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Dog has an upset stomach.

Species: Dog
Breed: Border Collie
Age: 5-8 years
Hi, (again) Dr. Marie:

For the past week, Jammy has been having an upset stomach off and on. She hasn't vomited or had diarrhea, but three times now she has licked the floor excessively and tried to eat carpet before we could get her outside to eat some grass. The grass seems to make her feel better, but I just called my vet and the vet tech told me not to let her eat it.

She has an appointment for later today, but I wanted to get your input on the situation. I normally wouldn't be too concerned with this behavior if it happened once. She will usually get an upset stomach once or twice a year and behave the same way, then everything is fine. What is concerning is that she's done it so many times in the past week. And, as I mentioned in an earlier question, her bowels have been a little bit slower than usual. The hurricane passed us by yesterday, so I can go and get some bran to feed her. In the meantime, what would you suggest? Is this common? I'm wondering if I am not feeding her enough?

She seems to be fine now--in fact, a few minutes after she ate the grass this morning she wanted to play...

Anyways, thank you again!

Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Hi Julie.

I don't usually get too worried about a dog wanting to eat grass. It is true that some dogs will do more of this when they are feeling a little nauseous. However, some dogs will eat grass (and other unusual things) for no particular reason.

However, I'm thinking back to one of your previous questions where Jammy had eaten some acorn and possibly some of her poop bags. It's possible that she has a foreign object in her stomach that is causing her some trouble.

My gut instinct is that you will find that everything is fine. If this were my case I would likely be giving you some medication to help with mild stomach upset and see how things go. I'd also be offering you some diagnostic tests - first xrays and possibly some bloodwork. If the medication wasn't working and if there was no obvious answer on the tests then I may do a barium series. This is where we give some barium liquid orally and then take xrays to watch as it passes through. If there is a foreign object there then the barium really should point it out to us.

I hope everything is ok!

Dr. Marie.

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Customer reply:

Thank you, Dr. Marie. She hasn't vomited at all and seems to be behaving normally. I'm wondering if this may be a case of her not getting enough food (now that I've had time to think about it). In the past, she's thrown up bile because she I didn't feed her in time. This morning it had been about 14-15 hours since her last meal...and her upset stomach came immediately after she ate. Earlier, she had an upset stomach and when I fed her she was fine. She weighs about 45 pounds and I feed her half a cup of dry food (Wellness brand) twice a day. She's lost 5 pounds since April (the vet said she was overweight) but I'm thinking that she may not be getting enough food.

She did get an acorn earlier, but it wasn't even a whole I can't imagine that causing any blockage.

Is it okay to wait a few days and see if the problem persists before taking her in? I decided to postpone the appointment because she is acting normally now.

If she does get another upset stomach, I've heard I can give her 2 teaspoons of peptol bismol--is that alright to do?

Thank you!!!

Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

I have seen a number of dogs that will vomit because of having an empty stomach, so you may be right.

Regarding the's likely safe, but it's not a medicine that I regularly recommend (not for any particular reason) so you'd need to check with your dose on the dosing.

I will often prescribe famotidine (pepcid) for dogs who vomit when they have an empty stomach. A dog Jammy's size can have a 10mg tablet once to twice daily.

I think as long as she is eating well it is perfectly fine to wait on her appointment. It's likely something that will pass!

Dr. Marie

Customer reply:

thank you!!! :o)

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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.