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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 22830
Experience:  General practice veterinary surgeon with extensive experience in a wide range of species.
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15 week old boxer cross staff puppy . not eating ,sitting shaking

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15 week old boxer cross staff puppy . not eating ,sitting shaking /shivering in the chest area, looks as if attempting to throw up but doesn,t or cant, and making very worrying gurgling noise in stomach and wining .just not loking or being herself at all.
Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.

How long has she been showing these signs?

Will she drink? Can she keep water down?

If you press on her belly, does she have any discomfort, tensing or pain?

Are her gums pink or pale?

Could Lola have eaten anything she should not have (ie bones, stones, socks, toys, plants, or chemicals/toxins, etc)?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

i dont know about eating something she shouldnt have i took her down the beach last night and it was dark and she wonderd under the pier so maybe.

she bin showing signs since about 8 am....altough now her bellys stopped the gurgling noises and she is asleep but wont eat.and the shaking has stopped she dsnt seem to be really distressed just really dosile and sleeepy wich isnt like her for the mornings shes usually runing around and she hasnt pooed this mornin wich she usually would have by now.

i was thinking keeping her off alll solids for the day and only water?

Thank you Steven,

First, I am glad to see that she has settled and is resting. The shivering/shaking is often just a non-specific sign that they feel unwell and the gut sounds are something we often see with upper GI upset even if we have no vomiting. Now as I am sure you can appreciate, just like people, dogs can have GI upset like this that is caused by a range of agents. These include bacteria viruses, parasites, toxins, foreign body ingestion, and general dietary indiscretions.

Now I agree with resting her stomach and leaving water down. But as she is a small pup, we'd not want to do that for 24 hours (as we could risk a blood sugar crash). Instead rest her stomach for no more then 4-6 hours. If she looks weak, wobbly or really lethargic, you can rub a bit of honey on her gums to give her a sugar boost.

Otherwise, while you are resting her stomach and as long as she can at least drink and keep water down (since not being able to keep water down is a red flag that we will need an injectable anti-vomiting medication tfrom her vet), we can start by treating her with an antacid to settle her stomach. 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 use are Pepcid (More Info/ Dose) or Zantac (More Info/Dose). These are usually given 20 minutes before offering food (to allow absorption) and of course you want to double check with your vet if your wee one has a pre-existing condition or is on any medications you haven't mentioned.

Once that has had time to absorb, you can consider starting her on a light/easily digestible diet. If you do so, start with a small volume (a spoonful) to start. Examples would be cooked white rice with boiled chicken, boiled white fish, or scrambled eggs (made with water and not milk). There are also veterinary prescription diets that can be used in cases of gastroenteritis (ie Hill’s I/D or Royal Canin’s sensitivity). When you offer that spoonful, give her 30 minutes to settle. If she keeps the food down, you can give a bit more and so on. As her tummy stabilizes, you can offer more. The aim of the easily digestible diet is that it will be better tolerated and absorbed by the compromised gut. Therefore, it should get more nutrients in and result in less GI upset. As long as improvement is being seen, I usually advise that the diet be continued for a week before slowly weaned back to their normal diet over a week.

Since anorexia can quickly dehydrate as well as nutrient starve a dog, we need to keep an eye on her hydration. The reason is because no matter how much they drink, we often find that dogs just cannot keep up with diarrhea fluid losses for long (and dehydration is what makes them feel poorly). To check her 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 she 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. If you are seeing any signs of dehydration already, since she is young, then you do want to have her seen by the vet before this becomes an additional issue for her.

If you are concerned that she is becoming dehydrated, you can try and encourage her to drink but offering fresh water or even low-sodium chicken broth. Furthermore, you can offer rehydration solutions like Pedialyte. Pedialyte is nice (though aim for a flavorless one) because it will get some of those lost electrolytes back into her as well. While this isn't an option with vomiting, you may be able to use it here. If you do, then you may and a typical maintenance rate for hydration in an animal is 48mls per kilogram of weight a day. And of course, if she were to vomit when you offered fluids via syringe, you would need to stop (since we'd not want to cause vomiting with our intervention).

Overall, GI upset of this nature can be triggered by a wide range of agents. In this case, we can use the above supportive care to settle her stomach. If you try this over the next 12-24 hours and don't see improvement or she vomits or is appearing dehydrated, then we'd want to consider getting her vet involved. They can assess her hydration, check for fever, and make sure there is nothing in her stomach that should not be there. Depending on their findings, they can treat her with an injectable anti-vomiting medication, antibiotics, +/- appetite stimulants to settle her stomach and get her back to eating for you.

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! : )

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