Dog Vomiting -- Post Parvo With Feedings
Reader Question: How Can I Help My Dog’s Digestion Post Parvo?
My PWD puppy was almost 6 months old when she contracted parvo despite being fully vaccinated. She surely would have died without the excellent medical care she received at the VCA clinic in our area. She was hospitalized for 10 days before coming home.
At present she looks really good. She plays with the kids and her toys. She sleeps well. Poop is normal. She is slowly gaining weight. Prior to the virus she was 31.5 pounds and at discharge she was 24. She is up to 26.8 (3 weeks post discharge).
Her problem is that she vomits during every feeding. She is fed 1/2 a can of low residue food mixed with water 4 times a day. She receives carafate one hour before each feeding. I even feed her by hand with a spoon while she is sitting up in case of mega-esophagus. She usually eats about half the food then vomits then eats the vomit then continues in the this fashion until the food is gone.
24 hours ago I gave her homemade food. Chicken, rice, vegetables. She hasn't vomited. She ate the food on her own without my feeding her. No carafate.
The vets would like to investigate her vomiting or regurgitation further with x-ray, endoscopy, and possibly barium swallow. I think she has had enough intervention right now and I am encouraged by her ability to keep the homemade food down. The vet feels this is just a coincidence.
Is this vomiting common after parvo? Is it something that will clear over time? Could she have an allergy or some other intolerance to the canned food? I know the food is nutritionally balance and that is why it is recommended but perhaps I could prepare a balanced food myself (with help from a nutritionist).
We are so thrilled to have
our dog back. I'm just hoping to find a way to help her with her digestion
Thanks for your time.
John Vet’s Suggestions For Dog’s Diet
Congratulations on getting your puppy back home after her ordeal with parvo. It sounds like it was touch and go for awhile.
It can take quite a while for the gastrointestinal tract to fully heal from the intense damage that a parvovirus infection causes, and this may be the reason why she is still vomiting. Another possibility is that the damage to her intestinal tract has allowed substances that would normally not be able to cross the intestinal boundary to enter her bloodstream and trigger an allergic or other adverse reaction to an ingredient in the food that she first started to eat while she was recovering (presumably the low residue food that you are still feeding her). This could explain why your homemade diet did not trigger the vomiting – it did not contain the ingredient to which she was reacting.
If your dog were my patient, I would have no problem with you trying a homemade diet that was designed by a veterinary nutritionist. BalanceIt.com, Petdiets.com, and the nutritionists employed by veterinary colleges are all great resources for home-cooked recipes. The nutritionist will need to be fully informed about your dog’s medical and dietary history to design an appropriate diet. Another option would be to try a hydrolyzed diet like Purina HA
or Hill’s z/d
(although they are not meant for puppies, they would be okay to use in the short term). In my experience, these are the least allergenic commercially prepared foods on the market.
Of course, your veterinarian may be right and the lack of vomiting to your home-cooked food could just be a coincidence. If the problem continues despite dietary modifications, I think additional diagnostic tests are warranted.
Best of luck,
Jennifer Coates, DVM