Sick dog, vet closed, what to feed?


This is kind of out of place here, maybe? :blush: But, our dog is sick. :frowning: She isn’t holding any foods down. She started getting sick after our vet’s Saturday hours were over. :rolleyes: There are no Sunday hours. We’ll have to try to tie her over until Monday. She is middle aged with no other known health issues. What can we try feeding her for the next 48 hours until she can get seen? I mean, I know the clear liquids diet for people, but, what do you give sick pets? We’ve never had this. Thanks.


You can try rice with a bit of clear broth for flavor…also, pepto-bismal can sometimes help…hope she gets well.



Are there any 24-hour emergency vet hospitals in your area? We’ve called the one near our house when our dog has had problems and they’ll give you advice over the phone at no charge.

My instinct is just to give him water right now; you want to keep him hydrated at least. I’m not a vet though… I hope he feels better soon.


How lucky you’ve never had this problem. We have cats but I’m involved with a animal rescue and have lots of friends with dogs. The principles seem to be the same.

How does she look (shaky, seizures, ?) and what went on before she got sick, i.e., had she been out? any possibility she got into some type of poison? If there is any possibility that she could have gotten into a poison, you need to get her to a vet sooner than Monday. I don’t know where you are. We have emergency vets that are open 24/7 but boy do they cost.

If she seems fine other than the obvious problem and you’re certain she’s not choking or poisoned or some other emergency situation, I’ve always been told to hold off food and water for 24 hours when they can’t keep anything down. I usually cheat a bit on that one by about 10-12 hours if everything seems fine. Start off with mild stuff - plain chicken, some use hamburger. And just a little bit at first. Some were told to use cottage cheese (again, just a bit). For the future, if the problem is ever at the other end, mix the hamburger with rice.


Is there a vet on call? I would try calling your vet’s office, there might be a recording about what to do in case of an emergency.


Oh, I hope the poor little thing feels better soon! :frowning: St. Francis pray for us!


**When our dog has had intestinal upsets (both ends) our vet advised a 24 hour fast followed by gentle foods (plain white rice and ground beef or chicken).

But please try to get a hold of someone. Check the recording at your vet’s office or look for a 24 hour one you could call. There are just too many things that could be wrong and Monday could be too late.

Keep in mind that kibble can be contaminated and your vet may want to test it if you can’t find any other cause.



If you can find an after hours emergency vet service, call them.

Does your dog have an appetite? The standard thing to try with dogs is rice and boiled hamburger.

If your dog has no appetitie, can it hold down water? Also, loss of appetite can be a sign of kidney problems.

Has your dog experienced a sudden loss of energy?

If the dog has lost appetite and energy, it could be an infection, and if so the worst case scenario would be if it is leptospirosis (aka “lepto”), which is something my late cocker spaniel Roscoe had about 6 years ago and is a deadly bacterial infection of the kidney and must be acted uopn quickly (if I had not been able to get him in to the vet on the day I did, I suspect he would have been gone in a week).

When you take the dog to the vet, ask for a lepto test. It ran me about $90 with Roscoe, but it can get to the heart of the matter quickly (and save $$$ on other tests) or rule it out. In the meantime, until then, you should get a spray bottle and fill it with a bleach-water solution and spray wherever your dog urinates, since that is one the more common ways of transmitting it.

In the end, I pray that it is not the worst case scenario. But please let us know what transpires. In the meantime, may St. Francis interecede to our Lord for your intentions.


Malia makes a good point - there was a scare last year or the year before when a lot of dogs and cats got sick from some of the food imported from China. What brand of dog food do you feed him?


Thanks for all the replies and prayers! :slight_smile: We love her very much and would be so sad if anything happened to her. We are keeping a very close eye on her (including waking up every two hours tonight to check on her.) And if anything gets worse or she keeps this up we will try to find a 24 hour animal care place tomorrow first thing. No, she doesn’t have any other symptoms save vomiting and diarrhea. She’s tired, but not so groggy or lethargic that she seems totally “out of it.” I think she is more dehydrated than anything, and that is why I wanted to try her on something. I thought if she had something in her stomach she’d quit with the throwing up and stuff. She seems very uninterested in water, I think cause it keeps making her ill. But, no shaking or twitching or foaming at the mouth or any discoloration or anything else really alarming. I was thinking that I read something about rice, and we are going to try some tomorrow. Maybe we’ll put some yummy chicken broth on for flavoring, and it would be good to replenish her salts too. :slight_smile: Thanks so much for everything. I’ll let you know how she’s coming along.


She has been itching her ear a lot more this past week than normal, maybe she has an ear infection? Could that make her so sick with the vomiting and diarrhea?


It is certainly possible that maybe something bit her there and she is infected from that, so mention the scratching to the vet.


**Dogs usually have goos instincts…if she is not interested in food or water then she knows she’ll just keep vomiting and pooping.

How much does she weigh? If she is a small dog then the danger of dehydration is much greater. She may need IV fluids (and that can’t wait). Pinch up a handful of skin at the scruff, if it is in any way slow going back down dehydration is already taking over.

Please at least call a 24 hour vet for advice if you have one. The one we have here is pretty good about giving advice and letting owners know when it is truly necessary to come in (since the price is about double and sometimes triple of a normal vet).**


She is ten pounds overweight :blush:, so minor weight loss would be a good thing. But, you can get dehydrated no matter what weight range you are in. So, definitely concerned. I’m going to research options here. Maybe some vet has some Sunday hours. It may not be optimal care, but, at least it’s something. What is this 24 hour vet hotline? What kind of place would have that? Thanks for your advice, and for everyones! :slight_smile:


Definitely will, thanks! :slight_smile:


Another thing to try on the dehydration front - squirt some water on her tongue with either a syringe or an eye dropper (if you haven’t done so already).


Ya, definitely try this test. If it goes back down quickly, I wouldn’t worry too much and just keep offering her water and bland foods (chicken and rice). But if her skin stays up, she is getting seriously dehydrated and you should call the vet. You can also try offering Gatorade or pedilyte to help with the fluids and electrolytes.


**It doesn’t matter if she is overweight… just wanted to know what size of dog she is. For example, a tiny dog (or cat) will dehydrate much faster than a large one. Same principle as babies/kids dehydrating much faster than us adults.

Lots of vets have Sunday hours. But did you try calling your vet’s office? Almost all vets have a recorded message for after hours/emergency care. That would be your best bet. If that doesn’t work just check your phone book for emergency vets.



Call you regular vet’s number. You will probably get an answering machine listing their regular hours. They may also then go on to say “if this is an emergency, call xxx-xxx-xxxx”.
Call that number.

You can also look in your yellow pages for “emergency vet” or google your area for emergency vet. - <your city, state + emergency vet>


Any updates?

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