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    Dog double swallowing fits, licking floor anxiously
    TwoTaccos posted:
    I have a year old mini Australian shepherd. She has had perfect health and is up to date (as of last week!) with her shots, heartworm, frontline, etc. Her visit to the vet was perfect.

    Two days ago, she woke us up in the middle of the night in a fit. Her throat was double swallowing... it looked like there was hicups in her throat. She would sporadically cough and borderline obsessively lick her lips. She would then frantically lick EVERYTHING on the floor. My husband thought maybe something was in her throat. He opened up her mouth and she threw up. The symptoms continued.

    We took her to the hospital and they suggested it was allergies and her throat must be irritated. We have kept her on benedryl. She has had several "attacks" since. When should this clear up? Does this sound like a reasonable diagnosis? What can you do if a dog has a sore throat?
    Sandy Willis, DVM, DACVIM responded:
    Dear Two Taccos,

    Wow, interesting. I am not sure what is going on. Is she nauseous? Something caught in her throat? A particular type of seizure disorder?

    We don't see sore throats very often and did the veterinarian report that her tonsils were enlarged?

    i think the benadryl/allergy thought was a good one but if it continues, I would have the veterinarian take a look at your doggie again. We may be missing something that would require a better look at her through, perhaps a neck xrays, perhaps even some blood work.

    We treat for simple causes and then if that doesn't work, we have to look deeper.

    Dr. Sandy
    TwoTaccos replied to Sandy Willis, DVM, DACVIM's response:
    Dr. Sandy,
    She may be nauseous. When we take her outside she eats a ton of grass. Last night was really bad. She had fits from 2 in the afternoon until 12:30 AM. She also threw up the grass, but that didn't slow down the attacks. Could it be acid reflux?? She does burp after she eats her food. She usually eats Wellness Core dry food. Since this whole thing and with fears that her throat hurts, we are giving her the wet food of the same variety.
    The vet at the animal hospital did not look into her throat. She said that when she squeezed her throat, the "double swallowing" happened more.
    It really seems as if it is involuntary and not connected to anything she is doing. She could be playing or napping and a fit will start. It is heart breaking because she always comes over to me or my husband with fear in her eyes and her heartbeat is quickened. We have been giving her ice cubes to prevent her from licking the floor and EVERYTHING around her. That seems to soothe her.
    We are taking her to our vet tonight. He says this is "not normal" and wants to see her immediately. At least now we should be getting some tests done and some answers.
    Thank you so much for responding. We are feeling very helpless!! We take very good care of our puppy... so this is really upsetting.
    laura2gemini2 replied to TwoTaccos's response:
    It sounds like there is something stuck in her throat thats bothering her. My dog decided she wanted to try and eat a burr bush and she got a burr stuck in her throat and was acting kind of like yours, with the double swollowing and throwing up.
    TwoTaccos replied to laura2gemini2's response:
    I just wanted to follow through and let you know what it turned out to be. I hope if someone else searches for this problem they will have a greater understanding of what might be wrong with their dog.

    The x-rays that were taken yesterday showed that our dog had delayed emptying of the stomach. The "throat fits" were most likely from the acid of her stomach backing up. She ended up hacking up some hairballs yesterday afternoon, but the throat spasms continued. Last night she threw up what could only be described as a solid mass of God knows what. That must have been enough to get things moving.

    The vet's plan was to do a second round of x-rays and if need's be, he'd do an endoscopy or possible surgery to remove any foreign materials. (Which just made me sob more!)

    We went back this morning for a second/third x-ray and it showed that her stomach had emptied and things were making their way out. Later this afternoon we found out what was in her stomach. There was a shard of plastic, paint chips and wads of hair. We consider Darcy to be a very well behaved pup... but she must have secrets. We feel very lucky. It was a good move to follow up with our vet and not just solely take the emergency care vet's words... especially when they didn't do a thorough examination.

    Thanks for the help!
    Raffa13 replied to TwoTaccos's response:
    Hello Two Tacco's. Has your dog had anymore attacks? My Wheaten Terrier has the exact same symptoms..Panic, fear, excessive licking of lips and eating anything and everything on the floor or ground. Grass, whole dry leaves, bark mulch, etc.

    He also has the throat hiccups. It scares the heck out of him. He'll be lying down and suddenly jump up, run a few steps, lay back down and look like he's waiting for the next episode of whatever is happening to him...he just did it while typing this. Poor guy keeps looking at me for help??

    I thought it might be worms as it seems as though something is happening 'inside' him...but his poops look good. No signs of eggs or 'rice'. There is also no sign of pain associated with this behavior. I've rubbed his throat, belly and also around his backside...he just seems to enjoy it.

    I should mention that I'm treating him for yeast infection in his ears...not sure if this is relevent.

    If anyone else has ANY info. regarding these symptoms, please share your insight...
    tiffytutu replied to TwoTaccos's response:
    My dog is experiencing the same problem. My vet never heard of it before. My dog is also on Wellness Core (reduced fat) - don't know if that is just a coincidence but has been on it for some time - this licking frenzy only just started. Has your dog had any more episodes since you found out about what was in her stomach? how did they treat it? how long did it take before she was back to normal? I gave her a sedative to at least relax her until I can take her in. that seems to help. Very upseting.
    tiffytutu replied to TwoTaccos's response:
    one more question - by any chance is your dog on any thryroid medication?
    Sephi replied to tiffytutu's response:
    I have a 4yr old Lab who suddenly exibited the same behavior last night. Jumped out of bed and started licking floors, walls, windows! After a trip outside he came in and drank alot of water. Last week he had 2 nights of a kind of cough after lying flat in bed. He is also on Wellness Dry but its "Super5Mix". Im not feeling comfortable with the Wellness brand coming up so often in this post. Im hoping its just a coincidence. Anyone have any thoughts? Vet says heart is strong, may be an upper resp. infection and gave him meds. Other than this strange behavior, everything is completely normal with him.
    mombrm replied to Raffa13's response:
    just wondering if you ever found out what was happening during these episodes?
    I also have a wheaton....and the hiccuping ,fear, licking and eating grass is terrible.
    i feel so badly for her... they happen 6 times a year and can last even mildly, for days
    the vet doesnt know what they are....
    Artsybee replied to mombrm's response:
    Hi mombrm
    I have a 4 yr old Wheaton doing the same thing right now. Last night I gave him a cardboard box just to have a bit of fun with and I think that might have done it. Be careful if you have berber rugs because ours catches hold of a strand and keeps eating it but is unable to break it off at a reasonable spot. When he eventually vomits there is a large coil of carpet usually. We had to change our carpets recently but our stairs still have the old carpet and last night he snuck down for a carpet snack.
    It usually passes and won't happen again for a few months but the comment above about delayed stomach emptying is making more sense to me. There is possibly a foreign object in Murphy's tummy.Seems Wheatons are vulnerable to EVERYTHING!!!
    TigersMom replied to Artsybee's response:
    am wondering if anyone has received a diagnosis for this behavior. Our wheaton is 9 years old and does the same thing. Has the backward sneeze as the doctor calls it, so she gets allergy medicine. Seems to have a sort of seizure where she will stand absolutely still for five minutes, then urinate and be dazed, followed by anxiously eating anything around. She then vomits. Vet thought it was acid reflux so she takes prevacid everyday and this is still happening. Not sure what to do next. All of her blood work is normal. I would greatly appreciate any advice, since I feel so badly for her. Thanks
    KDogg81 replied to TigersMom's response:
    I have a 4 year old boxer who just recently had a similar second episode. The first time I was living in an apartment so I thought maybe he got into something bad outside but now I am in a single family rental with a fenced in back yard and this just happened again. I let him out to go to the bathroom and about an hour later I hear him licking profusely to the point where both front paws are soaked. He then vomits multiple times and then starts licking the floor for every morsel of dirt or lint or whatever he can find. It's so strange. I can also feel that his body temperature is slightly elevated during this time. I just don't know what to make of it. He's a purebred, up to date on shots, we don't change his food, he's not a grass eater...... At a loss!!
    milliegirl replied to TigersMom's response:
    our 6 year old rescue wheaten has this problem , we have been to numerous vets. who all look baffled when we tell them she is eating the floor. after much research on our own Millie is now fed by hand, while standing, and her water bowl is raised, this way she can swallow , we found eating low down made her regurgitate, not vomit., (there is a difference). she might have megaesophagus but this has not been confirmed by any of the vets. it is very upsetting when she starts eating the floor and more upsetting when the numerous vets look at us as if we are making this up. she will hiccup and gulp, and this comes on without warning. we also find that stress can trigger an episode. a good way for us to stop her eating anything she can find is to sit with her and comb her, it calms her down. she has skin problems too so any calming tabs don't help, they are flavored, and doggy zanax does not help either. she has also had pepcid ac. and carafate, the carafate does help if it is a bad gulping episode. we love her very much and it is awful when you cant help .
    LizBoston replied to milliegirl's response:
    I have the exact same problem with my wheaten.
    How many years have the episodes been happening?
    Have you tried seizure medication? My vet suggested it and
    I am afraid to do that.

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