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Vomiting and diarrhea every two weeks.

Species: Dog
Breed: Yorkiepoo
Age: 2-5 years
I adopted my yorkiepoo from a local shelter in 12/2012. From that time until a few months ago he was well adjusted and had no visible health problems. One Saturday at the end of October, he began vomiting yellow foam and having bouts of very foul, diarrhea with bloody mucous in it and refused to eat. I took him to a vet and they gave him a fecal analysis which was negative for parasites/worms, and prescribed a 3 day dose of Panacur just to be sure. His symptoms stopped a couple days later, but the diarrhea and vomiting came back again 2 weeks later. Since that time he continues to get sick exactly every 2 weeks for about 3 days, then goes back to normal. When he is "normal" he eats his food regularly and has regular bowel movements. What could possibly be wrong with him and what steps do I need to take?


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

I'm sorry to hear of Alfie's recurring problems with diarrhea and vomiting. It's unusual for a dog to get sick on such a regular schedule like this.

If Panacur seemed to work, you could ask your vet about doing some repeat dosing of the Panacur. There are some parasites (such as whipworms that are very hard to find on testing occasionally) that need multiple doses of Panacur to be eradicated. Some vets will treat now, three weeks from now and then three months from now.

It's possible that Alfie is reacting to something in his diet. If you do give him treats or table food it may be a good idea to keep a diary of what he eats to see if you can find out what type of food is triggering the attacks.
Sometimes when I have dogs with periodic stomach upset I will put them on a special bland diet for several months and then try to gradually introduce new foods. You can talk to your vet about that.

Another possibility is some type of foreign object in his stomach. If it is small enough that it is not completely blocking him it could cause intermittent vomiting. However, diarrhea would not normally be a component of this type of problem.

If this were my case I would be recommending some routine blood testing for Alfie to look for signs of underlying disease. Small dogs can be prone to something called a liver shunt which can cause periodic problems. Sometimes there can be clues on blood testing, but not always. Similarly, a condition called addison's disease can cause periodic vomiting and diarrhea and can sometimes be picked up on regular blood work, but sometimes more specific tests such as an ACTH stim test would need to be done.

Another thing I would be suggesting is some xrays to look for the possibility of a foreign object.

Cases like this are tough because there are so many possibilities. And, in some cases we don't find the cause.

I hope you get to the bottom of things soon!

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.