Need some help

amanda3983May 12, 2011

My dog is 16 years old and he is about 60lbs. He is a mut that we got at the local humane society. He has been a WONDERFUL dog. He has recently started to lose his hearing and eye sight, which is to be expected with such old age. The thing that I am concerned about is that over the last couple days he has been throwing up that yellow foamy frothy bile stuff. I have read some of the other forum posts about dogs throwing up this stuff but he eats(when he actually gets up out of bed to do so) and drinks just fine. But each time he does throw up its only the yellow stuff, nothing else. He has also started to act like he is starving all the time, more then our other dogs. Most days he runs around like he is a puppy still and plays with our younger dogs with no problem but the last couple days he has been just kinda blah. He contstantly pants also, 24/7. We dont know what to do or why this is happening so if anyone could help us out with some feedback or suggestions that would be wonderful!

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Take him to the vet.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2011 at 11:30AM
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"take him to the vet" isn't informative & it sounds snotty.

OP probably has as much sense as any of us & knows she can take him to the vet;
maybe she doesn't have the money,
maybe the dog has trouble getting in the car,
maybe she dreads what the vet will say,
maybe she doesn't have a regular vet...

Unfortunately, amanda, it does sound like he needs to see the vet;
can you at least call the vet & get some idea?

I wish you the best.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2011 at 11:35AM
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Thats what I want thinking. He does have a problem with riding in the car, he LOVES it but he poops everywhere everytime he does ride in it, doesnt matter if he is in there for 5 min or an hour. I also can not afford to take him to the vet, I have another dog that has had to go to the bet often recently and has used all my extra money and on top of that I am pregnant and due in August so have also been trying to save money for the baby. Also, I know that if I take him to a vet they will tell me to put him down and if I call the vet they will want me to bring him in which goes back to the car ride and money. My thoughts are that he is dying, although he does not act as if he is in any pain or discomfort. Is there any ways to make him more comfortable and/or help him with out involving the vet?

    Bookmark   May 12, 2011 at 1:00PM
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There is no question that what your dog really needs is a trip to the vet and some diagnostic bloodwork to check his organ function. At his advanced age, body systems are likely losing some function. Bloodwork would probably provide critical information about his condition and things you could do to help him maintain as decent health as possible.

That said, it's not uncommon for elderly animals to start having problems with excess stomach acid and nausea (especially as their kidneys start to lose functionality). One of the ways to help moderate that problem is to feed your dog small meals every few hours throughout the day and evening, starting with a meal as soon as you get up in the morning and ending with a meal right before bedtime. Keeping some food in his stomach for the acid to work on will help reduce nausea between meals.

Your dog's condition would probably improve with better hydration, too, as dehydration is also common in elderly animals and can also cause nausea and depression. The easiest way to improve hydration is to eliminate kibble from the diet (kibble is dehydrating) and switch to canned food, instead. You can increase hydration even more by mixing warm water into canned food to make it a gruel that he can lap up.

Elderly animals also often have reduced ability to moderate their own body temp, which may account for your dog's panting. If he has a long coat, clip him. Also, keep him out of direct sun and heat. He might also enjoy a box fan set up on the floor where he can lie in front of it to keep cool.

Panting can also be an indicator of pain, as might be his "blah" behavior lately. He's been a wonderful and loyal companion to your family for a long time, and you owe him a peaceful passing if he is, indeed, in pain, and you can't afford the diagnostics that might offer treatment options. Don't let him die in pain. If it comes to that, find a way to have him humanely euthanized.


    Bookmark   May 12, 2011 at 2:31PM
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Thank you Sylvia for keeping the post centered and compassionate. Amanda, it sounds like the dog is vomiting bile. It can be as serious as liver disease or a temporary condition....we can't tell you that. Only a vet can. You do not know what a vet would say or that they'd tell you to put it down. This could be a simple fix or terminal.

You can google suggestions for temporary relief for dogs throwing up bile as easily as I can tell you what to do, but he should be fed small amounts at a time more frequently. I have used antacids on dogs but only under a vet's supervision. I do not know which ones are safe...not everything you can take your dog can. Make sure he has easy access to water and you might even want to take his rectal temperature to see if he isn't sick.

Just don't let it go on and on if you see that he isn't responding and starting to go downhill. It sounds to me that you need to start making some decisions and they may not be easy. If you have a dog approaching the end-of-life years I'd suggest that your primary obligation is not to let it suffer. Your pooch may snap out of this by itself this time, but sooner or later your dear doggy will reach that crises.

If vetting is out of the question at least call now to find out what a euthanasia costs. Info is free and sometimes you can get a reduced price at shelters. When that time comes you'll know and need to do something based on its quality of life and your finances. Put at least that amount away for him when it happens.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2011 at 3:10PM
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I appreciate all your feedback!! We called the vet and it was decided that it was time for him to go. He gave my family and I a wonderful 16 1/2 years and we will never forget him. He will be missed very much but we didnt want him to suffer any longer and he seemed as though he was truely suffering and very confused(didnt seem as if he knew who we were or where he was when we were at home). He is is a much better place where he is happy, pain-free and can run free. Again thank you so much for your help!!

    Bookmark   May 13, 2011 at 9:18AM
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I thought about you last night and wondered how you were coping. I'm sorry for the loss of your friend and companion. You can tell us his name if you like. All of us who frequent this forum have been 'there' with a beloved companion and had to make this decision.

Just remember that not only did he give to you sixteen years of love, that he was also the recipient of sixteen years of a love from his family and since he was a rescued fellow, he was especially blessed that you gave him a chance to even have a life.

The thing about companion animals of a 'certain age' is that medicine often lets us keep rescuing them when they get near the brink. Even if we can afford to invest in that type of care, it becomes an issue of how many times and at what cost to the animal to keep doing it and whether we are doing it for our own sake or theirs. I have been guilty of keeping my pets too long on occasion when I should have just given them a peaceful and dignified release.

Thank you for calling the vet. You did the right thing.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2011 at 1:45PM
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You can save yourself some money, my dog use to do this as well. You need to feed your dog differently. Give him smaller more frequent meals. The bile is acidic and is hard on his tummy, it builds up in an empty tummy. So feed your dog a some chicken and rice. It is cheap enough, go get a bag of flash frozen chicken, toss a couple of pieces in a pot fill half way with water and add some shopped up carrots and a cup of rice, let it all boil up, and every couple of hours give your dog a cup full....Please repost and let me know if things change...good luck

    Bookmark   May 13, 2011 at 2:14PM
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I'm so sorry you lost your dog, but I also agree you did the right thing.

When the quality of life is so diminished, providing a peaceful, easy way to end the suffering is the most compassionate thing you could do.

(((Hugs))) to you and your family.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2011 at 6:20PM
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You are a good, loving owner.

My thoughts are with you. I know it's hard.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2011 at 8:46AM
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Amanda, my deepest sympathies. God bless you for caring for a rescue for 6 1/2 great loving years. I tend to think also that they give us soooo much more than we give them during their too-short time with us.

My philosophy is that dogs have such shorter lifespans because they can only put up with humans for so long before they deserve a greater reward. He taught you all he could while he was with you, and his spirit has moved on to help someone else in need :)

    Bookmark   May 15, 2011 at 2:24AM
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Bummer, sorry my posting was ill timed.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2011 at 2:51PM
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