Poor Cooper recently had a bad bout of tummy troubles that at first I wasn’t too concerned about, but it soon reached a point that had me very worried.
It all started with him vomiting one Monday night at about 2am. I woke up when I heard the convulsing, and waited for him to finish as I soothed him in my half asleep state. The vomit was clear (like spit) with a few grass blades in it. I then took him outside where he happily ran around, sniffed a bit, drank water, and generally didn’t seem to bothered. We then both went back to bed and all was fine. I just assumed it was a normal bringing up that dogs often cure themselves with through eating grass.
I started to get a bit more concerned when this happened every night for the next 4 nights in a row. All the same story: happily fast asleep, the hurk-hurk convulsing sound, spit-like grassy vomit, frolic in the garden, water and happily snoozing again. Even though he didn’t seem very bothered by it, I figured something was a bit off. By the weekend he was vomiting like this twice in the evening and I realised I would be needing Veterinary intervention soon if it carried on.
Throughout the week I was monitoring his food and water intake, swapping to a day of only boiled chicken and white rice for both the dogs, and doing thorough sweeps of the garden to make sure there weren’t any old bones or pieces of stolen trash that Cooper was secretly snacking on during the day. All seemed good, and despite this rude awakening every night Cooper seemed to be in tip-top shape.
Until the next Monday morning (7 days since the first sign of tummy troubles). I once again woke up to the now familiar hurk-hurk sound and was slowly coming over to soothe him, clean up and take him out when the smell hit me like a double-decker bus. This clearly wasn’t just spit and grass that he was throwing up anymore. When I gingerly turned the light on I realised that he was now vomiting up a light brown sludge that looked and smelled awful. In fact, if I had not been there to witness it, I would actually have assumed that this was an accidental case of explosive diarrhea, and not vomit.
Clearly something was very wrong.
When we went outside Cooper vomited a bit more, but didn’t really want any water or to go back inside immediately. I sat with him for a while in my lap and then in a moment of panic woke up my Boyfriend and asked if he thought it was necessary to go to an emergency Vet. After spending a few more minutes with Cooper he perked up again, drank water and snuggled back on his bed as if nothing had happened. I decided it was safe to have an (uneasy) sleep for 2 hours until the Vet opened when we could take him during consulting hours.
We arrived early at the Vet and they were happy to take us. The Vet did a basic check of Cooper and decided it would be best for him to stay the day while they checked every option as there could be a number of reasons for his situation and all things had to be ruled out through different tests and procedures. We reluctantly said goodbye to Cooper and hoped that he wouldn’t have to be away for long.
Before we left, the Doctor explained the most likely causes and actions, as well as how they would test for everything. This really helped to set us at ease as we knew what was happening and the most to least likely diagnosis.
After spending the night under observation the Vet called us to collect Cooper and take him home for the rest of his recovery. It turns out that he had a bad case of reflux which was getting worse, and slowly disrupting his digestive system more and more. We were a bit worried, but the Vet put us at ease explaining the medication and food needed to make him healthy again, and as it was caught before any serious damage was done, he should recover fully within a week.
Combined with a diet of soft, saltless chicken and rice meals we were given a course of medicine for the week. The medicines were:
- Amoxicillin: a penicillin-like antibiotic that fights bacteria in the body.
- Lokit: to treat ulcers of the stomach and the first part of the small intestine that connects to the stomach. It is also effective in treating gastro-oesophageal reflux, the backward flow of stomach acid contents into the oesophagus. (Also called Omeprazole)
- Metronidazole: antibiotic treat various conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease, nonspecific diarrhea disorders, infections caused by Giardia, and periodontal disease
- Ulsanic Syrup: a gastro-intestinal medication, mainly used to treat ulcers
So how is Cooper doing now?
After a week of the medicine and a careful diet Cooper has thankfully bounced back completely to full health once again! It’s great to have the whole house getting a full nights’ sleep free of any tummy aches, vomiting or general unease!
Cooper’s Effectiveness Summary:
Issue Addressed: Dog vomiting, Digestive reflux, Digestive health
Tool(s) Used: Various antibiotics and medications
Cost: Medium to High
Ease of Implementation: Moderate. If your dog is ok with Vet’s and taking medication then this is easier
Cooper’s Effectiveness Rating: 5/5. This ailment was not one that could be solved at home and needed Veterinary intervention. At home I could take care of his diet, but he wouldn’t have made such a speedy recovery without the Doctor’s interventions. I’m happy to report that this was a simple problem that was nipped in the bud, and left Cooper finally feeling much better and healthier!
Have you had an experience with similar ongoing digestive or reflux problems with your dog? How did you treat it?