Acid Reflux/Nausea

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leslieak's picture
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So I have had a bit of a rough week with Zooey. She has developed some tummy issues since last weekend. I have several theories of things that could have caused it (pig ear - most likely...no more pig ears, new bag of food but same type of food she has been on since we got her, although the other dog has had not problems, eating acorns or other stuff outside, or some unknown object she ate in the house that we can't figure out) but the behavior is so bizarre I thought I would share and see if anyone has had a similar experience. The first episode was about 2 hours after she ate dinner on Tuesday night. She started getting very anxious and licking everything in sight, floors, blankets, my clothes and double swallowing. I put her in our kitchen to stop her from eating anything she shouldn't and she started hacking. She didn't really fully vomit but coughed up a piece of undigested kibble and some hair. It was about 9 o'clock so I gave her some original formula pepto that I give Argo once in awhile when he has a stomach upset. Her licking and anxiousness lasted about 30 minutes and then she went to sleep. I withheld her breakfast the next day, fed her dinner that night and she was fine, then after breakfast the next day she repeated the behavior again about 1 1/2 hours after eating. I got her in to the vet that afternoon and she gave her a prescription anti-nausea medicine and pepcid ac and we put her on chicken and rice only. The vet said she didn't think it was a blockage but something she ate that upset her stomach and causing nausea and acid reflux. Well she has improved somewhat over the last few days but I have noticed that what seems to really trigger it is playing with the other dog in the house. I am careful about not letting them run around before or after eating but this is just when they are tussling in the house, not running, but play pinsching chomping at the air with each other. It doesn't even seem to be just around meals. She had an episode of the licking, swallowing, and anxiousness in the middle of the day Saturday. It is very stressful to see her so uncomfortable and I hate it for her. I have now started giving her a midday meal with some peppermint tea mixed in and she is still on the pepcid ac twice a day before her meals. Although she has improved if I keep her quiet, I think I'm going to bring her back to the vet for more diagnostics. The vet said to gradually add her regular food back in, then her digestive enzyme pre-/pro-biotic powder and the glucosamine/chondroitin sulfate pill that I had been giving her now for a couple months to see if any of it makes things worse. I am trying to minimize the doggie play but that isn't exactly easy. I was giving her Ester-C with the glucosamine but I'm worried that it could have contributed to this even though it is supposed to be non-acidic. Anyone have similar problems or suggestions?

Joined: 2012-10-28

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Hi Leslie and Zooey, 

 Sorry to hear that Zooey girl is acting quite strange and is sick. We had a big episode of tummy sickness with Bella after Christmas, and got alot of good advice. Its in GD health, "Bella is sick"

I hope you can get to the bottom of this and get her the treatment and rest she needs. I bet Argo is confused about losing his playmate for the rough outside stuff.

Let us know how she is doing.

 

From PB an' me

Julia

leslieak's picture
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Wow, it sounds like you and Bella had a scary new year! I'm glad she is feeling better and there was good advice in the thread. I definitely want to get Zooey's probiotics added back in soon and she had been on them regularly since we have had her because Argo has such a sensitive stomach and as Tal said they seem to help Argo alot with his issues. I had switched from NaturVet Digestive Enzymes plus to Proenzyme because I noticed Zooey eating Argo's poop a few weeks ago - lovely. Proenzyme has pineapple in it which supposedly discourages that behavior. The NaturVet product had papaya. Who knows maybe she is allergic to pineapple and just switching that product has caused this. Ugh, I wish they could talk! The thing I am worried about is that it is an esophagus issue rather than just something she has eaten getting out of her system. I guess only a barium x-ray and possibly a scope will tell. How long did it take for Bella's eating to get back to normal? I may just need to give her more time to rebalance her digestive system as long as she continues to improve - it is just hard to be patient when you see them in distress.

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Awwww.. such an upsetting thing for you guys to be going through.. my first thougth was to add canned pumpkin ( not pie filling.. the real deal) it seems to help with digestion and any other tummy trouble our kids have..

But on second thought.. might be best to follow your vet's instructions..might be that " Less is more." in this case.. Keep us informed.. I've never experieinced acid reflux with our fur kids.. but it's always good to get as much info as we can..

thanks..

Joined: 2012-10-28

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I definately believe less is more, and assuming that Zooey (like Argo) will have digestive issues is not fair to her. Is she drinking plenty? I would not give them anything except good dog food unless the vet recommended it. Her digestive system may have got thrown off track from the vit C, as you said, also. Did she have the runs too? JMHO< not an experienced dog owner.... sounds like alot of additives/ supplements to me.

Bella finally got back to her normal about 2.5 weeks after the beginning. (? its in the thread)  It was very scary for us. We never gave her any probiotics, or pepsid, just the prescribed medication and alot of rice, broth and chicken, gradually over about a week going back to her regular dog kibble with cooked chicken and its plain broth. Actually she did eat a few licks of yogurt. But she is very picky and not food oriented so she skips a meal every 4th or 6th meal... 

I think if a dog eats old poop they are at a risk of getting giardia. You may want to get a poop test, just to know. Bella had that, and we didn't know, usually she is quite 'regular'.

Good Luck!

leslieak's picture
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Thanks, the fecal is a good idea. She had one done that was negative back in December but she could have picked something up since then. She is on the glucosamine/chondroitin sulfate and Ester-C because she has early signs of hip dysplasia. The vet suggested the glucosamine/chondroitin but was not sold that the Ester-C makes that big of a difference. I asked him about it because I had read about it as being beneficial in combination but since he said he could take it or leave it I will definitely cut that out completely. The glucosamine does really seem to be helping her though because she sits more normally and jumps up instead of pulling herself up on couches and the bed. I would hate to take her off of it but we may need to go to injections if it is causing her stomach problems - my vet had said that would be an option but if the supplement helps we could maybe avoid it since it is much more expensive...The vet also knows about the digestive enzyme/probiotic for both dogs and if anything they should be preventing stomach issues.

I found this thread of people having similar problems with their dogs and it is a bit disheartening - http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/forums/topic/dog-gulping-and-swallowing/

I should also probably take a deep breathe and stop worrying or else we will both be taking pepcid ac.

talisin's picture
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it's a long shot but my chihuahua did the licking stuff and the anxiousness etc. his turned out to be mini seizures from too much stimulation (zooey - playing?? excitement??? etc.)

Goofy the collie did this same thing, collies are prone to ulcers from stress, so I figured it was stress, turns out it was really a mass behind his stomach so that everything he drank would sometimes hit that tumor and bounce right back out, the food was solid enough to push by it but water would come right back up.

Neither of these is a good answer but they were worth mentioning cause the symptoms you described with behavior was definitely my two boys.

talisin's picture
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Ok I read the article and a couple of people mentioned what I did about seizures, I will talk a bit about that - our chi did all that licking and stuff, diagnosed with seizure activity from too much stimulation, and the seizures got bad and lasted a long time and were almost granmal but I figured out by process of removing things in his diet that it was protein induced, so we lowered the protein level of his food an it got better, then I realized it was also related to sweet potato treats!! I took him off sweet potato treats, and things improved even more - now I can say he has not had a seizure in over a year!!!! or more.......which is odd since as they age their seizure threshold lowers I would expect him to have seizures if he is prone to them since he is 15 years old but so far so good.

My experience with the sensitive trachea and/or collapsing trachae - our chi began coughing after a little bit of play and a bit of any type of exercise - after much ado at two different vets, our holistic vet took xrays and found that he has congestive heart failure and that when he plays or gets excited he has fluid back up into his lungs and he coughs, his collapsing trachae was due to the fluid backing up; the trachea collapses for a reason finding that underlying reason would help. So we no longer allow the chi to run too much, and we are careful when we pick him up to not swoop him up too fast so that the fluid doesn't slosh up into his lungs, and we never roll him over to rub his belly anymore either. The hacking could be the coughing I am referring too, it sounds like they are hacking up a furball but nothing comes up.

My bet is some sort of seizure activity and possibly fluid in the lungs but that is just from my experience with my dogs.....I hope I am wrong on all accounts, this is one time it would be great to be wrong wrong wrong......

if it's seizures those are easily managed or like in my case cured......the fluid on the lungs can also be managed but that is a real long shot considering her age.

Kim
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As something else to consider, I've had two dogs that had acid reflux. In both cases, Libby and Gabe were eating food they were allergic to. Libby progressed to Inflammatory Bowel Disease before she was diagnosed. Once diagnosed, I stopped feeding the foods she was allergic to, (fish, shellfish, eggs, lamb and all grains), and she lived another 7 years.

Fortunately for Gabriel, when he started burping and vomiting, I recognized the symptoms, and immediately changed his diet. He was allergic to Menhaden Fish Meal (many dogs can't digest it), and beef.

The problem with giving antacids to a dog with allergies is - the stomach is trying to protect itself from the allergen. So when you give antacids, because the allergen is still there, the stomach produces MORE acid.

I don't know if this is what's going on with Zooey, but I thought I would share it.

leslieak's picture
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Thank you for the feedback. The current status is she is now back on her regular kibble 3X a day without using the pepcid ac or anything added back in yet for supplements. She hasn't had a full blown attack since Saturday but I can still tell she is having some issues still starting and it is related to excitement. For example, last night when I came home late and she was very hyper she started licking and swallowing but I calmed her down quickly enough that it didn't progress to a prolonged reaction. It makes me think that we may not have noticed that this preliminary behavior going on for awhile. I do think I am going to switch her food to lower protein/fat and try to figure out whether there is an allergy component. She is currently on 4Health Performance, which is a 4.5 rated food on dogfoodadvisor.com, that is 30% protein, 20% fat and chicken-based. They have a Large Breed variety that is rated 4 stars that is lower in protein and fat so I may try that first.

Tal -In regard to the seizure possibility, since it is triggered by excitement it could be something along these lines. Do you have your chi on anti-seizure medicine? I'll try the food change and contol for treats and see how it goes. She doesn't seem to be coughing very much anymore so I'm hoping fluid in the lungs is not a factor. 

Thanks again!

Joined: 2012-10-28

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That is such great news, we are so happy you are making progress in your diagnosis. We hope she continues to be calmer or whatever it is that keeps her on a level keel.

 

Best always

 woofs from pb an' me

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Les - our vet said that seizure meds have more side effects than letting him go through minor seizures. that's hard to accept but I understand, cause he doesn't know what's happening really, but we do, the vet said that the seizures would have to be really frequent like several a day to merit drugs, cause you have to regulate the drugs and if they don't a seizure for months or weeks or even days in between it's hard to tell if the drugs are working, so they prefer to wait till the drugs can show instantly if they are the right strength and the right drug......so if it's minor and infrequent just be there and time them and watch for signs like pacing, pupils dilated, licking, just nervous in general, overly stimulated etc. take notes as to what was eaten prior to, any water?, the time of day etc. all this will help to determine what and why.....then the vet can decide when meds would be necessary. Maybe you will luck out like we did, when we changed his food and took the sweet potato treats away he hasn't had a seizure in almost a year!!!! and we are able to give him a taste of chicken and some high protein meat treats now without worrying about seizures......he either grew out of it or the food was number one culprit

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Update - one month later it looks like Zooey has Antibiotic-responsive diarrhea (ARD) - http://en.wikivet.net/Antibiotic_Responsive_Diarrhoea. The vet confirmed an overgrowth of bacteria in her small intestine and she has started on a course of Flagyl. Her diarrhea has already improved after a couple days. I had changed her diet to a lower fat diet with just chicken as the protein over the last month and cut out treats and the acid reflux symptoms had improved. The only thing that persisted was this off and on diarrhea and occasional gas. Anyway, we are going to see how she responds after the Flagyl course ends and proceed to look for underlying causes if the diarrhea returns. Other than the diarrhea she has been acting great with lots of energy, gaining weight (54lbs - 14 lb gain since we got her), and her coat quality is improving. The vet says all of those are signs that hopefully the issue will resolve once her tract is back in balance but it could be a chronic problem so we are going to continue to be careful with her diet. Anyhow, thought I would let other people know about ARD since it sounds like it may be associated with IBD.

talisin's picture
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There is a product that most pet stores carry that is called Flora or Ultimate Flora for dogs and cats it is a daily powder you put on their food that is the same as our probiotics as far as how it works in the gut, if her gut is out of balance I would look into daily probiotics for her you can find it at carealotpets.com or petsmart just about any of them should carry probiotics of some sort.

Ben had to take it cause he was on all sorts of meds for a long time, I highly recommend the one called Flora in the purple and white packets.

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Thanks - I did end up giving her the Ultimate Flora while she was on the Flagyl and then now I use a VetriScience capsule that is just probiotc and FOS, none of the enzyme stuff - I have been giving them a pill in a wet food meatball because I had read that the stomach acids can deteriorate the probiotics if sprinkled in the food and the capsule helps with delivery to the small intestine. It seems to havea positive effect since Zooey is having more normal stools, her appetite is good, and minimal burping and tooting. I also switched her to Whole Earth Farms grain free canned food as a topper and will be switching her over to the grain free dry of that brand as well over the next couple of weeks - I think we are on the right track since she seems to be continuing to get better and better! Thanks for the help.

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yayayayay good news, keep up the good work and hopefully she will feel great in no time!!!! love good news.

leslieak's picture
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So I have been giving the dogs the Whole Earth Farms Grain Free chicken and turkey dry food the last few days and Argo LOVES it. He is a very picky eater, especially in the morning, but now when I go to measure out a little of the new food to add in to the kibble they are on he is hovering around me. He has never acted that way for dry food! I had him on Blue Freedom when I first got him but it is so expensive that I switched to 4Health, which is rated as a very good food but their grain free version is not rated as well. Whole Earth Farms is a less expensive brand from Merrick made just for Petco and is rated very highly on dogfoodadvisor.com. I am pretty excited that it may help Zooey and this may be a food I don't need to coax Argo to eat in the mornings. And it is a little expensive but not as bad as some of the other high quality foods.

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always love it when they don't argue about eating