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My dog is licking everything and coughing as well and

Customer Question
My dog is licking...

My dog is licking everything and coughing as well and sounding like she if oing to vomit. When I take her outside she starts eating grass

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. Hopefully it didn't make a mess. Did your dog eat anything unusual?

Nothing other than her food . Unless she found something on the floor

Veterinarian's Assistant: What is the dog's name and age?

Bella. She is around 3. I just adopted her about a month ago.

Veterinarian's Assistant: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Bella?

Not that I know of.

Submitted: 5 months ago.Category: Dog Veterinary
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Answered in 11 minutes by:
3/12/2018
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Kara, Veterinarian replied 5 months ago
Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 19,018
Experience: Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
Verified

Hello, I'm Dr. Kara. I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian and I'd like to help. Please give me a moment to review your concerns.

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Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Kara, Veterinarian replied 5 months ago

I'm sorry to hear that your pup Bella is licking everything, coughing (gagging?), trying to vomit, and eating grass.

Dogs will often lick when they have a bad taste in their mouth but that should not last long. They can also lick when they have something caught between their teeth, an infected tooth, or something stuck on the roof of their mouth.

Have you looked at her teeth and gums and on the roof of her mouth?

Has her appetite increased or decreased today?

Dogs will often lick when they are feeling nauseous or have gastroesophageal reflux to try and settle their stomachs. Since she has sounded like she is trying to vomit and is trying to eat grass I feel that she may be nauseous.

Some dogs like the taste of grass, but also many dogs with nausea or gastroesophageal acid reflux often eat grass or foreign material to make themselves vomit. They will often swallow repeatedly and lick things trying to soothe their nausea and acid burn. If they can rid themselves of whatever is irritating their stomach that way then all is good. But when they continue to be uncomfortable then we need to stop them from eating any more grass. It becomes a vicious cycle where more grass irritates their stomach, and stomach acid refluxes and burns their esophagus, and the worse they feel, so they try to eat more grass.

Metabolic diseases that cause stomach upset like kidney or liver disease, hyperlipidemia, or pancreatitis can cause licking. Anemia can lead to pica or eating or licking non food items. I do recommend that she see her veterinarian for an examination and some blood tests to make sure there are no health problems behind this behavior if the licking/gagging continues.

For now in case this is related to nausea or reflux to try and settle her stomach you can try either:

1) Pepcid-ac (famotidine) at one half of a 10mg tablet per 10 to 20 pounds of body weight every 12 hours.

OR

2) Prilosec (omeprazole) at one half of a 20mg tablet per 20 to 40 pounds of body weight every 24 hours.

Either of these will reduce stomach acid and could help settle her stomach. You can use these for several days if need be or even long term as they are very safe medications.

You do want to mention this behavior to her veterinarian at her next veterinary visit even if she improves with the acid reducers as they will likely want to run some blood tests to look for any possible developing problems.

It may help to feed her a bland diet as well. A homemade bland diet consists of 1/3 boiled, lean hamburger (or boiled, white, skinless chicken) and 2/3 boiled, white rice or pasta. Give small meals several times a day. Feed the bland diet for several days, then if she seems to feel well again and her licking behavior stops start mixing in her regular diet and slowly convert her back. If her symptoms return with a return to her regular diet then discuss using a low irritant diet like Hills i/d or Purina Veterinary Diets EN with her veterinarian.

Please let me know if you have any further questions.

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Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Kara, Veterinarian replied 5 months ago
Hi,
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Dr. Kara
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Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Kara, Veterinarian replied 5 months ago

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, ***** *****

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