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Dr. Peter
Dr. Peter, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 32764
Experience:  16 years of internal medicine, surgery, and preventive care.
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Unwell dog

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Hi there, I have a 4 - 1/2 year old Jack Russel who is normally very lively and playful and extremely greedy. For the past 3 daqs he has been very unwell - he doesn't want to eat and when he tries a bit he is very sick (a yellow bile). He is lethargic and I am not sure if he is drinking. He seems to be pooing OK and doesn't seem to be in pain but he is obviously very unhappy. We got him as an immunised puppy and he has never before been ill or had to go the the vets. I can't afford to take him to the vet unless this seems very urgent then of course I will. Just to add, I took him for a walk on friday and he rolled in something gross and i think may have eaten a dead thing.. he really stunk! I am not sure what parvo virus is but someone mentioned this as a possibility? If the answer is coming by email please [email protected] Thank you.

Welcome and thanks for asking your question. My name isXXXXX am a licensed veterinarian. I am sorry for the delay in response, it appears no experts were available when you posted your question. If you would like to continue can you please answer a few questions so that I can be well informed and give you the best advice.

1- Does he have diarrhea?
2- How much does he weigh?
3- Can you take a look at his gums and see if they are pink or pale?
4- Can you take his rectal temperature?

There may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my replies as I type out a thorough reply for you.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you.


Wilf often does runny stools when we are out, but around the garden at home he does more "normal" stools. He did have a very small bout of diarrhea yesterday in the garden after a normal stool.


I have no way to weigh him here or take his temperature. I don't know if it is similar to humans regarding temperature - his ears are cool and his stomach doesn't feel particularly hot. He is a fairly solid little dog but has thinned a bit in the last 3 days - as he isn't eating.


His gums are pale pink - I don't think they are different to usual.

Emma, vomiting can be caused by many different medical conditions. It will be difficult for me to determine the exact underlying cause without a hands on examination and some testing. But, common causes are: dietary indiscretion, intestinal parasites, ingestion of a foreign body, or even secondary to a systemic disease. This is Not parvo, dogs with parvo tend to be younger and with bloody diarrhea. To determine the exact underlying he will need a hands on examination, xrays and blood work as initial screening. In addition, the fact that it has been ongoing for 3 days I am really concern about him being dehydrated as he is not eating and is vomiting. At this stage he may need to be started on an IV, I would highly recommend having him checked today by a veterinarian. If you can not get him in today to see a vet this is what you can do:

1- Do not give things like Pepto Bismol or imodium. Start him on Zantac (ranitidine) 75mg 1/4 tablet every 12 hours. You can buy Zantac over the counter in any pharmacy.
2- No food or water for 2-3 hours. Give his gastrointestinal tract time to rest so that when you do offer water he does not vomit and is able to absorb the water.
3- After 2-3 hours offer a small amount of water. Wait half hour, if no vomiting, offer more water then wait another half hour. If no vomiting after 1/2 hour offer small amount of rice (50%) and boiled boneless chicken or ground beef (50%) 4-6 times a day. Keep on this diet for several days then wean into regular diet.

My goal is to provide you with excellent service – if you feel you have gotten anything less, please reply back. I am happy to address follow-up questions. Thank you for your business and I hope to work with you again soon!

Dr. Peter
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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you very much - I will get some zantac.

If he is still the same tomorrow I will take him to the vet first thing.


You're welcome Emma.