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My 11 year old golden retriever is having difficulty eating

and any food that he...
My 11 year old golden retriever is having difficulty eating and any food that he does eat he is throwing up (usually once per day). He is still drinking water and having bowel functions (although much less than normal). This has been occurring since Sunday. He normally eats Nutrisource chicken and rice dry food (1 cup in morning, 1 cup in evening) but has no interest in eating that. Since Monday I have been giving him cooked chicken breast which he was able to eat on Monday and Tuesday (but then threw it up). Since then he can only eat it if I hand feed him small pieces in limited quantities. When he eats the food it appears he is having problems chewing and swallowing - most of it falls out of his mouth and then he loses interest in it. He is somewhat lethargic but still seems to have an interest in food initially. I am trying to get an appointment with the vet to see him. His teeth look normal for a dog his age - some mine inflammation but no change since the previous week. We tried giving him scrambled eggs which he managed to eat last night, but immediately threw it up. I hope it could be something not so bad - but I'm really scared.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. This sounds like it might be serious. I'll let the Veterinarian know what's going on ASAP. Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about the dog?
Customer: He has always been extremely healthy - no medical issues at all. He still gets excited to go for a walk although we are limiting it to about 1 mile now (normal is 2-3 daily). No skin or neurological issues to date. A few fatty tumors which the vet said are normal at his age and nothing to worry about. He is just turning 11 next week
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Answered in 54 minutes by:
6/16/2017
Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 17,128
Experience: Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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I am sorry to hear that your fellow is having trouble chewing and swallowing.

When he vomits is it active vomiting (retching/gagging/abdominal contractions) or is it passive with food just falling out with no retching? If there isn't any gagging and retching and food is just passively falling out that is regurgitation versus true vomiting and indicates either primary muscle weakness or poor nerve function.

Is his jaw hanging open all the time?

Or can he close his jaw but is unable to chew or bite down with any force?

Or is he unwilling or unable to open his mouth?

Is he in pain?

If he is unwilling or unable to open his mouth we need to consider disease processes that affect the muscles that control chewing (masticatory myositis) or his temperomandibular joint, or an abscess up behind his upper molar that makes opening his mouth and chewing excruciatingly painful.

If his mouth is hanging open, and he cannot seem to close it or chew, then nerve inflammation/damage of his facial nerve may be the cause.

If he is regurgitating rather than vomiting poor esophageal muscle tone/function is possible. That can be secondary to hypothyroidism and secondary myasthenia gravis, primary myasthenia gravis (nerve function disease) or a mass in or around his esophagus blocking passage of food.

Your fellow needs to see a veterinarian. They will likely want to check some basic blood tests (complete blood count, biochemistry profile, thyroid profile) and depending upon what they find on exam radiographs of his head, neck or chest.

Please let me know if I can be of further help.

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I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Dr. Kara
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Hello, I wanted to make sure that you didn't have any further questions for me, and I'd like to know how things turned out for your pup. If you could give me an update that would be great, thank you, ***** *****

Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
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