I have an almost three-year-old Maltipoo weighing 15 lbs.
In August he started licking the air excessively. It then turned into constant licking, swallowing and gurgling in the belly, almost like he was going to vomit and more severely during the night.
He has been to the vet twice and has been on: Pepsid AC, Prilosec, tums, plain yogurt in food, benedryl and another medication from vet for motion sickness.
Nothing has seemed to work. He is healthy in every other way, he eats, poops, and plays. He is a bit anxious as he barks at every dog, person he sees through the window.
Could he have acid reflux? I am looking for another suggestion for this problem as I am fearful he is damaging something internally.
Any help would be appreciated.
Anon, by email
Alison Logan, vet, advises...
I can understand your worries as you have an otherwise normal dog who is exhibiting strange behaviour which has not improved with treatment.
It sounds as if your vet is thinking along the lines of gut pain and discomfort, given the things you have tried, and the signs you describe do sound like acid reflux and colicky pain. I wonder what you are feeding him and how often? Dogs with acid reflux often fare better on frequent small meals so that there is always something for the gut to be digesting, especially offering a little food as you go to bed to keep it occupied overnight. There may also be an element of food hypersensitivity, triggering bowel pain and spasm – that could be investigated with a food trial under veterinary supervision.
Further investigation is possible, such as blood tests to check his general health and rule –out other causes of nausea. An endoscope could be passed into stomach under general anaesthesia to examine the lining of the stomach for ulceration, for example.
I would certainly take your dog back to your vet, not least because he will think that your dog’s problem is all sorted because he has not seen you again. It would also be interesting to know whether his weight was stable or whether he was losing weight.
Have you thought of trying a Dog Appeasing Pheromone collar for your dog’s anxiety?