Dog gulping and swallowing

Dog Food Advisor Forums Diet and Health Dog gulping and swallowing

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  • #24786 Report Abuse

    Hello! I’ll apologize in advance for the length of this post.

    We adopted an Australian Cattle Dog (Quincy) at the end of July. He is a year-and-a-half old neutered male, and we were told he was given up due to not being housebroken. I am beginning to suspect that the real reason may have be what I can only describe as his gulping disorder.

    For the first two weeks at home he was totally fine. We switched him from Science Diet to Merrick Lamb and Rice, which he gets twice a day. We did have to board him about two weeks after adopting him due to a family wedding, and it was after this that he started his first episode of gulping/swallowing. Usually at night, he will begin frantically swallowing and gulping. Quincy will frantically search the house for carpet fibers to pull up, and will eventually vomit and then re-eat his food if we don’t get to it in time. This went on for about a week the first time – we brought him to the vet, they said he looked fine, and that it was probably just all the changes in his life. I did give him a gas-x one night, because he was swallowing so much air I was concerned about bloat. He ate some carpet this first time, when I fell asleep with him out of his kennel (he normally sleeps in bed with us, but when he is having these bouts I have learned to kennel him so that he can’t get into anything). He threw the carpet up about 3 days after that.

    At that point, we thought he just had a sensitive stomach. So, when we switched his food again (our other dog has an iron stomach, and had done well with us rotating food, so we already had a bag of grain-free salmon from Nutrisource), we weren’t all surprised when the symptoms started up again. This time I gave him a couple of doses of pepto-bismol to ease his tummy troubles, and about 6 days later he stopped vomiting. I should note – when he vomits, it seems associated with these bursts of gulping/swallowing/licking. I thought it was him having an upset stomach and panicking about it, but the vet thought it was odd that he is willing to eat his vomit right away, and that a nauseous dog wouldn’t do that? I am beginning to think that the actual issue is the gulping/swallowing, and the vomiting may be a side effect of that, rather than the other way around.

    I switched him to rice and boiled chicken, and he seemed to get better. We put him back on Merrick (chicken and rice this time, because they were out of lamb and rice), and he did fine for about a week. Then last week, he threw up again (he had had a minor bout of swallowing, but nothing like he normally gets). We fasted him for 36 hours, and brought him to the vet. Again, his stool and activity is normal. The vet gave him an anti-nausea shot, and sent us home with some anti-nausea pills and canned science diet ID (for gastro-intestinal health). He was fine for about 3 days, and then last night had one of his worst bouts of swallowing/gulping yet. He didn’t throw up at all (that I know of, I did fall asleep for a little while), but did try to eat a rope toy. I kenneled him for the night, and this morning he ate grass like crazy.

    His bouts tend to start at night when we’re going to bed, and he works himself up into a frenzy. Once it starts, it tends to last for multiple days, and kenneling him seems to work to calm him down a little. Our other dog (LoJack) has been totally fine through all of this. They are never outside without my supervision, and he doesn’t get human food (except for the two occasions he has stolen it off of the counter). I haven’t been feeding treats for a few weeks now, but tonight had to give him some zukes at training class. The only other thing would be that he did start HeartGuard and Frontline, but both of those started after his initial attacks. One last thing I should mention is that he plays a LOT with my other dog, and they usually wrestle and play tug of war every night before bed, but will often stop for >2 hours before going to bed. I haven’t felt like there was any correlation between them playing and one of these attacks. When we walk he is on a gentle leader or harness, but he is on his collar when on his tie-out in the yard. I remove the dog’s collars when they’re wrestling so that they don’t hurt each other.

    Has anyone dealt with similar symptoms? What did you do? My Internet searches have found that others have this issue but I haven’t found anyone who has solved it. We will probably do blood work and an X-ray next to rule out anything normal, but I want opinions from others on possible nutritional changes that could help. I refuse to switch to science diet unless I absolutely must. I’m considering trying raw, but currently scared of anything that might upset him, since I’ve been cleaning vomit for the past month it seems! I do natures variety raw with my cat, and our other dog has been on grain free nutrisource or merrick for the past year.

    Thanks for any advice, I appreciate it!

    #24809 Report Abuse

    First question. Do you feed at the same time every day? How many hours after feeding does this occur? Have you tried giving multiple small meals? This does sound like a digestion issue. He sounds like he is having some kind of stomach pain.

    Try multiple small meals. Try adding digestive enzymes to each meal. Try giving him a probiotic supplement. Try feeding at a different time. Try feeding at a time when he will not be able to play afterwards. Try adding water to his food. Try a grain free food.

    It may take some detective work to figure this out. Sorry I don’t have any definite answers.

    #24874 Report Abuse

    Can you video the gulping episode next time it happens? That might help the vet figure out whats happening.

    #24880 Report Abuse

    Thanks for the responses!

    We feed at about 6:45am and 6pm every day. They were on Merrick lamb and rice, but he is now on I/D canned food. It occurs about 4 hours after dinner, but again, not every night. And once it starts, he will do it during the day and all night as well, until he gets randomly better. We started a calendar now so I am keeping track of food, exercise and gulping and vomiting episodes to find a pattern.

    I will try your suggestions for sure, thanks!

    And I do have a video on my phone for our next vet visit, but I am first trying a strict week of the canned food with water to make it soupy, and nothing else. We will see how it goes.

    #24882 Report Abuse

    Hi Molzy,

    I don’t know if you came across this as possibly being a seizure disorder but I found a few references describing behavior like you are seeing that were diagnosed as a form of seizure. You may want to ask your vet about this.

    “Clinical signs commonly associated with sialadenosis included retching and gulping…… Response to treatment with phenobarbital was rapid, although most dogs required continuous treatment to prevent recurrence of clinical signs.”

    The dog’s pupils were dilated, and it protruded and retracted its tongue frequently while swallowing or gulping(“glugging”). The dog ingested clumps of hair and other debris lying on the floor and tore up and ingested a portion of the linoleum flooring in the kitchen.

    Bouts of the behavior had increased in frequency in the 2 months preceding examination and
    tended to occur in the evening….. provisional diagnosis of partial seizure disorder was made on the basis of the clinical signs.

    Hope this helps Good Luck

    #24892 Report Abuse

    Hi Molzy-
    Unfortunately, I do not have any advise for you. But, I’m really hoping that you find a solution. This dog is so lucky that your family rescued him. A lot of families probably would have returned him by now. I have no doubt that you will be successful at getting him better. I’m wishing you the best!

    #25047 Report Abuse

    Thanks for the advice everyone! So far he’s been ok on canned foot, I am currently working on switching him over to Chicken Soup cans, and if that works I will start considering raw.

    Aimee, I have heard that it may be seizure related, or allergy induced seizures. I will ask my vet about it. I’ve found I can talk him out of an attack if I catch him at the beginning. The wet diet seems to be helping a lot.

    Thanks again for your advice!

    #25084 Report Abuse

    Thanks for keeping us updated. Hope he continues to do well.

    #25591 Report Abuse

    Hi. Sadly, I know exactly what you are talking about. The wretching and gagging and swallowoing. It is the worst thing to watch. I’m lucky enough to live near a vet school. After thousands of dollars in tests, 5 different types of medicine and a prescription vet diet, I thought my lab mix was on the mend. Then it happened again one night after I saw sympotoms during the day for a few weeks previously. Very long story short (about 1.5 years of vet visits), the only thing that helped him was Chinese herbs. I went to a Comparative Medicine Dr at the vet school and she diagnosed him right away and tried acupuncture but said he needed too many sessions, it wasn’t feasible. She then prescribed him Chinese herbs in the form of teapills and he has not had another session (knock on wood!!!). The teapills started working in about one day. Every once in a while, we still deal with episodes of swallowing BUT nothing like what used to happen. It is pretty infrequent and manageable. He is still on a motility drug twice a day but the Dr hopes that we will get to the point, with the right diet, where we only manage flare ups and he isn’t regularly on any drug.
    This is the worst, most heart breaking thing to watch. Good luck to you. I’d get to a Chinese Med Dr asap.

    #25609 Report Abuse

    Thanks mmt. So, was your dog diagnosed with a specific condition? I live in a small town, and for the first time in 25 years I am not near a vet school. I don’t think my chances of finding a Chinese doctor around here are great, but I can try to bring him to one the next time I’m visiting my mom in the big city!

    The wet food appears to be helping for now. He did throw up once in the last week. Nottingham sure if he ate something I didn’t see or what. Otherwise we’ve only had some swallowing, no gulping.

    Sorry to hear you’ve been through this, it sucks watching them panic!

    #25621 Report Abuse

    Yes, he was diagnosed with Liver Qi Stagnation. I guess it’s common in people and pets and is commonly thought to be IBD. A natural medicine vet/acupuncturist might have some recommendations. I don’t think food is much of a player in getting this disease under control but who knows, maybe your dog has a different issue. I definitely would talk to a vet about trying Omeprazole (Prilosec) for general acid reduction. When they put a scope down my dog’s throat it was totally raw and burnt from acid reflux. I still use it sometimes when he seems to be swallowing more. Very best of luck to you!

    #25636 Report Abuse

    Thanks mmt. I’ll talk to my vet, we will probably be doing more testing if we can’t get it under control. So far, our vet hasn’t wanted to jump into all the tests simply because he’s trying to save us a little money, so we are taking it one step at a time. I do think it his has something to do with food, as he does have less episodes on canned food so far. Next steps will be trying dehydrated or raw food to try and nail down a fix.

    Thanks again!

    #25666 Report Abuse

    Molzy, it does sound to me like an acid stomach problem, but I’m not a vet….
    This site has some good supplements for acid stomach and digestion problems and some good articles, too. I have a dog that has allergies and has mild occurrences of licking, swallowing. I have used these supplements when that happens with success.

    #27323 Report Abuse

    Quick update. In the past month he has had two episodes. One was 10 days ago, when he managed to eat our other dogs vomit before we could get to him (have I mentioned that this dog will eat ANYTHING??). That episode lasted about 5 days, but it was not helped when he also was given free range to a pile of compost (friend said that the yard was dog proof, failing to mention that her dog ignores their open compost pile).

    Now this said, he also ate some turkey this past weekend without any ill effects (unless they are showing up 72 hours later). In the past, he has also gotten a granola bar and package of brat buns without any noticeable effects. This dog is extremely food motivated, and can jump onto the counter (all 4 feet) with ease. At home we don’t leave things on the counter anymore, but have run into trouble when traveling (finding stuff in the car, or surfing other people’s counters). We are learning to constantly supervise him, and all of these mishaps have been our fault for underestimating him!

    Anyways, Now tonight, he has been gulping again and threw up once. I am fairly certain he hasn’t gotten into anything, but he could possibly have eaten bird seed or cat litter while I showered this morning (both are behind a baby gate which he has proven he can easily jump over).

    Tomorrow I should be receiving a box of Honest Kitchen Keen and a bottle of slippery elm powder. I will update again in a few weeks with my results, just in case others with this issue are following this thread. We will also be calling the vet again tomorrow to get their opinion on what tests we should be running.

    I should mention, he’s been on chicken soup canned this whole month, with NaturVet enzymes. About 3 weeks ago I started adding 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to each can of food as well. I had stuck with two meals a day, but will be in increasing to three once I start the Honest Kitchen.

    • This reply was modified 10 years, 3 months ago by Molzy.
    • This reply was modified 10 years, 3 months ago by Molzy.
    #29924 Report Abuse

    My dog has had bouts of this too… frantically trying to get outside to eat grass until he threw up… gulping, bobbing, licking. First I found that it was primarily due to his collar. I removed it entirely and only use a harness. I know you said that you use a harness or gentle leader for walking but he wears a collar outside. Why don’t you try switching to a harness all of the time and see if you have any improvement? We have a cord (2 connected actually– you can get at home depot) that we have around a tree and connect it to his chest harness. That had the symptoms improve tremendously. It can also occur when he eats certain harder treats. I only give him soft chew treats and bully sticks now. The bully sticks don’t bother him. When he has an episode (which is very rare now), I give him a Pepcid once or twice a day with his food (for acid which can also irritate his trachea). My dog is about 45 pds so one tablet is his dose. Some dogs have very sensitive tracheas. If he had any damage to that area (choke collars, mean owners who pull by collar) or any hereditary condition, that may add to the problem. There is actually a Facebook page for Gulping Dogs! Not that much information, but you are not alone! Good luck!

    #30042 Report Abuse

    Thanks cbgmom! I switched him to his harness as soon as I saw this post two days ago (on my phone, which is why I didn’t reply then, sorry!). What do you feed your dog for his normal food?

    It’s so hard to tell what sets Quincy off. We were doing great for a few weeks (only mine episodes), and then early this week he had a particularly bad attack, throwing up multiple times one night. The Pepcid seems like it might be helping, hard to tell. Hopefully the harness will make a difference too. Poor guy hasn’t gotten treats in months now because I live in fear of setting off an attack, but I have decided to try some freeze dried beef this weekend.

    My vet doesn’t take me seriously about it, since he has no other symptoms and has yet to gulp at the vets. I guess I’m thankful to not be spending my WHOLE paycheck at the vets (our other dog has had two surgeries in the past two weeks for entropion, and then again when he ripped his surgical site open), but it kills me to watch him when he starts panicking!

    I’ll try the harness for now, please share any other helpful hints! I joined the Facebook group a few months ago, but I couldn’t post to it? I sent a message and the went responded, but I would love to be able to contact all the members.

    #30093 Report Abuse

    Hi Molzy,

    Notice any changes with switching to a harness? May still be a little early — I hope it is helpful for Quincy. I don’t even have Casey wear a collar for his tags — they are all on his harness. The food I fed to him never irritated him, just the treats. Quincy seems to have more damage to either the trachea or esophagus (or whatever causes these unfortunate spasms). I fed him grain free kibble (alternated between Orijen, Taste of the Wild, etc) mixed with Kirkland’s premium wet. However, Casey has recently developed a series of other health concerns so I am transitioning him now to commercial raw. I am hoping to learn enough to go the homemade route but for now, that’s what I’ve been feeding. Honest Kitchen certainly seems like a very good food choice for Quincy especially considering you can make it pretty soupy if nec.

    I have not found a single person whose vet was able to diagnose this condition. Casey’s first attack was at 4 months and I ran over to the vet thinking he had something stuck in his throat. She insisted (even though my gut was telling me she was wrong and I told her as much) that frantic grass eating was nausea and he likely had something stuck in his stomach, even though it couldn’t be seen in an xray. $1,100 and an overnight stay for nothing. A few days later, I was walking him and my neighbor said, “I think that collar is bothering him” and I realized that may be the cause.

    I don’t have any other real hints except during vet appts., remind your vet and techs that he has some kind of real sensitivity around his trachea. Casey is feisty and they would restrain him around the head (as well as other areas), which is pretty common. One visit he was gulping for a month afterwards. Now I tell them not to hold him there.

    Anyway, keep me posted with how he is doing!

    #30111 Report Abuse


    I don’t think I can say yet, but I do think you’re on to something. My boyfriend has noticed that he’ll start gulping if he rests his head a certain way where his throat has pressure on it, I can’t believe I didn’t think to take the collar off sooner! I have him in the harness all the time now, no collar at all. Is there anything a vet can do for trachea damage? Quincy’s issues started after we adopted him and then had to board him, I know the humane society used a choke collar on him, and he is very afraid of the man we boarded him with (will NOT be going back there!), so who knows what happened at either of those places or in his previous home (where they claimed he wasn’t house trained because he’d go in the house if they didn’t let him out when he asked).

    I feel terrible, I just went to move him on the couch and didn’t think about it, and I think I caused a little attack by hitting his throat. I feel TERRIBLE, I have never noticed such a direct link before.

    Do you think there are long term more serious issues to consider with this? Sorry for all the questions!

    #30124 Report Abuse

    Unfortunately, I have yet to hear of any vet who has been able to diagnose this let alone treat it. I have heard of lots of people spending lots of $$ on testing only to show everything as normal. I’m sure there must be some vets out there who may be familiar with this — but I haven’t heard of one yet.

    I’m not even sure it is the trachea but it certainly seems to be something in that area and I know many dogs and specific breeds have sensitive tracheas. It isn’t collapsed trachea but I would sort of treat it as such.

    To start, maybe try to strengthen his body with supplements: an anti-inflammatory as well as a cartilage and connective tissue support (with glucosamine and chondroitin). That might be a start?

    I don’t know if there would be any long term consequences. You just took his collar off so he needs some time to heal. Hopefully, he hasn’t had any permanent injury but certainly time will tell. I do believe you are on the right track now!

    No apologies! I hope he is OK. It is very upsetting to watch… they do seem frantic and scared while they go through it. 🙁

    #30142 Report Abuse

    Molzy, you said he was adopted then was fine for the FIRST TWO WEEKS..Then boarded and then developed the issue? So he is probably confused with his home and family? Sounds like anxiety, the changing of homes and medicines confuse the dog…could be some nausea/stomach acid but I think it might be psychological…

    If all tests are passed and clear, the licking and swallowing can be for a variety of reasons; my golden does this before he sleeps, after he eats, when he wakes up, usually 3-4 swallows. Dogs do this to for some or all of the following 1.) calm down for sleep 2.) relieve nausea 3.)relieve stomach upsets/acid 4.)dry throat 5.) anxiety 6.)serious ailment or blockage. If its not a serious physical ailment then dogs are similar to humans once they pick up a habit that they can use to help cope with life they will continue it.

    If they problem is from stomach acid and is diet related then try boiled rice, potatoes, with shredded chicken breast. Yams, celery, carrots, bananas and oatmeal seem to help too.

    If the problem is psychological, meaning for example, my dog got carsick and threw up, and then within a couple of weeks was attacked by 2 dogs and had someone in the family get hospitalized as well. This left him with extremely high anxiety on what was going on. So perhaps, this type of licking, swallowing is way for him to cope. But taking him for long walks throughout the day has made the situation better; introducing him to new scents. Next, he is a retriever, so taking him to play fetch at the beach reminded him of who he is and it seems to have calmed his night issues as I have a feeling he is waking up with nightmares and does a lot of this gulping.

    In short, physical activity is extremely important, they need to be active for hours throughout the day as opposed to traditionally just being in the house; this will make them stronger and settle their issues! If you need to hire a dog walker to help, you need to do it for the pooch! Good luck!

    #31475 Report Abuse

    I feel your pain LOL I thought I was alone 🙂

    My girl has had random episodes of this for about a year. It really is a really scary thing to watch my poor puppy do. She too gulps, Licks the floor, Tries to eat anything off the floor she can, Licks the air, Swallows hard Repeatedly…

    One time when I took her to an emergency vet for this he did an x-ray. I was worried she was bloating but the x-ray showed that the air was passing through. It also showed irritation in her duodenum.

    I saw a scope specialist a couple times and he suggested the cause is her having a mild tonsillitis flare-up that is provoked by allergies, she has seasonal allergies. He gave me Sulcrate Which coats the stomach And an anti-acid To give in combination. This seems to fix the problems for a little while. She was good for about six months until tonight. It seems like psychology has a major play in it, like she panics because of how she is feeling and gets “stuck”…the only thing that takes her mind off of it is if I walk her so I took her for a walk and I gave her the Sulcrate…hopefully it fixes it yet again…but the walking I cannot stress how much this seems to help. Not fast, just an easy walk to get things moving, it works for people too 😉

    The other suggestion he had is that this could also be either trachea irritation caused by stomach acid (I too use a harness as well, as she pulls really hard in a collar) or post nasal drip from her runny nose from allergies. But judging on experiences I would agree with him as I explained above…

    The pondering continues and I am glad to see this thread and hope all gulping pups get better soon 🙂

    #31753 Report Abuse

    Well…I have been at the same thing as Molzy for the past almost 2 yrs…

    I have a jack russell beagle mix. He is 5.5 yrs old. He was over weight , not anymore considering the circumstances….He went from 17 lbs when we got him to 27.5 lbs at highest and last yr this time was at 17, today he is at 21. Gulping has been going on so long I can’t remember when it started. He has had blood tests, xrays, barium xray, several meds for worming, He had an upper endoscopy…all leads us to nothing. So he was put on prilosec last Spetember (’13) and metoclopromide 3 xs a day. Ok…so he was being examined for all of these…worms, mega esophagus, pyloric stenosis, reverse sneezing, bloat, acid reflux, collapsed trachea…post nasal drip, and all the stuff everyone else has said here…He has none of that. He used to eat kibble, Canadae. Our other dogs eat that. We switched everyone last spring, summer to Taste of the Wild. Mind you all along I am continuing treating for all the other ailments…so his kibble would get crushed by me and wetted into a paste and a kong goes in his bowl to slow him down. He was on Purina EN for some time and that was when he lost weight. I made rice and fish and carrots and sweet potatoes and rice and veggies and dog food from our local butcher shop that is all hormone antibiotic free…then since he was doing so good we eased into taste of the wild…well that gets expensive with 4 dogs and feeding everyone seperate isn’t an option. So we went back to Canadae maybe a month or two ago…we are on our 3rd bag of it I think…And January 8th and January 10th my husband and I got NO sleep what so ever. Last night he gulped and filled with gas so bad I thought I was going to have to rush him to the pet er…No, he threw up, just like he did on the 8th right around 5 am. Last night it was barf at 4 then back to bed to sleep and he was all gurgly and snoring and I just wanted 1 hour of sleep…I moved him. Shouldn’t have done that, it sparked another episode. This is all so in such a small nutshell what I am writing, but today I took him to another local regualr vet office for just a 3rd pair of eyes to see what she thought. She thinks it’s digestive, perhaps a food allergy, something similar to celiac…Told me whe would show my video to the other vets in the practice and get back to me. Suggested I take him to Cornell, the Veterinary School. He could see more specialists there than at the local office with 1 specialist since she felt what was wrong with my dog is so rare. Rare until you research it and find all these people having the same problem…WHY is it only at night? He has little spats in the day sometimes but most of the action is at night. Why do none of have any REAL answers? What is in the kibble that we feed our dogs? I did some research a while back and I could go find the link and post them if you are interested but you have probably already seen them, about kibble and how people had this issue during the major dogfood recalls….a few years back…That spawned a TON of gulping and posts everywhere. I do not think this is partial seizures…The more i read and the more I talk to vets, I think it’s the food. I cannot feed him a raw diet, I can feed him partially cooked and plain food like I have in the past, I think the limited ingredient food is good for a short time. In the mean time I am going to have to come up with a fund raising campaign to take him to Cornell, because I have spent over $2000 as of the end of 2013 on this issue. I LOVE him dearly but I cannot spend anymore or charge anymore. I am getting nowhere, and I am so tired, literally. I don’t know what else to do…He is getting a new probiotic tonight and for food we are doing quinoa and salmon for a while. He will get NO chicken for a long time. Back to the butcher shop food after the salmon. So…I also got him some tramidole so he can sleep tonight and so can we…I will hang around here, it seems like a good place to bump ideas off of each other…I am interested in hearing more about the chinese medicine and will go back and read that posting more in depth tonight. It’s good to know we are not alone I guess. I am wondering is anyone has had ultrasounds or had their dog eat under fluoroscopy…those were suggested to me today along with a nutritionist and all these are available at the Vet College, for more than I can pay I am sure…lol

    Looking forward to staying in touch!
    PS my dog’s name is Doug…(love that boy)

    #32295 Report Abuse

    I signed up because I’ve been through this exact issue with my beloved basset hound, and I think I have a handle on it.

    His episodes began at about 1 year of age, and would happen seemingly at random, sometimes every few days, other times weeks apart. The first time it happened was pretty terrifying, and after a late night emergency vet visit and $500 later, I didn’t feel any better informed than when I started.

    Eventually I stumbled across a forum post where it was suggested that in some dogs an empty stomach can lead to overproduction of stomach acid, which causes stomach discomfort and irritation of the esophagus.

    What has worked wonders for Patton (my basset) has been to make sure he never goes too long without eating something. We’ve settled into a pretty good schedule of normal meals for breakfast and dinner, with a couple additional small snack-sized meals at night.

    It goes like this (all dry food):

    7:30 am – 1 cup
    5:30 pm – 1 cup
    9 pm – 1/3 – 1/2 cup
    10pm to midnight (just before bed) – 1/8 – 1/4 cup

    This has pretty much completely cleared up the problem for Patton. I also keep 10mg famotidine tablets (Pepcid, but generic is much cheaper) on hand, and whenever he has an episode or seems gassy, he gets one. This is what the vet prescribed after his first visit, with an inconclusive diagnosis, so I know it’s safe to give him.

    In the last year and a half, he’s had maybe 3 or 4 episodes, and all I do is give him about a 1/2 cup of food and a Pepcid, and he’s back to normal within 10-15 minutes.

    I hope this helps. I know how scary this can be, and how helpless I felt to help my best friend.

    #32368 Report Abuse

    THANK YOU for all the comments – soooo helpful!!

    I adopted a 2 year old 40 pound cattledog last month and her gulping started two days after – with a violent episode late one night. Went to a vet the next day and he said symptoms may be kennel cough (she was a shelter dog so no doubt has that too). And no, she didn’t gulp for the vet so he probably thought new dog owner was crazy.

    Here’s what I’m doing and gauging it day by day:
    – slower meals – not giving it to her all at once and using the funky food bowl with the ridges (yes, time factor with work, ugh).
    -no dry kibble cause she seem to choke the pieces down (doesn’t chew – and yes, not great for the teeth and tartar but gulping is CRAZY to experience).
    -probiotic powder and sometimes canned pumpkin mixed in with food (settles the stomach).
    -started exercise right way (I think she was in shelters a long time. I’m a trail runner so got her on a routine fast. On days we workout, she seems much better than days we just do short walks. But yes, realize not everyone can do this in winter).
    -got the Chinese tea pills after reading this post! Ha, not sure if these are the same pills used in this post but they are used to balance the stomach, basically making things right internally (and that’s what we want after 7 p.m., omg). This Dr has an alternative medicine/acupuncture place down the street and I called him at 10 p.m. during the 2nd episode. He came over on his bicycle in 10 mins with the pills! Again, have no idea here and giving it in limited doses as I’m not quite sure about it all.
    — giving her love and reassurance all the time in case it is an emotional security thing.
    –watching her with an eagle eye when we are outside – if I glance away for a nano second, I am pulling things out of her mouth/throat!

    She still gulps a few days a week but it is more of a repeated swallowing thing (still odd though and not relaxing to watch). But not violent like it was.

    Thanks again for the great tips!

    #32583 Report Abuse

    My dog was having really bad bouts of wanting to go outside and eat grass and then would throw up. It was like the minute he saw the grass, he was obsessed with it. He would smack his lips and make a weird sound a few hours after eating like he was regurgitating. We also noticed that at night sometimes, he was panting. I did some research and found this article about acid reflux in dogs. I tried the acid stomach product along with the digestive relief and it really got rid of the grass eating and stomach noises. I also started feeding smaller meals a couple times a day, like you all suggested too. Hope this helps!

    #33080 Report Abuse

    Hallelujah! Other people with dogs with the same gulping/compulsion to eat grass, etc. I adopted a yellow lab 1.5 years ago. I am her fourth owner and I wonder now if this isn’t part of the reason her first two owners gave her up.

    Her first episode was a year ago, right after Christmas. She filled her stomach with fibers from carpets and then tried to eat every toxic plant in my back yard — sago palms, acorns. Then she ate half a lace shirt and the legs off a pair of pajamas.

    After a year in which I have learned to watch her carefully, I have concluded that there are both digestive and emotional components to this syndrome.

    1) Stress can set off one of these episodes.

    2) Digestive upset can set off stress and panic, which in turn sets off one of these episodes.

    3) Treating both her acid stomach, digestive sensitivity AND her stress reaction to these problems can stop an episode from getting so severe she needs medical treatment.

    The most effective thing has been to keep her on Prozac for her anxiety (you’d be anxious, too, if you kept getting given away!), a Prescription Diet for sensitive stomachs. And if she starts an episode, giving her a mix of valium-like medications (sorry, I forget the name of them — we just switched to a different mix).

    She just had her first episode in a long time last night, probably the result of eating a bird. Normally they don’t upset her stomach but she really snarfed this one down before I could get it away. She doesn’t look like she feels good, but she is not making it worse by eating the laundry and poisoning herself.

    (And yes, I ripped out all the poisonous plants in my back yard and replaced them with bamboo. Very, very expensive.)

    #33088 Report Abuse

    I’m so glad this discussion has so many contributors. Hopefully people are finding something that helps.

    I am the one that brought up the Chinese herbs. They aren’t working anymore. They were discontinued after a bad stretch, after Royal Canin decided to stop distributing a prescription food to a big chain. Thank you, RC. However, the vet I’m going to has some different herbs she would like to try.

    I just wanted to add that the drug Sucralfate has been extremely helpful. From what I understand it has antacid properties and coats ulcerations in the throat and stomach. It is a pill that you make a into a slushy liquid. It has been a huge help, lifesaver, really.

    We are trying acupuncture, again. Ugly side effects from the first treatment but are going to see if side effects lessen. It did work quite well once before. The vet, who knows Eastern and Western medicine, is hopeful. I’ve learned this is not going to go away but there are steps that can make it better, like the last contributor said. The other really helpful thing the vet told me is there is an acupressure point above the wrist (so 2 fingers above that big single top pad, on the arm). When I applied pressure to this, the results were pretty much instant. This was when stomach juices were violently trying to come up, over and over, terrible. So it was so fantastic to have something I could do to stop it, even if temporarily.

    To KHouston, does your dog do the gagging/wretching/pseudo vomiting or just eat things frantically. I haven’t heard of anti-anxiety drugs working but, duh, of course. And that poor dog, 4 owners!?

    It’s hard to read this thread because it makes me sad and upset reading your stories because I know how terrible it is. Good luck to everyone and thank you for not getting rid of your dogs due to this. 🙁

    #33185 Report Abuse

    Wow! Thanks for all the responses. Sorry I haven’t been responding, my internet at home was down, and I am not talented enough with my smartphone to respond on it, but I have been following all the wonderful information. But a quick overview of where we are at today – attacks are down to about once every two weeks, and I am able to keep them from escalating to vomiting by massaging his belly to push out any gas build up (meaning I am up every hour or so all night those nights). I am feeding him Honest Kitchen Keen, and he gets 2/3 of cup at 7am, 5-6pm, and 10-11pm. He doesn’t get any other treats or human food. I will try to reply to each post below:

    Cbgmom – So far we have been using the harness (and even taking that off when inside, since our home has double entries with a front porch and back mudroom so no risk of escaping). I think it *is* helping some, since he does still occasionally start an attack when he rests his head funny (so that something pushes on his throat).

    Billy – the boarding definitely was stressful for him, and I wish we hadn’t been forced to do that. However, I don’t think he is confused anymore, and certain other events (such as staying with my mom for almost a week) were not related with any sort of attack. They will often start at night while we’re watching TV and he is basically sleeping/resting, though once they start there is definitely a stress component. I don’t think it is a habitual thing, as he clearly gets freaked out when it happens and wants it to stop (not to anthropomorphize). We have tried boiled rice and chicken – did NOT go over well with him (he did not digest the rice at all, it came out the other end looking the same). Our best luck so far has been a wet diet (honest kitchen or canned dog food). I will definitely work in increasing his physical activity, been a hard winter here with wind chill advisories most weeks it seems, and he is not tolerant of the cold at all. Thanks for the advice!

    Bunny – the first time this happened, I definitely thought it was bloat!! I don’t think I slept at ALL that night, I gave him some gas-x and just laid next to him. I called the vet as soon as they opened the next morning, but since he was still eating and defecating they weren’t concerned. He has never had one of his episodes AT the clinic, and my vet is very unconcerned about whatever is wrong since he is otherwise healthy. We haven’t even done an endoscopy at this point.

    I have been considering post-nasal drip recently (Pepcid doesn’t seem to really help, so I don’t *think* it is completely related to reflux). However, he can also be triggered if his throat gets touched oddly, so I am leaning towards trachea damage. We adopted Quincy at the end of July – I know they used a choke chain at the shelter with him. However, he had NO issues for the first 10 days we had him, then I had to board him for 4 days due to a family wedding and it started after that. I will always wonder if something happened to him while he was boarding, as he is TERRIFIED of the guy we boarded him with (I took a training course there a few months later, and Quincy would hide under my chair from the guy, so we stopped going because he would force Quincy to let him pet him).

    I will try the walking, as I could see that helping. The best thing I have found so far is lying next to him and massaging his belly to push the gas out. I’ve been doing that for the past 6 weeks or so and have managed to avoid the escalated attacks (vomiting and what appears to me to be severe discomfort).

    AnotherEmily – SO sorry to hear what you’re going through! As relieved I am that my dog isn’t the only one, I wish I was the only one, because I hate hearing that other dogs are suffering as well. It sounds like you’ve really tried everything, so please keep us posted. How is he doing without chicken? I have considered food allergies, but what I don’t get is that he can be FINE for two weeks, and then have an episode. I try to be VERY careful about not giving him anything “extra”, not even any dog treats recently. I really can’t see a pattern to why and when it happens, even with keeping a calendar.

    WParsons – Again, I am sorry to hear that you’re going through this too. It is so heartbreaking to watch. I have also started feeding more frequently (Quincy gets 2/3 cup, 3x a day now), but there seems to be *some* sort of link to bedtime, because he gets the attack around 9pm (which is only 3-4 hours after he ate dinner, so it shouldn’t be an empty stomach?). I’ll try the Pepcid again as well, I have some on hand just wasn’t sure it was really making a difference (GasX seems to maybe help more?).

    Slappppy – Interesting that there is another cattledog with this condition (Quincy is a cattledog as well)! What type of bowl do you use that works well with wet food? I have been considering investing in something like that for Quincy, because it is hard to slow him down. I know what you mean about the differences – we call Quincy’s attacks either the “gulpies” or the “swallows” depending on their severity. The swallows can also escalate into the gulpies at times.

    Steve Johnson – glad you found something that works! I will check that out, I have seen it in my web searches but thought that it might be a little gimmicky…I am basically willing to try anything though, it is terrible watching him when he doesn’t feel good!

    Khouston – sorry to hear that your dog has this as well, but I am glad you found something that works! I understand about the landscaping – I was lucky and I’m still renting, so all I had to do was sacrifice my houseplants.

    Mmt – I will ask my vet about Sulcrcate. I have tried using slippery elm in the past, I think it is supposed to be similar (you make up a paste for them to eat before food, it is supposed to coat the intestine).

    Again, thank you ALL for your contributions to this!! It is wonderful to hear that some people have found some relief for this, so I will keep watching this thread. Give all your puppies a big hug, they are so lucky to have people who care this much for them!

    #37176 Report Abuse
    First N

    I too have dealt with my 5 year old retriever gulping and swallowing with both of us in a panic as to what was wrong. Thought it was torsion for first attack. X-rays and blood work revealed nothing. Thought maybe he had gotten into something. Vet thought it was esophagitis and acid reflux. Had him on Sucralfate, Prilosec. Wet his kibble and fed 3 smaller meals a day.Seemed to help but then attack would re-occur in 20 days. Vet referred us to specialist. Specialist suspected HELICOBACTER bacterial infection. Endoscope was performed and a couple of tissue samples taken. Tests confirmed quickly that it was Helicobacter. Treatment involved 10 days of “Triple Therapy” with Probiotic supplements. Triple therapy is a Combination of 2 antibiotics: Amoxicillin and Metronidazole with Bismuth Subsalicylate (Pebto Bismol). Tests also showed elevated levels of eosinophils which indicate inflammation in stomach and intestines. Specialist recommended Switching him to food containing a “novel” protein: which is a new protein that he hasn’t eaten before. So far everything is going well, fingers crossed.

    This post may or may not help some of you but I hadn’t seen a mention of Helicobacter as being a possible diagnosis. I wish you and your dogs the best. My dog is such a sweet boy. It was worth it to see him not gulp or swallow anymore.

    #37187 Report Abuse

    And for everyone that doesn’t know, Heliobacter is the ulcer causing bacteria and nsaids aggravate the stomach very badly in these cases.

    #37238 Report Abuse
    Cheryl T

    WE have Bernese Mountain Dogs who had a tendency to get the “gulps”. We keep Pepcid Complete on hand at all times…they are the chewable tablets that need to be smashed up and poured down the back of their tonque…it works very quickly. Gulps can be very scary and some feel it is a precursor to bloat…the dogs become anxious and want to lick and eat anything in sight even licking the carpet and grabbing at house plants whether real or not. It has to be the Pepcid Complete to help immediately..Pepcid AC can be used as a preventive on a daily basis. We do not use that but use a good priobiotic and digestive enzyme. Sometimes we may add Gas-X but usually the 1 or 2 tablets help pretty quickly…

    #37242 Report Abuse

    Unfortunately, it is pretty typical of veterinary medicine to want to treat the symptoms, but never look far for the cause. Maybe that’s because some owners don’t want to spend the money, but many vets are in the habit of not even offering the tests that could actually get at the root cause of the problem.

    #37270 Report Abuse

    My boys gulping started last December, finally Im working out what the problem is, its stomach acid reflux coming into his throat.. he manly was having it early hours of the morning 1am-6am, Ive found kibbles high in fat made him worst, At 8.30pm I give him a dry biscuit a human biscuit then Ive been giving him Zantac (Ranitidine) similar to Pepcid (Famotidine)…at 9pm, I wake him up & give him 1 third of a Zantac, this has helped so much.. I read ur post Bunny how ur giving Sulcrate (Carafate) this must be giving on an empty stomach 1 hour before foods as it coats the stomach & if there’s food in their stomach it will just coat the food, ur better off giving Pepcid or Zantac as this helps settle their acid after they have eaten, the meals before bed make sure they are very low in fats as fats cause stomach acid, I also try to have my dog sleeping with his head higher then his bottom, so he’s sleeping like a human with a small pillow under the head, this way the acid can’t wash into their mouths causing the burning in their throats, everything that u’d do for a human with GERDs, I do for my Patch… Its funny I suffer from GERDs & now Ive rescued a dog with the Gerds….

    #39405 Report Abuse
    julie w

    my small chihuahua has been having what appears to be these gulping and swollowing issues with siezures after numerous veterinary tests coming back normal iv been doing some research on the internet and seems its a neurological condition which many people call gulping siezures and the treatment is zonisamide im now going to take this information to my vets and hope this is the cause and treatment this is a useful website with information

    #54013 Report Abuse
    Cassie P

    Hi, I’m new here and just registered so I could post on this thread even though it’s a couple years old. I have a rescued black lab and I experienced the same thing. Has anyone else noticed hearing bubbles in the throat as they are gulping? Here is what I did to help my baby: she started gulping and swallowing, I brought her to the kitchen gave her a tablespoon of pepto bismol. She’s about 50-60lbs. I then have her a 1/4th chewable gas x and brought her to the chaise lounge with me and I patted her belly for an hour and a half. I patted kinda like burping a baby. She started passing gas-all the air she had swallowed and then she felt better. It was horrible and scary but I didn’t let her see that from me so I did the shhhhh shhhh to her and it helped. I so hope this helps someone else’s dog and sorry for all my run on sentences 🙂 I pray all your dogs feel better!

    #54015 Report Abuse

    You may have saved your dogs life by seeing the problem quickly and getting the gasx into her. She may have been about to bloat. Some dogs bloat because they have gas bubbles that won’t pop so they can’t burb them up. The gasx breaks the surface tension on the bubbles. If she does that in the future, I would still get her to the vet asap, because there is a point that even if you get the bubble breaking up the dog still needs medical attention and it happens fast.

    #54042 Report Abuse

    Is gas x something that us big dog owners should have on hand if we see signs or symptoms of bloat? BTW, thank you Cassie for sharing your experience with us. Bloat is something I am concerned with.

    #54056 Report Abuse

    Yes, gasx is the absolute first line of treatment if you even suspect bloat, and if you are wrong, the worst you have done is cause mild constipation. The liquid is better than the pills.

    #54103 Report Abuse
    Cassie P

    My dogs name is maybel. She has a clean bill of health and no medical issues besides the occasional gulping air and swallowing. She was abused very badly before we rescued her so I’m sure she may have had trauma with a collar. She always pulled very hard on a leash so we got her a harness to help her. She has done the gulping before and she would eventually throw up. I don’t know why so many of our dogs are having this problem :/ I always keep chewable gas x and pepto bismol here for her and me too. My advise to anyone experiencing a sudden onset if you can’t get to the vet is get some gas x into your dog and some pepto to coat the stomach. Burp your dog while its head is elevated so the air can come up or out the other end. Don’t try to massage the throat like you would a collapsed trachea attack. I’m not a vet but I use to work at one and have rehabilitated animals for over 20 years so I don’t know everything but I do know a lot. 🙂 Also, I don’t exercise my dog after a large meal as it could lead to bloating. Thank you to all that replied! Cassie

    • This reply was modified 9 years, 4 months ago by Cassie P.
    • This reply was modified 9 years, 4 months ago by Cassie P.
    #54543 Report Abuse
    Carolanne K

    I am so happy I took the time this am to look for information on this topic! These responses have been invaluable. My 1/2 ACD, who is now 3 1/2, has many of the same issues described in these posts. I’m happy to see that I have done many of the things suggested (we switched vets and he is the one who suggested how we feed her, and also using omeprazole or Pepcid). I had switched her to a harness early on because I just felt that the collar wasn’t helping her feel better. She still has episodes and as upsetting as they are, I feel better knowing I am in good company. I also like to give her some ice cream after these episodes to help soothe her throat. I do believe it is a combination of stomach acid, irritating her throat, coupled with some anxiety, at least in her situation. I think I will go back to using an acid reducer again. Sometimes, she just doesn’t want to eat her breakfast which doesn’t help the acid build up situation. I’ve said it before, this dog was meant to be ours! She has many of the same “issues” my family members have…lol! Thanks again for all these posts; keep ’em coming!!

    #54550 Report Abuse

    While I’m sorry to see that others have this problem too, it is always nice knowing we’re not alone.
    Since my last update in February we’ve gone back to feeding only 2X a day (12 hours apart from each other). He is still on the Honest Kitchen Keen. We bought a slow-down bowl which seems to help (definitely takes him a lot longer to eat!). The BEST change we’ve made though is getting him a Thunder Shirt. If he starts an episode, I put the Thunder Shirt on him, and it seems to really help calm him down. I don’t think the attacks are *started* due to anxiety, but they definitely bring on an anxiety, which I think escalates the attacks. Anyways, I highly recommend trying the Thunder Shirt if you think there is an anxiety portion of the attacks.

    So, in summary what we’re currently doing is feeding wet food (Honest Kitchen) in a slow-down bowl, and using the Thunder Shirt on certain nights. The massaging the tummy to “push” gas out is also still really helpful, both to calm him down and relieve some of the tension in his tummy.

    Good luck everyone!

    #55179 Report Abuse
    Shannon W

    I am also new to this forum. We have a Boxer (Layla) that is almost 3 years old. We have dealt with this same issue on many occasions but the worst one was last night, or early this morning from about 3 a.m. until about 5 in the morning. Her episodes usually only last a few minutes and then they stop but this one just wouldn’t stop until she vomited. She will start double swallowing, licking her lips, licking the carpet, is very restless, and looks completely terrified. I feel totally helpless when she does this but do whatever I can do to try to comfort her during the episode. I stayed up with her last night until she finally stopped doing it and was able to go to sleep. My vet has also not ever heard of this condition before, which doesn’t help us at all. I would think that more vets would be familiar with this condition, since it doesn’t just affect one breed but is pretty widespread among many canine breeds. I am very happy to have found this forum and to read about others who are experiencing the same issues as we are.

    #55202 Report Abuse
    Hildie V

    Hello 🙂 I too have a Boxer who gulps (swallows hard repeatedly), licks the air, licks the floor, tries to eat everything that isn’t nailed into the ground, sometimes throws up. This happens randomly and almost always between 1am and 3am, although sometimes just occasionally it happens during the day.

    She has been seen by 6 different vets for this. I have had her tested for almost everything possible. Tests involved: x-ray, barium x-ray, stool sample, extensive stool culture, urine cultures, blood work, autoimmune disorders, megaesophagus… the only thing I have left to do is an endoscopy but that will either turn up negative or show something we already know that we’ve been doing trial therapies on.

    At first I was told it may be: acid reflux or tonsilitis. I was told to give her Pepcid AC (fomatidine) and Sulcrate Suspension. This worked for a bit (give 1 hour before or 3 hours after food). I stopped using Pepcid and continued with the Sulcrate when she had an episode. It doesn’t work anymore.

    Now, after all these tests she is on her third treatment for Heliobactor, just like someome else here mentioned. She also is on Amoxicillin and Metronidazole, as well as Pepcid and Pepto-Bismol. This is her thrid go-around in four months and she’s still randomly doing this.

    I have come to several personal conclusions. Firstly she CANNOT eat grain. The last time she was on a good-streak I made oatmeal cookies for her and she got an episode that night. Secondly, she cannot eat high fat things. Another good streak, I gave her eggs before bed and she got an episode. Another good streak and she snuck into the garbage and ate beef fat strips, got an episode that night. I really believe this is acid reflux. I don’t know what is causing it. I REALLY hope the antibiotics do the trick this time for Heliobactor.

    If she has an episode, I know it’s usually 2am but I don’t sleep anyway so I take her for a long walk and you would never know she was having a problem. Until we get home, then it’s back to the gulping. She seeks comfort in me rubbing her belly in a firm was as to burp her.

    So…Along with doing whatever it takes from my vet’s suggestions (He is AMAZING) I am also gonig to treat her as if she has acid reflux. No big meals before bed. No eating after 8pm. Multiple smaller meals throughout the day. No more kibble (she has tried every food possible, kibble, dehydrated, raw, fresh homecooked and it doesn’t make a difference). I will stick with a low-fat homemade highly-digestible meal plan and give probiotics (Dr. Peter Dobias) and digestive enzymes (Prozyme). I will keep Pepcid and Pepto Bismol on hand (you can give together).

    I am PRAYING that this stops. It is the scariest thing when it happens. She begs to me to help her but there isn’t anything I can do to make it stop.

    #55209 Report Abuse

    My pup didn’t have the licking and gulping with his acid reflux, but my vet gave me a choice between Pepcid and Prilosec. He said Pepsid works faster, but Prilosec has other protective factors which he prefered. He told me to keep Prilosec on hand and if my dog ever had another episode to give it for 5 days. If it cleared up, great. If 5 days didn’t clear it, then it was time to bring him in. Grains did it to him too. Acid reflux is pretty common with food intolerance issues.

    #55225 Report Abuse

    Hi Hildie, My Patch sounds like ur girl, with the stomach problems, he started the gulping & swollowing May 2013 & he was put on Carafate 1 hour before meals & Zantac every 12 hours 45min before meals, I found the carafate didnt work, I stopped the new vet prescription kibble that he was on & he was put on Vet diet Eukanuba Intestinal then again in last Dec- January he got his gulping & swollowing as I was trying another new kibble, so back to the Eukanuba & had to stop new kibble, Fat% was 15% too high & he got real bad diarhea, May this year I started an elimination diet & found he cant eat potatos causes bad diarrhea, itching & rash on chest…

    It doesnt matter what he eats cooked foods Kibble, wet tin foods he has the same pain under his front paw, right side, around his rib cage area that he always wants me to rub after eating, I have to burp him like a baby after eating he does a big burp then he feels better..we always go for walks after he eats breakfast lunch & dinner..

    Yes you’re right I too have found its the fat if its higher then 12% fat he starts with the gulping also I found if the protein is high he has his gurgling bowel 3am-5am, I found if I give him his Vet prescription diet Eukanuba Intestinal low residue kibble he does not have the swollowing & gulping or the noisey bowel early hours of a morning, the Eukanuba is only 10% fat % 23% protein & kibble breaks up real easy I also soak kibble for around 3 mins then drain the water so if he doesnt chew a few kibbles & has just swollowed them as he gulps his food the kibble is soft & easier to digest, I found when he had cooked chicken & pumkin for dinner he would wake up 2am-5am with his noisey rumbling bowel….
    so now I only feed his vet prescription diet Eukanuba Intestinal for dinner last meal 6.30pm & he doesnt not wake up early hours of the morning…
    I split his meals 5 small meals a day
    Has the vet ever prescribed anything stronger then Pepcid & Pepto Bismol like Prilosec also
    called (Losec Omeprazole) … I suffer from GERD & Barrett’s Esophagus & have had the Helicobacter Pylori virus twice now…. I have to take Somac its like Losec, Soamc has really helped with my bad acid reflux especially at nights & early hours of the morning… Vet tried Patch on the Losec but he had a reaction, his gums went white & he was acting drunk or he was dizzy something was wrong after the second day on the Losec, its ashame cause the losec really works for dogs with bad stomach acid reflux..
    I have to eat a low fat diet & I found I cant eat meats, chicken & fish is OK but if its beef its just sits in my stomach giving me pain.

    I have seen 4 vets now & 3 of the vets wanted Patch on Prednisone (steriod) I wouldnt put him on a steriod as Prednisone can cause stomach problems & ulcers…maybe later if he’s worse but at the moment, touch wood he’s doing OK in the Stoamch/bowel area..

    May I ask what foods are you feeding now?? what foods are working & she is better on..

    #55253 Report Abuse
    Hildie V

    Hi Susan they do sound alike 🙂

    She does best on food I make myself. Also, NRG raw dehydrated, but unfortunately she’s developed a wheat allergy in these wheat germ in NRG so I can’t use anymore.

    I’m going to try a ground turkey, beef liver, beef heart, broccoli, zucchini, carrots, and potato next. I supplement with eggshell calcium because I don’t feed her bones. I also give Simon oil, vitamin E, digestive enzymes, probiotic, and a multivitamin and mineral specifically designed for dogs by a holistic vet.

    I would suppose just as in humans certain things trigger acid reflux but it can be different in every person and also in every dog. I suppose there’s also an underlying reason why acid reflex is there to start with which is what I really want to get to the bottom of. That is, assuming she actually does have acid reflux and this isn’t something to do with something else because no one seems to know 🙂

    I think finding foods that work for the dog is specific to each dog and it’s trial and error. Kibble can be a lot harder for them to break down than fresh food. Fresh food is highly digestible, and usually easier to digest. I would not touch a vet prescribed food with a 10 foot pole… But that’s not saying it doesn’t work for some people and their dogs, is just disgusting to me 🙂

    If you want to make your own homemade food but are scared that you might not do it right you can buy a cookbook called Hillary’s Complete and Balanced and you can buy her supplements to go with it and then follow her recipes for homemade food. Her cookbook is only available through veterinarian offices in Canada and off her website in the USA. My girl did great on her venison and potato limited ingredient diet for five months until I couldn’t find the venison anymore at an affordable price :-). That is when I switched her to NRG…

    Nothing I have done is a fix for sure, my dog is still having problems, and I like reading about what other people do to try and help myself as well 🙂

    #55277 Report Abuse
    beth e

    has anyone been told pancreatitis? we have been thru the gulping swallowing that definitely seems like acid reflux. plus throwing up what looks like oatmeal – hours after a meal. we took our cairn terrier to the vet after weeks of on and off symptoms. our regular vet was not in and the substitute diagnosed it as pancreatitis. said we should leave her for an iv. since she has no problem drinking or eating we said we didn’t feel comfortable leaving her as the stress would far outweigh the benefits of the treatment. so she came home with antibiotics, pepcid and tramadol. chicken and rice diet didn’t go well she’d spit out the rice so we went to chicken and green beans. no kibble since we figured that was the oatmeal like substance she was vomiting.. the other dog eats wellness grain free kibble and some wet wellness chicken. ( and she also did before this all started) they both had a teaspoon of greek yogurt before bedtime. now its nonfat greek yogurt. we are sure stress is a big part of the problem since she is constantly looking out the windows for the cats. tight as a piano string if you touch her. the pancreatitis diagnosis is not keeping with the symptoms. she always has an appetite. she used to drink lots i mean lots of water- at one time we suspected diabetes but tests came back no. but since she is off dry food the water consumption at least the dramatic “got to have it and have it all” has stopped and she drinks normally. today i’m wondering if its the cats and she might be allergic to them. this mornng she had a few coughs and swallows – we went out in the backyard on a leash – she walked all around where they hang out came in and coughed and did the acid reflux gurgling on and off for an hour.

    #55283 Report Abuse
    Hildie V

    Are you thinking it isn’t pancreatitis then? I asked my vet about Exocrine Pancreatic Insoffeciency and/or pancreatitis and he said the two blood tests he had taken on separate instances when I had taken her in showed heightened levels of Amylase but that he didn’t think it was EPI or Pancreatitis but that we could take a deeper look if needed. But the symptoms on all the websites are different that the gulping, hard swallowing, licking of the air, occasionally vomiting and eating everything off the floor…

    The other thing my girl experiences at times is mucus around her stool like a sausage wrapping. And sometimes the stool is green, or a mix of green with a bit of yellow, or sometimes dark and sticky on the outside (not all the way through)

    One time her bum bled after a poo…

    I am wondering if this is all liked too. The thing is that it’s all so random and never consistent, could be days apart then not happen for 6 months later.

    #55331 Report Abuse

    Hi Beth, yes Patch has had an inflamed Pancreas twice now & I now keep him on a lower fat diet, when Ive tried other kibbles that were higher in fat% (13% & higher) the acid reflux comes back & so does his pain, if I go up in protein % in a new kibble, he has his pain under right paw chest area, he seems to do real well on the vet diet, then I think when I start adding new foods or try getting him off his vet prescription diet & try new kibbles or cooked foods he gets his pain again. 1 vet told me its hard diagnosing Pancreatitis sometimes, he’s found sometimes test will come back all OK but the dog will have all the symtoms of Pancreatitis, so he said now he doesnt really bother with alot of tests if they have mild Pancreatitis & just puts the dog on a low fat diet & the dog normally gets better, if the dog doesn’t get better he said, then he’ll tell owners that we need to do some test..
    I also think stress is a problem too, the end of May I started to pack as I was moving, there were boxes everywhere, Patch started following me everywhere I went, he wouldnt let me out of his sight, then I didnt move in the end & the begining of June Patch was vomiting everytime he ate for 2 days & had his pain, so I booked Patch in the next day for an ultra scan by another vet, as his regular vet was all booked up for the next 3 days & the scan came back all good, so what his regular vet said about the no testing, he was right… Patch was put back on a very bland diet & the vomiting stopped, so did his pain, so sometimes their pancreas just needs a little rest…..

    Hildie, when I first rescued Patch he was doing poos that looked like a condom over his poos, he also had blood in his poos sometimes & I’d wipe his bum with wet wipes & there would be be light red blood on the wet wipes, it was not everyday but his jelly mucus poos were about every 2 weeks, then one weekend I was up all weekend with sloppy poos then diarrhea then he just pooed a heap of liquid blood & I rushed him to vet, in the end he was diagnosed with Colitis/IBD & put on vet diet a low residue kibble that Ive been trying to stop feeding but everytime I try a new kibble it just doesnt work for Patch, so we go back to the vet diet…if he didnt suffer from the skin problems it would be easier, 1 new kibble will be excellent his poos are perfect then his starts scratching, gets red paws & has itchy ears which Ive found potatoes & sweet potatos & wheat was causing.. so now its back to the drawing board, I’m starting to understand why some owners are feeding cooked horse meat now, its probably the only thing that has help their dogs skin problems & their poos problems at the same time…Im finding he does good on fish, (tuna or salmon) & a bit of pumkin but that doesn’t fill him up he loses too much weight..I need to find foods that fill him up, some people with dogs with IBD & skin problems are feeding Quinoa, Ive read that quinoa to be very healthy & is gluten free..

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    Cristi C

    Molzy, we had problems like this with our cat. No vet could help us. She chronically threw up but had no other problems. Her appetite was fine but her weight was very light. She was hyper and nervous. As she aged, she began to have more problems besides her vomiting and nerves: she began to lose all her fur, gulped a lot in the evenings, and had developed focal seizures in her face (also in the evenings). At his point we switched her to a grain-free diet, made in the USA, and changed her litter from corn to wheat. She calmed down, her vomiting decreased, and her fur began to grow back–but her gulping got harder and more frequent and her seizures, more frequent as well, began to spread to her front legs. Last week we replaced her wheat litter with clay litter. The gulping has stopped, the seizures stopped, and she is calmer and happier than I have ever seen her.

    In other words, the key to our cat’s good health was removing her from all contact with grains. Not only can she not eat them, she cannot touch them. She eats Core Wellness foods But here’s the thing: she can only eat the fish variety. No poultry or other meats. I believe it is because poultry and other meats eat grains. And I think the problem is toxins, whether GMO, fungus, or pesticide, in those grains. Our cat is just the canary in the coal mine.

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