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Ask Dr. Laura Devlin, DVM, DABVP Your Own...
Dr. Laura Devlin, DVM, DABVP
Dr. Laura Devlin, DVM, DABVP, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 1801
Experience:  >10 years practicing veterinary medicine including exotics, fish, reptiles. Canine/feline specialist
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Dr. Laura Devlin, DVM, DABVP is online now

I have a jack russel {14 years old} he is off his food,has

Customer Question

I have a jack russel {14 years old} he is off his food,has a tight tummy and when he does go to the loo it is black,also his tummy is making noises all the time and he is lethargic and sleeps most of the time.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. Laura Devlin, DVM, DABVP replied 3 years ago.
Hello, and thank you for your question.
I am Dr. Devlin, and I am happy to assist you with your veterinary question.
I am so very sorry to hear about Jack. Poor fellow.What a great breed. My parent's just lost their geriatric Jack - it was a gift from me at their request. She was a special angel dog. Please know I'll do my best to help.
I am definitely concerned about some of the symptoms, especially the tight abdomen and the dark stool. When did this start?
Is there anything Jack may have eaten that could have caused a penetration or blockage? Bones, toys, rawhides, anything else?
Lastly, have their been any other changes or healthy problems I should know about? Weight loss? changes in water intake? Vomiting?
I'll be standing by to help.
Dr. Laura
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The dark stool started today,he drinks a lot of water and has only ever had 3/4 bones in his life,the last one about two weeks ago which was a lamb nuckle bone and I put it in the bin afterwards.he is very noisy with his air intake,especially when sleeping,used to chase ball all day,now once or twice then loses interest.was vomiting a couple of weeks ago,just green bile although this has stopped now,have taken him to vet about a month ago,they gave him an injection of antibiotics but did not seem to improve

Expert:  Dr. Laura Devlin, DVM, DABVP replied 3 years ago.
I am definitely concerned about Jack. Is there any way that you could take him to your veterinarian as soon as possible?
The dark stool is a sign of digested blood (melena) and can indicate blood loss in the GI tract. Further investigation is needed immediately. There could be a blockage, tumor, or foreign body. I don't want to worry you, but I think there is enough information that this is serious situation and shouldn't wait.
(pepto can cause dark stool if you have given that, by the way)
If you can take a sample of the stool with you in a baggy, that might help your veterinarian. It would seem as though some x-rays, thorough physical examination, and basic lab work would be in order. In some cases, an ultrasound can be needed for a better look at the abdominal architecture.
Our dogs hide symptoms for as long as they can, so by the time they are showing symptoms, sometimes things are more advanced. I hope and pray that this isn't the case, and whatever the problem is can be readily treated. However, I would take Jack in immediately if at all possible.
I hope you can send me an update. After an accept you can continue to answer back for a number of days so please reach out if you have more questions or need anything. I'm saying some prayers for you both.
Dr. Laura