Vomiting and diarrhea. Is my dog dying?
Breed: Norwegian Elkhound
Age: 11-15 years
My dog vomitted yesterday, then she had a very loose stool in my kitchen. She never has accidents in the house. I had given her a prime rib bone and thought maybe it didn't agree with her.
This morning, she went outside and didn't want to come in, which didn't alarm me, because it was cool out, and she loves to be outside when it's cool. She eventually came in, with a great deal of coaxing.
She is currently laying in my dining room. The floor near her, and her entire belly and tail are wet. It has the same odor the loose stool had yesterday. She tried to get up to go outside, but she seems to be having a problem with her back legs, which has never happened before. Also, she appears to be breathing very quickly and hard.
I am unable to get her to the vet, and I'm afraid she may be dying. Do you have any suggestions?
Dr. Marie replied:
Oh, I am so sorry to hear that Shelby is having this problem. It really does sound like she is unwell.
While a different food (such as steak) could cause vomiting or diarrhea, it should not cause her to be having difficulties with walking.
There are a few possibilities as to what could be going on. It is possible that she has an intestinal obstruction or perforation from the bone. This can cause quite severe infection, weakness and pain.
It is also possible that there is a serious problem with her liver or kidneys or possibly a cancer. I have seen dogs who have a ruptured spleen tumor act like this. When the tumor ruptures they lose blood into their abdomen and get very weak, wobbly and nauseous. If she is bleeding you may notice that her gums are very pale.
The increase in breathing can be due to either pain or if she has blood loss it can be that she has low oxygen levels.
It really does sound like she needs to see an emergency vet tonight. Unfortunately there is no medication that I can recommend that would safely make her comfortable without knowing what her problem is.
I really hope that she does ok. In a dog of this age, I fear that this may indeed be something very serious.
I wish I could help you more. I pray that tonight goes ok for you.
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Hi Dr. Marie,
Thank you, so much, for your quick reply. Fortunately, I was able to contact a 24-hour animal hospital and got Shelby there. The vet confirmed she was in extreme distress, and I had her put to sleep. She was a wonderful dog, and we had 13 years with her.
Thank you, again, for your help.
Dr. Marie replied:
Oh...that is unfortunate that Shelby is that unwell. I am so glad that you were able to take her in today though. I pray that your grieving period is short.