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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 22616
Experience:  General practice veterinary surgeon with extensive experience in a wide range of species.
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Our 10 year old Golden Retriever – fit for his age and not

Customer Question

Our 10 year old Golden Retriever – fit for his age and not overweight – enjoyed some modest variation in his diet over the Christmas period with a little turkey gravy mixed with his dry food diet. To our knowledge, he has not been indulged with anything else or fed anything by anyone else.

There has been no indication of diarrhoea.

48 hours ago he experienced some clear bile vomiting and since then has resisted food and been wanting to drink frequently. This has also led to him trying to urinate frequently while in the garden or on a walk. He has also urinated in the house (on newspaper left down for him) during the night.

He does not indicate lethargy when outside.

His eyes seem clear (no sign of yellowing) Although there would appear to be some increase in his panting, his nose remains cool and damp.

Advice would be welcomed
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 4 years ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.


When an older dog starts vomiting, there can be a number of culprits. This includes bacterial infection, viruses, parasites, pancreatitis, dietary indiscretion (a very common issue at the moment due to all the rich foods being shared over the holidays), sensitive stomachs, toxins and foreign bodies. Since he is an older lad (&hopefully wise), we can potentially rule out toxins or foreign bodies and focus on the other causes for his vomiting.

Furthermore, I appreciate that he has had a sudden dramatic increase in thirst and thus urination. This is something we can see associated with inflammatory/infectious processes (ie if he has a pancreatitis or a gastroenteritis). Still because he is an older lad, we do need to keep a eye on this. This is because we can see increased thirst and urination arise due to metabolic (ie diabetes, Cushing's disease, etc) and organ based (ie liver, kidney, heart, etc) issues. So, it may be that this is just a benign increase in thirst associated with his GI issue (that will settle as they are addressed) but we do have to keep an eye on this being potentially related to a lurking underlying long term health issue for him.

Now in regards XXXXX XXXXX the vomiting, we typically will start by resting their stomach for a wee while (~8-12 hours post last vomit) to give it a chance to settle. Let him have access to water, but not huge volumes since overdoing it with the water can cause vomiting as well. If he is not vomiting the volume of water that he is taking at this stage, then I'd let him continue to have access to that much at a time.

As long as he hasn't just had a vomit, I would suggest that we could also start addressing the underlying nausea that is triggering his vomiting at this stage. To do so, there are a number of antacids that are available over the counter and pet friendly. I would advise only treating with one, but the two I tend to recommend are Pepcid (More Info/Dose) or Zantac (More Info/Dose). Of course, you'd want to speak to your vet before using these if he has any pre-existing conditions or is on any medication you have not noted.

After you rest his stomach and treat him with the antacid, you can then tempt him with a small volume (a tablespoon worth to start) of a light/easily digestible diet. Examples of this would be white rice mixed with boiled chicken, boiled white fish, scrambled eggs (made with water and not milk), or meat baby food (do avoid the ones with garlic powder in the ingredients). There are also veterinary prescription diets that can be used like Hill’s I/D or Royal Canin’s sensitivity. Now if he can keep the small amount, he can have a bit more after 30 minutes. And as he keeps it down, he can have a bit more.

As well, do keep an eye on his hydration status. I appreciate that he is drinking copiously but if this thirst is due to an underlying issue then it is still possible to see dehydration from vomiting. To check his hydration status to make sure they are not becoming dehydrated there are a few things we can test. One is whether the eyes appear sunken, if the gums are tacky instead of wet/moist, and whether he has a "skin tent" when you lift the skin. To see how to check these parameters for dehydration, you can find a wee video on this HERE. (They use a big dog but it makes it easier to see). If you are seeing any signs of dehydration already, then you do want to have him seen by his vet before this becomes an additional issue for him.

Overall, we do have a few considerations for his vomiting. It is possible that his is just a GI upset or pancreatitis secondary to the deviation from his normal diet. Still with his increased thirst, we do have to consider a possible inflammatory/infectious process. Furthermore, since he is elderly, we do also have to keep underlying organ and metabolic issues in mind as well.

Therefore, as long as this vomiting hasn't been profuse and he is able to keep water down, then do consider resting his stomach and then trying the above. But if you initiate these treatments and do not see improvement over the next 24 hours, then I would be best to take him to the vet so that they can make sure there is nothing sinister afoot. The vet will be able to have a feel of him to tell you if there are any signs of pancreatic inflammation or if there are any sinister lumps or bumps present. As well, since we do have this extra issue with his thirst, I would suggest that you either have a urine or blood sample tested to let you know whether his organs are functioning as they should or if they are struggling. Depending on the vet's findings, they will be able to advise you on the best course of action. And if he has just picked up a poorly timed GI bug, then the vet will be able to cover him with antibiotics against bacterial gastroenteritis and anti-vomiting medications by injection to help settle his guts and get him back on track as quick as possible.


Finally, just to note in case you were keen to have him seen today, some veterinary practices in our country have Sunday office hours. As well, I wanted to mention that most veterinary practices here do have contingency plans for emergency care for their patients even when they are not open. Therefore, it is worth ringing the practice. If they are open, you can get him seen today. If they aren't, then they will likely have a message to direct you on how to contact their out of hours service. And if you don't have a vet you can find one local to you, you can check you can check the RCVS Register (HERE) to find your local Vets Now (LINK) who are open all nights/weekends. In any case, if you wanted to get him checked out sooner then there are options to have him seen today too.



I hope this information is helpful.

If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!

All the best,

Dr. B.


If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need. Thank you and hope to see you again soon! : )