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My 10 year old Rottie has episodes of lip licking, blowing…

My 10 year old Rottie...
My 10 year old Rottie has episodes of lip licking, blowing through the nose, sighing through the nose like, yawning and acting uncomfortable. She doesn't vomit. She does it at night around 3 am then 6 am and then several times during the day. My vet told me to try Pepcid. I am giving it every night before bedtime and the episodes at night are shorter (like 5 minutes versus 15-20 minutes) but they still happen and so they happen during the day. My vet said I can try Prilosec. but I have mixed feelings.So my questions are:1) what is more damaging, not giving anything, keep giving pepcid (which is only giving a bit of relief) or giving Prilosec?
2)If not giving anything, I can try giving bread several times of the day, or several meals, in hopes to reduce acidity and make her more comfortable, but then I heard that left untreated, acid reflux can progress to ulcers, laryngeal paralysis, megaesophagus . Is this true?
3) On the other hand, I have read that acid is important as it plays a role in immunity and with my dogs getting older they need all the immunity they can get. Also, read the prilosec has been found to cause side effects and was even linked to cancer of the stomach in some studies.
4) I asked my vet whether it's for sure acid reflux. She said she would have to scope the dog and this is invasive in a dog this age. Can my dog have nose cancer or some other issue causing these symptoms? I catch her sometimes panting more (vet said it's normal in an old dog) and occasionally coughs when drinking. Vet did senior panel and urinalysis a month ago and all looked good.Some guidance on what to do is deeply appreciated.
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Answered in 11 hours by:
2/1/2018
jadedangel57
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 20,117
Experience: breeder/ vet assistant.
Verified

Hi JaCustomer,

Welcome to Just Answer. My name is Jane. I have been involved professionally with dogs in the healthcare and behavioral fields for over 20 years. I’ve worked as a Vet Assistant and Behaviorist and have extensive experience in dog reproduction, as a breeder, for even longer than that.. Canine behavioral issues and training are also my specialties. It will be my pleasure to work with you today.

While giving acid reducers is something we often recommend for dogs with excess bile, it also helps to address the underlying problem. In many cases the excess bile is the result of the good bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract being decreased. This sometimes happens when a dog is on antibiotics since they can not distinquish the good bacteria from the bad and destroy both. Adding good bacteria back in to you dogs gastrointestinal tract can help reduce stomach acid naturally.

You can get a probiotic at either your local pet store or your vet office. One is Fortiflora though there are several on the market. Not only do they naturally keep the stomach acids under control but aid in digestion as well. In addition, feed her smaller meals more often throughout the day. I recommend at least 4 meals. I also suggest one smaller meal right at bedtime so the stomach acid is working on digesting the food during the night.

Since she is 10 years old you might consider having bloodwork done to ensure her liver and kidneys are working properly as those conditions can lead to this type of vomiting as well. She is elderly so this is a concern. Realistically while antacids might have some side effects, a rotties life span is generally between 10-13 years of age with may dying even earlier. I have bred rottweilers for over 20 years, so I do know the breed. I'd personally continue the pepcid while feeding smaller more frequent meals and add probiotics to those meals. After a week or so you can cut back on the pepcid and see how she does. Perhaps only use it in the morning before breakfast until you are sure it is under control. This is what I would do if she was one of my own dogs.

If you have any further questions concerning this matter or need clarification, please do not hesitate to respond. At the conclusion of our correspondence, your 5-star rating will be most appreciated, as this will enable me to continue to send quality answers to additional clients and receive recognition from the website for my assistance.

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Customer reply replied 21 days ago
I asked for a dog veterinarian. Person answering is a Vet Assistant and Behaviorist, it shouldn't say "veterinarian" under the name as that is misleading. I asked specifically for a vet. Information provided is stuff I already know and didn't address my specific question. I was a vet assistant too by the way.
Customer reply replied 21 days ago
Also, vet already did senior panel and vet tech should know that includes biochemistry profile( checking kidneys and liver.)
Customer reply replied 21 days ago
Hoping a veterinarian can answer my detailed list of questions please.
Dr. Rachel
Dr. Rachel, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 204
Experience: Owner/Veterinarian at Austin Home Vet Care
Verified

Hi there, I'm Dr. Rachel and I might be able to help. Let's go through your questions one at a time.

1. Which is more damaging, not giving anything or keep giving pepcid, or giving Prilosec? I would double check that the dose of Pepcid is high enough. For an approximately 80 lb dog, I would give pepcid 40 mg - 1 tablet every 12 hours.

2. I recommend feeding smaller meals throughout the day whether or not you use any acid reducing product.

3. I do not think acidity has such a direct correlation with immunity, and since it seems like the acidity is making your dog uncomfortable, I would definitely treat it. I have not experienced a dog getting cancer from Prilosec. I would double check the dose of either medication with the vet to make sure you are not under - or over- treating.

4. Until you try adjusting doses of acid reducers with your vet's approval, I agree that endoscopy seems a little too invasive for the problem as it stands right now. However, since her lab testing came back normal, it sounds like she would be ok to put under anesthesia to have that done. The symptoms you are describing (licking lips, yawning) seem to be more consistent with nausea and acid reflux rather than a nasal tumor. However, you can get skull x-rays done to see if there is any tumor present.

I hope that helps!

Dr. Rachel
Dr. Rachel, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 204
Experience: Owner/Veterinarian at Austin Home Vet Care
Verified
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Dr. Rachel
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