How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dr. Kara Your Own Question
Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 17888
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
Type Your Dog Question Here...
Dr. Kara is online now

Symptoms started early this morning; continuous fast breathing/panting;

This answer was rated:

Symptoms started early this morning; continuous fast breathing/panting; lethargy; poor appetite; some blood in faeces and some runny faeces.
Hello, my name is***** and I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian. I am very sorry to hear about Evie having bloody diarrhea with a lack of an appetite, panting and lethargy.
I suspect her panting and lack of an appetite is due to abdominal discomfort and cramping. Her lethargy concerns me though and so she bears very close watching today.
Of course anyone would be concerned about blood in the stool. The fresher it appears the closer the source is to her rectum.
There is a condition in dogs called hemorrhagic gastroenteritis. These dogs have profuse dark, jelly-clot like, bloody diarrhea. They are very sick dogs and get dehydrated quickly so they need immediate care. Thus if she seems lethargic and/or begins vomiting an emergency veterinary visit is best.
But bloody diarrhea is usually due to colitis, or inflammation of the large intestine, which can be due to stress, a change in diet, parasites, inflammatory bowel disease or even a food allergy. Rarely a mass in the colon can be the cause, or exposure to anticoagulant rodenticides. Another possibility for blood in the stool is an anal gland infection. These are scent glands that are located just inside the rectum. I would not expect loose stools with an anal gland infection however.
A raw, irritated colon can take a few days to heal after being irritated. Do you know if she got into anything that may have started all of this?
If her bloody stools don't clear completely over the next 2 to 3 days, even if she seems to feel better, she should be checked by her regular veterinarian and her anal glands should be checked too. Well worth checking at least a couple fresh stool samples too as parasite eggs/cysts are shed intermittently and they may be picked up on the second sample or third test if the first is negative.
We can try some things at home with her now, but do keep a close eye on her.
Because her appetite is off she likely has some stomach upset and reflux that can go along with her bloody stools.
To try and settle her stomach today you can try either:
1) Pepcid-ac (famotidine) at one 10mg tablet per 10 to 20 kilograms of body weight every 12 hours.
2) Prilosec (omeprazole) at one 10mg tablet per 10 to 20 kilograms of body weight every 24 hours.
These will reduce stomach acid and should help if this is related to simple nausea and gastrointestinal irritation.
I would not feed her any food for 24 hours after the acid reducers are started. This should help stop gut spasms and restore normal gut motility. Small amounts of water or ice cubes given frequently are fine as she needs fluids after all that she has lost with bloody, loose stools. You can give her pedialyte to replace electrolytes too, but Gatorade is much too high in sugar which can make her colon irritation worse.
Today even with the fast you can start Kao-pectate at 2ml per kilogram of body weight or 1 tablespoon per 7 kilograms of body weight every 6 to 8 hours. This is quite safe and will coat her irritated gastrointestinal tract as well as absorbing bacterial toxins. You can use it for several days until her stools look normal. You can find kao-pectate at the drug store.
If she has a tense painful abdomen, continues to have bloody diarrhea after being on kao pectate for 24 hours, becomes even more lethargic, begins vomiting, has very pale or white gum and tongue color rather then the normal bubble gum pink color, or runs a fever greater than 103.5F then she really must be seen by a veterinarian as soon as possible.
Make sure to take a fresh stool sample with you when you go if you decide that she needs a veterinary visit.
After her food fast start a bland diet of 1/3 boiled, lean hamburger (or boiled, white, skinless chicken), all fats and juices drained off the meat, mixed with 2/3 boiled, plain white rice. Feed several small meals a day. You might wish to add 2 to 4 tablespoon(s) of canned pumpkin to each meal as fiber helps soothe an irritated colon.
Once she feels better (no bloody diarrhea for 48 hours) start mixing in her regular dog food very slowly. Less bland more regular with each day. It should take a week or so to convert her back.
If Evie is vomiting and feeling very poorly though it would be best that she see a veterinarian now as anything you give her orally will just come back up worsening her dehydration.
Best of luck with your girl, please let me know if you have any further questions.
Dr. Kara and other Dog Specialists are ready to help you