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Upset Stomach

Maltipoo Upset Stomach Issues


Does your Maltipoo tend to get an upset stomach? If so, you’re not the only owner who has had to deal with this issue.Though this hybrid dog is generally healthy overall, it is not uncommon for a Maltipoo of any age to cope with stomach issues at some point. Since diarrhea and/or vomiting often accompanies an upset stomach (it is usually the first sign that lets owners know that something is wrong) and these types of things can cause dehydration, treating this is important. 

This section will cover:
  • Common symptoms
  • The top reasons that a Maltipoo will get an upset tummy & how to prevent this
  • Treatment for upset stomach that you can do at home
  • When it is time to call the vet
So whether your Maltipoo seems a bit off and you’re wondering if he is having stomach pain or your puppy or dog has been having problems for a while, let’s go over what this all means and what to do. 
Signs of Upset Stomach

Though many episodes begin with cramping and/or indigestion, since dogs cannot tell us what is happening, it is often not until the condition progresses that owners are able to notice that something is wrong. Here are the most common symptoms:

Decreased appetite – It should be noted that Maltipoo can have fluctuating appetites. It can be due from a change in activity and even the weather. On its own, it does not mean that the dog has an upset stomach. Without any other symptoms, if a dog is maintaining his weight, this means that he is indeed eating enough. With this said, if a Maltipoo stops eating or shows little enthusiasm to eat, this is a sign of stomach woes. 

Vomiting / Regurgitation – Vomiting is the expulsion of partially digested food and regurgitation is the expulsion of undigested food. 
Dry heaving – The Maltipoo is displaying the reflex of vomiting however nothing is coming out. 

Gas – This may be burps and/or flatulence. You may also notice gurgling sounds coming from your Maltipoo’s stomach. 

Diarrhea – Runny stools, sometimes with great frequency. 
Maltipoo - all white
Rocky, 9 months old
Photo courtesy of Yvonne Cadogan-Bentley
Top Causes of Upset Stomach with Maltipoo Puppies and Dogs

1) Quick change of food/ new food given. It is not uncommon for a Maltipoo of any age to have trouble when his main meals are changed to a new brand or if a new food is introduced, particularly a table scrap that may be much more fatty/oily than he is used to. Even if the switch was to a better, higher quality food, the Maltipoo can get an upset stomach if the change is sudden. 

How to prevent this: If you are planning on changing your dog’s main meals or snacks, plan to take about 3 weeks to make the transition. You’ll want to have both old and new foods on hand and mix them the following way:

Week 1 - 75% old, 25% new
Week 2 – 50/50
Week 3 – 25% old, 75% new
Week 4 – fully on new eating plan

If you are tempted to give your Maltipoo some of your own food, do this with caution. There are lots of ingredients that could cause an upset stomach. Onion is one food that dogs are very sensitive to, it is considered toxic however just a small amount can cause upset stomach. Fatty and oily foods will also do a number on this dog’s digestive system. 
It’s best to stick with a feeding schedule, knowing what will be given for meals, snacks and rewards. Once you find food that do agree with your Maltipoo’s stomach, try to not veer off of that.
2) Eating something the dog should not have eaten. As you know, Maltipoo dogs are quite curious and this can lead to all sorts of issues. Many mouth objects just to find out what they are, which can lead to accidental swallowing and others may eat grass or even something out of the trash. Depending on what was ingested, this can cause anything from acute upset stomach that lasts a few hours to a longer, more serious issue (and sometimes even life threatening) if a toxic element was ingested. 

How to prevent this: 

Eating grass – Why do dogs eat grass? There are actually a few theories. Some say that they do this intentionally when feeling sick to induce vomiting, though this is not proven to be true. Others say that the dog will eat grass if his diet is lacking in nutrients. For other Maltipoo, it may just be a matter of curiosity and/or boredom. 

In any case, owners should do all that they can to not allow this, as not only can it cause upset stomach, it can also cause poisoning. Many grassy areas are treated with chemicals, such as weed killer and fertilizer. And these chemicals can last many months. Even if you do not use these in your own yard, they are often quite prevalent in public areas such as parks. In the springtime, salt and ice melt chemicals left over from the winter are often embedded in the grass as well. 
Two Maltipoo dogs on sofa
Maple (left, 2 year old Cavapoo) & Willow (right, 13 week old Maltipoo)
Photo courtesy of Julie
At any time, there are other dangers as well. In any areas in which wildlife could have access there is a threat of picking up disease and there is always a concern of a Maltipoo eating bugs or even swallowing small pebbles and rocks.

All Maltipoos should be supervised when outside and owners should not allow the dog to nibble at the grass. With the puppy or dog on a leash and harness (not a collar), a quick tug can be given along with the “Leave It’ command. Praise should be given immediately afterward with redirection given to something else. 
Other elements: Though most Maltipoos cannot reach the top of trash cans, they are capable of tipping over small ones. They can also get into cabinets and just about any area within reach if they are inquisitive or if they smell something that they want to check out. Do use childproof locks and either obtain a larger, heavy trash receptacle for it the house or have one with a locking lid. 

Possible toxic elements: If you think that your Maltipoo has an upset stomach due to possibly eating something poisonous, you don’t want to take a chance to see if he gets better. You’ll want to call the vet immediately. If your Maltipoo vomited, you may be asked to bring in a sample and/or you may be instructed to induce vomiting, depending on what was ingested. For this reason, all owners should have 3% hydrogen peroxide at home; 1 teaspoon for every 10 pounds is given. Again, only do this if you are instructed to do so. 

3) Parasites/ Worms. This is often a misunderstood issue. Some people assume that only puppies can get worms. This is not true, adult dogs can get them as well. Though puppies are most vulnerable (a large percentage of puppies are born with roundworms) and therefore need to be dewormed, the deworming does not protect them indefinitely. Adult Maltipoo dogs need to be check and dewormed if needed on a regular basis. The schedule of testing the stools and giving deworming medication varies quite a bit on where it is that the dog lives (his risk level). 

Worms and parasites can be picked up from contaminated soil and from fleas.
tiny Maltipoo puppy
Photo courtesy of Lisa Vest
How to prevent this: Speak with your veterinarian regarding your dog’s risks and to set up an appropriate stool testing schedule. Be sure to stay on schedule in giving your Maltipoo his heartworm prevention, as most also prevent roundworms as well. 

4) Stomach virus – Just like humans can catch a stomach bug, canines can as well. Though it can be acute, lasting just a day or two and passing with the help of at home remedies (more ahead), you will want to keep an eye out for symptoms that do not go away or worsen, as this points to a more serious issue. 

5) Serious health issues. There is a long list of health conditions that can cause a Maltipoo to experience an upsets stomach and for this reason, any tummy problems that last longer than a couple of days should be professionally diagnosed. 

As you’ll see from just this small list of possible causes, ongoing or severe stomach issues can point to quite serious conditions: 
Parvo: Most often seen in puppies and with unvaccinated older dogs, signs are weakness, severe vomiting, refusal to eat, bloody and very foul smelling diarrhea. 

Corona: Most often caused by exposure to the feces of an infected dog, signs of this often include: upset stomach with vomiting, often explosive diarrhea (may be a yellow-green or orange liquid). Refusal to eat and signs of depression. A dog may have respiratory problems, though this is not always the case. 

Stomach ulcer: All sorts of elements can lead to a stomach ulcer including parasites, trauma, water mold, tumors, too much acidity in the stomach, infections (bacterial, fungal or viral), kidney and liver issues. Signs include weakness, loss of appetite, rapid heart rate, vomiting, bloody vomit, back tarry stools and/or abdominal pain (the dog may hunch over). 
6) Eating too fast. A Maltipoo can get a very upset stomach if he eats too quickly. This is from a combination of swallowing air along with the food and the fact that the stomach fills up too quickly for the body to handle it. Fortunately, there are a couple of easy fixes.

How to prevent this:

1. Use a slow feeder bowl. These types of dishes are designed to encourage slower eating and often work great. They have safe dividers and protrusions that spread the food and cause a dog to have to eat around them, thus taking longer to down his meal. 

2. Offer small meals, more frequently. If you notice that your Maltipoo gets an upset stomach right after eating a big dinner, it can help to add an extra meal into the day. You’ll still want to offer the same amount; it will just be spread over 4 feedings instead of 3 or 3 instead of 2. 

7) Too many high chemical snacks. There are too many manufactured treats that are packed with all sorts of nasty ingredients. They are packaged to look great and appear to be appetizing to dogs; however, such things as artificial coloring, a high level of preservatives and cheap ingredients can upset the stomach as soon as it is eaten and it can cause other problems such as allergies long afterward. This includes dry skin, itching and coat problems. 

How to prevent this: Choose your Maltipoo’s snacks wisely and never go for the very bright ones (which are the worst in regard to chemical coloring). White, tan or brown dog treats are often the best ones. Look for all natural treats without additives & made with wholesome foods. 

8) Main food. When a Maltipoo has chronic stomach issues, this often points to an intolerance to his kibble. As with treats that can upset the tummy, the most common culprit with kibble is the coloring, flavoring and preservatives that are packed into it. It can cause gas, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach bloating, a dull coat and/or skin issues such as itching. 

If other issues have been ruled out (parasites, etc.) and chronic upset stomach problems continue, often a transition to a new, more wholesome food can help the Maltipoo feel much better. Orijen and Whole Earth Farms are just 2 of the 5 star brands we recommend. 
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How to Treat Upset Stomach with Maltipoos

This following is a guideline in regard to treating acute upset stomach with Maltipoo puppies and dogs. With any issues that last longer than 3 days or are accompanied by serious red flags (more ahead), the Maltipoo should be brought to the vet. 

1. Withhold food for 12 to 24 hours. Most dogs with an upset stomach will not want to eat or may not be able to hold their food down, so withholding food is often not a problem. When a Maltipoo has been vomiting or experiencing diarrhea, you’ll want to allow the stomach to take a rest. Do this for 12 hours for puppies (Maltipoo under the age of 1 year) and for 24 hours for adults (Maltipoo 1 year and older). 

2. Keep your dog hydrated. During this time, it is important to not only keep a dog hydrated, but also help him restore the water and electrolytes that have been lost when he was getting sick. A highly recommended method to do this, is to offer an electrolyte solution mixed with water. 

You can also freeze this mixture and offer it in the form of ice chips, which many Maltipoos with upset stomach find soothing. You’ll want to use unflavored, plain Pedialyte, mixed 50/50 with fresh, cool water. As always, we recommend filtered water since tap water can cause so many issues. 

If your Maltipoo refuses to drink, cannot hold down water and/or shows signs of dehydration, it will be important to bring him to the vet as IV intervention may be needed. Signs of dehydration include sunken-in eyes, severe weakness, panting & gums to do respond to capillary refill (when you depress the gums with a fingertip and release, the color does not immediately return).
3. Consider an OTC Medication. One of the most common human medications that is given to canines for upset stomach is Pepto Bismol (a brand of pismuth subsalicylate).
You will want to speak to your vet before giving this to your Maltipoo as that he can determine if your dog is mildly ill, in which this can help by coating the stomach and digestive tract or if symptoms are so severe that treatment at the clinic is best.

This is given based on the weight of your dog. The dosing is 1 teaspoon for each 5 pounds of body weight, given every 2 hours. Since trying to get your Maltipoo to swallow this is not always easy, you'll find that a plastic medicine syringe is the way to go. You will want to gently pull out one cheek and depress the syringe to expel the liquid into the cheek pocket to the side of the teeth, towards the back of the mouth. Do NOT shoot it down the dog's throat as that can cause him to choke. 
4. After 12 to 24 hours, offer a bland diet. Once the Maltipoo’s stomach as had time to rest (food was not given, so vomiting and/or diarrhea has stopped), it will be time to start the puppy or dog on a very bland diet. The idea is to offer nutrition while refraining from offering anything that can trigger another episode. 

The best food to give a Maltipoo with an upset stomach is:
small Maltipoo puppy
Minnie, 11 weeks old
Photo courtesy of Georgette Marino
  • Plain white chicken meat (shred into tiny pieces & this can be boiled or baked) mixed with plain white rice. Instant rice works fine. 
  • Whole cottage cheese mixed with plain white rice. This is an alternative to the chicken and rice; some dogs find this easier to tolerate. 
  • Pumpkin. This works good for upset stomach, diarrhea and/or for when a Maltipoo is constipated. Be sure to obtain canned real pumpkin and not the pie filling. Do not give too much. For puppies, 1 teaspoon every couple of hours and for adults, 2 teaspoons every couple of hours is recommended.  
  • Whole white plain yogurt. This can help a dog with an upset stomach via the probiotics that it offers. 
Do not add butter, salt or any extras.

Feeding Tips:

1. Using the chicken, rice, cottage cheese, pumpkin and yogurt, you can create a ‘healing mash’ consisting of any/all of these ingredients, based on what your particular Maltipoo finds most tolerable. 
red Maltipoo dog
Phebe, 4 years old
Photo couresty of Janis Waggoner
2. Understandably, it will take a bit of time for your Maltipoo to feel back to normal and for his appetite to return. For the first day, do not expect your dog to eat as much as normal and some may need encouragement by hand feeding. 
3. When your puppy or dog seems to be feeling better, his stomach upset is gone and he is handing the plain diet, you can then make a gradual transition to his normal food. Do however, keep in mind that his regular food may have been causing the problem. You’ll want to reevaluate what you are feeding him for meals and snacks to see if a change to a higher quality brand(s) is needed. 

5. Monitor your dog. If at all possible, the Maltipoo should not be home alone when sick. Being there to look for worsening symptoms and to make sure that the dog does not get dehydrated is important. 
When to Call/See the Vet

Since there are so many serious diseases, illness and conditions that can cause upset stomach and due to the fact that losing fluids from vomiting and/or diarrhea can cause serious if not fatal dehydration, bring your Maltipoo to the vet if he has any of the following:
  • He is sick for more than 3 days
  • Has a fever (over 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • Cannot hold down water
  • Has not eaten for more than 3 days
  • Has projective vomiting
  • Has explosive diarrhea
  • Has blood in either the vomit or diarrhea
  • Is severely weak
  • Has heavy panting 
A Final Word

While every dog will experience an upset stomach from time to time, chronic stomach issues is never normal. And suffering with this can really take a toll on a Maltipoo. While you can treat many issues at home, as we have discussed, please do not hesitate to bring your puppy or dog to the vet if you suspect that there is a serious issue or if he displays any of the red flags that we have listed. Understandably, owners have concerns about the cost of vet visits and for this reason we strongly encourage you to budget aside money each month for a 'vet visit fund'.  
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