Vomiting

Food, Fitness and how to keep them healthy.

Postby ma67cpe » April 13th, 2009, 1:35 pm

Hi guys, I normally lurk this site but don't post, but am having a problem with our 1 yr old pit Max. I searched and searched but can't find much help. Here's the story:

We got Max six months ago off the street. Took him to the vet, got all the shots he needed, and were placed on Sentinel hw preventative. About 2 months ago, Max started to vomit partially digested food sporadically. He might vomit once and then go three days with none, or vomit three days in a row. There was no rhyme to reason on the timing, and no significant event we observed that would logically lead to vomiting.
Often he would re-eat the vomit and hold it down with no problems. The vomiting would generally occur anywhere from 8-10 hrs after eating.....and the food was not totally digested. He would wake up at 5am from a dead sleep and immediately vomit. I tried several ideas I found online before taking him to the vet, as the vomiting was so sporadic, and he drinks, pees and poops fine, as well as plays as hard as ever. He does not act lethargic or sick.

So, after trying everything I could at home, I took him to the vet. We established that no toys were missing (that he possible swallowed), and she gave him a physical exam. She said he had an ear infection, and this could be the cause, but it was unlikely. We immediately took steps to treat the infection, and his ear is 75% improved. Could this be the cause of the vomiting????

The vet says that since he is feeling fine, she does not want to do expensive xrays and tests. I probably couldn't afford all of them anyway. She wants me to put him on a higher fiber food, add water to the food before he eats, and limit activity for a few hrs after eating.

I'm at the end of my rope with this. I can't handle picking up anymore vomit!! and I don't want Max to be sick or feeling bad. ANY SUGGESTIONS??? Has anyone else had this problem?? Any insight you can provide is much appreciated!

Thx
(sorry for the long post)
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Postby pitbullmamaliz » April 13th, 2009, 2:00 pm

Does he possibly have that disease, meta-esophageal something or other? I know dogs with that have to eat in an upright position and stay that way for a bit after eating.
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Postby Marinepits » April 13th, 2009, 2:25 pm

How many times a day do you feed him? Do you use a raised bowl or is his bowl directly on the floor? When he drinks, does he gulp down a LOT of water all at once?

Since he seems to be doing well in every other way, I would suggest feeding him several small meals throughout the day and using a raised food bowl -- raise it up to about mid-chest height so he doesn't have to bend all the way to the floor. You can use a box or a stool if you don't want to buy one.

When he drinks, have him use a raised bowl and limit how much he takes in at once. You can do this by only partially filling his bowl. Also, don't let him drink directly after he eats. Be careful when limiting his water because you don't want him to become dehydrated. To test if he's dehydrated, take a handful of his skin on the back of his neck and raise it up until the skin is tight, then let it go. If the skin slowly snaps right back into place, he's hydrated. If the skin stays raised up, then he's dehydrated and you should adjust his water intake accordingly.
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Postby Marinepits » April 13th, 2009, 2:27 pm

pitbullmamaliz wrote:Does he possibly have that disease, meta-esophageal something or other?


He'd be REALLY sick if that were the case.

Here's more info about megaesophagus: http://www.caninemegaesophagus.org/What ... hagus.html
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Postby ma67cpe » April 13th, 2009, 3:53 pm

In response to the questions:
Feed him 2x daily
His bowl is on the floor
Not too much, not a whole bowl at one time

Thats a good idea about feeding him on a box/stool...i will definitely be trying this. He ate yesterday at 11am and vomited at 3:30 & 5pm. I fed him this morning at 9:30 and again about 30 minutes ago and he hasn't vomited yet. Talked to the vet and she told me to put him on a weight management formula food because it's higher in fiber. I've been giving him Purina One Chicken & Rice or Sensitive Systems formula. Now I need to find a new food.
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Postby katiek0417 » April 13th, 2009, 4:00 pm

ma67cpe wrote:In response to the questions:
Feed him 2x daily
His bowl is on the floor
Not too much, not a whole bowl at one time

Thats a good idea about feeding him on a box/stool...i will definitely be trying this. He ate yesterday at 11am and vomited at 3:30 & 5pm. I fed him this morning at 9:30 and again about 30 minutes ago and he hasn't vomited yet. Talked to the vet and she told me to put him on a weight management formula food because it's higher in fiber. I've been giving him Purina One Chicken & Rice or Sensitive Systems formula. Now I need to find a new food.


I wonder if there's a problem with the food...Purina Onen Sensitive Systems has the following as ingredients:

Salmon (natural source of glucosamine), brewers rice, pearled barley, oat meal, corn gluten meal, animal fat preserved with mixed-tocopherols (form of Vitamin E), fish meal (natural source of glucosamine), salmon meal (source of salmon oil), animal digest, calcium phosphate, salt, potassium chloride, calcium carbonate, Vitamin E supplement, choline chloride, L-Lysine monohydrochloride, zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, manganese sulfate, niacin, Vitamin A supplement, calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, copper sulfate, riboflavin supplement, Vitamin B-12 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, garlic oil, folic acid, Vitamin D-3 supplement, calcium iodate, biotin, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of Vitamin K activity), sodium selenite.


There are many posts on this board about food quality, and what your dogs can and can't use (nutritionally)...corn is one thing they can't use....it holds no nutritional value...I'm wondering if there's some ingredients in this food that he can't use, and they are sitting in his stomach so he throws up?

Does anyone know if that could happen?
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Postby maberi » April 13th, 2009, 4:25 pm

From what I have "read" (I put that in quotes because none of the sites have been medically backed) kibble can take a while to digest. I would certainly agree with Katrina that there could be some ingredients in the food you are feeding that do not agree with him which could be causing the stomach upset. My guys had this periodically with certain raw items that they were unable to digest.

If it were my dog, I would put them on a bland diet and a good probiotic for a few weeks to see if this helped.

Good luck and let us know how things go.
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Postby airwalk » April 13th, 2009, 5:12 pm

Is he a food gulper?
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Postby Marinepits » April 13th, 2009, 6:02 pm

Food can definitely play a part in Max's vomiting. My own Mac has had this issue for several years now and I've noticed that some foods do make him more likely to vomit than others. He vomited a lot with Wellness and some of the Merrick formulas, but did well on Merrick's Wilderness Blend and now Evanger's Pheasant and Rice.

And if he does "gulp" his food down, that makes the vomiting worse (at least with Mac it does).

If you do decide to change foods, do so gradually over the course of at least a week or Max could end up with diarrhea in addition to more vomiting.
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Postby Cult37 » April 13th, 2009, 8:17 pm

if gulping food is a problem try the bowls like these
http://www.smartpakcanine.com/ProductCl ... egory=true
they are called anti-bloat bowls, also try raising the bowl like others said and I would look into a higher quality food than any purina, alpo, type stuff. Basically if you can buy it at wal-mart don't feed it to your dog. I know that it is expensive but try to get Merrick or taste of the wild something like that. if that isn't working after about a week I would tell the vet to do the X-rays you can get pet care payment plans to ay for them if you don't have the whole amount up front, I think it is called care credit...
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Postby airwalk » April 13th, 2009, 10:33 pm

Yep that's why I asked about gulping because Scoots used to do that and then a couple hours later I would get regurgitated partially digested food in the most inconvenient locations (like the middle of my bed).

I went and found some large rocks (large enough to fit in the bowl and not be swallowed, but small enough to be pushed around the bowl) put them in with his kibble. So he couldn't just grab mouths full and gulp he had to push the rocks around to get to the kibble which slowed him down.

I also restricted water right before and after eating.

He eventually outgrew it and I don't have that issue anymore.
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Postby Malli » April 14th, 2009, 3:14 am

I would advise against letting him eat his vomit, if he vomits, then it is better to rest his stomach for at least a few hours.

His stomach should empty in anywhere from 15 MINUTES to an hour or 2, so IMO it is odd that the food is staying in his stomach for so long.

It sounds like he might have issues with his Gastrointestinal Motility or how fast his gut is able to move things along.

I think that small frequent meals are definitely worth a try. Try 1/4-1/2 cup per meal every 2-4/6 hrs.

Are his bowel movements regular?

Have you tried switching his food since the vomiting has been an issue? If so, how long did you switch for?
Did the vet mention any "Gastro" or easy to digest diets?

Unless you feel that your dog is in danger health-wise, I'd hold off on the xrays. I'd save that money for if you find he is really acting sick, since your finances are tight; or, bettter yet, apply for a card like Care Credit (I think it is in the states), and get the xrays now AND be able to have some "back up" if he starts acting sick :)
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Postby ma67cpe » April 14th, 2009, 11:22 am

The vet recommended that I put him on a weight control formula as it has more fiber. I went to Petsmart and the highest fiber I found was in Science Diet's Lite. I bought the small bites formula too. I'm mixing it with the Purina for now.

He did good yesterday, ate three small meals throughout the day at 10am, 2:30p, and 6:30p. Had a BM at 7p. Acted great all night and went to sleep no problem. 5 am - vomited all over my bed. ???????? Almost twelve hours later? I too was under the impression the food would have passed through to his intestines after a few hours.

He doesn't seem to be a gulper - food or water.

I'm calling the vet again now. :confused:
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Postby Dog_Shrink » April 14th, 2009, 6:05 pm

Marinepits wrote:How many times a day do you feed him? Do you use a raised bowl or is his bowl directly on the floor? When he drinks, does he gulp down a LOT of water all at once?

Since he seems to be doing well in every other way, I would suggest feeding him several small meals throughout the day and using a raised food bowl -- raise it up to about mid-chest height so he doesn't have to bend all the way to the floor. You can use a box or a stool if you don't want to buy one.


When he drinks, have him use a raised bowl and limit how much he takes in at once. You can do this by only partially filling his bowl. Also, don't let him drink directly after he eats. Be careful when limiting his water because you don't want him to become dehydrated. To test if he's dehydrated, take a handful of his skin on the back of his neck and raise it up until the skin is tight, then let it go. If the skin slowly snaps right back into place, he's hydrated. If the skin stays raised up, then he's dehydrated and you should adjust his water intake accordingly.


I have to disagree with this mostly and agree in a few points and PLEASE don't take this as an attack...

First off feeding out of elevated feeders has proven by Purdue Universitie's Dr. Glickman (and crew) that feeding out of an elevated feeder increased chances of bloat by 110 % as does feeding food with citric acid in the first 5 ingredients as a preservative and adding water (some one elses comment). I mention that because adding water to food that has citric acid as a preservative produces gasses when digested that could be hazardous. I totally agree with the three or more small meals a day until you figure out the root of the problem.

The water intake is important if you suspect gas is what's causing the vomiting or if your dog tends to "tank up" after eating. I agree not to let them drink excessivly but a few laps is ok. But again I suggest the bowls be on the floor. Gas causing vomiting sporatically is just like with us... ever burp and have a little vomit come up??? Sometimes my boston tanks up on water and burps and vomits a bit back up... kinda like a check valve.

Something else I'm surprised no one thought of is if this might be an occasional food allergy issue? My dogs have issues with this too at times. Just out of no where ... :puke: Maybe try to start eliminatig high source triggers of food allergies in dogs like wheat (thats what my guys were sensitive to) and possibly your vet can offer some ideas to further explore this option of allergies.

Another issue that could be possible is that your dog might have Lung Worm. My Dane went through a bout with this and occasionally he would just vomit out of no where or from a dead sleep. They can detect that through a fecal test, but I don't believe it's something they regularly look for. When Dauber got diagnosed the conversation went like this... "well is he clean... not quite... ok what does THAT mean??? Well there's something there but I've never seen it before. I'm gonna have to have the Dr. confirm what I'm looking at. Okay... Well it turns out to be lung worm... usually seen in horses (but I guess a Dane isn't a far shout away from a horse)" so they panacured him and poof all better.

Lastly Probiotics can definately help in this situation and it's as easy as giving your dog some yogert once a day. It helps to restore the guts natural flora and if it's off balace from irregular bouts of vomiting or reaction to something in his food/environment, I would definately suggest some... it can't hurt (unless he's lactose intolereant).
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Postby Marinepits » April 14th, 2009, 6:15 pm

Dog_Shrink wrote:First off feeding out of elevated feeders has proven by Purdue Universitie's Dr. Glickman (and crew) that feeding out of an elevated feeder increased chances of bloat by 110 %


Interesting, because I've heard just the opposite from quite a few people. Do you have a link for this study because I'd like to read more about it. And since we've raised Mac's bowls, his vomiting has drastically decreased, so...... :|

Dog_Shrink wrote:Something else I'm surprised no one thought of is if this might be an occasional food allergy issue?


Three of us in this thread have already mentioned the possible food connection. :wink:
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Postby Marinepits » April 14th, 2009, 6:40 pm

http://www.siriusdog.com/torsion-dog-megaesophagus2.htm

Dr. Glickman commented that the supposed claim that raised food bowls are correlated with increased incidence in torsion/bloat may just mean that this allows a dog to swallow more food (and air?) more quickly than if they were on the floor.


An article on the Foster and Smith Pet Education site, “Interpret Findings of a New Study on Bloat (Gastric Dilatation/Volvulus - GDV) with Caution”, December 2000, at: <http://www.peteducation.com:80/article.cfm?cls>, starting with a subheading, “The Question of Raised Food Bowls” circulated among fanciers. An excerpt: “In this study, when analyzing the association between the rate of GDV and the height of the food bowl some questions arise. First, the study found that large breed dogs whose food bowls are not elevated have the lowest risk of GDV. A confusing finding is that large breed dogs who have their bowl raised more than 1 foot have the next lowest risk, and those who have their food bowl raised somewhere between the floor and one foot have the highest risk. So, the risk of GDV is not proportional to the height of the food bowl. If height of the food bowl is important, why doesn’t the risk steadily increase, the higher the food bowl is raised? Secondly, it appears that the researchers did not consider the height of the animal in relationship to the height of the bowl when looking for an association between food bowl height and prevalence of GDV. It would be of interest to compare the height of the bowl to the height of the dog, since dogs in this study varied widely in height due to breed differences and age (some were only 6 months old).

“The third question is, ‘Why weren’t similar findings obtained in giant breed dogs?’ In giant breeds, dogs with food bowls raised less than one foot had the same incidence of GDV as those dogs who did not have their dishes raised at all. Finally, it is unclear if the researchers also analyzed whether the elevated feeders were being used because other medical problems were present or if the elevated feeders could influence other factors such as the speed of eating. Could these medical problems or other factors, rather than the elevated feeders, have contributed to the increase in GDV in this group?


One other item that was brought to light on a “VetMed” e-mail discussion list, was that there is no proven advantage to raised feeders, and that the Foster and Smith company which runs the Pet Education website sells many types of elevated feeders.


Sounds to me like a LOT more work needs to be done on this issue before anyone can say definitively that raised feeders are either all good or all bad. As for Mac, it works for him so I'll continue using it until it doesn't. And considering that I'm OCD about the other contributing factors of bloat, I'm not too worried about the feeder.
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Postby call2arms » April 14th, 2009, 7:07 pm

Jessie had a short bout of vomiting sporadically, just like your dog, every other day, long after she ate (ex. middle of the night, she'd be sleeping, suddenly wake up, jump off her chair and puke).

I gave her Sucralfate (helps with acid reflux) and Famotidine (regular, plain pepcid, lowers acidity in stomach) that I had at home from previous times (I had to give her Metacam after a tooth surgery and still had those two around). Not to take it lightly, cause you need to find the cause to this, but those two REALLY helped to calm down the puking fest (definitely ask your vet first, because dosage varies according to weight, and maybe it's contraindicated in his case, who knows?).

Definitely look into eating slower, smaller portions, and also maybe try a bland diet for a bit (non-kibble, ex, boiled rice and turkey, or something like that)- it would help the stomach (cause it seems like stomach, not lower in the GI tract) quiet down a bit.

Good luck with the puke, that kind is gross too, all semi-digested kibble... ugh.
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Postby iluvk9 » April 14th, 2009, 7:23 pm

I have had problems with my Harleybird and gacking kibble. :rolleyes2:

Basically, his problem was that after he ate, partially digested food would come up. No rhyme or reason to his gacking.

Vet put him on Reglan (Metoclopramide) for a few months, gradually backing off. Seems it was a type of reflux problem.

I also gave him probiotics capsules every meal, along with yogurt. The brand was Acetylator:

https://www.kvvet.com/KVVet/productr.as ... 8UGRPX12U5

No problems in approximately 1.5 yrs as long as I keep him on the yogurt.
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Postby blabsforbullies » April 14th, 2009, 7:52 pm

iluvk9 wrote:Vet put him on Reglan (Metoclopramide) for a few months, gradually backing off. Seems it was a type of reflux problem.


My impression of this case, and it is only an OPINION, NOT a diagnosis, but it seems to me that he has a motility disorder. :neutral: A conference I recently went to says that we are really underdiagnosising gastric motility disorders as a profession. :(

Having said that, Reglan is often the drug of choice for this problem. YOU MUST BE SURE THERE IS NO POSSIBILITY OF OBSTRUCTION BEFORE STARTING THIS MEDICATION!!!!

As for the raised bowl, when I search VIN, I get one person suggesting it, and another not suggesting it. :| I can't really make a recommendation either way, but would have to say that if all factors are the same, I don't think that the height of the bowl is a major factor. I would be more interested in eliminating other factors in GDV cases, like weight, speed of eating, exercise, etc. I think the jury is out on this one, unfortunately. :nono:
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Postby Dog_Shrink » April 14th, 2009, 10:37 pm

I know there has been a lot of controversy surrounding the Glickman study, and what they were attempting to do was next to impossible by trying to simulate the incidences of bloat in a controled environment BUT I do know that since I got my Dane off the elevated feeder he hasn't bloated once. When he was on the elevated feeder he bloated twice in a year... same food, no woofing it down no exercise no gulping water just BOOM... bloat.

All I can say... from my personal experience is... why even chance it if it could possibly present the potential for bloat (or other GI incidences)?

What about you Dr. Blabs... what's your take on the Glickman study???
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