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Dog Not Able to Hold Food or Water Down

by Jocelyn
(North Carolina)

We rescued a 3 year old Maltese female named Sugar. Last week she was vomiting and very sickly. We took her to our vet and they told us she had hook worms. I could not afford the blood test. :(


She was given fluids and seemed to perk up. We gave her the meds. When we returned home and I fed her a small bit of sweet potato and rice, she kept that down. That was 7 days ago.

She did go back to eating regularly, which is Blue grain free soft (chicken) and Blue puppy hard food (the only reason she had "puppy", was it was on sale).

Yesterday after eating she threw up a little, and then within the next 3 hours or so, she had completely emptied her tummy with vomiting and bowel movements. My husband said her bowl looked as if there was something orange wrapped in it.

She did however seem like she felt so-so (still ran after me if I left the room as usual, etc). We tried giving her water last night, she did drink, but within 15 mins she was vomiting it up.

She seems like she is hungry, ie. searching for food. This morning she went to her water bowl and drank and again within minutes I found vomit on her pillow and floor. It was yellowish tinted with specs of red in it.

I am so scared because we do not get paid until Thursday and I can not take her to Urgent care today (Saturday) - it is way too costly.

Please please help. I have fallen head over her for her, she is the most loving fur baby I have ever had, and this is tearing me apart that she is sick.

Sugar is a "licker", she licks everything, we have to stop her from licking us so much. So we don't know if this could be something she has ingested, or from the parasites.

Also, I did let her lick a little Pepto yesterday and that obviously did not help so I have not given her any more. I am familiar with Nux vomica, and had been giving her acidophilus when I first got her, but we simply ran out and haven't replaced. I use it myself as well as family.

Comments for Dog Not Able to Hold Food or Water Down

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Mar 24, 2013
My Online Vet Response for: Dog Not able to Hold Food or Water Down
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Hi Jocelyn,

Your dog, Sugar, sounds very ill. Her 'gastro-enteritis' may be secondary to intestinal parasites, but may also be due to an intestinal foreign body causing an obstruction. It could also be a virus, (such as Parvo), or adverse reaction to a vaccination.

For dogs that are unable to hold down food OR water, it is best to offer only ice cubes. As the ice cubes melt, they can lick a small amount. If they are given a whole bowl of water, they will attempt to drink more, filling their stomach and causing more irritation.

The more often they vomit, the more inflamed and irritated the stomach becomes. The best way to limit the amount they drink is with ice cubes. You can also freeze chicken broth and create 'chicken broth ice cubes'.

For young dogs, they will need to have supplemental fluids by Sub-Q injection. This is what the veterinarian may have already done. If possible see if you can buy a bag of fluids, plus IV set with needles so you can give Sugar some SQ fluids at home, two times daily. (Ask your veterinarian to instruct you how to do this.)

She will also need to have one time daily SQ injections of Vitamin B-12 plus B-complex. This can be made up in a small TB syringe to be given by injection after the SQ fluids are given.

After 24 hours of ice cubes, if NO vomiting, then offer 1-2 teaspoons of chicken or turkey baby food. Do NOT repeat more often than every 4 hours. Observe for vomiting. Do this for 24 hours. If NO vomiting by day 3, increase the baby food to 1/2 jar plus 1-2 tsp of cooked rice. Give this 4 times daily. Observe for vomiting. If she starts vomiting, go back to ice cubes again, for 24 hours.

Nux-vomica is an excellent homeopathic remedy for upset stomach/nausea/vomiting.

Phosphorus is the remedy for Gastric foreign body and Calendula for Intestinal foreign body.

Since you are unable to afford any blood work or x-ray, I suggest you start with Nux vomica 6c or 12c potency. Dissolve one pellet in 1/2 cup of Spring water, use an eye dropper, and give Sugar 1/2 dropperful by mouth every 15-20 minutes for 3 doses, then as needed every 2-3 hours for one day. If she is NOT improved, she will certainly need to be seen either by your regular veterinarian or a holistic vet to follow through on the above remedies.

Click here to find a holistic veterinarian in your area. Another resource for vets knowledgeable in homeopathy is AVH.org.

Please keep us posted by coming back to this page and clicking the 'click here to add your own comments' link below.

Take care,
Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

DISCLAIMER: The above should never replace the advice of your local veterinarian, as they have the ability to evaluate your dog in person.

Mar 24, 2013
UPDATE ON Sugar
by: Jocelyn

Thank you Dr. We did rush Sugar in however tonight, I have not slept a wink as I am extremely afraid. We took her in because she did vomit again, and soon after began panting. The estimate was very high so they suggested we do the SQ an shot for nausea and meds for general gastroenteritis. Before we could leave my baby had diarrhea all over daddy! It was a god awful smell and the tech took me in back and told me they suspected HGE! They added some antibiotics, but gave me another estimate for a hospital stay in order to give fluids and run tests, which I could not afford. They said the SQ would last 12 hours. I am going to attempt to reach her vet. I believe she will let me come in. Sugar is ling next to me on the floor. I made a make shift diaper for her in case of an accident. I can not sleep! She otherwise doesn't seem too bad. I will def need acidophilus.I began giving her the Pedialyte.

Mar 25, 2013
My Online Vet Response for: Dog Not Able to Hold Food or Water Down
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Hi Jocelyn,
How is Sugar doing today? HGE, Hemorrhagic Gastro Enteritis, is VERY serious. Will the veterinarian let you give Sugar the SubQ fluids at home? She will also need injections of B-vitamins and Vit B-12.

Be careful how much Pedialyte you give her. Too much and she may start to vomit again.

Perhaps you could freeze it and give it as ice cubes?

Keep us posted.

Take care,
Dr. Carol Jean Tillman


DISCLAIMER: The above should never replace the advice of your local veterinarian, as they have the ability to evaluate your dog in person.



Jun 25, 2013
Sugar
by: Jocelyn

Dr. Tillman, I am sorry it has been a while since my last post, my life has been incredibly challenged. I thank you so much for your help and wish I could bring Sugar to you! I am at my wits end and dont know what to do, because I have been at the mercy of the local vet. My family is suffering greatly financially. I took Sugar in back in October, because she was no longer wanted. I have falling so in love with her, and she with me! She pretty much doesnt let me get out her sight :) I am up tonight/moring because we tried a low fat low protien Blue Basics food and it obviously didnt agree with her. With the HGE about 4 months ago, if it wasnt for my mother, we would have lost her due to our financial state which is very unstable since my husbands job loss. We even spent grocery money to take Sugar back yet again on this past Friday because she woke up in distress, ( sat beside me with gurgling stomach and panting) we took her out and she pooed a few times, and then had jam like bowel in our room with vomiting. She had eaten Blue canned Salmon and potato. This was the second time she has been sick like this since the first HGE episode. They did a stool test on Friday and said the test came back negative however, she had no stool, so I wonder how conclusive it was. They told me I needed to try her on a low fat low protien diet. I had no extra money and, on Saturday boiled chicken carrots and rice and puree'ed it and added a few sprinkles of my probiotic and she has eaten that all weekend with no problems. However, she had not had a stool all weekend either. I went out today and found the Blue Basic with the lowest fat and protien Turkey and potato for sensitive stomachs. One can and one bag, mixed a small amount and she gobbled it down. Well here we are, this morning about 2 am we had the very same situation as Friday. I am terrified! She got ill about a month after the first HGE episode we took in a sample and they told us it did have the Clostridium (?) in it. However she got better and they didnt want to give her antibiotics and said her immune system may have taken care of it. Sugar turned 3 in March. I am in a panic. Although she seems better now after I gave her, the Nux, I know she doesnt feel well. She was even shaking a little in her back leg. Oh and they also started her on Famotidine about 2 months ago. I dont even know if you can answer me I wont have any money in my account until Thursday. Please on Thursday, please contact me.

Jun 25, 2013
My Online Vet Response for: Dog Not able to Hold Food or Water Down
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

June 25, 2013

Hi Joycelyn,

It is difficult to treat an upset GI tract, especially since there is always the fear that Sugar could relapse back to the Hemorrhagic Gastro-Enteritis. (HGE)

My advice would be to resume the 'home made' food, chicken, carrots, rice, purree'd with the Probiotics added in to it, small meals every 4-6 hours. Do this ONLY if she is NOT vomiting. This is not a complete diet, but it will provide the protein she needs for healing, and apparently it is easier for her intestine to digest compared to the low protein/low fat diet (Blue Basic).

Give her the Nux vomica 12C or 6C three times daily for the next 3 weeks, or as needed for upset GI tract.

Feed her the homemade puree for the next 3-4 days. Do not worry if she does not pass any stool. This diet is very low in fiber, and since she was 'empty' there is no stool for her to pass anyway, for the next few days.

Then, if she is NOT vomiting, add in a SMALL amount, (1/2 tsp) of the Blue Basic canned to the chicken, rice and carrot mixture, in each meal. Continue the acidophilus. Feed this combination for 3-4 days.

Then, if still NOT vomiting, add in MORE of the Blue Basic canned to the chicken/rice/carrots:
1/3 canned Blue Basic plus 2/3 chicken/rice/carrots. Feed for 3-4 days.

Then go to 50:50 of each and continue the acidophilus. (for 3-4 more days)

Then go to MORE of the Blue Basic, 75% canned Blue Basic and 25% chicken/rice/carrots. Continue acidophilus.

And by this time, you can go to all canned but continue the acidophilus for another week. Although, considering her relapses with the GI issues, she may need to have acidophilus added to her food indefinitely.

DO NOT feed her any of the DRY DOG food ever again! It is too hard for her GI tract.

If you are able to find Kao-Pectate for Animals (NOT for humans), that would be better for her stomach than the famotidine. It contains ONLY Kaolin and Pectin. The human Kaopectate has aspirin in it, which is not good for dogs. NO additives, no sorbitol, no sodium benzoate, nothing except the kaolin (comes from clay) and pectalin, (comes from apples).

Sugar only needs to take 1/4 tsp by mouth 3 times daily for 4-5 days for diarrhea/upset stomach. Print out the above info, and take it with you to show them at your local pet store.

Please keep us posted by coming back to this page and clicking the 'click here to add your own comments' link below.

Take care,
Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

P.S. If you've found this service or our web site helpful, please "Like" us by clicking the like button at the top of the left margin. Thank you!

Related Pages:
- Dog Vomiting,
- Ask a Vet Online Library - Dog Vomiting Section

DISCLAIMER: The above should never replace the advice of your local veterinarian, as they have the ability to evaluate your dog in person.

Jun 25, 2013
Sugar
by: Jocelyn

I am beyond grateful to you
when I will indeed keep you posted and I am going to try your monthly service in the next.week or so. My husband was invilved in a car accident on top if this which put him.out in of work for 3 weeks. I will update soon! Im gonna try and upload her picture :)

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