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My dog is swallowing over and over very hard, which I am…

Customer Question
My dog is swallowing...

My dog is swallowing over and over very hard, which I am thinking is acid reflux/upset tummy, as she has also passed gas and burped. She seems a little uncomfortable and continues to ask to go outside, but when I take her out back, she doesn’t need to do anything. I’m thinking she is wanting to try and eat grass to soothe her tummy, but everything is frozen here.

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. The Expert will know if your dog will be able to digest that. What is the dog's name and age?

I have some organic peppermint tea, can I give her some peppermint tea to help soothe her tummy as a natural remedy, as I don’t have any Pepcid or pepto on hand

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

Chloe, 6 Years, Great Dane

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

Chloe

Submitted: 6 months ago.Category: Dog
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Answered in 5 minutes by:
1/2/2018
Dog Specialist: PitRottMommy, Veterinary Nurse replied 6 months ago
PitRottMommy
PitRottMommy, Veterinary Nurse
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 12,239
Experience: 15 yrs experience in vet med, 8 in emergency med. Founder of a non-profit animal rescue
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Hello, JACustomer. I have been a Veterinary Nurse for over 15 years and would be happy to help you today. I'm reviewing your question right now.

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Dog Specialist: PitRottMommy, Veterinary Nurse replied 6 months ago

Have there been any changes to the diet? New food, including a change of flavors or protein source within the same brand? New treats? Bones? Has any human food been fed? Torn up toys or trash? Stressful changes to the environment?

Are you seeing any abdominal swelling?

Do you have any GI medications on hand?

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
She is receiving a goat milk probiotic, that she just started again, but has had in the past without issue. Also, I’ve added freeze dried organic dog food to her dry kibble to try and add back some of the nutrients that the high heat of kibble can take out.She has a little bit of a bloated tummy, but nothing too alarming.No GI meds on hand, just peppermint tea. I was hoping it be safe to try that first, and if it doesn’t work, then could get out to the store and get a Gi Med for backup. (It’s just below freezing tonight so trying to avoid roads unless absolutely necessary, or an emergency.)
Dog Specialist: PitRottMommy, Veterinary Nurse replied 6 months ago

The change in her diet is probably to blame for the nausea she's experiencing (the repeated swallowing). It woudl be expected for her to have vomiting in the hours to come, as well, if not addressed. I would try to keep her from eating grass as this is likely going to induce vomiting, not calm her stomach.

You can certainly give peppermint tea to her to see if it helps (plain without sugar). I anticipate she's going to need GI medication, though.

If the peppermint tea doesn't help, I can give you some steps to take at home to help your companion’s stomach feel better. However, if you do not see a marked improvement from your pet or you see worsening of symptoms, they absolutely must be examined by a veterinarian.

It often helps to give medication to calm the stomach and a bland diet with higher fiber a few hours later once the medication has been given time to work. This can help to reduce the instance of nausea/vomiting, restore/improve the appetite, avoid or address changes in the stool, help to move ingested items through the GI tract, etc.

The first step is to administer a dose of regular pepcid (famotidine) every 12-24 hours. This should help with GI symptoms. You will want to give 0.5mg/pound of body weight (a 10# ***** would receive 5mg, a 5# ***** would receive 2.5mg, etc). For this, you can visit any human pharmacy and buy the OTC brand name Pepcid, or you can use the cheaper, off-brand “famotidine” that’s available. Either will be useful. If your companion is avoiding taking medication, you will likely need to using a pilling technique like this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-P6NfbxeLX0 (this video is of a dog as it shows the finer details of how to complete the action, this method can be used in dogs, cats and other mammals needing oral medications). [Note: once symptoms have resolved for at least 48 hours, discontinue the famotidine.]

2 hours following a dose of famotidine, the time needed for the medication to begin working, you can offer a bland diet. To make the bland diet, you’ll combine white or brown rice, boneless, skinless chicken breast and sufficient water for cooking in a stock pot (note: if your companion is allergic to chicken you can use a protein source they can have such as ground turkey, a filet of salmon, etc). Boil on medium until it turns to mush and the breast is easily flaked. To avoid nausea, start with small amounts to begin with and offer the amount every 2-4 hours. A few teaspoons to start is typically sufficient and you can work your way up every 2-4 hours in incremental increases until you’re sure no vomiting will be seen. If your companion requires a more palatable food, try adding in pureed baby food in chicken, turkey and similar flavors. Avoid those that contain onion or garlic in the ingredient panel. Work up to feeding exclusively until at least 3 days following the resolution of symptoms. After this, work on slowly switching back to the regular food that your companion typically eats over 10 days. My recommendation is a 10% switch every day. Day 1: 10% new food, 90% old food; Day 2: 20% new food, 80% old food; Day 3: 30% new food, 70% old food, etc. This slow switch process should minimize any risk of GI upset from changing food.

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I will also check in with you over the next few days for updates on your companion to be sure you don’t need any additional assistance. Letting me know how your companion is doing would be greatly appreciated. If you would like to request me in the future for pet-related questions, you can do so by accessing this page: http://www.justanswer.com/pet/expert-pitrottmommy/?rpt=3800

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
She is 100 pounds, so I would give her 50mg at once, per dosage? So 50 mg every 12-24 hours, all at once, correct?
Dog Specialist: PitRottMommy, Veterinary Nurse replied 6 months ago

That's correct. And you can give at 12 or 24 hour intervals, that's also correct.

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Dog Specialist: PitRottMommy, Veterinary Nurse replied 6 months ago

Checking in. How is Miss Chloe doing today? Has her nausea passed?

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