Monday, Nov. 6th 2017

Vomiting pets, What to do?

Important Dates:

Canine Massage appointments are currently being accepted for Friday, December 8. Call 816-331-1868 if you’d like to schedule one.

We will have limited hours and be without Dr Leonard several dates in November. Wednesday, November 8 Dr Leonard will leave the office mid-afternoon and be gone through the following Monday, November 13 but back in office at the usual time of noon on Tuesday. She is traveling to New Mexico to present a paper at the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association annual conference. During that time, our office hours will be limited and no doctor appointments will be available. You can still come in for nail trims and food, supply, or supplement purchases but call first to be sure we will be open at the time you plan to arrive. Our current thought is to be open about 10-4 Thursday, Friday, and Monday but that’s not set in stone. Dr Leonard will also be out of the office Friday, November 17 and we’ll be closed Thanksgiving Day and the Friday after. Prescription refills may take a bit longer to approve than usual either in our office or through the online pharmacy during these times.

Email addresses and phone numbers need to be updated if they change, or you won’t receive your email appointment and recheck reminders. We’ve had a lot of reminders bouncing lately, and if you aren’t receiving them from us, please contact us!

Holiday Boarding may require vaccination records or updates. Please check with your boarding kennel to see what their requirements are and then contact us to see if you need anything brought up to date as early as possible. Also, if we are performing vaccine titers on your pet instead of yearly vaccinations, you need to verify with the kennel that they accept titer results. Also remember that rabies and bordatella (kennel cough) are NOT part of the vaccine titers we measure and may need boosting.

My pet is vomiting! What do I do?

One of the most common phone calls a vet receives after hours is a client wondering what to do about a vomiting pet. Here are a few guidelines to help you decide if a call or visit is warranted or if it’s safe to play “wait and see”.
1. If a pet is known to have consumed a foreign body or potentially toxic substance, do NOT wait to see if symptoms develop. Contact your veterinarian or an emergency clinic immediately for instructions. This includes eating toys, cats swallowing string, getting into garbage or candy, eating medications, etc.
2. If you don’t know of an issue like the above, and the pet has vomited only once or twice in the last 24 hours, it may be safe to withhold food for 24 hours and see if that is enough to resolve the issue. If the pet has other serious health issues or is underweight, however, holding off food may be less desirable in which case you should check with your vet.
3. Check your pet for dehydration. Normal gums are medium pink (or pigmented), moist, and slick. If they are very pale or dark, purplish, grayish (unless the breed has pigment there), or feel sticky or dry your pet may be dehydrated and needs to be seen. You can also pull up a fold of skin above the shoulders about an inch, then let go of it. Normally hydrated pets will have a skin fold that immediately springs back down flat. If the fold sags slowly back into place or stays in a skin fold, your pet is dehydrated and needs to be hospitalized for fluids.
4. If a pet’s vomit has more than a drop or small streak of blood, or if you see blood clots, it needs to be evaluated by a vet.
5. Vomiting more than once per hour, or inability to keep water down, requires a veterinary evaluation.
6. Severe lethargy, signs of abdominal pain like a tight belly or panting, or a very enlarged belly indicate a more serious problem that requires a veterinary visit.
7. A pet that is acting slightly subdued but is still interactive and asking to go outside and is only vomiting a few times a day may respond to the following treatment:
     a. Withhold ALL food 24 hours after vomiting. Restart the clock each time they vomit, but most animals should be seen if they are still vomiting after 48 hours of no food or if symptoms worsen.
     b. Allow water unless they start drinking excessively as they start to feel better and get hungry. If that is the case, offer water frequently in amounts small enough to not stretch the stomach but enough to prevent dehydration. This will vary according to patient size, from 2-3 Tbsp for a cat or small dog to ½-1 cup at a time for a larger dog offered at least hourly.
     c. Once 24 hours have elapsed without vomiting, offer a few bites of bland food like cooked chicken and rice 50/50. If they are able to keep down small meals like this for a couple of hours at a time, you can increase the amount and decrease the frequency offered. Once your pet is keeping down 2-3 meals of normal size daily of the bland food, you can gradually begin mixing their usual food back in over the next few days.
     d. If vomiting returns after this process, you probably should have your pet checked out.

If your pet is vomiting and you are very concerned, certainly you should contact your veterinarian. But the information above may help ease your fears and help you feel better about making that decision, or deciding when to call.

What kind of conditions can cause vomiting? Wow, what a question! Here’s a list of possible disorders that can result in a pet vomiting, but it is not complete:   Too rapid a change in diet or eating treats or garbage, foreign body ingestion, toxic substance ingestion, liver disease, kidney disease, diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, viral infection, bacterial overgrowth in gut, pancreatitis, cancer of just about any internal organ, bladder infection or bladder stones, food sensitivity or allergy, certain medications, parasites….ok, you get the idea.

And what will a veterinarian want to do? Well, obviously a complete physical exam will be first. Depending on those findings, they may want to draw blood for lab tests, do abdominal x-rays, hospitalize your pet for fluid therapy, give injections for nausea, perform a parasite check of the stool, or send home medication and instructions about when and what to feed as the pet feels better. Looking at the list above of possible diagnoses, you can see why just an exam may not be enough to determine why your pet is sick. It will help the vet if you know exactly what and how much your pet has been eating and be honest about treats, snacks, garbage eating, and other things that may have an impact on the diagnosis. Your pet’s age and breed will also factor into the decision-making process about what tests need to be done.

We hope this information will be helpful for you as a guide in your pet’s care.

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18011 E St. Rte 58
Raymore, MO 64083

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