain lethargy and the "not quite right" behavior that you saw. I suspect the labored breathing was secondary to abdominal pain.

Needless to say, I'm glad he's apparently suffered no ill effects from this episode although I'm sure you were pretty worried about him there for a bit!

I hope this helps; again, my apologies for the delay. Deb