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Old 01-15-2013, 09:28 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Unhappy Early Morning Vomiting?

I'll give you a brief history of Vargur before I get into what's going on. He is my first GSD. We brought him home from a backyard breeder at 5 weeks 3 days. We didn't have his exact age, only that he was 'ready to go' and that the majority of his litter mates had been rehomed. The breeder had even mentioned the week before that a lady had taken hers home that day (4 weeks old ). We were naive as far as knowing what a GSD of the appropriate age looks like, but after spending time with him it was obvious he was a lot younger than 8 weeks. By the time I got ahold of the breeder, all of the puppies had been rehomed, and the mother no longer wanted to spend time with the pups anyway (upon receiving this information, I promptly made a Craigslist post with a heads up and advice to other new owners of 5 week old pups). Fortunately, I had fostered a 6 week old 98% wolf hybrid pup in the past, and I know which route I'll need to take with bite inhibition and socialization (which he is excelling in).
At any rate, he is 8 weeks old today. He had his first round 3 way vaccinations at 5 weeks 3 days, and I am planning on giving him his second round and wormer tomorrow (Jan. 16th). He hasn't been allowed to walk anywhere but our home, and the only other place he has been is Petco, for less than 20 minutes, and he never touched anything. All new toys and bowls are washed before use.

The issue:

The night before last, he woke us up at 6:00am vomiting bile (he sleeps in bed with us). We soothed him until the fit seemed to pass, and I let him outside to go potty. When he came back in, he was acting like he was hungry, so I gave him about half of what I normally feed him for breakfast early.
I normally feed him Blue Buffalo Freedom, chicken and rice, grain-free formula for puppies soaked in water really well. He gets about 1 1/8 cup for each meal: breakfast at 7:30am, Lunch at 2:00pm and dinner between 6:00 and 7:00pm. A few days ago, we put him on Blue Buffalo Life Protection, chicken and rice formula for large breed puppies, and I have been mixing that with his old food at a 25/75 ratio.

After he ate his early breakfast, he kept it down, and was his normal, playful self again. He wasn't, nor had he ever been lethargic and I saw no changes in his eating/drinking habits. We waited from 6:30 - 9:00 am, and called the vet's office. I explained what was going on, and she told us to continue to do what I was doing. Keep an eye out for lethargy and disinterest in eating and drinking.

Throughout the rest of the day, he was completely normal (played, ate, drank, took his regular naps). The only difference I've noticed is that the last poop of the day before bed on both of these days was almost like a sticky, greasy, loose consistency, in a much bigger pile. It wasn't dark and tarry, it seemed like a normal color.
He was asleep by 10 and we carried him to bed at 11. He didn't wake me up to take him outside at all (he usually has to go 2-3 times a night, though that is decreasing with age). At 4:30 this morning, as mentioned, he was vomiting bile, a little earlier than the morning before. Afterwards, I let him out. He went pee, came in, and proceeded to howl, pace, whine and bark while I prepared his food - that's how he conveys his hunger. He fell asleep next to me for about 15 minutes while his food soaked, and jumped right up to follow me into the kitchen when I tapped him and asked if he was hungry. He finished eating, walked into the living room, started wagging around and mouthing my hands, then asked to go outside to go #2. He bounded back in, grabbed one of his toys and is currently laying under my legs while he plays with it. He's behaving completely normal.

I have a -hopeful- suspicion that it's because his stomach is empty. Should I be feeding him 4 times a day instead of 3? Or should I give him 1/2 a cup of food around 9 or 10pm? I would really like to try to clear these episodes up before I administer his 2nd round of shots (I don't want his body to be too stressed out).
Also, should I transition him back to the Freedom formula only?

Anyone else have his issue? Any advice is appreciated.

Last edited by FretFox; 01-15-2013 at 09:36 AM.
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Old 01-15-2013, 09:37 AM   #2 (permalink)
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When my boy was a pup he was fed the same amount spread out over 3 meals. When he was older I switched him to being fed twice a day. His last meal is usually between 7pm-8pm. He would sometimes puke bile in the morning so I started giving him a "snack" before bed....plain yogurt (sometimes frozen), cottage cheese, large dog biscuit or a spoonful of raw green tripe and he stopped throwing up in the morning. Sometimes I just feed him later in the evening with a snack in the afternoon.
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Old 01-15-2013, 09:46 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I had the same problem with my two dogs. Max is 11 months old and rarely throws up in the morning now. I had to give him a snack right before bed to help keep his stomach from getting empty. My other dog actually had to take Pepcid! They do seem to outgrow it..Just give a bedtime snack.
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Old 01-15-2013, 09:59 AM   #4 (permalink)
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My assumption is this: the vomiting is from empty stomach. Suki did this from about 3 - 5 months on and off. Try feeding a small portion of his dinner to him right before bed. Or a couple treats may hold him over.

I suspect that the diarrhea is caused by the food switch. Some dogs are very sensitive to food changes, no matter how small they may be. Just make sure he is staying hydrated. If his behavior is not changing and he still has an appetite, I wouldn't be too worried.
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Old 01-15-2013, 10:24 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Don't fret fretfox! Kaiser was the same.. and yes it is because of an empty stomach.. a small snack at roughly 9-10 pm or just before u go to bed should be fine.. not necessarily BB.. anything like a few puppy biscuits or something is good..

sorry to hear about the breeder.. I wonder y they do this? just don't want to care for the pups!! it's ridiculous..
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Old 01-15-2013, 11:01 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Thank you all so much! I'm definitely going to give him something to munch on before bed tonight. I'll update you with any changes.
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Old 01-15-2013, 11:02 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Sounds like it's probably an 'empty stomach' issue.
(Even some adult dogs that eat only 2 x a day can vomit bile in the morning due to an empty stomach.)

I agree with the others, a light 'snack' at night may help.

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Old 01-16-2013, 08:48 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I agree with the others as well. This happened to Maverick too and we believe she was just hungry. It stopped now that we give her a bedtime snack at 10pm every night. She goes out about 5:30am, she gets a small snack when she comes inside as well. She eats breakfast at about 7am every day. This did the trick.
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Old 01-16-2013, 03:40 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Last night I gave Vargur about half of a cup of food around 10:30 pm, right before bed. He had random periods of restlessness/energy throughout the night, but NO vomiting! Thanks you guys!
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Old 01-16-2013, 06:01 PM   #10 (permalink)
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You need to read this story I wrote and ask you vet for a TLI test asap.

EPI and Dogs - Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency
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