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Hiccups or some other problem?

This forum is for dog lovers seeking everyday advice and suggestions on health-related issues. Remember, however, that advice on a public forum simply can't be a substitute for proper medical attention. Only your vet can say assuredly what is best for your dog.

  
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Indy

There is no such- thing as the- alpha.
 
 
Barked: Sun Apr 1, '07 2:42pm PST 
Indy has an issue that creeps up maybe once every 2 or 3 months. He will have what are best described as throat spasms. It "looks" like a hiccup, but there's no hiccup sound. I found a video of a dog doing -exactly- what he does: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1SHuECvl-90

Indy acts exactly like that dog in the video. If taken outside, he will VORACIOUSLY eat grass even if he starts coughing. His drive to eat grass while he's experiencing this is so high that he has to be picked up to get him back inside. He also becomes extremely anxious during the episodes, and will pace around frantically. Drinking water does not help, nor does eating food.

This has been occurring for a long time, and when I checked with my vet they shrugged it off as something insignificant. I was told he probably gets something caught in his throat. I know this isn't the case, but they did not seem concerned at all.

He hasn't experienced these in MONTHS, but had an attack this morning and it has returned off and on today. I don't think it's related to food as he's been on several different brands throughout the years, and it's occurred with every single one. He's on Nature's Variety Raw Instinct currently.

Any ideas? Someone suggested acid reflux on that link, but I don't see why or how it could cause him to have a spasm like that. Thanks for any help!
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Bear

I'm- one-of-a-kind!- :o)
 
 
Barked: Sun Apr 1, '07 3:01pm PST 
When Bear has something in his throat (a strand of hair, dust bunnies, etc,) he starts coughing and eating hay off of the floor (we have guinea pigs) and tries to get outside to eat grass. We let him do this, because he could bite us or we could hurt him. Once he has eaten enough, he pukes up a big hay ball, along with the culprit. Afterwards, he's completely normal and acts as if nothing happened.

Now, I don't know what to do about Indy's problem, but I recommend seeking advice from a different vet.
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Bear

I'm- one-of-a-kind!- :o)
 
 
Barked: Mon Apr 2, '07 1:57pm PST 
*bumping this up*
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Norman

527527
 
 
Barked: Wed Apr 25, '07 9:06am PST 
Oh my gosh! My dog, Norman, has the VERY SAME problem. I've told my vet that it looked like he was choking on something, but his behavior was so strange that I maybe it was a stroke or something. I had blood, urine, fecal, AND x-rays taken. They couldn't find anything wrong with him.

Just when I was thinking he was the biggest dramaqueen ever, it happened again. He licks the floor frantically and can't settle down. He even starts tearing at the carpet with his teeth. If we go outside while he's having one of these episodes he eats grass like crazy. A couple of nights ago, he was having an episode, but I had to go to class. When I got home a couple of hours later he was fine, but he had torn a nine-inch section of my carpet out!

I wish there was something I could do for him to make him more comfortable or stop the "hiccups" if that's what this is. Any suggestions???
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Maya

Beg. It brings- treats.
 
 
Barked: Wed Apr 25, '07 1:39pm PST 
Sounds like acid reflux disease. Yes the dogs can have it too.
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Norman

527527
 
 
Barked: Wed Apr 25, '07 3:14pm PST 
Is there something I can give him to settle his tummy? This usually doesn't happen anywhere near meal time or even snack time. It's very strange.
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Maya

Beg. It brings- treats.
 
 
Barked: Wed Apr 25, '07 4:46pm PST 
Tums? Try the flavored ones, you know, the ones with berry flavors. I use those with good results with Maya.
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Soffee

My pretty pearls- blend in!!
 
 
Barked: Wed Apr 25, '07 6:59pm PST 
Indy, Soffee does this very same thing. I just thought she was going to throw up. She has done it a couple times. Let me know if you find out what it is.
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Norman

527527
 
 
Barked: Thu Apr 26, '07 8:54am PST 
We went to the vet yesterday for a check-up on Norman's giardia infection (bad water at the dog park) and I asked him (again) about this hiccup/gagging thing and he said there's nothing you can do. He said dogs get hiccups just like people.

I'm still not convinced that this is hiccups, though. I'll try giving him a Tums once in awhile and hopefully this won't happen again. I think it's more traumatic for me than it is for Norman!
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Elsie

"Sit and ye- shall receive"
 
 
Barked: Mon Apr 28, '08 7:20pm PST 
My Elsie has the same thing. I've never seen her have one outside, so I can't comment on the grass eating thing. She drools a little when it happens though. I thought it was some sort of seizure. I read up on seizures and found that this looks a lot like what they call a "focal seizure". They seem to happen mostly in the hot NC summers. The vet ran all sorts of tests and everything looked fine, so they said she might have a mild form of epilepsy. He said that unless they increase in severity or frequency (they haven't) that they won't put her on a med for it b/c things like phenobarbitol (sp?) kill their liver, so unless her quality of life is suffering, there's really no need for extreame measures like that.
Upon further research, I found that focal seizures can happen with mild dehydration. Since Elsie has most of her episodes in the summer, I think that might be a clue for us. Now, after she plays outside in the heat, when she comes in, I shave a Pedialyte ice pop for her. She loves them and it seems to cut down on the frequency of her episodes.
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