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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 19006
Experience:  Hello, I am a small animal veterinarian and am happy to discuss any concerns & questions you have on any species.
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My black lab has been dry-heaving a bit since last night. I

Customer Question

My black lab has been dry-heaving a bit since last night. I thought he had a long of grass that he was trying to dislodge. But it hasn't come up yet and it's happening more frequently
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He doesn't have a bloated belly and is not acting odd or lethargic.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you today. I do apologize that your question was not answered before. Different experts come online at various times; I just came online, read about your situation, and wanted to help.
Again I do apologize that my colleagues could not aid you sooner. If you would still like assistance, can you tell me:
How long has he been showing signs?
Can he keep water down?
Are his gums nice and pink (not white/pale)? Moist or sticky?
If you press on his belly, does he have any tensing, tenderness, discomfort, or pain?
Could he have eaten anything he should not have (ie bones, stones, socks, toys, plants, chemicals, human meds, etc)?
Any diarrhea?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your response. Zeus started this heaving in the middle of the night last night. He tend to eat my ornamental grasses, so that is what I assume it was. However, he can't seem to expel it.He can keep water down- and doesn't have diarrhea. He has black gums, so those are no help. .
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you too,
These grasses can be a common issue for dogs. While often not toxic, the microscopic razor type material they are made of commonly catches in their throat. This can lead to them getting stuck but also abrades and irritates the throat. And both can cause gagging and heaving in dogs.
Now I am glad to hear that he is keeping water down. To soothe his throat, we can try a few options. First, to just generally reduce irritation, you can give Zeus a few milliliters of honey or honey/glycerin cough syrup (with no drugs in it). These will coat the throat and reduce the irritation present.
Further to this, we can also use antacids to both soothe the throat and reduce any nausea. Now the liquid ones are better for situations like this. Therefore, we can use Milk of Magnesia (magnesium hydroxide; 1tsp every 8 hours) for him. Otherwise, we could also try Pepcid (More Info/Dose @ http://www.petplace.com/article/drug-library/library/over-the-counter/famotidine-pepcid) or Zantac (More Info/Dose @ http://www.petplace.com/article/drug-library/library/over-the-counter/ranitidine-hcl-zantac) for him. If you didn't have access to a liquid version, then you could choose to crush these and mix with something throat coating like honey to give. Of course, do check with his vet before using these if he has any known health issues or is on any other medication.
Once those are on board, we can consider offering soft foods. This can be pate style canned food or even rice with boiled chicken, white fish, cottage cheese, or scrambled egg. These will avoid further irritating the throat and getting some food in can help push any lingering grasses down into the stomach. These can be fed as small frequent meals for a few days until the throat is settled.
Overall, these grasses are notoriously irritating to the throat. So, it could be causing a direct irritation or his retching may be related to residual irritation/inflammation in the throat from this. Therefore, we'd want to use the above at this stage. Of course, if this lingers, we may need his local vet to dispense a dog safe anti-inflammatory (ie Metacam, Onsior, Rimadyl, etc) +/- check his throat to make sure there isn't a stubborn grass that needs to be removed for Zeus.
I hope this information is helpful.
If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!
All the best, *****
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks - I tried honey- which he loved. He's not that interested in water, but he's eating ice. Just to note it's very hot here and we don't have air conditioning. So it's probably almost 80 degrees in the house. I will go and buy some milk of magnesia. He's not on medication and is healthy otherwise.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
You are very welcome,
I don't envy your weather there. Still, just to note if he isn't drinking well, you can try to encourage him by flavoring the water with a bit of low salt chicken broth. And that can just help with his throat but also keeping him hydrated in the hot weather.
All the best, *****
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If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need as this is how I am credited for assisting you today. Thank you! : )
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
there are no groceries open at 4am. Only a 7-11, which didn't have milk of magnesia or Pepcid ac. They did have a stomach coating called bismuth subsalicyate - will that work?
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Hi again,
You can try a small dose of Bismuth to coat his throat, but we'd not want to give more then a teaspoon (since that will cause constipation as it is an anti-diarrheal).
All the best, *****
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He wouldn't take it - even with a liquid syringe. Any other recommendations until the grocery opens?
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Hi again,
You can give liquid medications to resistant dogs by sliding the syringe (or dropper/turkey baster/etc) into the space between the cheek and teeth. Otherwise, safe for other antacids (ie Prilosec, Tagamet, etc), the above to pretty much the breadth of what we can use for this situation without having his vet bypass his mouth and treat him by injection.
Take care,
Dr. B.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Hi Julie,
I'm just following up on our conversation about Zeus. How is everything going?
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