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Vomiting and diarrhea in maltese puppy.

Species: Dog
Breed: Shih tzu
Age: 3-6 months
Good evening,

I had a question for you regarding my puppy. She is almost 12 weeks old and yesterday I noticed she had a couple runny bowel movements. She got sick this morning and threw up just white foam twice. She has had 2 runny bowel movements today.

She seems to be eating and drinking fine. Also being her playful self.

Is there anything to be concerned about?

She has had her first shots. We go for her second shot at the end of this week and they also want a sample of her bowel.

Thanks for helping.


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Sorry to hear that your puppy is not feeling well. There are a good number of things that can cause a puppy to have some loose stools and occasional vomiting. The real question though is whether you need to worry or whether she should be seen by the vet.

Puppies don't have as many reserves as adult dogs to fight dehydration. As such, I don't like to wait too long before seeing the vet.

Here are some criteria that would make me want to take her to the vet right now:

-If she loses her appetite
-if she continues vomiting for 48 hours. Or, if she has more than 5 vomiting incidences in one day.
-if she seems to be really lethargic
-if the diarrhea doesn't clear up in 48 hours

It's possible that she just has some stomach upset from either something she ate or some type of stress such as a new routine. It's also possible that she is having a mild reaction to her vaccines although these symptoms are not really typical of a vaccine reaction.

A parasite of some type is possible as well. If this is the case it will show up on her stool test.

There are of course more serious possibilities such as a foreign object stuck in her stomach or intestines or ingestion of a toxic substance. A virus like parvo virus is less likely given that she is vaccinated, but still a possibility.

If it is something mild then she should be mostly recovered within 24-48 hours. But if she is not, or if she is getting worse then I would definitely have your vet see her.

Hope things look up 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.