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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've read older posts that say many of you have poodles who throw up water and bile in the morning. Posters refer to these as "'hunger pukes" and recommend feeding.
But my vet, whom I love and trust, says on the contrary, once she throws up, only ice cubes for 12 hours, then water, and withhold food for a full 24 hours.
Maisie has had her digestive issues, and her vet has done lots of blood work and x-rays and parasite checks. Plus my vet owns Maisie's litter sister and brother.
So my inclination - no offense meant - is to follow her advice over folks on the internet.
Except I hate depriving my princess, so tonight I gave her a little food and her dental rawhide chew only 12 hours after her last vomiting episode.
This was 2 1/2 hours ago and nothing has reappeared.
I'm just posting to see what y'all think about this.
 

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I don’t see how starving a dog who is throwing up just bile would be helpful? Dogs’ stomachs are more acidic than ours. This is why they can eat poop and rotting meat and be fine. If I feed my dog first thing, no bile pukes. If I don’t get food in her, bile pukes. It stands to reason the solution for puking bile is to feed the dog.
 

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🤷‍♀️ I think it’s contextual. If my pup is throwing up bile due to an empty stomach, I don’t understand how withholding food helps with that? My concern would be nausea from hunger and then a cycle of not eating due to nausea.

I aim to be curious and ask “why” if provided guidance I don’t understand. I recognize my limitations and that I’m not a vet. So if my vet advised what yours has, I wouldn’t write it off. But I wouldn’t simply agree to it either. I’d want to be educated.

That is the way I am with most healthcare professionals. And “Internet advice.” My health (or kids’ or animals’) is ultimately my responsibility. I empower myself to make informed decisions.

Edited to add: something in my gut tells me your vet’s advice pertains to vomiting for other reasons. Not hunger. But of course only they can clarify that for you.
 

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My cat vet also advises withholding food after a vomiting episode. I think he feels it's better to let the esophagus recover from the acidic backwash before irritating it with more food.

I am prone to acid reflux. It's very painful; my episodes are up there with the pain of a broken bone. I've spent many a night pacing in circles for three or four hours because lying down or even sitting was too uncomfortable, and the medications were taking too long to kick in. I feel much better with a small amount of food in my stomach during one of these episodes. I always wonder if a dog with morning hunger pukes has discomfort similar to my acid attacks. If so, I certainly think it's kinder to give a little bit of food to settle the stomach.
 

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Bobby has had this issue since a pup. My vet totally gives the advice to feed several small meals a day and has never mentioned withholding food. Bobby eats 3 meals a day. He eats his first meal as soon as he gets up, one mid day and one right before bed. It keeps his tummy pretty good although he still barfs bile once in awhile. Feeding him after he throws up does no harm and in our situation, definitely helps. Not feeding him after he pukes would not be good although he may want to wait a little bit. I let him decide but food is always offered. I seriously cannot let him have an empty stomach. Is it clear to your vet that your dog is experiencing hunger pukes? Is this what your dog is experiencing according to your vet? How often does it happen? I guess if it was a rare occurrence and withholding food settled the tummy it could help but if it’s a regular thing I would think withholding food would make the problem worse. Withholding food for digestive illness is often the best thing to do so that advice does make total sense if your dog is experiencing this but I’m not sure that would be wise for true hunger pukes. Could you revisit the conversation with your vet?
 

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I let my dogs decide if they want to eat. Just this morning, Frosty vomited bile several times while I was in the shower. Within 30 minutes, it was breakfast time. He had a great appetite, ate everything, and kept it down. Sometimes if Maizie vomits bile in the morning, she will not eat breakfast. I just wait a little while longer and try to entice her with canned I/D or chicken breast. Then she eats and all is well.
 

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For morning bile "hunger pukes" a lot of times, giving the dog a bedtime snack (a couple of biscuits or a few bites of kibble) the night before can help. Especially if you tend to feed dinner in the afternoon or early evening, say around 5:00 or 6:00, and the dog doesn't get anything until 8:00 or 9:00 the next morning.
 

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Several of my poodles have occasional bile urp-ups. Our previous vet recommended, especially for the overnight to morning empty tummy urp-ups, to give a small portion of food around bedtime to give the stomach acid something besides the empty stomach to work on.

If we have a single bile-only urp I wait about 30m to see if it's a one-off. If no more occurrences I feed pretty normally.

If anything more than bile, I wait at least til the next meal time and then feed a smaller portion. If we make it thru that the next meal will be normal portion.
 
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@Pearl Grey you didn't really say if Maisie was throwing up bile or more than bile. Could you elaborate? Also, how often, and when, does this happen. Do you believe it's always when she has an empty stomach? This added info could influence any potential recommendations.
 

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With bile I still feed. For regurgitation of food (with no bile) I will fast for half a day or a full day. But with Misha this means he has been eating too much fat and I need to reduce the fat in his diet. I have also found that slippery elm powder in his food will reduce the acid reflux symptoms.
 

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I would be more concerned with how many times the dog threw up in 24hrs. Was it just bile or food digested‐undigested? It could very well be a food allergy if it's not just bile. If there is grass from lawn in it then that's most likely the cause. Does the dog bite at tummy or take the prayer position often? That would be an indication of pain in the abdomen. That would be a big red flag for me. I was told if a dog throws up more than 2 times in a 24-hour period. They should be immediately taken to a vet. That or if the problem has persisted multiple days like 2 or more. It could be early signs of bloat a very serious or a problem with the esophagus. If it was just a one off morning thing and the dog is young. I can tell you from my experience it's due to an empty stomach. I never withhold water from my dog unless he gulps it all up each time I fill it. Elevated food bowls are a sure way to give your poodle bloat. If they eat too fast they can also make themselves sick. They make bowls designed to slow them down. As for taking the Vets advice. My old vet wanted to neuter Dewy at 6 months. That didn't happen he has a vet now that deals with more than horses cows mixed breeds ect. One that deals often with his breed large breed and stays current on vet educational traning. There is a very good reason you don't neuter a standard poodle that young. I'm no vet but I do my homework to provide Dewy the best medical care the area has at offer. I would be very concerned if the vet didn't raise any of these questions I did. If I were you I would get a second opinion in that case. Hopefully this information helps and your pup gets to feeling better. No pun intended towards your current vet. For all I know she might see 30 plus poodles a year. With a current resume that makes other Vets weep. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks everyone for your replies. I can't get online at work - well, I could, but civilization as we know it might end if I weren't attending to work every single second I'm there. ANyway.
Maisie's vet probably recommended the fasting period because her liver enzymes were elevated. But she's on daily Denamarin, and we've been monitoring, and we did a bile acid test. After the test, my vet said we weren't going to worry about her liver function any more, but keep her on the Denamarin.
The vomiting episodes always only happen in the morning. And it's always just the once, but of course I don't give her food or water after the first episode.
Maybe I'll try giving her a small kibble snack in her treat ball when I crate her at night. She's on the low fat Science Diet I/D food.
 

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As others have said I think it very much depends on the situation. I don't think vomiting bile in the early morning is going to be improved by further fasting, although a small meal at bedtime works best to resolve it. As my dogs are toys I am wary of fasting them too long - if they are really vomiting I will offer a small, bland meal at the next mealtime; more than one episode in 48 hours and I call the vet. Water is best in small, frequent sips rather than big glollops that just come straight back up. Poppy, with her liver failure, is rather different - too much food, high fat food, eating something she shouldn't, etc can all trigger vomiting. I always have Cerenia tablets to hand for her, prescribed by her vet, and as long as I am certain the vomiting is not caused by something more sinister she gets one as soon as she can keep it down. It is important for maintaining her liver function to keep her eating small, frequent meals.

We had fun times early this year with a canine vomiting bug - it was interesting how differently it affected the dogs. Sophy was really poorly - repeated vomiting over several days, several vet visits, had to be persuaded to drink and didn't recover her appetite fully for several weeks. Poppy had a bad 48 hours but never lost her appetite; Freddy threw up once and had mild diarrhoea and that was it.
 

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Maybe I'll try giving her a small kibble snack in her treat ball when I crate her at night. She's on the low fat Science Diet I/D food.
Unless there’s a medical reason not to, please also make sure she has access to water at night. This is especially important if you feed a dry bedtime snack, which we always do. It was the only way to curb Gracie’s morning pukes, and also stopped Peggy’s when she was a puppy.

Food aside, I am really struggling to understand why your vet would tell you to withhold water after vomiting. I have chronic health issues that can result in vomiting, and the most important thing for me to do after is rehydrate. I feel woozy and miserable until I do.
 

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When Poppy had the tummy bug she wanted to drink lots immediately after vomiting - and promptly threw the water up too. This may be why the vet recommends "withholding" water. The usual advice is to control, rather than withhold, in order to maintain hydration. So a tablespoonful/few laps of water, and if that stays down another tablespoonful 20 minutes later, gradually building up after a few hours.
 

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When Poppy had the tummy bug she wanted to drink lots immediately after vomiting - and promptly threw the water up too. This may be why the vet recommends "withholding" water. The usual advice is to control, rather than withhold, in order to maintain hydration. So a tablespoonful/few laps of water, and if that stays down another tablespoonful 20 minutes later, gradually building up after a few hours.
That makes much more sense to me. Guzzling water with an irritated tummy rarely goes well, but a slow rehydration process seems prudent.

Withholding water for another 12 hours, after your pup has already just had a night of fasting, seems excessive. Even dangerous.

I don’t say this to encourage you to ignore your vet, @Pearl Grey. But a single vomit in the morning really does sound like bilious vomiting. So maybe further discussion is warranted.

And if you’ve not already reviewed the side effects of Denamarin, maybe take a peek. Vomiting is at the top of the list. The dosage may need adjusting, or the timing. Or perhaps this supplement is not a good fit.
 

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Oh!! Denamarin is SAMe? Excellent supplement but ohhhh boy could it make me sick. :sick: I could only tolerate one specific brand/formula, and I absolutely had to take it on a full stomach.

I vividly recall sitting on a curb on the way to work, on the side of the road, just trying not vomit. I’d taken it in the morning on an empty stomach, as recommended, and quickly learned my lesson. My doctor agreed I should never do that again.

Another time I had horrible stomach pain because I tried a more readily available brand, assuming they were all the same.
 

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I too am wary of finding answers on the internet, but in the case of Poodle Forum, I think crowd sourcing options is such a wonderful opportunity!

My standard Suki (4 yrs) has always been an urper. On an empty stomach or after eating... Can be either. I do feed her smaller amounts of food me frequently which helps greatly. She gets a "bedtime cookie" when she gets into her crate, usually around 9pm. She also gets a good morning cookie when she gets up. I too use a slow feeder and I have elevated her water bowl. The elevated water bowl seemed to be a game changer. (Although did someone say elevated food bowls can be a bloat risk? Hopefully not the same with water bowls?! ) She guzzles water, so everyone in the family knows to say "that's enough Suki" if she is drinking too much. (We all feel like bartenders cutting off the person who's had one to many at the bar)

In addition to the smaller meals I kept a food log for months of what and how much I was feeding her. Totally geeky, but it also told my vet I was a diligent dog owner! I did a little kitchen experiment of putting 3 different types of kibble in jars with water to see how long they took to break down. I was feeding Fromm but it took a over 24 hrs to desolve. Honest Kitchen kibble took even longer. First Mate disintegrated in less than 6 hours (I think...I did this little lab experiment awhile ago.) First Mate is now our official kibble.

It's not going to work for everyone, but for Suki a diet of 1/3 cup of Honest Kitchen dehydrated (with grain), a 1/3 cup of First Mate kibble, a splash of raw goats milk in a slow feeder seems to keep her stomach happy. I give her that 2x a day, plus a bit of First Mate kibble or a bone, Kong, etc. She rarely throws up her food or water/bile anymore. If I get sloppy about measuring and over feed her, she throws up the rest of the day. She's 50lbs, which the vet says is an appropriate weight for her. She has food allergies... Beef and I also avoid chicken, although I haven't given her any in 3 years. It's an expensive diet. She and my other standard eat far better than the humans in our family, but it works. And I'm gambling that good nutrition now will avoid medical bills later. At least that's what I tell myself. And what I tell my husband if he sees the Visa bill. 🤔😄

I've drifted off your specific question of urping up bile in the morning, but Suki was an equal opportunity urper. Empty stomach, full stomach, whatever. A small quantities of easily digested food have been the best. (For now... Knock on wood 😉)

Good luck! It's awful to see them uncomfortable. Plus constantly buying paper towels.....!
 

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(Although did someone say elevated food bowls can be a bloat risk? Hopefully not the same with water bowls?! )


I mentioned it. Recent research shows it exponentially increases the risk. I was advised by my vet not to use raised food or water bowls. A quick Google search will bring up numerous research articles about it. Here is a link to one I found at random. It was done in the early 2000s. There is a lot of good information in there about risk factors. At one point many moons ago. It was believed that raised food bowl and water bowl reduce the risk of bloat. Risk Factors for Canine Bloat - TUFTSBG2003 - VIN
 

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