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  • #62259 Report Abuse

    I can’t tell you how helpful this topic thread has been. My Tucker has been dealing with ‘the gulps’ for almost 4 years now.

    At first the vet though it was a heart issue so he was extensively tested. (He never has a really bad episode while we’re actually at the vet’s office.) All results came back normal. Kennel Cough has been given as a diagnosis so many times I’ve lost count. Multiple X-rays, ultra-sounds, barium tests, scopes all with no real results or answers.

    His episodes usually come once every 3 months, always in the evening. I’ve found that giving him a Benadryl and Pepcid immediately when I notice the symptoms begin can help. Also, I burp him after every meal and constantly when he’s having a really panicked episode where he’ll look for ANYTHING to consume.

    He’s currently in day 4 of a longer than normal episode and we’re both exhausted. I can’t believe so many people experience this with their dogs and so few vets have ever heard of it. It can be really disheartening, it’s so scary to experience (for both of us). We have another appointment with a specialist in two weeks – I’m taking this thread with me since it has so much good information. Sincerely, thank you so much for everyone who has posted. I’m really at my wits-end and desperately looking for some answers.

    • This reply was modified 9 years, 5 months ago by Sabema.
    #62262 Report Abuse

    Hi Sabema, ask your specialist can he prescribe some 20mg Omeprazole (Losec) its a stronger ant acid then Pepcid, its given daily, 1 hour before food & last 24 hrs, also is he on a low fat diet, as high fat diets can cause bad acid reflux, I hope your specialist helps this time cause 4 years is a long time like my Patch…. I finally had an Endoscope + Biopsies done, 1 month ago & Patch has “moderate to chronic Lymphocytic Gastritis with associated spiral bacteria infection” (Helicobacter infection)…he was gulping & swollowing at night with bad acid reflux, heartburn, sometimes vomiting & feeling nauseous… make sure if you do have an Endoscope done that you get biopsies as well cause when my vet did Patches Endoscope everything looked good visually then 5 days later I got the results from biopsies.. With my last dog, I just had a endoscope done & like Patch everything looked good, I wish I had gotten biopsies done but I didn’t have a computer back then, to google info & join groups to find out what other people were doing..
    Good-Luck with Tucker, once you get a diagnoses you’ll feel so much better cause the illness can be treated with the proper meds, An Endoscope + biopsies is best.. with an Ultra Scan you can’t see inside their stomach, I just wasted $450 having an ultra Scan done..

    #62265 Report Abuse

    Hi Susan, thank you so much for your advice! I already feel so much better after reading all of the posts. It’s amazing how much a shared experience can help when you’re stressed out 🙂

    I’ve already started researching alternatives to what he currently eating. I’m actually excited to have a concrete starting point instead of just guessing and making it up as I go along, which has been the case.

    I was planning on having an endoscope done during our next appointment – now I’m adding biopsies to the list. (And requesting the stronger antiacid.) I’ll post updates from our appointment.

    Thanks again!!

    #62370 Report Abuse
    Shannon W

    I have also found this forum to be very helpful. Like so many others, I just couldn’t find any answers from our vet. Layla still has this condition from time to time, but it doesn’t occur as much as it used to. I have found that it really helps her when I make her lay down while she is having one. While she is laying down I will massage her to help her to relax. As you know, during these episodes, there is a certain look of fear in their eyes. The massaging helps to calm her down and usually shortens the time of the episode.

    #64067 Report Abuse
    Laura L

    My dog also has bouts of gulping and swallowing, I get funny looks when I describe episodes to the vet and he is convinced it is acid reflux. When MacKenzie starts one of these episodes she goes into a “blind panic” and will eat anything. She will lick dirt and hair from the floor, chew the curtains, eat socks, dried leaves and grass. She will eat anything she can get in her mouth and it is difficult to watch and stop. She also has bouts of vomiting around one time a month that is not related to gulping episodes (she generally will vomit after grazing but then it settles down). I have had some success using Prilosec or Pepcid. We recently started seeing a chiropractor and she always gulps or reverse sneezes when her jaw is being adjusted. I think episodes have decreased since starting the chiropractic treatments although I have noticed that during the night when she grooms herself it will often trigger an episode. Maybe the Prilosec with help Quincy, if I find anything else that works I will be sure to post.

    #64072 Report Abuse

    Hi, another thing to do is lower the fat% in diet, I found this helps heaps & a low fat dry biscuit at night, I feed 1/2 a thick Rice cake biscuit around 9-10pm…
    My new vet said do not use Losec for more then 4-6 weeks, he said Zantac (Ranitidine) or Pepcid (Famotidine) are better to use for stomach reflux as they don’t affect the bowel in anyway like the Losec does also Losec takes 24 hours to start to work, its not quick relief drug like Zantac or Pepcid….Losec is more long term that you must take daily 1 hour before food best taken in the morning & its a newer drug & we don’t really know the side effects on dogs yet, they’re finding it causes osteoarthritis in humans when taken for long periods….also when stopping Losec you can not just stop the drug you need to wean off slowly & use another ant acid medications like Zantac or Pepcid if needed…
    My dog reacted to the Losec he did black/green poos after 5 days on Losec, he had a dry mouth & seemed to have more pain after eating cause there was not enough acid in the stomach to digest his food…

    #64567 Report Abuse
    JoKarol D

    It seems this may be common in Australian Cattle Dogs. I have a female 2-1/2 years old. We’ve had her since she was 8 weeks old. About a year ago she started these bouts of licking. She liked to eat hair and things like that so initially I thought she had hair stuck in her throat. But as she is getting older the bouts are getting more serious. She had another attack last night. My son was up with her all night. She’s frantic during the attacks and runs around the house trying to eat anything in sight. We do let her outside as she eats grass and that either makes the attack subside or makes her throw up. If it subsides she comes back in and is able to sleep for a couple of hours and then will have another attack. This will go on all night until about 6 am. Then the attacks will completely stop until the next night about 9 pm. They usually last for a couple of nights then go away for a while. She hadn’t had an episode in a while and last night I gave her some caramel popcorn… a few pieces as a treat. I guess that was bad as her attack started about an hour after I gave her the treat. Tonight it started again but she is sleeping peacefully under my bed right now.

    Why do these things always start at night? And disappear during the day? Its so sad because she is frantic and wants help during her attacks. She is breathing heavy and licking and gulping and running all over the place. When I get her to lay down and try to calm her down, her stomach is gurgling and making all kinds of noises so I know it must be very uncomfortable. From these forums it seems pretty common and I can’t believe more vets have not heard of it. I was going to try to treat her naturally before I got a vet involved. I recently changed her food to grain free food and she loves it. But she eats it so fast (like others here have described).

    Just knowing it is pretty common is very comforting. Thank you all for posting so much helpful information. I hope all of you find the right system that will work for your dog. I think every dog probably will need something different as every human’s body is different. Please keep updating with what is going on with your dog…. the good bad and ugly. Together maybe we can help our babies lead pain free stress free lives!

    #65535 Report Abuse
    Cole B

    So glad to hear other people have heard of this! I have a two year old lab/border collie cross named Gunner. His first gulping and licking attack happened a month ago. The vet blamed kennel cough and put him on Robitussin for a week. His first attack started right before bed one night and then happened on and off all night. Unlike a lot of other dogs in this post the first time it continued into the day time for half the day. I got a video of it but my vet wouldn’t even let me bring him in case it was kennel cough. His attack finally stopped and hasn’t happened again til tonight. I know it wasn’t kennel cough, I’ve worked in dog kennels for my entire adult life and I know kennel cough as well as my own name. Since the first attack stopped and went away for the last month I tried not to worry about it.
    But now tonight he’s been gulping, swallowing, licking, occasionally coughing. He also seems to be throwing up liquid into his mouth and then swallowing it again. After reading through this post I tried a combo of taking off his collar, feeding him 1/2 a cup of kibble, and cuddling/petting to calm him down. His attack stopped almost immediately after I did those three things. Now he’s sleeping peacefully. I also fed him on a box so it was raised since I know acid reflux in people can be worse if they don’t sit up to eat. I’m relieved that it stopped! Its so hard watching them go through that. He was so upset.

    Other background for Gunner:
    He eats 1 3/4 cups Diamond brand lamb and rice twice a day
    He is allergic to grass, which is a nightmare in itself! Certain times a year he has no fur on his legs from allergies.
    He occassionally gets bacterial infections on his skin which my vet says is caused by a lowered immune system from his body’s constant fight against allergies.

    He hadn’t had anything to eat other than kibble before this attack. He had been fed at 7:00pm and woke me up at 4:00am with the gulping. Not sure how long he had been doing it, I’m a deep sleeper. He’s always done really well on his lamb and rice diet.

    I’m just so glad for this post since he instantly got better after trying a few suggestions from this posting. Thanks everyone for your advice!

    • This reply was modified 9 years, 4 months ago by Cole B.
    #65537 Report Abuse
    Cole B

    So I totally take back what I just said about Gunner’s episode going away. I knew that would be too good to be true and way too easy. He did get better, immediately after removing his collar, feeding him on a raised platform, and cuddling to calm him. He was good for almost an hour, sleeping and acting like it never happened. Then it just started up again. Weird though, it still sounds like he’s swallowing liquid that’s coming up but he hasn’t thrown up the kibble I just fed him. He’s also getting gas from all the air he’s swallowing. Nothing on the internet sounds like these symptoms/attacks except for what people are posting on this forum. How is it that something as common as this is sounding is so far seemingly undiagnosable? This is so frustrating.

    • This reply was modified 9 years, 4 months ago by Cole B.
    #65577 Report Abuse
    Cassie P

    My advice is, take the video you took to the vet and show him. Also, have you tried giving your dog gas x and pepto when the episode starts? That is the only thing that helps my dog when she has an episode. I pat her belly until she burps. I’d suggest a probiotic supplement also. She is a 5yr old rescued black lab and I feed her chicken and rice 4Heath. I hope your dog feels better!

    #65578 Report Abuse
    Jane S

    we have given our dogs pet grass and pepto when this occurs. calms it down.

    #65588 Report Abuse

    Hi Cole, last November my poor boy had bad episodes of swallowing & swallowing at night & sometimes waking up at 3am, in the end he had a real sore throat from the acid burning his throat & I took him to the vet & he was put on Pepcid (Famotidine) tablets 10mg 30mins before eating dinner, In Australia we can get Zantac (Ranitidine) over the counter but Pepcid(Famotidine) we need a script, they are the same type of drug a H2Blocker, so now I just use 1/3 of a Zantac tablet, I found it works better for Patch, it went away but as soon as I stopped the Zantac at 6am & 6pm 1 hour before food, it came back 2 weeks ago I have changed his kibble to a lower fat 7.5% fat & so far he hasn’t had anymore acid reflux, also I feed 4-5 smaller meals thru the day, so his stomach isn’t empty long enough for the acid to start brewing, this is very common in dogs, like it is in humans…. Google “Acid Refux in Dogs” & when Gunner was swallowing something, that was acid, when patch does that, I make him spit it out as its better out then in, when he eats grass it brings it up…. also 1 teaspoon of Mylanta helps too..

    #65620 Report Abuse
    gina m

    Our dog Dolly had the exact early morning panic gulping. She’s a 7 years old terrier mix that we adopted 3 months ago. After reading this forum and other sites, we tried giving her dog food that only has one food ingredients – Natural Balance LID. Figured too much fat, too many kinds of meat might cause acid. We also started giving her 1 teaspoon of coconut oil per meal. We feed her twice a day. My wife also has digestive issues and coconut oil has helped her tremendously so we figured why not try it. I think it’s helping her. Though we also gave coconut oil to our other dog (dolly’s brother) and it seemed to make his stool too soft so we stopped giving coconut oil to him. And after reading some sites, we also decided to add some Probiotics and Enzyme supplement. We just started this yesterday so we’ll see how she does. So far so good. I hope dolly won’t get another attack, but it’s a trial and error to get the right balance of food for her.

    #65657 Report Abuse
    Cristi C

    Cole, did you get my message about my cat’s problem, now solved? Did you try removing him from ALL grains and feeding him only a meat-based food that was made in the USA? No rice, no barley, and so on? (And did you make sure he has no contact with peanuts or peanut
    butter as well?) No treats or anything that aren’t fully guaranteed to be 100% grain free?

    #66221 Report Abuse
    Katrene J

    Hi, I have an 8 yo, male English Springer with the same problem everyone here is describing. My sweet guy started with the gulps about 5 years ago. The frequency at first was once every 3-4 months. It gradually increased to every 2 weeks or so. Or it had up until last November [2014]. Since November he’s had two bouts and both were mild – no deeply scared, frantic grass-eating dog those two times. He was definitely uncomfortable and seemed kinda worried it might get worse but a little throat massage and he could go back to sleep.

    Like a lot of folks on this and a couple of other wonderful, helpful forums, I’ve tried a ton of things and even thought at times we had the problem solved, only to find a few weeks or a month later that I was wrong and had to go back to the drawing board. It’s been 3 1/2 months now since Tommy’s had a bad night. Instead of the predicted 7 or so episodes you’d figure he’d have had at the every-other-week frequency, there were only the two mild ones. I changed only one thing.

    Now it may be another wild goose chase in the end but with a hiatus of almost 4 months I figured it’s worth sharing the change we made at this point. I hope it can help another dog. The last thing I want thought, is to give anyone false hope. This may be something or it may be nothing and we all know that each dog is so very different what works well for one may do nothing for another.

    With that part out of the way let me tell you what has worked so far for Tom. Back in early Nov Tommy and I were up with a night of the gulps. I scanned the web for any new info that might have been shared since his last bout of the gulps. One person had posted. She [I think] said the only thing that worked for her dog was Pepcid Complete – not regular Pepcid, Not Tums. Only the Complete formula helped. I didn’t have any Pepcid complete on hand so I went online to check the ingredients. It turned out that Pepcid Complete is basically Pepcid plus Tums plus magnesium. Those things I did have on the shelf. I gave Tom the equivalent. He shortly seemed somewhat better. Not good enough so we could go back to bed but somehow less worried, less desperate.

    I started to research Magnesium. I had had it on hand for leg and foot cramps. It’s amazing for relieving muscle spasms. Could a throat spasm be part of the gulps problem? The dogs do seem to be gulping like they’re trying to swallow something stuck in their throats… One friend had had success with a very powerful anti spasmodic years ago with her gulps dog, an Aussie. A magnesium deficiency could be a cause of GERD too, I’d read. There sure seems to be some stomach problem with the gulps too… It seemed worth investigating.

    I’m NOT a vet nor do I play one on television so please take what follows with that understanding. First I took some magnesium myself as a supplement. That went ok and I learned that, as mentioned in the research, too much creates loose stools. Good – that gave me a gauge to know when to cut back.

    I began to give Tom magnesium as a supplement. This is plain magnesium we’re talking about here, nothing fancy. It’s regular grocery store magnesium, 250 mg tablets. Started Tom on it slowly, etc. He weighs about 55#. When he was getting one 250 mg tablet in the morning and two 250s at night I held it there. His stools were still fine and that dosage felt right – not a scientific reason but sometimes I think my subconscious notices things my conscious mind doesn’t and I’ve earned to pay attention.

    Since being on that regimen of 250mg AM and 500mg PM Tom has had only the two bouts of the gulps that I mentioned earlier. One was over Christmas when I’d backed off on the Mg to about half the dose for a few days [we were guests and the loose stool potential was weighing heavily on my mind!]. The second was about a month ago. That was the time I never had to even wake up completely. He began soft gulping but was only mildly concerned. I gently messaged his throat for a minute or two. He sighed and curled up next to me. We both went back to sleep. One more momentary massage about 4 hrs later and the gulps were over.

    My gut feeling is that some dogs have or develop a magnesium deficiency. If that’s the case Tom’s may have started when I had to take him off a raw diet. Or it may be it’s that the land that grows our food is so magnesium poor at this point the dogs are simply not getting enough no matter what they’re fed. Whatever the cause, for Tom at least so far, the magnesium supplement seems to be working. He and I both hope our experiences can help someone else’s good dog.

    #66238 Report Abuse

    Hi Katrene-
    My dogs don’t have this issue, but your theory is interesting. I hope it helps someone!

    #66817 Report Abuse
    Carole K

    Interesting katrene–just researched magnesium and seizures have been linked with low magnesium. My beagle has suffered with the gulps and licking followed by vomiting everything she licks off the floor. Like every one else on this forum, I have changed food, used antacids and spent too much money at the vet’s office. My new vet suggested we start giving her a mild anti seizure med–I decided to wait a bit for fear of side affects because she is a senior. Not sure if I should try magnesium or just go for the meds. I am so opposed to over medicating dogs. I was sure it was her stomach but now I’m leaning towards seizures causing the gulping and licking. Think I’ll try magnesium first–as soon as the roads get plowed and I can get to the store. Feeling hopeful.

    #67091 Report Abuse
    Mieke v

    Hello all,

    Just wanted to let everyone know that our dog had all of these symptoms as well. Gulping, licking, sometime frantic eating of grass or anything, odd posture, random vomitting, random loose stools with mucus, and the list goes on. We switched him to Honest Kitchen Zeal for 2 weeks along with a dosage of 10 mg Famotidine (acid reducer that you can obtain at any grocery or drug store) at each meal. He weighs 55 lbs. No other food or treats. After two weeks we introduced rotation with Wellness Core (canned) and continued the Famotidine. He was symptom-free within a day or two. He has not had any further symptoms now in three months. We took him off the Famotidine after about one month but carefully watched him for licking, etc. Now he is on a rotation of HK Zeal one day, one day Wellness Core (canned) or Merrick Grain-free Wilderness (canned). We always make sure that the HK Zeal is a full day between the other two. If your dog is not digesting the HK fully, suggest pre-mixing and leaving in fridge. We also increased his physical activity to one 3-mile fast walk with water pack per day after he was symptom-free. Strongly recommend switching up foods and going ultra-low fat, grain-free. It saved his life! So grateful to this forum and our local fancy pet store which helped us.

    #71687 Report Abuse
    Allison M

    I know this is kind of an old topic but my beagle does this as well. She was diagnosed with Bilious Vomiting Syndrome. She will start gulping and frantically licking the carpet along the walls to eat dust and fur. Sometimes she starts eating the carpet. If I stop her from doing this or if she can’t find any dust to eat she will start pulling her own fur out and eating it off of her body, then she will vomit. I feed her 4 meals a day and she also gets Pepcid. If I see her start gulping I will feed her a small handful of her kibble and this almost immediately fixes the problem. It sounds like many of the dogs on this forum are suffering from the same Bilious Vomiting Syndrome that my dog Rosie has. You guys can read about it here: http://www.furrycritter.com/health/dogs/Bilious_vomiting_syndrome.htm
    This page also has very helpful info on Bilious Vomiting Syndrome, be sure to click view full answer: http://www.justanswer.com/dog-health/33nu4-dog-will-not-stop-licking-carpet-started-today.html
    They key is many small snacks throughout the day! Hope this helps!

    #71697 Report Abuse

    Hi Allison

    Many dogs have got some relief by switching foods, which tells me that this is often a food sensitivity problem. You may want to take a look at your dog food’s ingredients and try something very different and see if it helps.

    #72442 Report Abuse
    Betsy P

    My senior Chi “swallows hard” while stretching out (lengthening) his neck, and licking the ait.
    My veterinarian has no diagnosis.
    It seems to mainly happen after his nightly meal… and like so many others have mentioned, there doesn’t seem to be a pattern, timewise, to know when to expect it to happen.
    Jack’s episodes are only occasional, and can last anywhere from 40 seconds, to several minutes.
    He has never done his hard-swallowing & licking at the vet’s office — but I have shown them a video of what he looks like when he’s doing it.
    I’m going to try a few of the suggested “remedies” to these symptoms, to see if any of them help Jack, to shorten/stop the attack of the gulps.
    Thanks, everyone — I never knew this was such a common occurrence in dogs. It makes me more at-ease, to know it may not be anything TOO major, for my senior furbaby.

    #75092 Report Abuse
    Jen r

    Hi Everyone, I have a 4 and 1/2 year old Boxer (Rex) who started doing this 3 months ago and even after meds would not stop. It would be about a 3 hour panic of licking and swallowing and I took him to the vet and they thought it was just an upset stomach. He was given an injection of Cerenia (the best nausea medicine made for dogs) but he episode was pretty much done by the time we got to the vet. We decided to do an endoscopy right away and found he had pretty severe inflammation of his duodenum which is the first part of the intestines right below the stomach. The GI guy was surprised with the presentation of him gulping with this inflammation being lower down in the GI Tract. He thought there would be severe esophageal disease but it was clear. We also did allergy testing to see if food was causing this. He had some bad milk and some meat allergies so he was put on prescription food called “Z/D” which is hydrolyzed food meaning that it doesn’t need to be broken down much so it is great for allergies. This is very pricey stuff. (thank god we have insurance on this boy!) He was also put on a GI steroid called budesonide to decrease the duodenum inflammation. He went through multiple blood tests checking for pancreatitis which was ruled out. He did ok for about 2 months. He had one time when he started to lick and I immediately gave him a Pepcid and it stopped. Then after the 2 month time he started up with the episodes to the 10th degree. He would panic and they would last longer and longer. I am a pharmacist so I spoke with my vet about what meds to give when these happened and we tried a concoction of things and nothing seemed to help much. They make a cerenia in tablet form so I thought once I had that then life would be great but even that didn’t work. Each time it happens I would give the cerenia, a simethicone (gas x), and Pepcid. In 2 hours it didn’t do anything, (if this was normal nausea these things would definitely work, this is why we know it is not stomach related). We ended up going to an internal medicine specialist and she did ultrasounds and said everything looked normal but also gave me a barium liquid to completely coat his stomach. She told me that she had another boxer in the same boat as us and she thinks it is something called Limbic Seizures. I guess they are a seizure that isn’t your typical thing. There is no loss of consciousness or shaking so no one would ever think of it. It occurs in the Limbic area of the brain which controls emotions and other things. If it happens it causes a spasming of the salavatory glands and this is causing them to lick their lips to swallow it back down. When doing this they suck air in too and if they throw up, it is usually very foamy in appearance. At the time when he got this we found out he had a bad UTI at the time so we waited until the urinary infection was gone thinking that maybe this was kicked up from the infection he was fighting. The specialist wanted to start the seizure meds right away but I wanted to make sure we ruled out other things first since some of the meds for seizures can cause more damage and need to always do follow up lab work for liver damage and other things. She said it was ok to wait but she didn’t think it would get better. The infection has been cleared for 2 weeks now. We also added lansoprazole (prevacid) to his daily meds and three times a day metoclopramide (an pro-motility med to keep his belly going well). We had 9 good days so we were hoping it was working and then had a bad episode but the barium seemed to help after about an hour of giving it. Then he had 4 good days and then yesterday had it start at 12pm to 2:30 again giving the cerenia, simethicone and Pepcid first, waiting an hour and then giving the barium. Barium coats everything so you can’t give meds after as they won’t be absorbed. It stopped at 2:30 but at 4:30 had a 20 minute bout that stopped on its own and then again from 6:45 to 1am. I am exhausted from this and feel so bad for him has he is in such a panic and I feel I can’t help him anymore. So we know it isn’t food things since he is on that diet to rule out any of the food issues. if it were just upset stomach the cerenia would work like a charm but doesn’t at all! So today I am trying to get a hold of the specialist and tell her she was right that we need to start the seizure meds. I should have listened earlier but with the other infection going on I didn’t want to put him on something that could hurt him without knowing. Now that is the next step. I think people don’t ever think Seizures as it doesn’t look like it but with reading all these forums with people having no other answers it seems like this is more common than I thought and people aren’t getting the right diagnosis’s from their vets as the vets don’t even see the 2 correlating. I will keep you posted as time goes on and if the meds cure him…..if so it would be a miracle!!!! Thanks for listening!

    #75094 Report Abuse

    Jen R- I have no advice for you but I wanted to wish you luck in helping your Boxer! Don’t give up on him, you have gotten him this far. Sometimes, just like with human illness, it takes multiple opinions from different sources with different sets of knowledge to come up with the right answer.

    #75099 Report Abuse

    Hi Jen, I know what your going thru, for 2 years my boy has the same gulping fits, swollowing & swallowing, he had Endoscope & biopsies done, last December, biopsies found Moderate to chronic Lymphocytic gastritis with associated spiral bacteria infection..(Heliocobacter-Pylori) vet was surprised that his stomach had no ulcers or scaring from old ulcers & the stomach look really good, vet couldn’t get into the small bowel cause his lower pylori spincter was close & the only way to get more answers was to have Patch cut open & have more biopsies on small bowel to see what is happening, I said NO, I cant do that to him cut him open & then do what, we already have tried all the medications…. I thought once he takes all the meds for his Helicobacter & & a diet change (Vet Diet Royal Canin Gluten free Duck & Tapioca) everything will be great… when the meds were finished, he started his has swallowing & swallowing attacks again, more when he eats cooked foods or raw diet, he starts regurgitating & water comes up & then he swollows & swollows the water…I think his esophageal spincter isn’t closing properly.. I have it, its called non ulcer dyspepsia, vet said he has acid reflux & he was put on Losec cause the Zantac or Pepcid wasn’t working no more…
    You know how you said he’s on the Hills Z/d so we know its not the food PLEASE PLEASE try another food, my boy didn’t get better on the Hills Z/d…..a few other people I know from a Face Book group said their dogs also didn’t do well on the Hills Z/d vet diets…. at first we thought he was doing better cause Z/d has more insoluble fiber, so it moves thru the stomach quicker, then diets with more soluble fiber but now when I look back it was probably the Ant-Acid meds that stopped his swallowing & swallowing attacks….also low fat diets help…look for a new diet that’s limited ingredient, novel protein & 1 carb “California Natural” has hypoallergenic diets, their Lamb & Rice has just 4 ingredients, http://www.californianaturalpet.com/products & see if you see any improvement & try a different ant acid maybe Zantac if you don’t want to use a Pump Proton Inhibitor (Losec or Somac) I found Somac to be better as it didn’t affect the bowel like Losec did …You keep saying you know its not the food but have you tried any other diets, I would be trying a new diet before trying any medications, I’ve learnt along the way that food seem to work the best & supplements… Lew Olson has a great face book group called K9 Nutrition & she helps & answers all post…..

    Finally after Patch not getting better up & down some nights with these swallowing attacks, …I feed a Hypoallergenic gluten dairy sugar FREE Salmon & Sardine kibble that’s is 10% fat that I soak in water till its soft then drain all water very well then put thru a mini processer blender for a few seconds it comes out like wet tin food & what a difference it has made I’m not being woken up thru the night ….its not 100% we still have the odd swallowing attack (acid reflux) sometimes cause I’ve been introducing new foods to the diet, I just give 3 ml liquid Mylanta & the Mylanta seems to help & stops the swallowing & swallowing attacks….
    Sometimes you need to do things yourself as vets aren’t real good with nutrition & dog foods they stick with their vet diets & think they’re great, I tried them all, Hills being the worst as it caused bad skin problems & they use chicken even though the chicken is broken down some dogs still pick up that it was once a chicken & have a reaction with the Z/d diet.. join this Face Book group, there’s a few dogs that have these swallowing attacks aswell “Dogs with Inflammatory Bowel Disorder group” Good-Luck

    #79772 Report Abuse

    My 2 year old beagle “Henry” just started doing this. I now call him “Gulpy McCrazy Eyes” when he starts the frantic licking, eating grass and gagging that leads to vomit (at night). I have been feeding him Blue Buffalo Salmon & potato limited ingredient grain free since I got him a few months ago. He eats twice a day. And since we are in training, he gets lots of treats, but only grain free. It all started with a throat irritation that was the result of him sticking his head out the window that was down partially and I slammed on my breaks when a giant duck flew across the road in front of my car. He coughed for a while, but otherwise acted ok. I stopped using the gentle leader because it seemed to make his throat worse. Even though the gentle leader is the best thing to happen to dog-walking EVER, we will use the harness. Laying him down and rubbing belly seems to help the gulping subside. It seems to build upon anxiety. not sure about acid reflux yet. But may try pepto and magnesium before pepcid.
    I will try natural remedies before expensive vet and stressful procedures. I take pro-biotics myself for digestion…Another option for those who suffer from allergies is ALLERPLEX. I love it and highly recommend it for both humans and our four-legged friends. Thank you for all your comments. I am glad I read this thread before freaking out and wasting time and money!

    #79774 Report Abuse

    I seriously hope you will take your dog to the vet as soon as possible, he may have obtained some type of internal injury due to the accident you described, that only an x-ray would reveal.
    I think it would be money well spent, rather than buying supplements and over the counter meds (not prescribed by a vet) that may not help and may cause more harm.
    And trying various different brands of food, his issues may have nothing to do with the food.
    Use the search engine here, look up allergies. I would trust a vet that has examined my dog. My dogs enjoy going to the vet.
    Best of luck.

    #79793 Report Abuse

    Crystal C,

    You really do need to take the dog to a vet ASAP!!! Gulping and crazy eyes sounds like he might be choking or gulping for air!!! It sounds like he might have a damaged trachea. This could result in some serious problems including difficulty breathing and swallowing. This is definitely a situation that needs a vet diagnosis rather than supplements, especially since it started after an incident involving injury. Please rule out any medical problems!

    #79802 Report Abuse

    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…

    #79812 Report Abuse

    I reread your post, I only suggested looking up allergies because I thought you implied your dog had them…..when you mentioned an otc allergy med.

    I would refrain from giving this dog any supplements or over the counter meds unless recommended by a veterinarian that has examined him.
    It really sounds like his problems are related to an injury he may have obtained during that accident, especially if that is when his symptoms started.
    It’s important to get him examined and diagnosed by a vet, he sounds uncomfortable, some dogs are stoic and try to hide it when they are in pain.

    #80878 Report Abuse
    Kelle J

    Molzy, my Cavalier King Charles has the same symptoms. After multiple tries with different Chinese herbs, acupuncture, dietary changes, etc. we finally took her to a specialist who scoped her throat and bronchials. (While in there he took photos that he later showed us.) It turned out that her left bronchial is 95% collapsed and her right bronchial is 75% collapsed. (She’s never worn a collar when walked, just a soft harness. The doctor believes it is genetic.) At the same time he removed a small amount of excess palette tissue that was touching the back of her throat. The collapses are after the bronchial tubes split so she is not a candidate for surgery. My husband did some research and we have her on some good supplements designed to rebuild cartilage which has helped quite a bit. (She used gulp/panic/eat grass several times a day and night. Now she has an episode once every couple of days.) When it happens, I find that if I open her mouth (which she actually comes to me to do), stick my finger toward the back of her tongue and then gently pull her tongue forward, they’ll be a soft popping/suction-release sound and she’ll feel better. Occasionally this doesn’t work, so when that happens I just let her go outside and eat a bit of grass so she can throw up and clear her lungs. We’re planning to take her back to the vets soon to have her re-scoped so we can see if the supplements have arrested the collapse and possibly rebuilt them in some way. If you’re interested, I’ll let you know the results. Good luck–your pup is lucky to have you.

    #81882 Report Abuse
    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.

    #81883 Report Abuse

    Hi Janet, sounds like acid reflux, my boy also a rescue that I rescued 3 years ago, started doing the licking & swallowing around 11pm at night, he was on Royal Canine vet diet Hypoallergenic for his skin, he came to me in very bad condition, the fat was too high at 19%, so vet changed his kibble too a lower fat kibble 10% this did heap but it was a vet diet with corn etc no good, he still would have these licking & swallowing episodes, lick my sheets, lick & lick his front paw, the vet said when they lick & lick they can be in pain & the licking sets off their Endorphins, he’d eat grass, feel sick, vomit, he’d grind his teeth, in the end I had an Endoscope & Biopsies done & he had the Helicobacter-Pylori & IBD, he’s also a stress head & causes his acid reflux sometimes. We went away for Xmas a 2 hour drive, I had started him on a new kibble a month before just Fish & Rice, no other ingredients & the fat % is 12%, he was doing real well, no acid reflux, I cook as well, then I brought out my suit case a week before we were going away & I started putting things in so I didn’t forget them, I even got him his own bag & put it next to mine & put his toys, an old bowl he doesn’t use no more, then he started following me everywhere in the house, he became my shadow again like when I first rescued him, he wouldn’t let me out of his sight, then he started getting his acid reflux again, he grinds his teeth & swallows, so out came the liquid Mylanta, I keep in the fridge, keeps it cool, so when I give it to him, it soothes his throat, the acid comes up into his throat, sometimes he has had a real sore throat, I give 4 mls in a syringe of the liquid Mylanta & it works the best with him, Zantac works OK but the liquid Mylanta settles the acid straight away, vet did not want him on a Proton Pump Inhibitor (PPI) Prilosec-Omeprazole, Somac-Pantoprazole etc you can’t not just stop taken a PPI after you’ve taken it for 15 days need to be reduce…..

    Can you buy chicken breast or lean Turkey breast mince & just bring to the boil & take off stove as soon as its cooked, with the chicken breast, I cut up into chunks & remove any fat & as soon as it’s about to boil, I remove from stove & empty out all the water, all the white frothy fat comes to the top, I boil the jug & rinse the chicken breast pieces with the boiled water, let it cool or run cold water over chicken pieces, then I make up 1 cup sections in freezer bags & freeze I put 2 bags in the fridge, I also boil, 1 potato, 1 zucchini, some broccoli, sometimes a bit of pumkin, I put in container in fridge, then I put in a blender a 4-5 pieces of boiled potato, some of the broccoli & 1/2 a cooked zucchini….
    The fat in the wet tin foods is high if it says 5%-fat when you converted to dry matter (Kibble) 5%fat is around 22%-25% fat if it was a kibble, so you need to look for wet tin foods that are around 1-3 % fat only & limited ingredients no corn, no wheat, no by-products etc…… when you cook, you know what they’re eating, you can control the fat & it works out cheaper then wet tin foods also the kibble made Patches acid reflux worse, so I started to I feed just the cooked chicken & potatoes etc for 1-2 months & let the stomach rest. I do add cooked kangaroo rissole sometimes that I bake or 1/2 tin of salmon in spring water & drain all the spring water, I also add 1/2 teaspoon DigestaVite plus-100 powder it’s vitamins/minerals, prebiotics for the stomach skin etc but at first I only feed Chicken Breast & some sweet potatoes then I slowly started adding 1 new ingredient each week & watched it didn’t give his acid reflux, find a limited ingredient kibble that’s just Fish & Rice no peas, no lentils, nothing that can upset her stomach, or Fish & Potatoes but the grain free kibbles normally have peas tapioca, lentils etc change her diet to a lower fat diet 10-12% fat, I also feed 4 small meals a day, 7am, 12pm, 5pm & 8pm…at 7am & 5pm is the cooked meal & 12pm & 8pm is his 1/2 cup kibble… you will find what works for your girl, if you do have the Endoscope make sure you get the Biopsies as well, when the vet looked down Patches throat into his stomach everything look excellent, I was waiting to pick Patch up & I can still hear 1 of Patches vet saying, everything looked good, see I told you, we need to cut him open & look at his small bowel, I said we still have to wait for the results from the biopsies & I kept saying it’s Helicobacter cause I’ve had the Helicobacter twice when I was younger & it makes you feel awful & you have stomach pain, bad acid reflux, it’s awful…. I feed kibble that have prebiotics, no Probiotics, Probiotics made Patch worse I don’t know why…. vet said prebiotics are better for the stomach & small bowel….

    #82578 Report Abuse
    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 8 years, 3 months ago by Jesse M.
    #82615 Report Abuse
    Allison M

    Jessie M, I’m glad this has helped your hound! I have had success with this automatic feeder http://www.amazon.com/Automatic-Recorder-Display-Qpets-Electronics/dp/B00450DTJA/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top?ie=UTF8 It can take a little bit to get used to but it’s very reliable. They also have a 6 meal version. If my beagle Rosie misses any of her snacks she will vomit, just like your dog. It’s called Bilious Vomiting Syndrome. As far as the pepcid goes, I usually give Rosie’s to her with her breakfast in the morning although it can be more helpful to give it before meals.

    #82651 Report Abuse

    Hi Jessie M, with the Pepcid (Famotidine) it states to take 15mins-60mins before eating or drinking… take same time every day & best taken at night if your taking once a day, don’t let the dog chew any ant acid medications….

    With the Sucralfate it must be given on an empty stomach, 1 hour before eating then you give Zantac or Pepcid 30mins later then wait 30mins & eat meal……Sucralfate lines the stomach & if there’s any food in the stomach, the Sucralfate will line the food as well….

    #82657 Report Abuse
    Jesse M

    Thank you Allison and Susan for the helpful tips! I just ordered the automatic feeder so I don’t have to worry if we are gone when it’s time for her snack 🙂 I’m just so glad we finally have a direction for this instead of feeling so helpless.

    #82874 Report Abuse
    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.

    #83116 Report Abuse

    I apologize for yet another lengthy post but it’s so interesting that many of our stories read the same…

    I’ve been dealing with the gulpy air licks since my pit bull was around 1.5 years old. He is 6.5 now. He will gulp, air lick, hard swallow, stare at me like “help me!”, he grinds his teeth, he will vomit hand size piles of white foamy bile, sometimes dingy yellowish bile, eat grass, eat more grass, throw that up and then being exhausted, he will sleep for hours. If I’m at work while an episode happened, he will resort to carpet, socks, wicker baskets, whatever he could get in his mouth. In the early days, this happened maybe a couple of times every six months but I wasn’t too concerned. I mean we all occasionally get sick, right? But for the first couple of years, I did casually mention it to my vet at bi-annual appts and even joked about renaming him Stan (the South Park character who pukes all the time). Something else maybe worth mentioning is sometimes I would get home from work after being gone for 10 hours or so and he would puke his kibble. It was still in perfect little round pieces, just like it went in, except it’s wet. So ZERO digestion in 10 hours for whatever that’s worth. His episodes began to increase in both frequency and severity about 3 years ago. No rhyme or reason. No patterns. Nothing I have been able to pinpoint. The episodes are almost a daily occurrence now. I mention to friends “he had a good day today” instead of a bad day because they are so frequent. You can see it in his eyes, his head is down, he’s tired, his eyes are red, he’s drooly, he stretches his neck, and he’s very, very clingy. I honestly don’t even remember what the first treatment protocols were or what order we went in. But here are some of the things we’ve tried:

    -Rubbing Trachea/Throat, Singing a song, Going for a walk. Basically distractions – works sometimes.
    -Canned organic pumpkin or Plain Greek Yogurt to settle the tummy during an episode – would work sometimes
    -Pepcid for acid reflux – seemed to work for a while
    -Elevated Food Bowl
    -Pepcid with Carafate Slurries each morning and evening to coat the tummy before meals – maybe worked?
    -Metronidazole/Amoxicillin combo for suspected Helicobacter Pylori – tested negative
    -Complete Blood Panel
    -Barium swallow with Xrays to examine the esophagus and rule out Megaesophagus – all clear
    -Daily Prilosec OTC 20mg – works sometimes.
    -Dry Kibble Changes – all over the map but all No Corn, Soy or Wheat – settled on Nutrisource Chicken for approx. 2 years –
    -Canned food – makes it worse-
    -No dry kibble for 6 months – I cooked for him. Chicken, Veggies, Rice. Worked well at first, and got worse toward the end of the 6 month period.
    -Animal Communicator – don’t laugh. I was very skeptical too. But this lady I do not know told me that his tummy had been sick for a really long time and that he was tired. She also told me that his body required a warm protein rather than a cool protein. I switched him from Nutrisource Chicken (cold) to Nutrisource Lamb (warm). She also told me to try essential oils. She didn’t say what kind, she said to let him smell the unopened containers and he would be interested in the one his body needed, if he needed one at all. I met with an essential oils expert, did just what she said and let him do the picking. We went vial after vial while he would sniff and turn his head over & over again. Until he sniffed…and he didn’t turn away. He sniffed again. He sniffed all around that vial like I was holding a piece of meat. He nudged my hand. More like a shove than a nudge really. I turned the vial around to see what it was expecting something food related but it wasn’t, it was something called Digize. Digize is:“a dietary supplement that provides valuable aid for digestive concerns and helps support a healthy digestive system. Benefits and Uses: eases heartburn, calms upset stomach, alleviates diarrhea, minimizes bloating, comforts sickness associated with pregnancy, reduces discomfort while travelling, overcomes constipation, improves digestive function, eases acidity in body, and rids body of parasites.” Well I’ll be darned.
    -Daily Prilosec/Carafate/Reglan regimen
    -And Cerenia. This stuff works beautifully and at $15 per dose, is more expensive than pure gold.

    I know I’ve forgotten a few things we tried, but we have tried a lot. In December 2015 he had had several pretty rough days in a row. I’d gotten home from work one eve and knew he wasn’t feeling well. I heard something weird, looked down at him standing in the kitchen and I see his teeth chattering, his body is stiff as a board, and he has this hard stare, like no one is in there. It was the weirdest thing that only lasted maybe 30 seconds, but it definitely happened. After it was over, it took him a good while to get his bearings back. He was so wobbly and confused. I texted my vet and she replied with “He’s just had a Focal Seizure.” I wonder if that’s somehow related to his gulpy air lick? Anyhow, because December was so bad for him I finally bit the money bullet and scheduled his Endoscopy, Biopsies, and Exploratory GI Surgery January 11th 2016. First off I want to say that I’ve done a TON of research too. I was convinced he had esophageal erosion, burns from the severe acid reflux, or big angry ulcers all over the lining of his stomach. Or stomach cancer. Yeah, that. So the results of the Endoscopy? The doc gives me a rundown. The esophagus looks perfect. The stomach looks perfect. Nothing in there at all (I did kind of expect a toy or something). The pyloris spincter looks good. The duodenum looks good, and the very beginning of the small intestine looks good. He said there doesn’t seem to be bile backing up into the stomach at all. So. Inconclusive. I couldn’t decide if that was good or bad news. I do know that I REALLY need an answer though.

    Since the surgery, I’ve had him on a regimen of Prilosec/Carafate/Reglan but it seems like he was sicker after the surgery than before. Like the scope irritated something, I don’t know. Results of the biopsies came back and they confirmed IBD, which we already knew. Doc says more testing is needed with the next being for something called Myasthenia Gravis, a nerve/muscle disorder. We haven’t done this test yet, but it is our next medical step. Anyway, after doing a bunch more research and with Doc’s blessing of course, last Wednesday February 10th I changed his food again to a limited ingredient novel protein, Zignature Kangaroo. I took away ALL the treats too. Treats are now Kangaroo kibble. I also went to feeding him 3 small meals a day on as consistent of a schedule as I can. If his tummy is empty, he gets gulpy licky. If his tummy is too full, he pukes. So day 1 on the Kangaroo, Wednesday, was a good day. Thursday was a good day. Friday was a good day. Saturday I discontinued the Carafate and Reglan but continuing the Prilosec. So far the good days have continued. Today is day 8 of “a good day”. I hope this lasts and I want to be positive, but I know the odds are not in our favor. Just one more theory, one more trial, grasping at more straws. I’ll definitey be looking more into the magnesium deficiency and Bilious Vomiting Syndrome that were mentioned earlier in the thread. At some point we have got to figure this out. Seems like none of us are giving up so I’d say we have a pretty good chance.

    *One word of warning about the Kangaroo. It stinks. It makes his breath stink, his poops are dense and alfalfa’ish smelling, and it digests quicker than other kibbles. And did I mention it stinks? Wish us luck and thank you for all your comments, for reading, and caring…

    • This reply was modified 8 years, 3 months ago by Carlene.
    • This reply was modified 8 years, 3 months ago by Carlene.
    #84221 Report Abuse
    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!

    #84683 Report Abuse
    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.

    #84686 Report Abuse

    Hi Carlene, I feel for your poor dog, your story reminded me of my Patch that I rescued 3 years ago, I also have tried all the ant acid meds until I read about not making enough Hydrochloric acid, its called Hypochlorhydria low stomach acid, this year I stopped any meds on Patch the end of 2015 all I used was liquid Mylanta & the Metronidazole for 7 days in October 2015, the ant acids seemed to make Patch worse not better & his mouth started to smell like food was fermenting in his stomach & not digesting, after he took Losec the Moltium you have Reglan in America made his breath smell like food was fermenting vet didn’t want him on the Moltium…
    2016 all I gave Patch was grass, grass growing out the back yard, i’d wash grass under cool water dry in a tea towel & feed Patch 1 blade of grass at a time about 5-6 pieces, then he’d either spew up un-digested kibble or he’d feel better & want to play,no more Mylanta nothing, then a lady told me LOW FIBER diet, I was lowering the fat% always feeding kibbles from 8% fat to 13% it made no difference then I saw on a EPI F/B group their dogs were doing really well on the “Taste Of The Wild” Pacific Stream, the fat is 15% & the fiber is 3%, I live Australia & we still have the old formula with no peas & no garbanzo beans, its just Salmon, Ocean Fish Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Potatoes, Canola Oil, Salmon, Smoked Salmon Meal, probiotics… finally Patches acid reflux, grinding his teeth, all stopped, no waking up grinding his teeth, another thing I have found I have to do is change his kibble every month if he eats the same kibble or cooked diet for more then 5 weeks, he gets food sensitivities & all his symptoms come back, so now I’m feeding the “Taste of The Wild” Sierra Mountain Roasted Lamb in 1 month I’m trying Canidae Pure Lamb limited ingredients then going back to the TOTW Pacific stream smoke Salmon & going to rotate his kibbles, Becareful with the Prilosec its a Pump Proton Inhibitor you can not just stop taking it after taken a PPI’s for 1 month, my vet said NO to the Losec & I was to only use it for 3-4days then stop also I use Metronidazole for 7-10days that’s what I did in October & January 2016 & after I stop the Metronidazole Patch does real well as soon as I see him have his acid reflux grinding his teeth for more then 3-4 days I’m giving the Metronidazole again, have you tried any Calming supplements??
    Since the grass works the best now with Patch I’m going to buy some Chlorophyll liquid, look at what is in the kibble she is eating now write down everything protein% fat% fiber% ingredients, & look for another kibble that’s the same BUT a different protein & start rotating in 3 weeks, I also feed 4 small meals a day, 7am I give 3/4 cup TOTW Roasted Lamb, 12pm under 1/2 cup TOTW Roasted Lamb, 5pm the TOTW Smoked Salmon & 8pm 1/2 cup cooked chicken & sweet potatoes or a low fat wet tin food, 2% fat but I have just started that this week…. I don’t know why Patch has finally gotten better & gained weight I don’t know what I did but something has fixed his IBD, all I’ve done is changed his food every month & feed something different for breakfast & dinner & the grass & the Metronidazole when the acid reflux doesn’t go away, Patches vet wanted Patch on a low dose of the Metronidazole 200mg a day for 6months she said the Metronidazole works for her IBD dogs with stomach problems, I just gave for 21 days then stopped, I hate giving any tablets they seem to make Patch worse, I hope everything you’ve been thru you find the answers for your poor girl…..I really believe stress plays a big part..

    #84716 Report Abuse
    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!

    #84718 Report Abuse
    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.

    #84729 Report Abuse
    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.

    #84742 Report Abuse
    Vanessa C

    Thanks for responding. I will look into a neurologist and keppra. I was hesitant to start the phenobarbital due to the side effects, but she was in the midst of a particularly bad episode, and it definitely helped. I rationalized that the side effects of phenobarbital are not as detrimental as a GI obstruction due to carpet-eating. I guess time will tell. I will monitor her closely in the mean time.
    Good luck with your boy, I’m glad you have some answers.

    #84744 Report Abuse

    I had a dog that was on a daily low dose of phenobarbital from the age of 9 months till her death at 12. No side effects observed at all. No drowsiness…nothing. No change in personality.
    If you are comfortable with your regular vet and he has diagnosed her with a seizure disorder I would go by his recommendations.

    PS: I had another dog that would go around trying to eat the carpet and such when she had an upset stomach, she had neurological issues related to Lyme disease.

    #84778 Report Abuse
    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!

    #85284 Report Abuse

    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.

    #86003 Report Abuse
    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.

    #86005 Report Abuse
    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.

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