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I'm very concerned about my two year old Shih Tzu. He is…

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Hello. I'm very concerned about...
Hello. I'm very concerned about my two year old Shih Tzu. He is jerking his head forward and swallowing hard at the same time. Then, he licks his lips. He's a bit lethargic and taps me with his paw and whines. Please help! I'm so worried!
Submitted: 8 months ago.Category: Dog Veterinary
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Answered in 52 minutes by:
8/6/2017
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. B., Veterinarian replied 8 months ago
Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 22,616
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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Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you today.

How long has he been showing signs?

Any retching, gagging, drooling, or vomiting?

Has he had any coughing or breathing changes?

Are his gums pink or white/pale? Moist or sticky?

If you press on his belly, any tensing, tenderness, discomfort, or pain?

Could he have eaten anything harmful (ie bones, toys, plants, chemicals, human meds, etc)?

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Teddy started showing signs this morning.
No gagging or drooling
His gums are pink and moist. He has had some reverse sneezing lately. He isn't affected by pressing on his stomach. I'm not aware of him eating anything uncommon. I'm very careful about removing foxtails in my yard too.
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. B., Veterinarian replied 8 months ago

Hello again,

Now the signs Teddy is showing are ones we can see with nausea (even without vomiting) but also throat inflammation. So, we'd be wary of a gut infection but also possible bacterial or viral tracheitis or inflammatory/traumatic (from something eaten) esophagitis. With this all in mind, we can try some home supportive care. To start, you the Pepcid was a good option but I'd suggest a liquid antacid (ie Milk of Magnesia - 0.25tsp every 8-12 hours) to reduce nausea and also coat his throat. We’d give this 20 minutes before offering food to allow absorption. Of course, do double check with your vet if he has a known health issues or is on any medications you haven't mentioned. And just in case you only have the tablet ones, I'd also suggest using a mild cough suppressant for the throat. Often we'll give a few millilitres of plain honey & glycerin cough syrup or plain honey. These can be used as often as needed.

Afterwards, you can consider starting a soft and easily digestible diet like cooked white rice with boiled chicken, boiled white fish, cottage cheese, scrambled eggs, or meat baby food (as long as its garlic/onion free). There are also OTC vet diets that can be used (ie Hill’s I/D or Royal Canin’s sensitivity) too. The aim of these diets is that they will be better tolerated/absorbed by the compromised gut. Therefore, it should get more nutrients in and result in less GI upset. As long as improvement is being seen, I usually advise continuing this until signs are settled, and then weaning slowly back to your normal diet.

Overall, Teddy's signs do raise some concerns of throat based irritation or inflammation here. Therefore, we’d want to start supportive care to settle him. If he doesn’t respond to the above within 12-24 hours; then we'd want to get his vet involved to assess his throat with a view to starting gut safe pain relief, gastroprotectants to coat the throat +/- antibiotics to settle him as quick as we can.

Kind regards,

Dr. B.

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Thank you so much for your rapid reply!
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. B., Veterinarian replied 8 months ago

You are very welcome, my dear.

Have a lovely day,

Dr. B.

******************************************************************************

I aim to provide best care for you just as I do for my own clients & their pets. If you have any other questions, please ask – I’m happy to help but please rate me with the **STARS** (or leave a written rating of 1-5; 5 being great) as this is the only way I am credited for my work by the site & this allows me to continue to help here. This is included in your question fee. Once you rate, your question will not close & you can still ask follow-up questions. Thank you. : )**

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Dog Veterinarian: Dr. B., Veterinarian replied 8 months ago
Hi Deb,

I'm just following up on our conversation about Teddy. How is everything going?

Dr. B.
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