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Puppy vomited and became unresponsive.

Species: Dog
Breed: Pomeranian cross kel
Age: 3-6 months
My puppy violet was out on her walk this afternoon and she started dry reaching and after a few minutes threw up- this was white with grass in it. She refused to walk any further so I started carrying her. After a moment I noticed a strange smell and realised she had diarrhoea. It was green/yellow in colour and had a metallic/fishy smell. She also was quite limp and not responding to her name- normally she is very lively. After about 20 minutes of me carrying her home she seemed fine. When we got home she drank water and she has eaten dry food for her dinner (I didn't want to agitate her stomach). As far as I know she has just eaten grass, we don't have any chemicals or animal bait she could have eaten and is fully vaccinated. We have another dog who is a kelpie cross German shepherd and he is fine, showing no symptoms of illness. What could have been/be wrong with violet?


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Hmmm...this is an interesting situation. It's not uncommon for a puppy to eat grass and vomit, but to then immediately have diarrhea and be limp and unresponsive is very unusual.

One possibility is that Violet could have a condition called Addison's. Addison's is not common and is even less common in puppies though. Addison's is a serious and lifelong disease but there are medications to treat it.

It's also possible that she had some sort of a seizure. Often we don't find the cause of a seizure, but it is common to have vomiting, diarrhea and then be unresponsive afterwards.

A toxin is possible, but seems unlikely. It would be very unusual for her to be affected for only 20 minutes and then be fine.

Had Violet eaten before walking? Sometimes tiny puppies can get hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) which could cause an incident like this.

Similarly, some small puppies can have a condition called a liver shunt (or portosystemic shunt) that can cause them to have odd episodes like this.

Another possibility would be a serious heart condition. However, if she had this, then her vet likely would have heard a significant heart murmur on her.

At this point, if she seems like she is relatively ok, then I wouldn't rush in to emergency. Here are some criteria for whether or not you should see an emergency vet:

1. If it happens again today.
2. If you feel like she is really uncomfortable.
3. If you notice a very excessive thirst and urination (as this can be a sign of a toxin).

It probably is a good idea to have your vet do some general bloodwork and a good exam in the next week though just to see if there is anything obvious going on.

Hopefully I haven't scared you with all of these frightening possibilities. My gut instinct is that this is nothing terribly serious, but I would still be a little worried.

Please let me know if you have questions.

Dr. Marie.


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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. AskAVetQuestion.com 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.

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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.