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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 27279
Experience:  General practice veterinary surgeon with extensive experience in a wide range of species.
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I have a 9 year old bichon, she’s stopped eating. Still

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I have a 9 year old bichon
JA: I'll do all I can to help. What seems to be the problem with the Bichon?
Customer: she’s stopped eating. Still drinking. Sleeping no poo for 36 hours. Not herself at all
JA: The Expert will know how to help the Bichon. What is the Bichon's name?
Customer: Katy She has also vomited twice
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Katy?
Customer: she is on a special diet for urinary tract problems.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian & I would like to help you today.

Given the current COVID-19 situation, our vets are handling a lot of sick animals and therefore this can delay our replies. That aside, can you tell me:

How long have you been seeing these signs?

What was in the vomit?

Are her gums pink or white/pale? Moist or sticky?

If you press on her belly, any tensing, tenderness, discomfort, or pain?

Any issues urinating?

Any chance something harmful or non-edible (ie bones, toys, plants, chemicals, human meds, etc) was eaten?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
She first showed signs four days ago by not eating. The vomit this morning was a small amount of yesterday’s dinner (6pm) and great watery stuff. Second vomit was just green watery gooey. But a lot of it. I think her gums are more pale than usual. Gums are dry but sticky ish.
No obvious signs of pain or discomfort when I press but she is shaking when I do it. Last urinated late morning.
She doesn’t play with toys and no chemicals around.
Garden is paved
She did drink out of a plant pot that had old water in it though

Hi again,

Now I suspect her appetite loss and vomiting are interlinked as nausea can cause both. Common causes for this are gastroenteritis (bacterial, viral), pancreatitis, parasites/protozoa infections, general dietary indiscretions, and ingestion of harmful items or secondary to systemic disease (eg liver or kidney disease, IBD, cancer, etc). Now its good nonedible things are not likely an issue but we need to be careful if her gums are paler then usual as that can be a sign we see in gut blockage but also with internal bleeding (not really fitting with the rest of Katy's signs though). So, we need to keep a close eye here.

As for her GI signs, we can try to counter nausea with an OTC pet safe antacid.[ie Pepcid (0.25-0.5 mg per pound every 12-24 hours),Omeprazole (0.25-0.5 mg per pound every 24 hours), Tagamet (3-5 mg per pound every 8-12hrs)]. Whichever you choose, we’d give this 20 minutes before food to allow absorption. Though do double check with your vet if she has a known health issues or is on any medications you haven't mentioned. Of course, if you give this and she cannot keep it down due to nausea that is usually a red flag that we need to bypass her mouth with injectable anti-nausea medication from a local vet.

Afterwards, let's try tempting her to eat. The hope is she will feel more up to it with the antacid on board. We can try small meals of a light diet (eg rice with scrambled egg, cottage cheese, boiled chicken, boiled white fish, or meat baby food (as long as its garlic/onion free)). This is usually better tolerated/absorbed by the compromised gut which means more nutrients in and less GI upset. Else if we don't have active vomiting, we can also gently syringe feed watered down canned puppy food.

Finally as dehydration is a risk, we need to keep an eye on her hydration. To check that she isn't dehydrated, there are a few things you can test. Further to checking for gum moisture, do make sure she doesn’t have sunken eyes and that she doesn’t have a "skin tent" when you lift the skin. To see how to check these parameters for dehydration, you can find a good video HERE- (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KducLdeqGsM)). If you are seeing any signs of dehydration already, then that would be our cue to have her seen before this becomes an additional issue for her (especially as it is often dehydration that makes them feel unwell).

Overall, her signs do raise a few concerns here. If she is very pale, I'd lean to having Katy seen now to be safe. Else if its only slight we can try supportive care now. Of course, if she cannot keep that or water down at any point, appears weak or dehydrated, or doesn’t respond to the above within 12-24 hours; then we'd want to get the local vet involved. They can assess hydration, rule out fever, make sure there is nothing in her stomach that shouldn't be there or any sinister viruses present. Based on their exam findings, the local vet can treat with injectable anti-nausea medication, appetite stimulants, +/- antibiotics to get her settled.

Kind regards,

Dr. B

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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok. Thank you. We will try to get her to a vet

You are very welcome, my dear.

Glad to be of help and I think that is best if she is pale.

All the best for you both and be safe,

Dr. B.

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