I'm working on- three toys!
|Barked: Tue Nov 13, '12 6:23pm PST |
|Well, this is really frustrating, Savannah, and I hope that we can both get it solved. I have also done countless things to try to get Joey to stop licking and swallowing - many diet changes, apple cider vinegar, fish oil, snack at night, pepcid, and even (on my own, based on what someone else here was told by their vet to try) given Joey Prilosec for a 1 1/2 week period. I even bought a cheap humidifier to see if he just needed more moisture in the bedroom - although I haven't used it enough to see if it helps. I'm also a bit worried about mold allergy, since early on I noticed the paw licking seemed to get worse on rainy days.
Nothing has really worked. I still wake up around 2:30 or 3:30 AM hearing him swallowing, and then later in early morning. I know it is dry in my house, especially my bedroom, now that the heat goes on, but between my allergies and his possible allergies, I have not tried to open windows and get a little more moisture in. Besides, the swallowing is not JUST at night, though it seems to occur more then than during the day.
The things I wonder about are: allergies (food or enviro), tooth problems, digestion problems, recurrence of the mast cell cancer he had 2 years ago (some dogs itch because of it), habit, boredom or just OCD, and sensitive stomach. I sometimes wonder if I should give him a low fat diet in case he's sensitive to that.
The vet doesn't seem too concerned, and I think he thinks I'm a big worry wart, but the paw licking has progressed to a lot of swallowing and some burping, so obviously I'm doing something wrong. I thought of trying Gas-X when another dog owner told me her vet had recommended that for her dog. I DO use it on occasion, but not routinely. I've decided that I HAVE to stop experimenting with new food, and just pick one and stick with it for at least 2 months in case Joey's stomach is confused by too many changes. I'm now feeding Nature's Variety Instinct limited ingredient diet (turkey and tapioca) and plan to stick with that. It was a little constipating before, but I can add pumpkin or brown rice to remedy that. I am also NOT giving Joey anything after 8 PM in case he has acid reflux. (I recently tried a very moistened small amount of kibble before bed with awful results, so I don't think the small snack at bedtime is a good idea for him.) I also tried Prozyme early on, but it didn't help with the paw licking. I recently tried a kibble that claimed to have digestive enzymes, but the licking increased with that, so I'm a bit afraid to try probiotics. Besides, it's hard to know which are actually live and active, and which are just marketing ploys.
I guess I'm just going to take him back to the vet, put my foot down, and ask for some basic tests (his vet generally doesn't believe in doing them unless there's a specific problem) and what the vet recommends. Of course, the vet will likely recommend prick testing for allergies, since when this 2 plus year journey started, we thought the paw licking might be due to allergies. I can't take it any more. I'll let you know if I discover anything. I DO know that some foods are more likely to cause gas than others, so if you think Savannah could be suffering from gas (burping or the other kind!) I can give you a good link to look at.
As for Savannah, maybe her dental problems were causing her to lick and swallow, and now she does it out of habit - maybe? Dry mouth? Post nasal drip? Dry skin now that you've (maybe) turned on the heat?
It's weird, because someone else on Dogster has a dog with the same night-time swallowing problem, and she also thought she had it solved after dental work was done. Then it started again....
Sorry for the blabbing and rant, but I'm very, very frustrated now.
Edited by author Tue Nov 13, '12 6:30pm PST
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