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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 33258
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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I have an 11 year old english mastiff, last 2 days she

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I have an 11 year old english bull mastiff, last 2 days she hasn't been able to control her bowels at all, she has been a little sick and is drinking plenty of water. Am i right in that i should starve her for 24 hrs and see how she is after that?
Aloha! You're speaking to Dr. Michael Salkin

It's usually a good idea to fast such a patient for a minimum of 12 hours. Simple dietary indiscretions such as ingesting something new, inappropriate, spoiled, or even a foreign body often remiss unaided within 12 hours. I'm concerned, however, that she's been ill for two days. At 11 years of age, she doesn't have the reserve that a much younger dog has and persistent diarrhea with vomiting can leave her dehydrated and electrolyte imbalanced. My usual "watchful waiting" period is 72 hours for these patients. I'm a bit less lenient at her age and so if you don't see a positive response to fasting her at this point, it would be prudent to have her vet take a look at her and perform diagnostics in the form of blood and urine tests.

Do you have an inkling of what might have precipitated her behavior? Does she have a history of vomiting and diarrhea or another medical disorder? Is she currently being treated with any medications?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for your response.
We have within the last 2 weeks moved to a new house so she has been investigating a new garden so I'm not sure if she has found something in the garden.
She has no previous history of diarrhea but sickness has been an issue in the past when she has become stressed or something is new for her.
She isnt currently being treated with any medications, she is up to date on vacinnes and worming tablets

Thank you for the additional information. A new water source or different source for her regular food should be a consideration when she's been moved as you described. Her gastrointestinal distress is then considered "tourists' diarrhea" often caused by a different strain of E. coli now present in her gastrointestinal tract. In most cases this is self-limiting. In severe cases a short course of an antibiotic in the quinolone class such as enrofloxacin can be prescribed. She may well have found something in the garden.

Over the counter loperamide (Imodium) is reasonable at a dose of 0.08-0.1 mg/kg thrice daily. That gastrointestinal narcotic can re-establish normal GI motility and reduce the cramping she's been experiencing. Please continue our conversation if you wish.
Dr. Michael Salkin and other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Thank you for your kind accept. I appreciate it.

May I have an update, please?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


She still has a little diaharrea but no where near as bad.

She is eating her dry food after being starved but she is occasionally sbaking and I'm just wondering whether it is her shaking in pain. Will be taking her to the vets tomorrow as I don't want her to be in pain.

Thanks for your advice - it got us through the weelend with her

Yes, shaking can be a pain response. If her vet suggests diagnostics be sure to add a specCPL blood test to a basic panel - the test of choice for identifying the presence of pancreatitis.

You're welcome. Please disregard the info request.

You may receive an inappropriate follow up sent by the site ostensibly sent by me. It wasn't and I apologize in advance should you receive it.