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NancyH, Dog Expert:Rescue, Train,Breed,Care
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 31958
Experience:  30+ yrs dog home vet care & nursing, rescue, behavior&training, responsible show breeding, genetics
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Dog Throat Problem

Customer Question

My dog went to the vet and they could not help after sedating my dog, xraying him and charging me $450. So here goes:
About 2 weeks ago, my dog got a sore on the outside of his lip that we figured was due to his gentle leader digging in when he pulls to chase a squirrel. Stopped using the gentle leader and got him into a plastic collar. I'm not sure if this sore has anything to do with the major problem below (his throat).

Then one morning, when I woke up he was acting like he was having problems swallowing, almost like he was choking but not that violently. On his morning walk he started to aggresively eat grass (he pretty much never eats grass) on his morning walk and then eventually he started wretching as he walked along, occasionally spitted up white stuff and bits of grass.

I took him into the vet and she said she didn't know what was going on with the throat and would have to sedate him to find out. She gave me some antibiotics for the lip (Clavamox) and said to give him 1/2 aspirin twice a day to see if that would help his throat (which she noticed was swollen).

For about 2-3 days it seemed his throat was getting better. Then it started again, the grass eating, the wretching.   He throws up food occaisionally when this happens, but frequently just gags. Then sometimes he stops gagging and he goes back to struggling with the swallowing.

I took him into the vet at this point and left him there where they knocked him out, looked deep into his throat and took an xray. This revealed nothing to them. They said they could see the swelling but nothing else. The vet said to give it a week (it has been about a week now). For the last couple of days he seemed like he might be getting better. But today he started having problems during and after his evening walk. After the walk he vomited quite a bit, even though I was able to prevent him from eating too much grass.

This is driving me crazy-it's hard walking him because I don't want to let him on the grass because he will eat it and gag, but he has to go on the grass to do his business.

All through this his energy level has been high when his throat settles down a bit, his poo is normal, and both times he has been into the vet's his temperature was normal. His food is Nature's Variety Prairie brand kibble. Up until recently he has generally been healthy except for a couple of cases of diarrhea when he was younger.

Yes, he does like to chew and eat things he shouldn't, but he doesn't have the opportunity as he is kept in a stairwell/landing area when we are out (access to nothing except a couple of chew toys and water), and other than that he is in the same room as I am.

Any ideas what this could be? I'll accept guesses, since you can't see the dog and the vets who did see him didn't have any idea.
Submitted: 12 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  NancyH replied 12 years ago.
If I'm reading this rigth the problems started when you went back to a regular collar from a Gentle Leader.
If your dog is pulling on his collar when you walk him I'd suggest going to a harness. I don't like the anti pull harnesses much but perhaps that is what you need.
He may be doing this to himself by pulling on the collar to the point of hurting his throat.
Next lets consider this is a young dog and he had a lip injury - he might have swallowed something that he can not pass through or digest or vomit up. Attempts to vomit could make the throat raw and foster swelling of it from contact with stomach acid.
Are you missing any toys, socks, balls, bones, even a chunk of a rope bone etc that he might have swallowed. Could he have chewed on anything including a toy that might have caused the sore on his lip.
When the vet did the x-ray did they check the stomach as well as the throat? You might want to do that.
Dogs can get tonsillitis. Its less common in larger dogs but it might be the issue

And finallly 'natural' does not always mean safe or good for a particular dog. You might want to try a food with different ingredients for grains and protein sources and preservatives. Dogs can develop an intolerance for a food they eat all the time.
You can read here about food allergies
Hope this helps you!