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Sick shih tzu

Species: Dog
Breed: shit-zu
Age: 2-5 years
Hello, I have a question about my 2 and a half year old shit-zu. yesterday, after several hours of vomiting and two really large diarea's he was shaking non stop and had his tail pinned between his legs, which is really unlike him. Because of this i brought him to a 24 hour vet. At the vet they gave him a shot that last 12 hours to releive his dehydration , they also have him anti- acid medication. At that point they said it could be a number of things. It is now a day later, he has stopped vomiting but he is extremely weak, he has drinken a little water but overall just lays still. He also gets really upset and snaps if you touch his adomen which is extremely unlike him. He does not want to move around much, his tail is between his legs and he shakes. i am extremely worried about him and i am wondering if i should return to the vet tonight or tommorow morning?

Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Oh, the poor little guy. He sounds very uncomfortable.

I think I can see what may be happening here. When we see a dog for vomiting and diarrhea, there are many possible reasons for these symptoms. The most common is that this is some mild intestinal upset. And, if this is the case, then the treatment that Eddy got should have done the trick.

However, given that he is still not well there is likely something more serious going on.

One possibility is that Eddy has a condition called pancreatitis. The pancreas can become inflamed by eating something fatty (or often, we don't find out the cause). Pancreatitis causes severe abdominal pain which can definitely account for the fact that he is snapping when you try to touch his belly.

There are other possibilities such as a foreign object in the intestines. Extreme weakness can be a sign of a life threatening disease called Addison's. (However, there is not usually abdominal pain.)

In any case, what you are describing sounds very serious. I would highly advise that you get him in to see the vet tonight if possible. They will be able to give him some intravenous fluids and good pain medication and hopefully can get to the bottom of this.

I really hope he is ok!

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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

Customer reply:

If he is not vomiting or having diarea and drinking water i am sopose to feed him at 1 oclock in the morning because that would have completed his 24 hour fasting period. If he eats is it safe to assume that we can bring him to the vets tomorrow or is it crucial to go tonight? Also if he got into something he shouldn't have or something and we took the right actions already how long is the normal recuporation period? Should he be back to him self?

If by chance he had pancreatitis how would we find out by a blood test?

Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

I'm mostly concerned about the fact that his abdomen is so sore. This can be a sign of something quite serious (i.e. pancreatitis or intestinal obstruction.)

Now, if you feed him and he eats ravenously then this is great and you can likely wait till the morning to have him seen. But, if he doesn't want to eat at all, or slightly picks at the food then he is still not feeling well.

It's not a bad idea to offer him some food now and see how he does (just a tiny amount). If he doesn't eat it then I would head in to emergency tonight. For some of these serious conditions waiting another 12 hours or so could make a huge difference in his outcome.

The vet will likely do some blood tests to determine if this is pancreatitis. They may check amylase and lipase levels, or if it is available to them they'll do a test called a PLI which is usually quite good at telling us if a dog has pancreatitis.

Every dog is different when it comes to recovery for pancreatitis. I've had some that take 24-48 hours of treatment in the hospital to get better. Others can take a week. And sometimes it can be serious enough to be fatal.

I will be online for about 15 minutes more if you have more concerns.

I hope he is ok!

Dr. Marie.

Customer reply:

At the vet clinic they said if i dont wait a full 24 hours till 1 am i could damage his intestines so should i feed him the tiny amount now or wait until one as they extremely emphasized.

Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

It's always best to follow the advice of your vet who has seen Eddy in person. The only reason I would say to try the food now is if you were using his reaction (either will he eat the food or not) to determine whether to go to emergency.

With his belly being so sore though, I really think you should head in tonight if you can.

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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.