Search Results for 'gulping'

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  • #100567

    Hello everyone, my french bulldog was diagnosed with pancreatitis about four weeks ago and spent an entire week in emergency care—it was her nausea and refusal to eat that kept her there longer than normal.

    She’s been home for three weeks now and has been doing very well! She’s currently eating the prescribed Hill’s diet and, after 10 days of no symptoms and shown improvement, my vet had said I can try to transition her to new low-fat diet. I attempted to transition her to Annamaet Grain Free Lean and once I got the point where is was 3/4 new diet and 1/4 prescribed, she got a little nauseous. I put a stop to the new diet and for the next two days, I gave her just the prescribed diet to settle her stomach—which it did.

    Yesterday, I wanted to see if I could try again and only put 1/4 of the kibble in her prescribed diet. In the middle of the night, I heard her make a sort of gulping noise that made me fear that she was going to vomit. But she slept soundly through the night, as I stayed up worrying.

    This has caused me to wonder how long it took other dogs that have been diagnosed with pancreatitis to transition back to a “regular” diet? (Or if anyone has any other food to recommend.) My vet did mention that it’s a possibility that she may have to live off a prescribed diet, which is expensive, but you have to do what you have to do for the sake of your fur-babies.


    Hi Robert, what is she eating & is she gulping her meals?? I sit down in lounge room on lounge, I put patches heavy glass bowl on a little stool thing, so his stomach is level with his mouth/throat when he’s standing, then I only add about 2 kibbles at 1 time, if they’re small kibbles, don’t feed any big kibbles, they’re harder to digest, Patch has to chew the kibble, as soon as he chews the kibble I add another 2 kibbles, I put a paper towel folded & folded again cause Patch gets all spit coming out of sides of mouth & makes 1 big mess & the paper towel soaks up his spit, I also get another paper towel & wipe his mouth as he’s eating, I’ve had to teach him to chew his kibbles, treats, he just swallowed any kibbles, treats, then his vet said start sectioning the 1 cup of kibble & feed slowly & now he finally chews & doesn’t gulp & swallow….. it has made a really big difference, it takes about 20mins to feed him, then we go for a 15min walk after he eats & he does farts & poo lol…also start feeding her about 4-5 smaller meals a day, sounds like she had the pain or acid reflux before she ate her food to be running out & eating grass & after eating food it has made the problem worse, kibble isn’t good for dogs with acid reflux or any stomach problems….
    “Holistic Select”, “Canidae” Pure Meadow, Life Stages Platinum & “Taste Of Wild” Sierra Mountain Roasted Lamb kibble are very easy to digest kibbles….You may need a acid reducer ask vet can you trial a 1-2 week on an ant acid med & see does it make any difference also change diet, I had to put Patch on Prilosec, 1 every morning, with the change of diet & the Prilosec made a real big difference..
    Have you tried cooked meal?, feed 1 very lean protein & boiled sweet potato, feed the cooked meal when she is normally the worst?

    Robert J

    Hi everyone. To molzy that originally posted this forum or about the dog gulping and swallowing did you ever find out what it was or what the vet said. For the past week or two my dog has been doing the same thing it’s usually right after she eats her meal she starts gulping and licking and acting like she’s having some kind of trouble breathing or she jerks her head and then she has to go outside to eat grass like crazy. I thought it was maybe acid reflux but it happened so fast right after she eats I thought maybe she’s getting error in our stomach hurt eating too fast but maybe she panics I don’t know and maybe the grass that she didn’t eating his turn into a vicious cycle and it irritates her stomach so she has to eat more grass to come but come at the last time. But that usually happens right after she eats like within 20 seconds even though the other day she you’ve got some yellow bile stuff and then her tummy was grumbling one morning but the vet gave her a nausea shot and she did better after that and so far she’s doing okay well she still acts like she has hiccups maybe she’s eaten too fast

    Dennis M

    Hi Christie / Joan / Susan,
    You might not have seen my post somewhere in this thread a while back, but I would strongly urge you to take your dog to a neurologist. Our dog has the same gulping and swallowing issues reported on this message board, and for years (close to 7 to be exact) we thought it was either IBD, allergies to food or environment, or reflux, that was causing the gulping episodes. Our regular vet couldn’t definitively say either. Since we operated under the aforementioned GI diagnoses, we unfortunately made all these false correlations with various changes in his diet and with GI medications — this food or that med (i.e. Pepcid, Sucralfate) would “work” but then he’d have another event and we’d hit a setback. Since our diagnosis of partial complex seizure was made, it all makes sense now. The diet and drugs never had any impact on his seizures — it was the seizures that would go “dormant” for a while which gave us false hope we had found the right combo of things.

    Please know I’m not attempting to diagnose your dog, but based on the descriptions of these events, seeing a neurologist might be the best decision you ever made. It was for us!

    joan r

    I know exactly what you are talking about. My golden retriever has had these episodes for years now. After three surgeries my vet advised me to crate him when I am not home. He still has the gulping and incessant licking occasionally but he is in a crate, without a pad, when he is alone. He won’t ingest anything (clothing, carpets, leashes etc.) when I am there.
    He is on medications and has been for , at least, 5 years. It hasn’t gone away.
    He has had every test and none of my vets can figure it out.
    If you want to know the medications he is on, let me know.
    Good luck!


    My mom called me this morning telling me that her 2 year old dog has been gulping and licking at the carpets/floors. This happened last year and it turned out that she had ingested fibers from a carpet runner that were long and that she couldn’t vomit them up or pass them. She had to get surgery to remove the items. Since then, she’s watched like a hawk. Which is why my mom can’t see why it’s suddenly happening again.

    I wonder if she was having stomach issues and she ate the carpet BECAUSE of it. Or if she happened to ingest something again and it’s her way of trying to get rid of it.

    Katie r

    My poor boy Brody (border collie) has the gulps 😟
    He use to have it every few weeks or couple months but today is the 6th day. 1at day was very bad. Gulping and licking and panicking.
    He has 3-4 small meals a day on a disgestion support vet food. But that night he was bad. He got himself hot and anxious and tryied panting but the gulps stopped him and it was like wind sucking.
    I was told by my get to not let him eat grass but he was in such a state I let him out. He ate grass like a horse. Gobbled it down… but only certain patches. Then made himself sick.
    I took him back to bed but every 15min or so it would start again. I gave him pepto bismol from the moment this started and it didn’t help at all. He was sick 3 more times. I was up all night.
    At some point I fell asleep and just awake but thank god he was nice and quiet and relaxed.
    for several days after he was not himself and had a few gulp episodes but nothing like the other night.
    Then last night he started again.
    At about 11pm so I gave him some pepto and a hand ful of food and put him to bed. Every 2 hours I had to do this.
    it’s not 12:30pm and he’s still having issues.
    I have the vets at 3:20.
    I go away in a week and so scared to leave him. This boy is my life.


    Thanks for posting this. This is why I recommend going along with diagnostic testing recommended by a veterinarian that has examined your dog, rather than looking for answers on the internet.
    Excerpt below from:
    Phenobarbital-responsive sialadenosis (PRS) is a rare idiopathic disease in dogs. Vomiting, retching, and gulping with bilateral enlargement of the submandibular salivary glands are the more frequent clinical signs. A thorough diagnostic examination must be performed to rule out the most important systemic etiologies involved with chronic vomiting, as there is no specific test to diagnose PRS. Diagnosis is confirmed clinically by a rapid and dramatic improvement of clinical signs after instauration of phenobarbital treatment.

    Lindsey C

    THANK YOU for this incredibly productive discussion thread! My 3 year old, female dog has been having vomiting episodes (initially diagnosed as GERD) once or twice the past few months. I’d noticed that she had been gulping a lot when she was in the throes of one which is how I found this thread. I also was curious about the few individuals who mentioned concurrent UTIs with this gulping and GI issue as my dog has had a lot of UTIs/incontinence and GI problems (usually at the same time). My dog just had three episodes in one week (with only two “stable” days of not vomiting) so we have been in and out of three different vets. I stuck to my intuition that something was seriously wrong with her and, sure enough, it looks like she has Addison’s Disease. I just wanted to post this as a possibility in case it matches anyone else’s experience out there. If dogs are in an Addisonian Episode, it requires immediate medical attention to stabilize them. You can read more about it here: . Thank you again for all the comments and good luck to everyone – it it so stressful when your dog is mysteriously ill but it is so nice to see others helping each other out with their own experiences!

    Ceri W

    Hi! I have a 2.5 year old male hovawart, Cato. He has been having these episodes of manic/frantic gulping, licking on and off for about a year now. The really bad episides have so far always started late evening, and when really bad they continue throughout the whole night. He will also lick at the floor or eat grass or leaves if we let him out. The gulping means he takes in loads of air and I can hear his tummy gurgling, I try to burp him, and do my best to try to calm him down. It’s so distressing for him and us.

    He seems to have the bad episides about every three to four months, but in between he has smaller episides throughout the day, but they seem more like exaggerated swallowing motions as opposed to the air gulping. Sometimes he coughs and “huffs” a bit too. He’s been on famotidine 20mg twice a day since October 2016, and we thought it was helping but then smaller episodes happen and we had a big all night one again last week, so not convinced on the acid reflux.

    He’s had x rays and a manual exam of the throat and soft palate, that showed very angry red tonsils, but don’t know if they flare up and cause it, or the constant gulping over night causes the tonsils to get sore. Speaking to his vet again on Wednesday as she is away at the moment, but don’t know what to do. He’s on a good, low fat, average protein chicken and rice kibble with wet chicken and rice added, and the whole meal is wetted with turmeric “gravy”. Any thoughts, advice welcomed. It’s so confusing and worrying, especially with so many cases seemingly unsolved.

    I should add that I’m in the UK.

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 6 months ago by Ceri W.
    Jessica W

    After trying many. many types of food for my dog, all of which resulted in digestive issues, I’ve decided to start researching a homemade diet for him. He was last on The Honest Kitchen Force formula, which is grain fee and has fish as the only protein. He originally was getting their grain free Beef recipe, but he’s been low energy and always acting hungry, so I tried Force. After about a week we noticed that he was gulping a lot after eating as if he had acid reflux. He was also moping and seemed miserable. Finally, he had a little, shall we say, some highly smelly leakage, while asleep on the couch. The vet had us put him on a bland diet for a couple of days and said that a diet high in fish can cause problems like this sometimes.

    This led me to decide that I need to have more control over what he eats. What gives me pause about home cooking is that every source I’ve looked at suggests fish oil as a necessary supplement, but I’m afraid that taking it regularly will make him sick. EPA and DHA are especially important in his case because he has toxoplasmosis, which is a parasite that lives on the brain stem and causes swelling, which results in seizures. I’ve noticed that diets high in EPA and DHA really help to control seizure activity.

    I’m already pretty overwhelmed by all of the information about supplements. Does anyone know of something I could use in place of fish oil for my dog? Thanks!


    Hi, I’m not much of a meat eater, I can’t stand the smell & all the blood with red raw meat, I eat white meat like fish & chicken only & I make Patch lean pork or beef rissoles, I would never deprive my Patch from eating meat, a dogs digestive tract is short & made to digest a raw diet where our digestive tract is long & heaps bigger & can handle all the grains, carbs etc in our diet…..
    I live Australia & most people feed their pets raw kangaroo mince, raw off cuts added with their dogs kibble as well as raw meaty bones for their teeth, chicken bone is the softest bone & easy to digest…or they added the Pre-made Big Dog Raw formulas or the Dr’s B Barf Pre-made raw formulas or some pet shops make their own pre-made raw meals you just thaw & put in her bowl + kibble….
    Cause your girl has never eaten a raw diet & is 7yrs old maybe look at the pre-made formulas that have leaner meats & are lower in fat around 3-4% in fat that’s around 11%-16% fat when converted to dry matter (Kibble) same amount of fat she’s eating at the moment 15% fat…Wet tin food when you see 5%min fat on wet tin can 5%min is around 20-25% fat when converted to dry matter & was a kibble ….Some people say not to feed kibble & raw together as they digest at a different rate but everyone I’ve spoken with at the dog park & when Patch was going to his behavior training school seem to all mix kibble with the raw diet & have no digestive problems feeding kibble + raw meat to their dogs….I suppose it depends on the dogs……
    I ended up contacting a animal Naturopath when I put Patch on a raw fresh home made diet cause of his IBD & skin allergies, he was 6yrs old, we started with lean human grade kangaroo mince, not pet shop kangaroo mince added 1-2 spoons of blended raw veggies broccoli, carrot, celery & apple + 1/2 teaspoon probiotic +1/4 teaspoon DigestaVite plus powder to balance the meal cause it had no bone or any organ meat in the beginning cause of his IBD, I didn’t want him to get diarrhea, then I noticed about 1 hour after eating his breakfast he was regurgitating water + digested raw up into his mouth after burping causing acid reflux, so we stopped the blended veggies but he still was burping up water, I had to give him some of his regular kibble to wash the acid reflux back down his throat & he seemed heaps better…… cause of Patches IBD bad acid reflux the raw diet didn’t work for my Patch but my kitten/cat 11months old is feed a pre-made cat raw diet + kibble in separate bowl + 1/2 a chicken wing 3 times a week, if I don’t give her any kibble she pinches Patches Taste Of The Wild kibble….
    Do you rotate your kibbles? try the TOTW Sierra Mountain, Roasted Lamb, it has the same fat & Protein% as the TOTW Pacific Stream, Smoked Salmon & their mouth doesn’t smell of fish after eating the Roasted Lamb & Patch seems to prefer the Roasted Lamb….

    It will all depend on the boarding kennel if they will feed your dog a raw diet normally most boarding kennels just say bring all ur raw pre made & made up in daily sections etc or just before she goes to boarding kennel put her back on her kibble 1-2 weeks before she’s due to go to the boarding kennels & just pack enough frozen raw meaty bones to be given 2 to 3 times a week, I’m pretty sure the Boarding kennel will thaw & give the raw meaty bone …
    My boy was biting the raw bone a few bites then gulping the whole raw meaty bone & swallowing big pieces of bone, when I first rescued him, that’s when someone told me chicken frames are the best to feed, the bone in the chicken frame is very soft & flexible & cleans their teeth, so if she is a gulper & swallows any big pieces of bone in the beginning maybe try the chicken frames from supermarket, they digest easier, I use to feed chicken necks but my vet said to stop feeding the chicken necks as they have very sharp pieces of bone & are full of fat, with no meat. In Australia our supermarkets sell chicken necks, chicken frames & brisket bones also turkey legs are nice & big just remove the inner sharp bone…your dogs teeth will clean right up after eating meaty raw bones, my last cat had heaps of tarter on his teeth & to clean his teeth was going to cost $450 to clean & remove any teeth if needed was an extra $50 per tooth, the vet said start giving him a chicken wing for breakfast & his teeth cleaned up….

    Taylor R


    My 5 year old boxer has the same gulping condition, initially investigated as a gastric/acid reflux issue but after seeing a Neurologist in Sacramento at the VCA, and doing a lot of research, changing her food to no avail, we have diagnosed the issue as complex partial seizures.

    By process of elimination we realized that POTASSIUM BROMIDE, a low-dose, low side effect anticonvulsant medication, entirely stopped these episodes. I caution that over time she steadily develops a tolerance to the med and we have to up the dose every four-six months or so. The neurologist said we may eventually move to stronger meds like phenobarbitol but it has been over 1 year and she is still on the potassium bromide. When she starts having minor episodes, as opposed to the hours long, all-night epidsodes she was having, we make another appointment and up the does by a couple ml. She is currently on 5 ml/daily of potassium bromide.

    Video of Scarlet’s gulping episode:

    Website that originally helped me diagnose her, read all the updates:

    Hines is doing well preventing these episodes with a med call Zonisamide, which my neurologist said may be an option later but wanted to start with the mildest type of drug which is the potassium bromide.

    Hope this helps, we were so heartbroken watching her have these episodes, she would lick the carpet incessantly then hack up hairballs, feverishly eat grass, and eat strings out of our shoe laces; this is a dog that is not destructive at any other time.

    Go to a Neurologist or specialist to try the medication, it is inexpensive ($60 for a 2-3 month supply). We saw several general practice vets who were entirely unequipped to diagnose the condition, to be fair, the neurologist was a bit skeptical when I showed him my research as well because it is such a rare and uncommon type of seizure manifestation.

    Allison M

    Hey guys, have any of you guys ever looked into the possibility of sialadenosis in your dogs? It’s a salivary gland issue that causes gulping, excessive salivation, and vomiting. You can read about it here:—case-report
    And here:


    I have a rescue English Staffy & he’s a gulper with his food, I have to divide his kibble up & I give it to him slowly in his bowl, you can buy those slow feeder bowls but my boy big snout couldn’t get the kibbles out of bowl properly then he was gulping & licking up air, so if you do buy a slow feeder bowl make sure it’s for X large breed dog, or buy a 12 hole muffin tray & put a few kibbles in each hole in the muffin tray to slow him down while eating….
    I feed TOTW Sierra Mountain Roasted Lamb, it’s an all life stages kibble, Patch loves his TOTW & does really well on it, he has IBD & Skin Allergies, email TOTW & ask can you have their booklet with all their formulas & the booklet tells you what formulas are the life stages formulas & then you have the puppy formulas also ask do they have a any samples of the Puppy Formulas & the all life stages formulas….
    I tried the Wellness kibbles their Complete & their Simple kibbles & Patch started doing real sloppy yellow poos & had bad gas……. I also feed Pro Pac Ultimates Bayside Select Whitefish & Meadow Prime Lamb these formulas are life stages formulas, Earthborn Holistic make the Pro Pac Ultimates formulas, they’re just a bit cheaper but same quality…..
    When you cook start adding boiled sweet potato instead of the rice, sweet potato is more healthier & once he has settled & is a bit older start rotating between a few different brands of kibbles & changing the proteins, once you find a few brands that agree & work for him, so he’s having a variety in his diet & add some cooked foods with his kibble as well, tin sardines in spring water are excellent for the skin, coat, brain, joints, heart, add about 2-3 small sardines with meal 4 times a week…
    With skin problems best to feed a kibble with salmon/whitefish etc… I feed the salmon/fish kibbles thru the Summer months so Patch is getting his omega 3 fatty acids in his diet.


    Hi Susie, yes Patch was also licking & licking his front paws after eating, I forgot about that, when I first got him he had skin problems, food sensitivities & environment allergies & was put on vet diet Royal Canin HP, the fat was really high at 19% & only 18% protein, then he got real bad acid reflux but I didn’t know back then what was wrong with him, his first vet was an idiot, Patch started wrecking his toys, shaking, chewing & ripping them, then a new vet said sounds like he’s in pain & Patch ended up with Pancreatitis from the vet diet R/C was too high in fat, 1 yr later we thought he had stomach ulcers he was still having acid reflux, chewing, ripping toys & whining while lying on his stomach & hungry 24/7, so I had an Endoscope & Biopsies done, when I picked Patch up from vets, vet said stomach looked really good & there’s no ulcers, I said but we still have the 2 biopsies, when will the results be back, I bet it’s Helicobacter-Pylori, I’ve had the Helicobacter-Pylori bacteria a few times & you feel so hungry 24/7 when the acid gnaws at your stomach, so you keep wanting to eat to take away the burning pain but 20mins after eating your in pain again with bad acid burning & gnawing in your stomach….& I was soaking Patches vet diet for IBD in water cause he’s a gulper with food & was gulping his kibble in 5-10 seconds, vet said just add water to his kibble, again I didn’t know until I read an article a few years ago around the same time those new stop gulping food bowls started coming out, the article said, why adding water with kibble can be a bad thing, especially if the kibble hasn’t soften yet, the dog gulps up the water & gulps air trying to get to his dry kibbles….years ago they were saying add water to your dogs kibble it was suppose to slow dogs eating down that gulped their food….then I was softening all his kibbles & draining all the water out as much as I could & making it like wet tin food with his dry vet diet.. I just knew something wasn’t right after Patch ate the kibble with water, he was burping, farting whinging after eating, he got worse….Those go slow food bowls didn’t work either for Patch he couldn’t get the small kibbles out cause of his big fat snout, then he was gulping air again trying to lick up the little kibbles, so now I just add a few kibbles at a time to his normal stainless steel bowl & tell him to chew, then when he’s has chewed all the kibbles I add more kibbles to his bowl & his bowl is on a stand level with his stomach…
    It’s taken me 3-4 yrs to finally find foods that work, stop him itching, licking, whinging & have no acid reflux, that Helicobacter is very hard to kill, high fiber diets are no good, you need low carb, low fiber diets & no sugar diets, the fat can be around 15%max & no fish/salmon oil in food but all dogs are different it all depends on your dog…..


    Hi Amanda,

    It is hard to advise whether thighs with bones or chicken feet or turkey necks are safe to feed your pup. In my opinion you need to analyze and train your pup first on how to eat these bones.

    With my pup I stay away from small bones as he tends to be a gulper and when I was hand feeding him these type of bones he still had a tendency of gulping his food so I stayed away from any whole bones. No need to create a choking hazard.

    Otherwise since the base of your diet is a puppy food there is nothing wrong with introducing your pup to these foods. Once your pup has stopped growing than it is safe from a nutritional perspective to experiment with more raw or home cooked foods.

    But I must stress that you really need to pay attention to what type of an eater your pup is. If he is a gulper like mine than whole bones, regardless of whether they are soft or not, can create a choking hazard

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 8 months ago by Cannoli.
    Cassie P

    Acroyali you are correct also, see the point I was trying to make above is we as pet owners need to find what works best for our own dogs. My experience was my dog started gulping and swallowing, she looked freaked out Wanted outside to swallow any leaves and grass she could find. I knew that meant her belly was upset and her instinct was to eat grass so she could vomit. I stayed up with her for hours all night with this happening. We were stationed in Virginia with no vet clinic for miles. I just had to pat her belly to help her pass gas and try to sooth her best I could. She went to the vet after the episode because it NEVER happens at the vet office anyways. She was perfectly healthy. I changed her food to dye free 4health and it lessened those episodes tremendously. But she still has her moments when it starts again I’d say maybe once every 3-4 months. Out of nowhere that swallowing gulping so I gave her half a tums 1/4th gas x (she’s 90lb lab) and within ten minutes she wasn’t freaked out anymore and started tooting. I never give her any Gasx/tums unless has these episodes so I know she has plenty of the good acids and gut bacteria. It’s what works best for my dog just like you both above have found what works best for your dogs. That’s what makes this thread so helpful to frantic pups and owners alike. We can share our experiences and be here for moral support. 🙂 and just maybe help a pup in the future. There’s no guidelines to follow at 2am when your dog wakes you up basically having a panic attack gulping air. It freaks us all out and we just want to help our babies. I’m not a RN or a doctor but I do love animals with all my heart, have rescued rehabbed and raised many dif species so I have a general understanding of what I need to do. So yall with that said, don’t give your dog a Tylenol(it’s toxic) but if your human best friend starts her period or has a headache give that girl a Tylenol without worrying about getting permission first lol!

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 8 months ago by Cassie P.

    Cassie, one of my dogs developed a gulping/coughing/gagging sound that happened any time, day or night, with no rhyme or reason. It got so bad that he began vomiting whenever it would happen. We, too, went to vets, specialists, did X-rays, bloodwork, scopes etc. They said it was IBD. I disagreed and consulted another vet, who suggested we take him OFF the acid reducers and try something else as he felt the dog had a horrible case of GERD (acid reflux) that had gone out of control, and damaged his stomach lining as well as his esophagus. His problem was he didn’t have *enough* stomach acid, so the acid reducers were covering up the symptoms temporarily, and making the actual problem worse and the lack of stomach acid explained why he was unable to eat anything I gave him without throwing it up during times he was having an episode. The vet prescribed few key supplements, a few homeopathic remedies, and helped me devise a meal plan of cooked food for him to make myself while we helped his gut heal. The vet did advise me, as he apparently advises anyone with a dog that has any kind of stomach problems, that smaller meals are key and larger meals should be avoided. He also suggested I re-seed his gut with good bacteria via probiotics, and make bone broth from organically raised chicken legs and give him several tablespoons per day (lots of naturally occurring L-glutamine that helps heal and seal that gut.)



    You are correct, we know our pets best and sometimes it takes a new approach. I went to several specialists for YEARS trying to figure out what caused the gulping episodes and most of them had never even seen the symptoms before. They all said it was Kennel Cough, which I knew to be 100% incorrect. That resulted in countless cycles of antibiotics that he didn’t need to be taking before I said enough. Our issues were food related the whole time.

    This forum was a godsend. Vet’s (or Dr.’s) are not all knowing, all of the time.


    Hi Cassie,

    I’ve had the same good results with my Tucker. At the onset of gulping I give him 1 Benadryl and 1 Pepcid AC – this is the only combination that drastically reduces the duration and intensity of the episode. This combo was also ok’d by our long term vet.

    Some years ago, based on info from this board, I switch Tucker to Hills Prescription Z/D food. Our gulping episodes went from 1-2 times per month to 1-2 time every 6-8 months.

    Cassie P

    Just wondering has anyone tried giving 1/4th chewable gas x and half a tums at the onset of symptoms? My dog had these same issues that you all describe and this is the only combination to make her stop the gulping and swallowing. About 10 minutes after she chews the gas x and tums, I pat her belly, she starts passing gas and goes to sleep. I know this may not work for every issue on this thread but it’s worth a try if any of you haven’t tried it already.

    Dennis M

    Hi Robin,
    So sorry to hear of your dogs’ troubles. It’s been a while since I posted my experience but here’s what I can tell you. After over 8 years of seeing our wheaten terrier experience this gulping issue, and trying to treat as a GI event with all sorts of meds and different foods, we finally found a remedy. We took him to a neurologist and after an exam, discussing the history with me, and seeing a video of the event, the doctor felt it very well was a partial complex seizure. We have been treating him with Keppra over the past year and it works. It’s possible the presentation of these symptoms could be other things, but I’d urge you to consult with a neurologist for the possibility of seizure if nothing else you’ve tried has worked. Happy to provide details etc if you or anyone else has questions. Hang in there!

    Robin S

    Hello fellow distraught pet lovers and owners,

    We bought two sibling basset hounds nearly a year ago and have been having this problem with BOTH of them on and off. Heart-wrenching for all of us.

    I am a wannabee herbal and nutritional practitioner with our own family. Although we’ve taken the dogs to the vet, I’ve also done research and tried different herbal remedies.

    Hoping our continued experience can help others as we continue to seek answers and comfort for our beloved pets.

    Here it goes..

    One, both our dogs take turns getting this. The male fairs worse than the female. We originally thought it was bloat and took the male to an animal emergency hospital, costing $600.00. They took x-rays that showed it WAS NOT bloat. We then took him to the vet and they did lab work and said their was a small amount of some kind of bacteria…forgot the name. He prescribed an anti-biotic for him. The female then got it and he prescribed one for her. They were both fine for awhile andthen it starts all over again. The antibiotic did not work as well for her. We’ve also tried de-wormers throughout.

    So I started treating the symptoms. The interesting thing is even tho’ both of them get this, I have to use different herbs and protocols to effectively (if not temporarily) ease their pain and discomfort. All very interesting..

    These are what I use:
    For Paulette: 1/2 human ginger root capsule with her food helps her nausea. When we don’t do this her symptoms start up again. If she gets it full on I’ve been giving her Parasite Dr. from PetAlive. This calms her and also makes her sleepy. I’m hoping it also helps to cure her. She is currently non-symptomatic.
    Baggins, the male is in a full symptomatic bout these past 4 days. Thought we’d try a store bought parasite medication. It has not worked as it had in the past. So, we’ve been treating the symptoms. This is what works for him:
    Avena Sativa, oat straw helps to calm him down. Bromelain reduces the gas and bloat build up his gut. We have also skipped a feeding this time. He’s sleeping peacefully at the moment.
    With his next feeding I will start the Parasite Cleanse that I also give to Paulette, continue the oat straw and bromelain and add marshmellow root. Marshmellow root coats and soothes the easophagus and stomach lining.

    As we continue to try different things for our pets as well as pray for them, our family, especially me, has to learn to live with the symptoms. I have to know that this isn’t life threatening and so far they have always come out of it. We have started to confine them to just the kitchen when symptomatic as it is a small area, has linoleum instead of carpet and is easier to clean up vomit and anything else. Sometimes he’ll stop the licking/gulping and look at us and whine for a bit. When the symptoms die down a bit, we bring him and lay on the floor holding and petting him til he goes to sleep.

    That is most of our story so far.
    Looking for commonalities and patterns and lack thereof as well…
    Both our dogs take turns getting this.
    It seems cyclonic…every month to six weeks..
    Changing food does not affect it…or does so temporarily..
    We are not alone, as seen here and elsewhere on the web, this is a newer and undiagnosed canine disease or disorder. We’ve had dogs all our lives and have never experienced anything like this. I have friends whose dogs do this as well.

    Hoping to learn from all of you and be another shoulder to lean on for support,
    for our pets,

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 8 months ago by Robin S.
    Madison V

    Hi Joan,
    Glad to hear you found something to curb your dog’s gulping episodes. My dog’s episodes were unpredictable and she would at times have them when I wasn’t around. She’s had episodes at the groomers and even while in a crate at the veterinary ER. While in the crate at the ER she had an IV and bandage around her leg. During an episode, while in the crate (unsupervised) she ate the IV needle and the bandages. I didn’t realized this happened until I took her home and she vomited it all back up. I was horrified. The worst part was that the ER Vet never told me it occurred and just put another IV in her leg. I couldn’t be with her 24/7 and crating her at home caused her so much stress that it would trigger an episode. She’d have them in the middle of the night, while on walks at the park, and even while my parents would watch her while I was away. She was clearly terrified by what was happening and there was nothing I could do to stop the episodes. One time during an episode I did crate her (to keep her safe) she proceeded to gasp for air, vomit profusely, and it a state of sheer panic broke a tooth trying to exit the crate. I couldn’t bare put her through anymore and I’m glad she’s at peace. Best of luck to you and your dog. Someday, I hope a solution is found to stop the episodes.

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 8 months ago by Madison V.
    joan r

    I feel for you. My golden started this at 4 years of age. But I relate to your emergency visits and surgeries that your dog needed as did mine for eating anything he could see including my sweaters, carpets etc. It seems the swallowing and gulping came first so if I am not at home I put him in a crate without a dog bed. I have done this for the past year and although he has episodes from time to time , he will not randomly eat if he knows that I am here.
    He has been on erythromycin, pepsid, and cisapride for years now. Don’t know for sure if it helps but am scared to take him off of it.
    He just turned 11……….I never thought he would make it to 11 so I got a puppy a couple of years ago and my older golden is as happy as he has ever been.
    The few times I have seen him do the gulping, I give him Sucralfate mushed up with water and in a syringe.
    He had 3 surgeries because of the items he ate that got blocked up in his intestine.
    I am sorry you had to put your dog to sleep. It is so hard to watch this gulping-swallowing episodes and we may never know why they happen. But for me the key thing , for me, was keeping him in a crate, when I was not at home so he could not eat things .
    The crate costs a lot less than the surgeries!
    I haven’t experienced any seizures when this happens and my vet hesitated to put him on seizure meds as well as long term metronaidazol.
    I hope this helps someone out there. I felt so alone until I found this website.

    Jean P

    Hi Carlene, did you ever get a diagnosis of Myasthenia Gravis? Just today I think I have found this to be the cause of our Jake’s gulping episodes for the past 5 years. The youtube videos gave me chills because they are exactly what he does, and I have had countless Vets not know exactly how to treat etc. Feel like I am having a hallelujah moment!!


    Madison V

    My sweet wheaten terrier suffered from the same mysterious symptoms for about three years before I put her to sleep because the symptoms were distressing to her and the vet tried everything they possibly could. For two years I tried different things with her: Pepcid, gas x, and she had her blood tested numerous times. Nothing was ever found. She “appeared” to be a healthy 4 year old. I changed her diet to boiled chicken and rice and never gave her any additional treats. I never did try the seizure medication. The vet thought it was a seizure disorder. It would start out of the blue: frantic gulping, wrenching, vomiting white foam, and the worst part was that she consumed ANYTHING in her path. There were two times when she ingested something that caused an intestinal blockage that involved two ER visits with extensive stays. The scariest thing occurred when she was overnight at the ER, inside her kennel. She had an IV in her leg and ATE the IV needle and all the gauze. She vomited it up hours later. She must have had an episode while there…alone and scared out of her mind. It was so traumatizing for both her and I. I didn’t know what else to do, so I sadly said goodbye to her and laid her to rest.
    It was four years ago, I think about her every day. I can’t believe after all these years that the vet’s still have no clue as to how to treat these episodes. One thing I did think about was the correlation between applying frontline and the occurrence of yet another gulping episode. Frontline now states that their product can cause seizures in dogs. Perhaps you should see if that could be the culprit. I wished I had tried that….

    • This reply was modified 6 years ago by Madison V.

    Hi Susie, what is the Fat % in the can food she’s eating?? fat in wet tin food is different to the fat % in a dry kibble… if it says 5% fat wet tin food that’s around 20-23% fat in a kibble… sounds like your Sadie is having acid reflux, when she is gulping give her some liquid Mylanta about 1 teaspoon, the Mylanta will settle the acid.. & feed wet tin foods under 4% fat… I prefer to cook a lean pork mince with sweet potato, broccoli, carrot etc.

    Dennis M

    We had two options – Keppra extended release to be given every day twice a day to prevent seizures but the trial period to see if it helped was three to four months. Doc said efficacy over time decreases. Jake can go a few months at times between seizures so we opted for giving him Keppra regular (rapid release) only when he has a seizure. It has worked well the two times since April that he’s had these seizures. It takes an hour or two to start working but it eventually does and we dont have to stay up all night with him. He literally wouldn’t sleep with these seizures and would be up all night gulping and swallowing, sometimes vomiting. And then usually more gulping into the next day and gradually stop – lasting a total 48 hours of varying degree. Just awful. The side effect of the Keppra is it makes him very drowsy and he isn’t very coordinated “on his feet” – but doc said that is normal side effect of the meds. So he sleeps really well during the night. We have to watch him carefully due to the drowsiness but it’s a better alternative. If the seizures you experience are only a few minutes or less than an hour that might be consideration for the preventative route rather than the “pulsed” therapy we do.

    • This reply was modified 6 years, 1 month ago by Dennis M.
    • This reply was modified 6 years, 1 month ago by Dennis M.
    jane s

    Dennis, thanks for your reply. I know how scary the spells can be. Luckily, Lizzie’s spells have been relatively short– usually no longer than 1/2 hour. We will work on tracking her gulping spells and do more research on gustatory seizures. I’ve never believed it was a food/gi/reflux problem, just for the same reasons you expressed. After consulting with our vet, we are going to increase the Pheno dosage.
    Does Keppra help prevent the episodes?

    Dennis M

    Hi Jane S – I sure feel for you as we have had the same issue with our boy. I know you mentioned your dog has seizures and is already on phenobarbital. But I’m wondering if this gulping your dog is doing is a different seizure. Our neurologist diagnosis was a gustatory seizure which manifests itself as rapid swallowing over and over and the dog believes it needs to start eating – thus eating inediable objects which is extremely dangerous. Maybe either an increased dose of pheno or perhaps a combo/ different drug (ours takes Keppra but not everyday) to combat the gulping? My suggestion is to take your dog to a neurologist and show him/her the video. Keep track of how often they occur and how long they last. General practice vets, in my experience, won’t be able to help you. If it’s not a gustatory seizure, then you can at least rule that out. Good luck and don’t hesitate to ask me any questions!

    jane s

    My 8 year old, 50 lb, mixed breed dog suffers, too. She has had these episodes for several years. She also suffers from seizures and has been on 64mg Phenobarbital per day for 6 years. This seems to control her seizures, but not stop the gulping episodes. She had one this morning, the worst I’ve seen, where she was having trouble breathing between gulping and licking. I was about to take her to the ER vet, but I could see it was beginning to pass, so we sat in the back seat of the car, just in case. In the past if she’s gone out and eaten grass, she’d be better, but this time she didn’t even want to eat grass.
    One time, when we weren’t home, she ate carpet and paper towel. She’s never had an episode when the vet’s office is open, but we’ve taken video and showed the vet. But since they can’t examine her while the episode is happening, they’re having a hard time diagnosing. Sure wish we could find the cause and cure.

    Talei H

    Hi all,
    I’m back, but thankfully, not because we’re experiencing a gulping episode! A few days following my last post, Lilo experienced yet another bout of the “gulps.” We were at our wit’s end, because these episodes had never before occurred so close together, and because we felt just absolutely helpless. It’s been about a month and a half now, and so far, she hasn’t been plagued by this mysterious ordeal since. I’m not certain that we’re out of the woods permanently just yet, but I think that I’ve finally begun to pinpoint some of her specific triggers, and just wanted to share these ideas with the rest of you in case you find they might be applicable to your pup(s) as well.

    As I mentioned before, our Lilo (Corgi) is an extremely anxious dog, and always has been despite our relatively low-key lifestyle. I’ve begun to suspect that her gulping (and the gastrointestinal issues that accompany these instances) are in some way related to her anxiety. The last two episodes (back in April 7th when I last posted, and again a few days later) occurred following some high-stress situations. I would normally attribute these incidents to coincidence, but I began to think back to previous bouts of gulping over the last year or so. I recall that the majority of her gulping issues were preceded by a particularly stressful situation. For instance, we took her with us on an overnight stay back in February, and because we couldn’t bring her with us at all times, there were times where she’d need to stay in the hotel room. In hindsight, I suspect that our decision to bring her into an unfamiliar setting, crate her, and then immediately leave was not the smartest, but I had no idea it would have such a traumatic effect on her. We were only gone for an hour or so, and when we returned, I immediately noticed the dreaded gulping, and just overall extremely anxious behavior. As with all previous episodes, this one resolved itself in about 24 hours, but I felt guilty during the entire overnight stay. In April, when we began removing everything off the walls and packing in anticipation of moving, Lilo again began to display signs of anxiety and ultimately, gulping (along with everything else that comes along with it: licking the carpet, pacing, devouring grass, panting, etc.). A few days later, we were the victims of an unfortunate car break-in at our apartment complex, and my fiance was of course, extremely angered by this when he found out and Lilo picked up on this. I should mention, she is incredibly sensitive to our voices – if we speak in even a slightly perturbed or anxious tone, she bolts and hides and we often have to coax her back out. It’s very strange, but even when we’re having a normal or semi-serious chat about something, she mistakes it for us being upset, and hides. So naturally, when one of us is actually upset or stressed out about something, she freaks out. We try our best to be mindful of our tone when she’s around. It sounds silly, but we definitely don’t want to stress her out if we can help it. It’s a very agreeable household around here 😉 But in all seriousness, I’ve been able to link almost every gulping episode to a “high-stress” situation, and am about 90% sure stress is the culprit.

    As for the remaining 10%, well, it could be any form of digestive upset. In the apartment complex we lived in previously, Lilo used to pick up all sorts of mysterious droppings and whatnot while we were out for a walk. Despite my efforts, she’s extremely quick, and if she wants something she’ll find a way to beat me to it. For example, goose/cat feces were a frequent occurrence, which may have caused significant digestive upset and acid reflux. Now that we’ve been in our new house, she has her own yard to frolic in, and of course we keep it very clean. Again, it may be a coincidence, but I think it’s worth taking into account. Also, when we do try to administer Pepcid or Maalox to combat the supposed acid reflux, it does nothing to help, and in fact makes the situation worse because it gives Lilo diarrhea the following day. This led me to question whether the gulping was indeed caused by acid reflux, or whether it was a coping mechanism of her anxiety, which I’ve read can be a symptom.

    I’m a firm believer that you should ALWAYS consult your vet if you suspect anything may be seriously wrong with your beloved pet. We have done so on multiple occasions, but as the vets seemed to be convinced there weren’t any abnormal physical ailments affecting Lilo and causing her gulping/acid reflux, I’ve resorted to trying to pinpoint and connect these instances to emotional triggers. This is not to say that there isn’t an underlying cause buried deep down somewhere, but the overall inconsistency in their occurrence (anywhere from once a year to once a week) have me wondering if the cause is mental, not physical. She is incredibly healthy overall, and she eats high quality food. Regardless of the cause, vets do not seem to take this issue seriously, which is something that really bothers me. For those of you with extremely anxious dogs, this may be something to consider. I understand how awful it is for both human and dog to endure these episodes when they do happen, and the feeling of being helpless while your best friend ultimately suffers is indescribable. I hope these insights help!

    Vanessa C

    I’m confident my dog’s gulping issue was a seizure disorder. She has been on phenobarbital for about a month. The only time she has had an episode was when she didn’t get her pill–I found it on the floor later that day, she had spit it out. The episode that day confirmed the seizure diagnosis.
    It’s something to consider.

    Jennifer G

    Hello, I have a 9 year old boxer “Rosco” who started gulping (no vomitting unless its a hack up of bile) a couple of months ago. We treated initially with Prilosec which didn’t do much, then did a 2 week treatment of carafate and metoclopramide which we were only successful for 10 days and had to go out of town. He is raw fed (predatory raw so only meat) and we wondered if it was the new suppliers chicken blend (since he didn’t have a problem before) and possibly it was fattier. So he went to chicken breast and we added some green beans for bulk. We tried to give him some rice or pasta per the vet but that destroyed him and caused bloody stool. Luckily I was able to get that under control quickly. Next was a probiotic and that did nothing so then we went to Kefir which seems to be best for him. So a month later he is on chicken breast, bone meal, green beans and kefir and still gulping (sometimes he has a very bad day of it and other times it can be 2 or 3 days of 2am bouts). He is on heart medication for cardiomyopathy and we did have him xrayed because we thought the sound was a cough but now we realize it is a side effect of the gulping. So his chest is clear, heart is fine, his diet has nearly no fat. He has no allergy symptoms. He has been on carafate and metoclopramide again for 10 days and had one bad 2am bout. Overall he is better but not well by any means. I was interested in the seizure possibility but he is not desperately hungry and the helicobacter seems like it would have caused much more severe issues with his poop. He did lose quite a sum of weight in the beginning but being on the chicken breast fixed that. I am being told to go for an endoscopy with a specialist but I worry that it will be all for nothing. Anyone dealt with this where it was unidagnosed and the dog got megaesophagus or worsened in condition over time? What options are there for all of us? Thanks in advance.


    Hi Bcnut,

    You make a good point about teaching a dog to chew. I tried teaching my boy with a bone once about 5 months ago but it did not go well and I gave up.

    So I went to ground bones. Although now he is becoming a better chewer I might try teaching him again. I noticed that on raw and or home cooked meals he is chewing his food. When I feed him his kibble meal a few times a week he goes back to gulping. This is one of the points that many raw feeders make, that dogs over time on raw begin to chew their food.

    In regards to plague I have read that dogs eating raw bones does help eliminate plague.
    I also must confess that I love brushing my dog’s teeth. It’s a bonding experience between my pup and I. I bring out the tooth brush and he comes running up to my lap. Plus it teaches him good mouth manners. He knows that I can stick my hands in his mouth and he won’t bite me. As a result of this I am very bias towards teeth brushing and always point people to brush their dog’s teeth.


    I am so thankful for this information all of you have shared!!! I have a boxer, Tigra who just started this about 3 months ago. She is not a rescue and has never known any trauma or abuse yet she has some anxiety and has developed fear of loud noises and thunder drives her on to my lap. I have another boxer who is a rescue and has none of this anxiety nor does she have the reflux issue yet is on the identical diet.

    I am hopeful since eliminating the Glucosamine treats and the Zukes training treats and the treats with salmon oil and all dairy, Tigra, is not showing signs of the gulping and gagging at all and it has been 2 weeks since I stopped all treats. She eats Great Life dry raw Chicken kibble with Coco Licious can food in morning and again in evening and nothing in between. I am keeping my fingers crossed. With all the environmental toxins we are all exposed to and god knows what is in dog food it is no wonder there are these mysterious conditions that vets have no idea how to treat. I am grateful for all of your experience and will continue to follow this thread and hopefully report good news down the line.

    Talei H

    Like so many of you, we’ve been dealing with infrequent episodes of what can only be described as “the gulps” in our 4.5 y/o Pembroke Welsh Corgi. The first time our Lilo experienced this awful ordeal, it occurred early in the morning before breakfast, and the severity of her symptoms sent me into a downright panic. I could tell she was beyond confused as well as to what was going on with her body, as if pleading with me to please help her. Believe me, I would have liked nothing more! She appeared to be swallowing/gulping very rapidly, almost in bursts, so my (very frightened) initial thought was that she had something lodged in her throat. I took her to the vet clinic as soon as they opened, but she did not display any symptoms once we were there. She is a highly anxious dog, and absolutely loathes going to the vet under any circumstances. After looking her over, the vet didn’t seem the least bit concerned, and when I tried to describe the symptoms, she looked at me as if I were out of my mind. Nevertheless, she attributed the behavior to allergens, and prescribed an antihistamine. I had a feeling seasonal allergies were not to blame, but seeing as the vet did not believe it to be anything serious (most likely because Lilo was suddently symptom free), I decided to give the antihistamine a try, and we left. Not surprisingly, this did not work, and Lilo’s “gulps” were worse than ever throughout the remainder of the day. I’m sure the stress and anxiety she experienced from our visit to the vet only aggravated things. She would, as most others have described, constantly pace around the room “vacuuming” our carpet and eating any type of debris she could find (dirt, dried up leaves, hair, etc), which she normally doesn’t do. The same applied when she’d be outside on a walk, “mowing the grass” if you will, which again, is very uncommon behavior for her. She became so fixated on this, that she wouldn’t look up when called and had no interest in playing ball, her absolute favorite past time. The next day, after a long night of worry and relatively no sleep, we decided to get a second opinion, and took her to a different veterinary clinic. This time around, the vet seemed much more thorough and concerned, regardless of the fact that again, Lilo wasn’t displaying any symptoms. She diagnosed it as acid reflux, and prescribed a medication equivalent to Pepto Bismol, which we were to add to Lilo’s food through a syringe. The next day, her symptoms cleared, and we were ecstatic!

    Fast forward 8 months, and the “gulps” began again around this past December. They have been reoccurring off and on since then – sometimes once a week, or once every two weeks lasting 24-48 hours. The multiple vets we’ve seen have not seen a reason to conduct tests at this point, so we decided to take some other steps at home to see if we couldn’t pinpoint the underlying cause. Before today’s episode, Lilo was eating Blue Buffalo Life Protection, so we switched her to the grain-free, higher protein BB Wilderness version as an experiment to see if it’d help. We were overjoyed to have gone almost 2 months without an episode, and thought for sure that it must have just been a grain allergy that she’d suddenly developed for some reason. Unfortunately, I’ve jinxed our luck because today, we’re experiencing another horrible episode of the “gulps.” It seems that we still haven’t quite figured things out, and as I’m sure all you fellow dog lovers can attest to, it’s so so painful to watch her experience this. I try to comfort her as best I can, and not to let her pick up on how upset this makes me, but it’s always difficult because I care about her, and just want her to enjoy life and be comfortable, not panicked and miserable. Especially not so often…

    Thank you all so much for the advice you’ve provided on this forum. We are considering taking a few of these ideas to our vet, and if absolutely possible, perhaps performing an endoscopy (with biopsies, as suggested above). We simply don’t want her to go through this anymore, and if it’s preventable/treatable, we want to do everything we can. I have not tried Gas-X or Pepcid complete, as I’m always a little hesitant to administer drugs that are not intended for dogs. But I’ve now heard from several sources (vets included) that it’s fine, and it seems many of you have had some success with them, so I will consider trying one of those OTC remedies before resorting to costly and invasive tests. If anything changes, I will certainly keep everyone posted!

    Cristi C

    I have a cat with this problem, not a dog–but cats and dogs are more alike than different. Here is her story. She began vomiting rather frequently, then began gulping so hard that we had to keep from touching her, because any purring would make her gulp even worse. Then the focal seizures began: her face, then her whole head, then her upper legs. Then she started losing her fur. The poor thing was half-naked before I figured out that I had changed her litter to a litter made of corn. I changed it to clay litter, then removed all corn from her diet–a difficult proposition, because corn or corn products seem to be in nearly everything. She began growing her fur back, but the rest didn’t improve. We got rid of all grains, and she improved a little more but not much. We discovered that some of the expensive, high-end “healthy” canned food we had been driven to find for her made her worse and some didn’t. That was when we finally figured out, by process of elimination, that not only had she become allergic to corn and then all grains, she was reacting to carageenan, which is in nearly all wet products as well as many dairy products. Carageenan is extracted from seaweed and used in nearly everything these days to impart “creaminess” and a smooth, gelled texture. It’s also a known intestinal irritant for some people. Fortunately, pet food manufacturers show it in their list on ingredients. After we had removed all carageenan from her diet, she finally began to heal. It has been a long, slow process of healing: it didn’t happen overnight. Every now and then she vomits, gulps, and has little seizures, but they are not nearly as violent as they once were, and she has longer periods of wellness in-between. She is almost normal now. There is one last chemical that we can remove from her diet if necessary: potassium chloride. It, too, shows up in most pet foods (because it’s cheap) and is an intestinal irritant. We’ll see if that becomes necessary. Right now there is only one dry food in existence that she can eat and one brand of wet food (but only 4 of the varieties offered by that brand). And she is allowed no dairy.
    The intestines are incredibly important to health–for all species. The intestines are there to absorb nutrients and water. They also have a role in making nutrients, as well as a role in the immune system. Without healthy intestines, people–and animals–can become very sick indeed, including signs of malnutrition and allergies. Seizures, of course, can be the result of missing nutrients, as can eating bizarre things. Gulping, swallowing, and vomiting are all signs of a distressed gastrointestinal system.
    Carageenan may well have been the irritant that started all this, gradually sensitizing her to more products as the years went by. We feel terrible about this–but even our phenomenally good vet had no idea: she had never heard of carageenan being a problem.
    I’m sorry I haven’t said anything until now. I tried numerous times and had no idea that answering the emails I was getting from this site would just take my posts into an Internet black-hole.
    I hope it helps.

    gina m

    It’s been more than a year ago that i posted on here regarding my terrier mix Dolly’s gulping. I don’t know what we did but she stopped having her panic/gulping/eating grass frenzy. We still don’t know what was the issue but i wanted to post what we did.

    Dolly is 8 years old and we adopted her along with her brother a year and a half ago. She came with the gulping issue and super allergic to seasonal pollen and allergic to any bug bites (ticks, flea, mosquito, etc). Her teeth were ground down and causing irritation so some of her teeth had to be removed. She had a few lumps on her body which one was cancerous so we’re glad we were proactive and removed it.

    After all these issues: we stopped giving her any chicken, beef, pork (mass produced meat) but stuck with venison & rabbit wet food – Royal Canin from the vet, and anchovy dry food from Forza. Additional supplements of enzyme and probiotic. Cosequin for her joints. Famotidine for heart burns (though i’m thinking of stop giving this to her to see if she still needs this daily). Zyrtec in the morning and Benadryl at night for her allergy. We give her Sentinel and Bravecto for fleas and ticks and heart worm. And we shampoo her once a week.

    After continuing this for a year, her gulping has stopped since last summer. A small gulping happened few weeks ago but I realized we gave her a lot of cheese the day before (she loves cheese) so no more cheese for her. I think dairy might be causing it as well, as I remember giving her yogurt thinking that it will help with the gulping but may have been causing it.

    Hope this helps someone or gave them a clue for a cure.

    Dennis M

    Hi Vanessa,

    Thanks for your post. Long story short, since we weren’t getting anywhere with our regular vet, whom we really do like, I took our boy into a neurologist today. Based on physical exam, watching a video of an episode I taped, and a lengthy question and answer session, including the fact that all the GI meds made no difference, the official diagnosis was partial complex seizure. I felt somewhat vindicated, as I slowly started to lean that direction over the past year or so, since I read an online post of this diagnosis in another dog. Partial complex seizures don’t mainfest the same way in all dogs — our boy happens to be the rapid swallowing and gulping, and looking for things to eat. We did not do an MRI or electro-something as the Dr didn’t feel they would yield anything. In the Dr’s 40 years of practice, he’s only seen this swallowing disorder a dozen or so times, so it’s pretty rare — but not unheard of! He most recently successfully treated a dog with the same issue — seizures went from several times a week, to a couple times a year.

    So leaving the office I felt mixed emotions — hopeful — that maybe after 8+ years, we’ve finally found the answer. Sadness, that I felt like I’ve let my dog down all that time. But I have died trying! My advice to everyone who has this issue — trust your instinct. You are your fur-kid’s best advocate. If GI meds are not working, and your pet’s behavior fits this description, it’s worth investigating with a neurologist. General vets can be wonderful, but they don’t have the knowledge or clinical practice that a neuro has. My personal opinion, is that all these fur-kids struggling with seemingly seizure disorders might have a link to either vaccines and/or monthly flea/tick products. From everything I’ve read, we sometimes over-vaccinate, and I don’t want to put toxic pesticides on my dog, if it’s harmful to my own skin. So a couple years ago, we went natural with those things. Diatomaceous Earth and sprays to keep bugs off him. Again, just my personal feeling.

    I’ll conclude with treatment regimen. We got a prescrption for Levetiracetum (Keppra) extended release. It has less side-effects than phenobarbital, but is slightly less effective, especially over the long-term. But better to start with the least side-effect option, especially for an older dog. The “trial” is 6-9 months and we need to continue to monitor and track. If that doesn’t work, we could then go to phenobarbital, which I am concerned about. Alters personality for a couple months until the body adjusts. So have some real thinking to do, but feel like we finally have some answers. I’ll re-post with any developments. Please let me know if you have questions. Best to you all!

    Vanessa C

    Dennis, the symptoms you describe are exactly like the ones I’m experiencing with my 7 year old Doberman. I have also tried various GI meds (cerenia, famotidine, Pepto, sucrulfate), with no improvement. She’s been having an ongoing episode since last night, and has tried to eat my carpet, my ponytail, a fuzzy blanket. And she’s will not stop licking and retching. I finally brought her to the vet tonight and requested that she is treated for seizure disorder. We did baseline bloodwork, and gave her an injection of phenobarbital and she has been prescribed a month supply. She stopped gulping after the injection, we took a nap. When she woke up she gulped a few times, but it did not persist. I guess I’ll see how it goes. Sometimes it’s difficult to tell what is working, as the episodes seem so random–she may not have one for a month or so, then she’ll have a few in a row. I hope it works—my carpet is destroyed, and I’m worried she’ll become obstructed, or bloat as a side effect of her episodes.

    Dennis M

    Hello All,

    We have an 11-year old Wheaten Terrier who has struggled with fits of gulping/rapid swallowing “episodes” since he was a year or so old. I have read more and more of folks saying their vets are diagnosing this condition as “complex partial seizures” or “limbic seizures.” Something that causes a rapid — seemingly involuntary — swallowing. But he always remains conscious — buy clingy. It can happen weeks apart, or a few months apart, but always several times a year. And when it starts, it continues overnight (he doesn’t sleep) and into a second or even third day, gradually dissipating. He swallows so hard (in rapid succession) that his neck/head lurches forward a little bit each time — almost like a hiccup. Our vet and GI specialist we saw were convinced he has IBS / reflux issues and we’ve tried all sorts of remedies around that diagnosis, but nothing seems to help. They’ve never seen him do it in person, but have seen a video of him doing it. Our regular vet is perplexed, but initially suspected reflux. The specialist indicated food allergies, but doesn’t make sense if he eats the same thing each day, and fully recovers on the same food that purportedly causes the issue. We never did a scope, because we kept searching for answers around food and reflux meds. And some years, its only happened a few times. Here are the reasons we are leaning toward seizure (from putting pieces together) and not reflux: happens on all sorts of food brands (high quality), protein sources, canned and kibble; totally random; happens even feeding three small meals; two Pepcids given before each meal doesn’t prevent, nor does Pepcid, Cerenia (anti-nausea), or Sucralfate (Carafate — a anti-ulcer drug) combination help to prevent, stop or shorten an episode once its begun. We immediately withhold meals during an episode and give him the above meds — but he still continues to swallow/gulp and not sleep all night. We ask ourselves if reflux/GI related why wouldn’t these meds help within a few hours?

    He really doesn’t have any diarrhea or straight vomiting issues. Maybe once or twice a year, he might vomit out of the blue, but it does NOT involve a gulping episode – so it seems gulping and vomiting are not the same. Simply being nauseous shouldn’t cause the involuntary rapid-fire swallowing and licking we see. Reflux would cause burning sensation and discomfort up into the esophagus, but again, if a double dose of Pepcid does nothing, I again lean towards seizure. As one member wrote — it’s so true — it seems like it’s something happening to them they can’t control, even though they are fully conscious.

    Can anyone say if they’ve had success treating as a seizure? How or what tests did your vet do to make this diagnosis? What seizure meds have been used and any bad side effects? We’d be the happiest parents in the world if we could finally solve this mystery — and educate others having the same problem! Thanks so much!

    Dennis M

    Hello All,
    We have an 11-year old Wheaten Terrier who has struggled with fits of gulping/rapid swallowing since he was a year or so old. I have read more and more of folks saying their vets are diagnosing this condition as “complex partial seizures” or “limbic seizures.” Something that causes a rapid — almost involuntary — swallowing. But he always remains conscious — buy clingy. It can happen weeks apart, or a few months apart, but always several times a year. And when it starts, it continues overnight (he doesn’t sleep) and into a second or even third day, gradually dissipating. He swallows so hard that his neck/head lurches forward a little bit each time — almost like a hiccup. Our vet and GI specialist we saw were convinced he has IBS / reflux issues and we’ve tried all sorts of remedies around that diagnosis, but nothing seems to help. The specialist indicated food allergies, but doesn’t make sense if he eats the same thing each day, and fully recovers on the same food that purportedly causes the issue. Here are the reasons we are leaning toward seizure (from putting pieces together) and not reflux: happens on all sorts of food brands (high quality), protein sources, canned and kibble; totally random; happens even feeding three small meals; two Pepcids given before each meal doesn’t prevent, nor does Pepcid, Cerenia (anti-nausea), or Sucralfate (Carafate — a anti-ulcer drug) combination help to prevent, stop or shorten an episode once its begun. We immediately withhold meals during an episode and give him the above meds — but he still continues to swallow/gulp and not sleep all night. We ask ourselves if reflux/GI related why wouldn’t these meds help within a few hours?

    He really doesn’t have any diarrhea or straight vomiting issues. Maybe once or twice a year, he might vomit out of the blue, but it does NOT involve a gulping episode – so it seems gulping and vomiting are not the same. Simply being nauseous shouldn’t cause the involuntary rapid-fire swallowing and licking we see. Reflux would cause burning sensation and discomfort up into the esophagus, but again, if a double dose of Pepcid does nothing, I again lean towards seizure. As one member wrote — it’s so true — it seems like it’s something happening to them they can’t control, even though they are fully conscious.

    Can anyone say if they’ve had success treating as a seizure? How or what tests did your vet do to make this diagnosis? What seizure meds have been used and any bad side effects? We’d be the happiest parents in the world if we could finally solve this mystery — and educate others having the same problem! Thanks so much!

    Daisy D

    Jumping in on this thread too.
    Almost-7-year-old French Bulldog female, mild allergies, anxious nature, fed Ziwipeak lamb for about 5 years.
    Acid reflux symptoms since November last year. Abdominal ultrasound clear, fecal test clear. No blood work or endoscopy done yet.
    She’s tried ranitidine and Omeprazole – along with metronidazole, as aswell as the reflux problems, she started straining to poop/not pooping regularly, and were loose. Went off her food almost totally, only taken small amounts of cooked chicken.
    She had a terrible time January as got an eye ulcer NYE, which meant multiple vet strips and she extremely phobic, couldn’t tell if any antacid meds were working as she was super stressed her body just kind of went “arghhh”.
    Since the eye ulcer started healing (finally) she was perking up a bit on no medication (just a bland diet of chicken and sweet potato). then she relapsed with the GERD symptoms again, so we tried her on omeprazole once more as didn’t feel we’d given it a fair shot in the midst of her multiple problems. She perked up on it after a day, and we had a solid good week, her appetite returned, and she was more waggy and happy. She was also on metronidazole this whole time – which stopped last Friday. On Sunday she spent the whole day, 7 hours shaking with nausea and gulping. Next day she was OK, but again today we got up and she was shaking, panting, gulping hard.
    She’s calmed down midday, slept, then woken up again gulping and licking. She’s now sleeping on and off.
    My vet is great but only works 3 half days a week – nightmare. I spoke to a different vet at the practice on the phone who is putting up more metronidazole as she figures it’s the only thing that’s changed recently.
    Really feels like we’re going backwards – should I be requesting an endoscopy? She is so vet phobic it’s a real concern to put her under general anesthetic, as well as being bracycephalic.

    Our problems are spanning three months now, but before this she had regurgitation problems, would throw up water after drinking too quickly/ throw up if excited etc. She’s a very anxious dog and since being ill this time around her separation anxiety has got quite bad and i’ not able to leave her alone for long at all, which i’m sure is adding to it. Even when i’m home she’s panicy at the smallest sounds, and when walking she’s so unsettled, looking this way and that constantly.


    In reply to: Vomiting Shih Tzu

    Daisy D

    Hi RebeccaRose, and Susan, thank you both for sharing your experiences. I came across this post while doing my own research into what is happening with my own dog. My almost-7-year-old female French Bulldog has always been what I would describe as a sicky dog. She has always regurgitated water if she drinks too fast, too much – and would often regurgitate food too.

    I tried her on a RAW diet which didn’t suit her, she would regurgitate after every meal. We settled on Ziwipeak lamb which suited her well for years. November last year her vomiting and regurgitating increased to daily episodes, along with some mild exercise intolerance, and also increased coughing.

    She’s always had a wet cough on and off since I got her aged 1. Vets did all sorts of tests and couldn’t find out what it was from, it lead to her having soft palette surgery and her tonsils out, she’s also been on various antihistamines and more recently appoquel for allergies, assuming it’s from allergies.

    I’m wondering if she’s actually had this GERD problem the whole time. My vets suspected GERD last November as Roxy’s had vomited bile unexpectedly (and through her nose) on three occasions in the morning, a few weeks apart. They put her on Zantac and metronidazole but she unfortunately got an eye ulcer NYE which caused her lots of pain and stress, (she’s highly vet phobic).

    IT seemed like nothing was working, she would be lethargic, and clearly feeling sick every day – often running about desperately wanting to eat grass. Squeely sounding stomach, not eating etc. Sometimes would vomit, but mostly the hard gulping coughing and gagging – when it was really bad she would shake for around 6 hours at a time.

    The vet did an abdominal ultra sound, everything was clear apart from slightly enlarged spleen (they say common with the sedatives). She was also clear for a fecal test.

    We haven’t done blood tests as my vet thinks they would be a waste of money – should we consider this? Everything is telling me she will need the endoscopy and biopsies, but am so worried to put her under general anesthetic being a brachycephalic breed and vet phobic to the point it makes her ill.

    Two weeks ago the vet prescribed Omeprazole and she was doing great on it, got her appetite back and was waggy again. They kept her on the metronidazole too while her eye ulcer was healing so as not to change too much as once. But this finished on Friday. On Sunday she relapsed and spent the whole day and night shaking, feeling awful.

    She picked up the next day and was back to her ‘almost’ usual self, but then today she woke up and I knew she was going to be ill – she’s been shaking and panting since this morning, but is just sleeping quietly now.

    MY vet is great, but only works three half days a week at the practice, meaning I sometimes have to wait days to get her on the phone. Today I spoke over the phone to a difference vet who would like to put her back on the metronidazole as it’s the only thing that’s changed since she was doing OK. I pick it up later. Roxy has always been a really anxious dog, and her separation anxiety has got worse since she’s been sick – and i’m sure when she’s been under stress it’s making the nausea worse too.

    I’m very aware that both metronidazole and omeprazole are not great long-term options, should I be pushing for a referral for the endoscopy?

    Jesse M

    First – thank you to everyone who has shared their story! This forum provided us with a great collection of tips and tricks. Our dog is a 6 year old hound/lab mix who has had the exact same issue so many of you described here – frantic gulping, licking the air, trying to eat ANYTHING (and normally never bothers things she shouldn’t), and just generally panicking. It seems like this happens in the morning or around bedtime.

    The first episode occurred about 3 years ago and on average happened 1 time per year. However, in the last month it has happened at least once a week, sometimes more. Nothing changed in her food or routine that we can determine to cause that shift. My best guess is that she is just getting older.

    The worst was an all night issue – after which we took her to the vet. He didn’t seem to have much to offer in terms of an explanation but did give us sucralfate, which seems like it helps somewhat during episodes. He also recommended Pepcid AC. Of course, I wanted more answers and came across this forum. From some of your recommendations, we started feeding 4 small meals per day, and 10mg of Pepcid AC Complete (recommended by someone here since the Complete version has Magnesium). Four days went by without issue, but yesterday she didn’t get her small meals (only two normal) and started to have an episode about 9:45pm. I first gave her the sucralfate and then as someone else said here, I was able to convince her to eat some kibble out of my hands (around three handfuls) and it helped IMMEDIATELY. I then gave her a small amount in her bowl which she ate right away and seemed completely fine after.

    I just wanted to thank everyone and share our own story as well.

    It really does seem to be a stomach acid issue? Does anyone have a recommendation for a timed feeder so I can ensure she gets her small meals throughout the day?

    Also – in terms of the Pepcid, when should I give that to her? I am currently including it in her food but I’m not sure if I should aim to give her that not with a meal.

    • This reply was modified 6 years, 7 months ago by Jesse M.
    Janet Q

    Hello, I am new to the group here. Thank you everyone for all this info. I am taking notes now as my rescue dog SASHA from Mississippi has this problem. We got her 7 months ago. She is an English Shepherd/Great Pyrenese mix supposedly. She is 7 yrs old. She looked perfectly healthy when we adopted her other than a lick granuloma on a paw. She did have a lot of fears we were told. She is very afraid of people and cars and noises. She walks in the woods fine. She seems to scratch quite a bit so we started her on Benadryl , then cetrizine, now Chlorpheneramine.

    Her first Licky/Gulpy Episode was in September. She just had her 8th one tonight. I give her Acepromazine immediately now and it seems to help her. The last 2 episodes only lasted an hour or 2 and she wasn’t totally frantic. The other episodes lasted 3-4 hours and she would vomit halfway through.

    She went 3 months without an episode and started up again on Dec 17.

    When she starts the episodes she just suddenly starts licking anything like the floor, comforters, carpets. Then starts gulping and gagging. I have slept in bed with her with her leash in my hand so I would know if she jumped off the bed to lick the floor or started licking the comforter again.

    She really seems to be even more afraid of noises when she is going through these episodes. Any creak in the house, or noise from a cat jumping off furniture down the hall etc. She will just have a horrified look on her face.

    I have read about gastritis and that it can be caused from ingesting fur. She licks quite a bit like OCD and she did have that lick granuloma when we got her. She tore up 3 sets of King sheets when I first got her also and recently shredded a pillowcase while I was home doing dishes.

    So I am thinking of finding a specialist near me to have the scope procedure done to check out her esophagus for damage.

    I also have her on sucralfate, benadryl, chlropheniramine, composure treats, Lean Treats by Purina, Dasaquin.

    She was on a probiotic for a few months and I didn’t refill it.

    Her food is Taste of The Wild Salmon, mixed with a little JM by purina and a few spoons of canned Purina Adult Chicken and Rice.

    I try to walk her each day on a 20 foot leash so she can run a bit.

    Thankyou again for all these posts as I a have never had this problem with a dog before.
    I will let you know what I find that works.


    Hi Crystal, my Patch had the gulping, vomiting & he grinded his teeth… its acid reflux coming up into his throat, change diet, lower the fat & try not to feed kibble, home cooked is best for this even if 1 meal is cooked & the other meal is wet tin food, a low fat tin food… over the 2 years, I have found kibble makes it worse & treats especially if the treats are high in fat….. fat in a kibble should be around 10%, fat in wet tin food 3% fat & under… I’ve been cooking, lean white meats, chicken, pork & fish & I add sweet potatoes, Oh I don’t feed all these meats at once, separate meals…. 3 small meals a day..

    I would be seeing a vet, ASAP, it only cost about $60 for a vet visit & some answers & a script for medications, some vets will write you a script that you take to a chemist & its cheaper, after trying natural remedies & nothing worked for Patch, Patch had an Endoscope & Biopsies done, make sure the vet does the biopsies, when the vet looked at Patches stomach everything looked fine BUT the biopsies results showed Helicobacter-Pylori & IBD The Helicobacter-Pylori makes the acid reflux worse & ant acids don’t work & medications are needed, Metronidazole, Amoxicillin & Zantac & change of diet, Gluten free & no sugar carbs……in the mean time give him some Pepto or Mylanta about 3-4mls to relieve this 20mins before his meals, its not nice to have, he may also have ulcers depends how long he has had this problem, the acid burns the stomach & you get stomach ulcers that can bleed, vet will give ant acid medication like {Famotidine- Pepcid} or {Ranitidine-Zantac} or {Prilosec- Omeprazole} to relieve his symptoms…

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