Vomiting and Dark Stool - Havanese Forum : Havanese Forums
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-26-2010, 04:48 PM Thread Starter
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Vomiting and Dark Stool

My Havanese Riley is a little over 2 years old. In early January, she got sick for 3 days with a stomach virus. She vomited 3 nights in a row. What really concerned me was that the vomit was very dark (I think they call it "coffee ground"). During the day, she acted totally normal and had a great appetite. During this time, she also had very very dark stool (but it was well-formed and NOT diarrhea). We took her to the vet, and they ran a stool sample and only found "traces of blood" but no parasites or other abnormalities. All of her vital signs and blood work were also normal, and when the vet touched different areas of her stomach she did not seem uncomfortable. He prescribed an anti-vomiting medication and also a medication to heal the esophagus for 10 days.

She returned to normal on the 4th day, and then 3 weeks later had a bowel movement that consisted of fresh blood + normal colored brown stool. Again, she was acting normally and had a great appetite. The next day, her stool was extremely dark again (no fresh blood, well formed). Finally, her poop was back to normal but, she vomited twice this morning.

She has not had any changes in her diet recently, and now the vet wants to either: 1) Run some diagnostic tests (upper and lower GI and possible endoscopy). OR 2) Put her on a 1-ingredient diet like Venison or Duck, and also put her back on a stomach med like Pepcid.

I'm just not sure what to do at this point- She's not showing any signs of discomfort, so it's hard for me to make the decision to subject her to all these tests. Has anyone had a similar situation with their Havanese?? Any ideas on what this could possibly be?? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-26-2010, 04:52 PM
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I'm so sorry your Riley has these issues. No real advice other than to ask the vet which course he thinks would be the best and faster at finding the cause of the stomach disorder.

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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-26-2010, 07:46 PM
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I would do whatever your vet says. My boyfriend is in medicine, and something I've learned from him is that you can literally feel NO symptoms and have something seriously wrong with you. I would definitely suggest having the GI tests done. If it turns out there is nothing serious, great. If there IS something serious, running tests will likely be the only way to figure it out. So, either way it's a good idea to do further testing.

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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-26-2010, 07:51 PM
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The coffee ground vomit would concern me the most, that's an indication of bleeding. I would pursue the testing with the vet.

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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-26-2010, 08:07 PM
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The coffee grounds emesis and dark stools are indicative of bleeding somewhere in the more central part of the digestive system. If it was low, it would only be fresh blood you were seeing in the stools and likewise if it was quite high, like in esophageal varices it would be bright red in the vomit. With it being quite dark in both, it would have to be centralized, such as gastric ulcers that have caused bleeding or something of that nature.

While a food allergy/irritant could cause these, doing the diet change would only be making a stab in the dark at figuring out what/where the problem was.

I would advise going with the tests and seeing what they show.

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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-26-2010, 09:09 PM
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Thank you for posting that, Sally.

Kari, I hope you and Riley get your answer quickly with the tests and that there is a simple solution to this.
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-27-2010, 09:50 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you for all your advice and suggestions. The only thing that's making it difficult for me to go ahead with the testing is that she's only had these "episodes" twice, and they have resolved. So I'm just not sure if I should wait it out and see if by feeding her a bland diet things will just get better. I have a feeling I'll do the testing...I just need a few more days to absorb it all!
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-27-2010, 11:39 AM Thread Starter
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Well Riley has made the decision for me. She just vomited again, about 45 minutes after I fed her a little bit of kibble. She's going for an upper and lower GI series in a few hours, and I'm just praying that it's nothing serious. Very nervous, and will post once I have an answer...
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-27-2010, 11:51 AM
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My fingers are crossed for a good outcome and an easy resolution. When the body is telling us something is not normal, whether for us or our pets, we have to look for the root cause. Sometimes catching a problem early is less costly in the end and can be life saving.

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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-27-2010, 12:04 PM
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I hope that you find out what you need to know from these tests and that Riley gets better fast. Good luck.

Sheri, Tucker's Mom
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