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Dr. Andy
Dr. Andy, Medical Director
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 30069
Experience:  UC Davis Graduate, Interests: Dermatology, Internal Medicine, Pain Management
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any advice on how to get a good look down my german shepherds

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any advice on how to get a good look down my german shepherd's throat - she won't open her mouth for me and I don't have the strength to hold her down AND open her mouth and look with a flash light. I think something is wedged in her mouth or throat after running into a pile of leaves - she keeps gagging and whining but she's breathing fine and she did eat and she didn't throw up (the food was able to go down). And she's drinking.
Welcome! My name isXXXXX am a UC Davis graduate, and currently, a Medical Director of a veterinary hospital.

I am sorry to hear about this concern for Franka.
Honestly, the look you are trying to get will not be necessary. To see any further won't help you and one of you will get hurt. Even a vet would require sedation to evaluate further down the throat.

My suggestion:
If she is otherwise active, you can take her for a walk and get her PANTING. Panting, is an easy way to get a look inside without even having to open her mouth.

If she ate fine and is drinking fine, the likelihood of a foreign object in the esophagus is slim to none.

Now, could something get into her trachea (airway)? That is possible, but you wouldn't be able to see it with opening the mouth any further.

When panting, check the "roof" of her mouth, as lots of things like to get wedged up there.

If any type of gagging persists for more than a few hours, a vet visit will be a must.

No need to give any medication, even an antacid, since she is not exhibiting any symptoms of stomach distress.

Very sorry that Franka is not feeling well. It is also possible she may improve on her own within next few hours.

Please let me know if there is anything I did not cover for you. I hope that information has been helpful.
Please remember to select Reply to Expert, if for any reason you need further clarification, have more questions, or were expecting a different type of answer. DO NOT rate yet if have any other questions. My goal is to try and provide you the best answer possible.
Dr. Andy

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

She just went up to bed - very uncharacteristic of her. I took her outside to play some ball and she's not interested - which is TOTALLY unlike her. she is NEVER not interested in playing ball - she likes balls more than food.


The closest 24 hour vet is about 90 minutes away - what signs should I look for to take her there or should I wait it out.


She's very strong and never acts weak or hurt - so I know something is wrong because she's clingy.


If you observe any of the following, you'll want to get into a ER veterinarian for better supportive care:
- persistent vomiting or trying to vomit
- bad diarrhea or bloody diarrhea
- poor appetite that persists
- excessive panting to suggest nausea or pain
- bloated belly appearance or a tense belly
- repeated hacking/choking sounds
- labored breathing or excessive panting

It would not hurt to give an antacid just as a precaution.

To help settle the stomach you can use of the following, but not as a replacement for veterinary examination include
1.Pepcid A.C. (famotidine) comes in 10mg, 20mg, or 40mg tablets.
You can give it every 12 hours. You can give 0.5mg per pound of body weight. So, a 20 pound dog would get 10mg.
2.Prilosec (omeprazole). It comes in 10mg or 20mg tablets.
You can give in every 24 hours. You give 0.5mg per pound of body weight. So, a 20 pound dog would get 10mg
3.Zantac (Ranitidne). It comes in 75mg, 150mg, or 300mg sizes.
You can give it every 8 to 12 hours. You give 0.25 to 1mg per pound of body weight. So, a 20 pound dog would get roughly 1/3 tablet of the 75mg. Even with bigger pets, it is easiest to get the smallest size tablet. Even a 75 pound dog would only need one 75mg tablet.

Hope that additional information helps. Definitely, reply to me if there is any other way I may assist you. I hope my responses have been satisfactory?
Dr. Andy
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