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Is your poodle dog vomiting blood and excreting bloody (red), watery diarrhea?  There’s a possibility that she may have the parvovirus (AKA parvo).

First things first: If your poodle dog is having any persistent vomiting or diarrhea – especially if you find blood in the vomit or diarrhea – get your dog to the vet ASAP.  It’s the only way to definitively diagnose what’s wrong with your dog so that you can set the right course of treatment.  In general, the more quickly you start the right treatment, the better chance your poodle dog has of recovering (especially if it’s parvo).

What’s more, your poodle is likely to dehydrate very quickly if she’s dealing with bloody vomit and diarrhea – this is especially true if she’s a toy poodle, mini poodle, or a puppy or any size.  So the quicker you get her to the vet, the faster they can put her on a lifesaving IV.

(NOTE: Parvo is generally a puppy disease, so if your vomiting poodle is a puppy, parvo is a concern.)

Here are the main symptoms of parvo:

–Your poodle is lethargic or depressed.. This is probably one of the first things you notice.  I had a puppy who got parvo – my first clue was that he wouldn’t leave my lap the night before he got sick.

–Your poodle won’t eat.

–Your poodle won’t drink.

–Your poodle is vomiting… and perhaps the poodle is vomiting blood.

–Your poodle has diarrhea, especially bloody diarrhea. There’s also a telltale strong stench to the diarrhea.

Notice I used the word lifesaving early. That’s because parvo is a very serious virus that attacks the intestines (hence the bloody vomit and diarrhea). If you don’t treat your poodle puppy using IVs, he or she will likely die. And even with good supportive care, your poodle still needs to fight the virus on her own, because there is no cure.

As such, you’ll likely see a parvo reatment plan that includes:

–Keeping your poodle hydrated using an IV.
–Keeping the vomiting to a minimum by introducing an anti-vomit medicine.
–A course of antibiotics to help your poodle puppy fight the illness (but again, this actually won’t “cure” parvo).
–If diagnosed early enough, some vets use Tamiflu to help fight parvo.  (The jury is still out on whether this works.)

Your poodle puppy will need to spend anywhere from a few days to a few weeks at the vet. That’s the best place for her, and it gives your puppy the best chance of surviving parvo.

Naturally, you can visit often.  You may choose to bring in an item (such as a t-shirt) that smells like you to comfort your puppy while he’s fighting parvo.  Be prepared to wash your hands and the bottom of your shoes when you leave the room your puppy is in. Because it’s such a contagious, hardy virus, your vet won’t want you tracking it around.

Some people choose to support their poodle puppy at home.  This is risky.  If you do this, talk to your vet about how to support your pup.  She won’t be able to eat without vomiting, so you’ll likely have to use fluid therapy – such as Pedialyte – to keep her hydrated.  You may be instructed to give special fluids under the skin using a needle.

When your poodle puppy recovers from parvo and is able to start eating again, your vet will instruct you to feed a very bland diet.  That’s because your poodle’s intestinal/digestive tract is damaged.  Your vet will probably give you a prescription diet, or he or she may recommend that you feed something bland like baby rice and a little boiled, skinless chicken.

Don’t give your poodle puppy her regular food or treats. And for sure don’t give her any table scraps, as they’re too hard on her system.  Your vet will tell you how long to feed the bland diet and when you can slowly start re-introducing your poodle puppy’s regular diet.  Just take it slow and let your puppy heal.

It’s very tough to see a poodle puppy get sick, weak and thin due to parvo.  Just remember: The faster you get a puppy with parvo to the vet, the better chance you’ll have of seeing your pup grow to be a bouncy, playful, healthy adult!

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If your poodle is vomiting and you and your vet have ruled out some of the more common causes (like dietary indiscretion), then you might want to consider Addison’s Disease.  And since Standard Poodles seem to have higher rates of Addison’s, it’s a good idea to mention this possibility to your vet if he or she doesn’t mention it to you.

So, how do you diagnose Addison’s Disease?  Your vet will do it with a special blood test.  It’s the only way to know for sure.

Unfortunately, the symptoms of Addison’s Disease are pretty vague.  Your poodle might vomit. She might seem listless.  In some cases you might see weakness, shivering or trembling. These symptoms may come and go, which makes them easy to miss.

As the disease progresses the symptoms get very serious.  Your poodle may have an irregular heartbeat.  She may even go into shock (with death following very quickly). As such, it’s a good idea to do the simple blood test (ACTH test) so that you can either start treating your poodle for Addison’s Disease or rule it out.

If you’ve already been to the vet with your vomiting poodle, then there’s a good chance you did a standard blood panel. While this can’t definitely diagnose Addison’s Disease, sometimes – but not always – it can offer your vet some clues.  Most notably, dogs with Addison’s Disease may have electrolyte imbalances, elevated potassium, BUN and creatine levels and an abnormal potassium/sodium ratio.

But again, these signs don’t always show up on a standard blood panel in a dog with Addison’s Disease.  Nor do these signs mean a dog has Addisons, as they can indicate problems with the kidneys, dehydration and other illnesses.  Only the ACTH stimulation blood test can give you the definite Addison’s Disease diagnosis.

So, that brings us to the next question: What, exactly, is Addison’s Disease?

In short, it means that your poodle’s body isn’t producing enough cortisol.  Cortisol is typically created in response to stress (the so-called fight or flight response). Stress for a dog can be as simple as you leaving (separation anxiety) to events like going to the groomers, getting boarded, going on a trip, moving, having house guests, introducing a new pet into the family, etc.

In short, a lot of things stress a dog. And if your poodle’s body isn’t making enough cortisol to handle this stress, she’s going to have problems.  If the disease progresses to the point where she goes into shock (Addisonian Crisis), you’ll need to get her to the vet NOW in order to save her life.

Fortunately, while Addison’s Disease is a serious illness, once your poodle is diagnosed and treated she can lead a normal life.  Basically, she’ll need to take medicines and/or get a shot that will give her the needed cortisol and other hormones that her body isn’t producing on it’s own.  During times of stress (like boarding), she may need an extra dose.  You’ll also need to have frequent blood tests (at least at first) just so your vet can monitor how her body is responding.

Bottom line: Addison’s Disease can’t be cured, but it can be treated so that your poodle can lead a normal life. The trick, however, is making sure you test/diagnose Addison’s Disease before your poodle’s life is threatened.

That’s it for this time.  Once again, keep checking back as we talk about other reasons your poodle may be vomiting.  And check the previous posts for other  posts in the poodle vomiting series. 🙂

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For the last few posts we’ve been talking about some of the reasons poodles vomit.  Since vets have identified about 70 possible reasons, you can see that we’re just scratching surface (and you can also see why your vet may need to do a lot of tests).

Let’s look at ulcers as a reason why your poodle might be throwing up…

Ulcer Symptoms

First, a warning: The symptoms that suggest your poodle may have an ulcer could also be symptoms of other illnesses.  So be sure to grab a vomit sample, a stool sample and head to your vet.

Now having said that, here are a few symptoms that suggest your poodle may have an ulcer.  Do note that your poodle may only have one symptom (such as vomiting):

  • Vomiting: The vomit may or may not have blood in it.  If it does have blood, it could be specks of bright red blood. Or it may be partially digested, in which case it could look like coffee grounds or black or brown flakes.
  • Blood in the stool: If the poodle has a stomach ulcer, then the blood in the stool will be digested – and that means it typically takes on a “tarry” dark appearance (e.g., blackish).  If you see red blood in the stool, then your poodle has an intestinal disturbance or an ulcer further down (in the large intestine rather than the stomach).
  • Abdominal pain: Your poodle may show signs of pain or discomfort in the abdominal region.  For example, she may not want you to touch her stomach.
  • Low appetite: If your poodle is experiencing some pain or discomfort in the stomach, then he’ll probably have a low appetite.
  • Lethargy: If your poodle is vomiting and experiencing pain, he probably won’t be as active as usual.

These are the most common signs.  However, if the ulcer is severe and/or if the vomiting is severe, then your poodle could very quickly move from having a serious illness to a life-threatening emergency. That’s because your poodle can quickly dehydrate, collapse or show other signs of shock.

Obviously, you need to get your poodle to the vet NOW if you see any of these serious signs such as bloody vomit, dehydration or collapse.  And regardless of what you’re seeing – even if it doesn’t seem all that serious to you – call your vet so that you can come up with a treatment plan to put a halt to your poodle’s ill health.

What Caused the Poodle’s Stomach Ulcer?

There are many reasons a poodle can get an ulcer, including (but not limited to) the following:

-Drugs, especially NSAIDs (including painkillers like aspirin).
-Diseases (such as Addison’s disease — we’ll talk about this in another post).
-Infection (including bacterial infection such as helicobacter pylori).
-Foreign objects (e.g., your poodle swallowed a sharp bone or a nonfood item).
-Ulcers secondary to other illnesses that cause prolonged vomiting (such as food intolerance).

And yes, stress may play a contributing factor as well.

How are Poodle Stomach Ulcers Treated?

Different vet’s take different approaches to stomach ulcers, depending on what they think is the cause of the ulcer.  These steps may include:

-Discovering the root cause of the ulcer.  To do this, your vet may need to do a blood panel, urine analysis, stool analysis, x-ray and/or barium study, endoscopic study, etc.  If a cause is determined, the treatment plan will include removing or treating the cause.  For example, if Addison’s Disease is the cause, then your poodle will be treated for Addison’s.

-Anti-vomit drugs.  Vomiting just creates more acid and more vomiting. As such, your vet may prescribe an anti-vomit drug (like Cerenia) to stop the vomiting so your poodle’s stomach has a chance to start healing.

-Antibiotics. If your vet suspects the ulcer is caused by a bacterial infection, then your poodle may be put on antibiotics to combat the infection.

-Stomach coaters.  Your vet may prescribe something to soothe and coat the stomach. These coaters may include things like Carafate or even Maalox.

-Acid reducers.  Your poodle may also need to take a medicine that helps reduce the acid in the stomach (which helps the ulcer heal).  These items include drugs like famotidine or cimetidine.  (The brand names for these drugs include Pepcid AC, Tagamet and similar.)

-Diet change.  Your vet will likely give you instructions for feeding a bland, easily digestible diet (e.g., a low residue diet).  You may get a prescription diet, or you may choose a home cooked diet.

Be sure to follow your vet’s instructions completely so that you can stop the vomiting and the ulcer can start healing.  It may take months to fully heal, so don’t “slack off” just because your poodle feels better.  Otherwise, you may end up exacerbating the situation and delaying healing time.

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If you’ve been following along in this vomiting series, then you’ve been reading about the different reasons your poodle may be vomiting, from ulcers to food allergies to dietary indiscretions to pancreatitis to Addison’s disease…(and many more).  We’ll continue talking about these causes over the next few posts – but for now, I want to continue focusing on food allergies or food intolerance.

  • Note: you can read my first post about food allergies here. That post talks about how to diagnose poodle food allergies.

Myth #1: Poodles can’t be allergic to foods that didn’t previously give them problems.

Au contraire.

Indeed, one of the most surprising things about poodle food allergies is that do NOT typically occur in response to a new food item.  Instead, food allergies develop over time. And that means that your poodle is likely to develop an allergy, sensitivity or intolerance to an ingredient he’s been eating for a long time (sometimes years).

I mention this because many folks say, “my poodle couldn’t be allergic to wheat – he’s been eating it for years!”  However, it’s this repeated exposure over a long period of time that helps the food allergy develop (that and your poodle has a genetic predisposition to develop allergies).

So that means that some of the ingredients that are most common in dog food tend to be food allergy culprits.  These items include beef, chicken, eggs, soy, wheat, corn and other protein sources, grains and preservatives.

For example, Eddie the mini poodle apparently has a chicken intolerance or allergy.  He’s been eating a chicken and rice formula dog food.  A quick look at his treats reveals most of them have at least some chicken in them (even if they aren’t chicken flavor). And sometimes I’d put boiled chicken breast on top of his food.

That’s overexposure.  You add that to a predisposition for food allergies, and you end up with a poodle who can no longer eat chicken.

So the point is this: Chances are, if your poodle has a food allergy, she’s probably allergic to something that she’s been eating for weeks, months or even years.

Myth #2: High-quality (expensive) dog food prevents poodle food allergies.

I absolutely recommend that you feed your dog high quality food such as California Natural, Innova Evo, Wellness, Orijen, Taste of the Wild or another high quality dog food.

Most of these foods eliminate preservatives (especially the scary ones that many cause cancer) as well other fillers and items that aren’t that great for your dog.  And that’s a good thing.

However, these high quality dog foods do NOT prevent allergies.  If you’re feeding your poodle a high quality lamb and rice formula and your dog has a predisposition to get food allergies, then he may eventually start showing allergy symptoms in response to the lamb (and possibly other ingredients in the food).

Here’s the point: It’s not the quality of the food that causes or prevents allergies, it’s the INGREDIENTS in the food.  If your poodle is allergic to chicken, then he’ll be allergic to it no matter what the source – whether from a poor quality grocery store brand or a from a high quality dog food… or even from home cooked chicken.

So, I recommend you feed your dog high quality foods. But don’t kid yourself into thinking they’ll prevent allergies.

  • TIP: You can rotate foods every few months to help limit exposure.  That way your dog will be exposed to a variety of protein sources.  Be sure to read the labels, though, since some foods dump a bunch of protein sources into one bag.  You want to limit the sources so that you can rotate them.  For example, maybe you’ll do lamb and rice for a couple months.  Then maybe you’ll switch to a salmon formula.

Myth #3: Hypoallergenic diets alleviate allergy symptoms.

Maybe.  But sometimes “hypoallergenic” is just a marketing term.

You see, some hypoallergenic dog food is really just a limited ingredient dog food, such as duck and potatoes or rabbit and sweet potatoes.  The maker is assuming that your poodle hasn’t been exposed to these foods before, and thus the food won’t create an allergic reaction.

If that’s true, then your poodle likely will do well on the foods.  Indeed, if you’re still trying to track down exactly what your poodle is allergic to, then a limited ingredient dog food might help with a diagnosis.

However, you need to read labels.  If your dog is allergic to rice and a “hypoallergenic” food includes rice, then your poodle is going to be allergic to the food.

NOTE: Possibly the only exception are the “anti allergen” formulas put out as prescription diets (such as Hill’s Science Diet Z/D).  Here the proteins are broken down in such a way that your poodle’s body won’t recognize them as an allergen and thus won’t react.  However, IMO these are low-quality foods.  As such, use them as a tool or a transition step, but don’t let your poodle eat these for the long term.

That’s it for this time.  Next time we’ll continue to talk about reasons why your poodle is vomiting.

By the way – if you happened to stumble on this post because your poodle is vomiting as you read this, call your vet.  The call is free – and your vet can tell you whether you should come in ASAP or whether you can simply observe your poodle for a day or two.

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In previous posts I referred to Eddie, a mini poodle who’s been vomiting.  After lots of vet tests and some trial and error, we’ve eliminated possible causes of poodle vomiting such as intestinal obstruction, bloat, parvo and similar diseases and illnesses.

In Eddie’s case, his main problem seemed to be a food intolerance (chicken)… although now it seems he may have developed a secondary ulcer, since he can’t eat dry kibble without vomiting. I’ll talk about that more in another post. But first, let’s talk about poodle food allergies and food intolerance…

NOTE: If your poodle is vomiting or has other signs of illness, call your vet!  The call is free, and they’ll let you know whether you should come in.  They may even be able to offer you advice over the phone.

For example, maybe your poodle just has a touch of gastritis (stomach upset) because of dietary indiscretion (“garbage gut”).  In that case, your vet may suggest you withhold food for 4-24 hours and then start on a bland diet of boiled chicken and rice.

But again — talk to your vet, because toy poodles in particular dehydrate quickly and can get dangerously low blood sugar levels if they’re vomiting and/or if you’re withholding food – so you do NOT want to do this unless you’re under your vet’s supervision.

Now assuming you’ve already talked to your vet, here’s a bit more info about poodle food allergies/intolerance…

A food intolerance typically manifests as digestive upsets, such as vomiting, abdominal discomfort, loose stools, or even diarrhea.  It’s as if the poodle just can’t quite process a particular food properly, so the body “rejects” it.

Typically, you’ll see poodle food allergies manifest as “skin” symptoms. That means they’ll get itchy skin, particularly around the ears and feet.  If your poodle dog is scratching a lot, chewing his feet or otherwise uncomfortable, you may be dealing with an allergy.

Does your poodle have an intolerance or an allergy?  Let’s leave that up to your vet to decide.  We’re not so worried about semantics as we are about giving your poodle some relief.

Unfortunately, you can’t just look at a dog and determine if allergy or intolerance symptoms are caused by food allergies or environmental allergies (which can be similar to what humans get).  Instead, you need to do one of two things:

1. An allergy screening with your vet.  They can do a simple blood test, although some people say these aren’t very accurate.  They can also do a skin test (like they do in human), which would help you track down more of the environmental allergies.

2. A food trial.  If you suspect your poodle has food allergies, then one of the best ways to diagnose it is by using a food trial.

Let’s look at this point in more detail…

Diagnosing and Treating Poodle Food Allergies with a Food Trial

There are two ways to do a simple food trial at home.

One way is to use the food your vet prescribes, such as the Science Diet Z/D diet, which comes in either a “low allergen” or ultra allergen free formula.  These types of foods tend to include ingredients – like chicken – that may be at the root of your poodle’s allergies.  But the proteins have been broken down in such a way that your dog’s body likely won’t recognize it as an allergen, and thus won’t react.

The downside of using these prescribed diets as that they are expensive and they aren’t very good quality food (IMO).  But you may give your poodle some relief by feeding this food temporarily while you and your vet figure out the next step.

The second way to help diagnose a food allergy is by using a home cooked meal.  In this case, you want to use a novel protein and a novel carbohydrate (e.g., something your poodle hasn’t eaten before).  You might use combinations like turkey and potatoes, fish and sweet potatoes, beef and rice… etc.  Talk to your vet or someone who specializes in animal nutrition to decide which combination is right for you.

Regardless of which method you choose, here’s how it works…

Generally, you can figure if your poodle’s symptoms clear up on the diet then a food allergy or intolerance is to blame.  However, the diet needs to be very strict.  That means no bones, chews, treats or even flavored meds (like a heartworm tablet).  The dog needs to ONLY eat his special diet – nothing else – for at least two or three months.

I know, I know – kind of a pain in the butt.  But if your poodle dog has a food allergy, it may take that long just to clear the allergen out of her system.  And so you need to really be strict and make sure your poodle isn’t eating anything else except the anti-allergen food or the limited ingredient meals you’re giving her.

That means making sure your other household members or neighbors aren’t slipping anything to her.  You also need to watch that she doesn’t pick up crumbs off the floor or lick food off your face or hands.

Also, if you have other pets in the house, be sure to keep their food far away.  Even though I always feed my cats up high, one of them has a habit of playing with her food. She loves flicking her kibbles off the dresser and onto the floor, right to my mini poodle. 🙂

Finally, watch your poodle outside like a hawk to make sure she’s not picking up anything out there.

If your poodle is dealing with a food allergy or intolerance, you’ll usually see that your poodle is getting relief long before the 12 weeks is up.  In the case of Eddie the mini poodle, once I removed chicken from his diet I could see his vomiting decrease almost instantly – from four times a day to just once per day in a matter of 24 hours or so.

Once you’ve passed the 12 week point (and your poodle didn’t pick up any stray crumbs or foods in those 12 weeks), then your next step is to start slowly introducing other proteins and carbs. For example, if you’re feeding rice and chicken, then you can try adding in lamb.  Feed that for a couple weeks and see if you notice any symptoms.  If not, you can add something else – just one thing – and again observe for several weeks and note any changes.

Yep, it’s a long process that will drive you nuts because you have to be so careful. But it’s worth it just to give your poodle some relief.

That’s all for this time.  Next time I’ll talk a bit more about how your poodle may have developed his food allergy or intolerance. And then in future posts we’ll talk about other possible reasons a poodle may vomit, such as Addison’s Disease or pancreatitis.

Last time, I told you about the problems with a vomiting mini poodle dog who’s been throwing up for over six weeks.  As mentioned, lately I’ve learned a lot about why dogs throw up – both from my vet as well as from my research.  Over the next several posts I’m going to share this information in case you, too are dealing with a dog who’s throwing up.


First off, if you’ve owned poodles or any other dogs for any length of time, then you know they vomit on occasion – and usually it’s no big deal.  You clean it up and move on with life.

Sometimes they vomit to rid themselves of an irritant now so that it doesn’t bother them later.  Sometimes they don’t even really throw up – they just regurgitate food that’s sitting in the esophagus (perhaps because they ate too quickly). Either way, it’s generally not a big deal.

However, you’ll know if there’s a problem, such as:

  • A dog that vomits more than a couple times.
  • A dog that vomits two or more days in a row.
  • A dog that vomits multiple times per week.
  • A dog that has unproductive vomiting. (NOTE: This could be bloat, which is an extreme emergency. Get to your vet now.)
  • A dog that exhibits other symptoms of illness while throwing up, such as lethargy/depression; refusal to eat or drink; fever; or any other symptom that suggests that the dog doesn’t feel well.  Call your vet ASAP.
  • A dog whose vomiting is accompanied by diarrhea (check for fresh blood or a tarry look, which suggests digested blood in the stool).  (Again, call your vet – your poodle dog can dehydrate very quickly!)
  • A dog who’s vomiting but is unable to pass stool. (The dog could have an intestinal obstruction – get to your vet NOW.)
  • Bloody vomit or vomit that includes specks of blood.  You may also see a “coffee grounds” look to the vomit, which indicates the dog is throwing up digested blood.

Again, some of these are real medical emergencies, so it’s always best to call your vet. The call is free – they’ll let you know whether you should come in.

Now, if it’s not an emergency, then you’re probably scratching your head and wondering why your poodle won’t stop throwing up.  There are dozens of reasons.  And if your poodle is anything like my poodle, the answer won’t come easy. That means your vet will need to run plenty of tests to uncover the cause of the vomiting – it often becomes a process of elimination!

Here are some of the tests your vet might run:

Blood panel.  Your vet wants to know how your poodle’s organs and other functions are working, and a blood panel helps him or her to see this.

For example, a blood panel can help reveal liver or kidney problems. It can help diagnose infections.  It can even point to “red flags” for certain disorders like Addison’s disease (which causes vague symptoms like vomiting – you’ll need to do a follow up blood test to get an accurate diagnosis).

If your poodle has vomited a lot, he or she is probably dehydrated and his or her electrolytes are out of balance.  This will show up on a complete blood panel – and your vet will give an electrolyte solution to your poodle under the skin or by IV.

X-ray. The vet uses the x-ray to see if your poodle has swallowed anything obvious, like a paperclip or something.  However, many items don’t show up easily on an x-ray. Like if your poodle swallowed a bit of filling from a stuffed toy, it might not show up at all.  That’s what the barium is for…

Barium study. Here your poodle drinks barium, which shows up really easily on an x-ray.  Your vet can then take periodic x-ray images to track the barium going through your dog’s system.  This study can help your vet diagnosis motility disorders.  It can also reveal blockages caused by items not seen on the ordinary x-ray.

That’s just for starters.  If these items don’t reveal a cause, your vet may suggest other tests (depending on other symptoms and your vet’s own experience) as well as treatments commonly treat the problem:

For example:

  • Your vet may want to do an ultrasound.
  • Your vet want to take a look inside the dog’s stomach using an endoscope.  The endoscope can remove foreign matter in the stomach, look for ailments like ulcers and even take a little sample of the stomach lining to look for unwanted bacteria.
  • Some vets may want to do exploratory surgery (if s/he suspects a blockage or other problem).
  • Your vet may suggest that the vomiting is due to food allergies or food intolerance, in which case you may start on a prescription food or other home cooked (bland) diet.
  • If the poodle tends to vomit yellow foam, especially at night, it might be as simple as too much acid on an empty stomach. A small snack before bed — even a few dog treats — might help.
  • If the vet suspects bacterial overgrowth, you may get sent home with a course of antibiotics for your poodle.
  • If your vet suspects a stomach ulcer, your poodle may need to take an anti-vomit drug (such as Cerenia) alongside something that coats the stomach. You may also get an acid-reducer (something like Pepcid AC).

In other words, a poodle that’s vomiting isn’t always an easy case to treat!  You may need to run lots of tests. And you may need to even do a little experimenting.

Stay tuned – more about vomiting poodles coming soon… (plus an update on Eddie)…

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It all started back in October.  Eddie (my black mini poodle) threw up one Tuesday morning.  No big deal, right?  Dogs are known for vomiting periodically.

But then he threw up again later that day.  And once in the middle of the night.  And the next day, too.  Other than tossing his cookies regularly, he was his normal poodle self.

I called the vet.  They asked me if this little poodle had gotten into any garbage or otherwise ate something he shouldn’t have (dietary indiscretion), ate something fatty (pancreatitis) or had access to something like lake water (giardia).

The answer was no, no, no.

So we decided to observe a few days to see what happens… provided Eddie continued to appear otherwise healthy (e.g., ate well, he drank well and he played normally). The doc also instructed me to give a teaspoon of Maalox twice a day to the little guy.

Eddie was good for a couple days. But then the vomiting started again.  So this time we went to the vet.

First we tried the “cheap and easy” way.  We gave Eddie some antibiotics and anti-vomit meds, since sometimes a bacterial infection can cause vomiting (without other clinical signs).  We also put him on a low-residue food.

That didn’t go over well, so eventually I moved to a boiled chicken and overcooked rice mixture.  That turned out to be a big mistake (more about that later).

We went in for another vet visit.  This time we did the full work up, including a complete blood count, a regular x-ray and a barium study.  Eddie was also put on an IV to rebalance his electrolytes (which were low due to all the vomiting).

Oddly enough, the barium x-ray showed a blockage.  But since Eddie’s stools were normal, that seemed a little odd. Nonetheless, I fed him very small amounts of a “max cal” food every four hours. The barium came out in his stool… but nothing else.

So why did the barium bunch up on the x-ray like that?  Possibly because of an intestinal spasm.  But healthy stools wouldn’t be able to pass through if it was truly blocked, so we crossed “intestinal blockage” off our list.

Then the doc said it’s likely an intolerance to chicken…

Bing, bing, bing – I think we have a winner!

I immediately removed chicken from Eddie’s diet.  And within days, he went from vomiting at least two times a day (sometimes four times) to just once.  And eventually he was increasing the length of time between vomiting episodes – 24 hours… 36 hours… 50 hours…

At the time I’m writing this, he’s thrown up once in the last seven days.  I have no doubt his stomach and GI tract are all inflamed and torn up after so many weeks of vomiting.  (Poor guy!)  And it probably takes some time for all the allergens to leave his system.

Right now he’s eating Hill’s Science Diet ultra-allergen Z/D formula, which seems to be working really well for him. However, this is just temporary.  I’m not pleased with the quality of the food, so as soon as his system is settled I’ll likely start doing my own allergy trial. That means slowly adding back in protein sources (except chicken!) and carbs to see if he does well.

From there, I’ll choose a food – probably a limited ingredient food – such as Wellness, Natural Balance, California Natural or something similar.  They come in a lot of combinations like “potato and venison” or “sweet potato and herring.” Anything is better than the prescription Z/D food, that’s for sure. ?

The doc says we can also do an allergy screening.  We may go that route too, though I’ve heard you tend to get a lot of false positives.  If he continues to do well simply by removing all chicken sources, then perhaps an allergy screening isn’t necessary.

I’ve learned a lot over these past 6 weeks about vomiting dogs.  In the coming posts I’ll share some of this info with you, just in case you’re dealing with a head-scratching case of a vomiting poodle, too.

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Last time we defined puppy socialization and talked about why it’s so important to socialize your poodle.  Now you’re about to discover how to do it.

Fortunately, it’s easy.  All you need to do is constantly introduce your puppy to new people, places and things.  But be careful – you don’t want to overwhelm your puppy with a potentially frightening situation.  And that’s why you should go slow with the introductions.

For example, your poodle’s first introduction to the vacuum shouldn’t consist of you hauling it out and starting it right next to your pup.  Instead, you want him to investigate it at his leisure when the vacuum is turned off.  Then when you do start it, make sure your pup is in a far away room. Slowly over a few exposures you can bring the vacuum closer to your puppy.

Now the second thing to remember is that your poodle puppy is looking to YOU for direction.  That means your reaction is going to influence how your puppy behaves in a certain situation.  If you’re acting like Pup should be scared, he WILL be scared.  If instead you’re calm, he’ll be calm too.

So, what types of people, places and things should you introduce your poodle puppy to? The short answer is anything and everything.  The more unique situations your poodle is exposed to when he’s young, the more confident he’ll be as an adult dog.

Here’s just a tiny list of examples:

New people.

The more people your poodle puppy meets, the better.  And the more diverse (different genders, ages, heights, weights, race, et) the more likely your grown poodle will happily accept most people.

New sounds.

These include household sounds like vacuums, blenders, the phone, TV, radio, showers and so on.  But this also includes sounds like traffic, fireworks (don’t get too close!), thunderstorms, the roar of a waterfall, city noises, crowds, screaming kids at play, etc.

New animals.

Your poodle puppy should be introduced to other dogs, as well as cats, horses and any other animals you can find.  Teach him to be respectful around these animals, though.

New situations.

Take your poodle out to the county fair, to a local nursing home, to a playground, swimming at the beach, playing in the park… anywhere where he’ll see new people and things.  Just carrying him on a crowded sidewalk alongside a busy street is a good exercise.

New things.

Things you think are “normal” are totally foreign to your new pup.  So be sure to introduce him to anything and everything, such as walkers, wheelchairs, bikes, ladders, pots and pans, elevators, stairs… and so on.  Literally, anything and everything.

One final tip…

Take your little poodle puppy to the vet’s office BEFORE he actually has to go in for shots and a check up.  Let the vet staff fawn over him and give him treats.  In short, make sure he thinks the vet’s office is FUN!

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Ooh, you have a bouncing bundle of poodle joy!  Congratulations!

Now it’s your job to raise this little poodle puppy as best as you can. And while that job includes everything from good nutrition to lots of exercise to training and more, there’s something else you need to do… starting immediately. Namely, you need to socialize your little pup.

With luck, the person who spent the first 8 or so weeks with your poodle puppy started the socialization process.  But you need to continue it.  And while it’s extremely important than you begin socialization immediately, it’s also a good idea to keep socializing your poodle as he or she gets older.

Ok, back the truck up – what the heck is socialization?  Are you picturing your poodle puppy all dolled up, nails painted, perfectly coiffed … attending parties?

Well, that’s not exactly it.  Instead, puppy socialization refers to introducing your new poodle to as many people, places, and things as possible.

You see, your puppy is going to grow up to be a perfect little family member.  She’s going to be 100% comfortable in your home, with your family.  But she needs to get exposed to the world. That way, the world won’t scare the bediddles out of her as she grows up.

And that means you can take your poodle puppy (and your poodle dog) to visit new places without problem.  She can meet new people. She can hear strange sounds and sights. And none of this will bother her if you’ve worked on socializing her as a puppy.

Socialized puppies and dogs are happily invited to other people’s houses. Socialized poodles are welcome at hotels, parks and other public places.  Socialized poodle puppies grow to be confident dogs who don’t cower in fear, shy away from new situations, or fear bite.

It’s pretty clear that socializing your puppy offers both you and your little poodle puppy a lot of benefits.  Now hang tight – next time I’ll tell you HOW to socialize that pup!

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Quick – when you think of a poodle, what sorts of images pop into your mind?  What are you picturing right now? Now pull a few friends aside and ask them what they think of when they hear the word “poodle.”

Chances are, the majority of people you ask will pull up some stereotypical image of the poodle, such as a white poodle with an outrageous haircut.  Perhaps the words “spoiled,” “high-society” and “high-maintenance” come to mind.  Perhaps you envision them walking with wealthy, well-dressed women, or perhaps sitting in their homes with a butler attending to their every need.

But is that really what poodles are like?

Yes and no.  And that’s because it largely depends on the person who owns the poodle.

Some owners prefer to pamper their poodles, which includes having their hair cut into stylish trims and adorned with bows, painting the dogs nails and so on.  The smaller poodles get to ride around in baskets.  And every single one of them look like “high society” spoiled dogs what with their jewel-encrusted collars and all.

But for every pampered pet you have out there, you can find a poodle who’s rough-housing with the kids, acting as a watch dog, or out by the lake retrieving ducks.  Thus the impression you get from a poodle mainly deals with how the owner relates to that dog …and looks alone can be deceiving.

So let me ask you this: What sort of poodle do YOU want?

Do you want a poodle with a topknot so high others think you must use hairspray?

Do you want a poodle who’ll spend the day hunting or even hiking with you?

Or do you want something in between?

Guess what? The choice is yours. If you treat your poodle like a fragile baby, you’ll have a poodle baby for life.  If you treat him like the hardy dog he is, you’ll have a great companion who’ll enjoy endless rounds of fetch and other games.

Or you can be like me and find a happy medium.  My mini poodle doesn’t get fancy haircuts.  When I go hiking, he happily comes along (and jumps down rocky hills like a seasoned mountain goat).  But when it’s time to relax, you can find him curled up in my lap, fast asleep…

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