Dog ate chocolate?

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Eating grass and vomiting.

Species: Dog
Breed: Golden Retriever
Age: 2-5 years
Bleu has always been a resilient dog with now health problems, but over the last five days, he has shown symptoms of not being his usual self and more coughing than barking when his food comes.
The last couple nights, he has left his sleeping place in the home and gone into our bedroom where he knows I'll wake up and let him outside.
Something is wrong with his stomach, although I haven't monitored his stool. His appetite has not been affected as he is still thrilled at meal time (moring and night).
Tonight, he came out in the front yard (after dinner) and ate a bunch of grass from front yard, and 30 minutes later threw up on the back deck.
He is not lethargic, eats normal and has gone on our typical walks the last 3 days.In the past he has eaten our 4-year old son's socks and passed them threw his intestine and stool without any real problem. We don't know if he's eaten a piece of clothing, but we think not, since it's been 4-5 days and he's continued to go on walks and eat his regular foods.
Should we feed him something to test his system? Any ideas to test what may be wrong?
Thanks,
Kevin in California


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Hi Kevin...thanks so much for your question. I'm very sorry about the delay. It was around midnight in my timezone when you posted and I was sleeping!

I think what we need to figure out is whether the issue is with the cough or with a stomach problem. This is a case where I really wish that I could examine him to give you more information. However, I can give you my thoughts.

If he is developing more of a cough it could be that he has picked up a viral cough such as kennel cough. Dogs who have kennel cough often sound like there is something stuck in the throat and they are trying to get it out. It can cause some stomach upset as well. If you think this is the case, most dogs get over it on their own within 3-14 days. I recommend seeing the vet if you are seeing a green nasal discharge or if his appetite is being affected or if the cough is really severe.

However, it is also possible that this is a stomach problem. Given that he has a history of eating socks, I would be concerned about a partial obstruction in his stomach. It's possible there is a sock in there that occasionally covers over the outflow to the intestines and causes vomiting. If this is the case, the real concern is if it moves into the intestines in which case he will be really sick and possibly need surgery. However, this shouldn't really cause a cough.


If the cough is a soft cough (as opposed to the 'something stuck in his throat' cough) then I am more concerned about an issue in his chest. If he is not on regular heartworm prevention it is possible that he has heartworm. This is treatable but can be quite expensive to treat. Another possibility is a fungal infection in his chest. Both of these can cause lethargy and vomiting.

And finally, it's possible that this is just a simple gastritis/enteritis meaning that he has a mild upset stomach/intestines. If this is the case I would expect some diarrhea. It also shouldn't cause coughing though. If it is enteritis most dogs recover within 24-48 hours. If you are noticing diarrhea you can consider fasting him for 24 hours and follow that with chicken and rice for a few days (which is bland for his intestines).

However, if the coughing is still present I am more concerned that this could be something serious and a vet visit would be a very good idea.

I hope he does ok! Let me know if you have more concerns!

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.