Hello, my name is***** and I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian. I'm sorry to hear about your girl's inability to keep down food and the large amount of mucous that seems to come up along with strange noises when she brings the food back up.
Is this active vomiting (retching with abdominal contractions) or does it seem to passively flow back out with not much effort (which is regurgitation)?
How long after eating does the food come back?
Does this seem to happen more after exercise or can it be any time?
Are her food and water bowls elevated or flat on the ground?
You might try elevating her food and water bowls and making her stay in an upright position (front paws
up on a chair back or table) after eating and drinking to allow gravity to help pull the liquids down into her stomach
If she seems to be regurgitating (passive outflow) rather than vomiting (active retching with abdominal contractions) then this can be an early sign of a condition called megaesophagus.
Megaesophagus is a condition where the esophagus is dilated and has weak muscles
. Food may sit in it and be passively regurgitated back up, sometimes several hours after eating. The mucous that you are seeing may be esophageal mucous collected around the food when the food sits in her esophagus for a period of time. The strange noises may be due to air sitting in her dilated esophagus that comes out along with the food.
Megaesophagus can be secondary to nerve damage from pulling on the collar/leash too much as well as nerve damage from a foreign body in the esophagus, it can also be due to a low functioning adrenal gland (addison's disease), hypothyroidism
or a condition called Dysautonomia. Sometimes it can be caused by a mass in the chest affecting the nerves that control esophageal function.
Your veterinarian can do a test called a barium swallow to see how her esophagus works. She'll be given barium orally and then a series of radiographs can be taken to see how it passes through her esophagus and stomach.
And they will likely want to check some blood tests as well. I would want to check a biochemistry profile and thyroid profile, looking for things we can treat.
Here is a link to a very good article about megaesophagus: http://www.marvistavet.com/html/body_megaesophagus.html
This weekend you can try using acid reducing medications to see if they help by decreasing esophageal burn and reflux. You can use either:
1) Pepcid-ac (famotidine
) at one 10mg tab per 20 to 40 pounds of body weight every 12 hours
2) Prilosec (omeprazole) at one 10mg tab per 20 to 40 pounds of body weight every 24 hours.
These are acid reducers and should help settle her stomach and decrease the reflux if this is related to gastroesophageal reflux. They are very safe and can be used as needed with her.
I would also recommend feeding
her in an upright position and having her stay in an upright position after eating or drinking for at least 15 minutes or so after eating and drinking.
Best of luck with your girl, please let me know if you have any further questions.