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Excessive Licking, Swallowing Hard and Coughing


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#1 Katrice

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 10:27 PM

The last three evenings Edgar has been excessively licking his lips, swallowing hard, and coughing. In each case this has continued for over an hour, until he has gone outside, eaten a ton of grass, and eventually thrown up. He seems very distressed while this is occurring. He also seems to be extremely itchy. Has anyone else experienced this? He was tested for heartworm before we adopted him, but was not on prevention until we rescued him two months later. Could it be heartworm? We're taking him to the vet tomorrow to have him checked out, but I'm very worried about him, and am hoping for some comforting insights. There is definitely nothing lodged in his throat, or between his teeth. He hasn't been around any toxic chemicals. This only seems to happen in the evenings, never in the mornings or afternoons.

#2 Sue R

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 05:40 AM

My first thought would be that either something has irritated/scratched his throat, is stuck somewhere in his throat where you can't detect it, or that something is bothering his stomach, like a bit of sharp bone that has not digested or a wad of undigested other material. I think you are wise to be taking him to the vet to have this checked out.

Very best wishes!
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#3 Jedismom

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 07:10 AM

Not heartworm. Something is bothering his stomach. How often do you feed him? Just in the evening perhaps? New dog food? New bag of dog food? Does he chew on things? Have you found anything partially chewed up anywhere?

I hope you figure it out soon, poor guy.

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#4 JohnLloydJones

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 08:26 AM

My first thought would be that either something has irritated/scratched his throat, is stuck somewhere in his throat where you can't detect it, or that something is bothering his stomach, like a bit of sharp bone that has not digested or a wad of undigested other material.

I don't know where you located, but here in AZ, the foxtail season has started, so add that to the list of things that might be causing an irritation. I also think he needs a vet to see him.

#5 Sue R

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 08:35 AM

You're right - I did not think of foxtail, or similar-acting plants. Another good reason to see the vet today.
Sue Rayburn - Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult, but not the brightest firefly in the jar.

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#6 Katrice

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 08:50 AM

How often do you feed him? Just in the evening perhaps? New dog food? New bag of dog food? Does he chew on things? Have you found anything partially chewed up anywhere?


We feed him twice a day; once in the morning, once in the evening. This behavior doesn't happen after his morning feeding. Only at night, about 4 hours after he eats his evening meal. He has been on the same food "Taste of the Wild" for two months, and this licking, swallowing, coughing behavior just started three nights ago. He doesn't chew on anything, other than himself. He seems to be extremely itchy around his stomach, groin area, so he licks and chews on these areas a lot. Taste of the Wild is the third food we've had him on since we adopted him, because he does seem to have food allergies, and his itchy skin condition seems a little better since he has been eating this food. I'll let you know what the vet says.

#7 urge to herd

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 09:42 AM

Katrice,

Do you give him chewies or toys to chew on? Is he on carpet or bedding that's been cleaned recently? Do you exercise him in a place where there's been herbicide/insecticide used recently?

Allergies are no fun to figure out with a dog. My $.02, if you're thinking allergies, is to go to a dermatologist. I wish we had done that straight away with Shoshone. The derm gave us more help in one visit than our regular vet had in many, many visits. And the regular vet is a good vet, just not a specialist.

Poor guy!

Ruth and Agent Gibbs

#8 Katrice

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 12:52 PM

Katrice,

Do you give him chewies or toys to chew on? Is he on carpet or bedding that's been cleaned recently? Do you exercise him in a place where there's been herbicide/insecticide used recently?

Allergies are no fun to figure out with a dog. My $.02, if you're thinking allergies, is to go to a dermatologist. I wish we had done that straight away with Shoshone. The derm gave us more help in one visit than our regular vet had in many, many visits. And the regular vet is a good vet, just not a specialist.

Poor guy!

Ruth and Agent Gibbs



No chewies and he hasn't chewed on any toys for weeks now. Our carpet was cleaned about 7 months ago using a supposedly "non-toxic, gentle" cleaning agent that is "safe for pets and small children." No insecticides or herbicides have been used in our yard this growing season. When I bike ride with him, he runs on the street, and he doesn't have time to graze in any of are neighbors yards. We have recently had a lot of rain for several days and the weeds are growing fairly abundantly in our neighborhood, but I haven't seen him eating anything outside, other than the grass in our yard during one of these episodes.

#9 Sue R

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 01:26 PM

Let us know what the vet says.

And, are you in an area where you have foxtail, needle-and-thread grass, or any other grass that has seed heads with awns that penetrate?
Sue Rayburn - Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult, but not the brightest firefly in the jar.

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#10 rushdoggie

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 03:25 PM

Excessive licking and lip smacking can be a sign of nausea.

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#11 bcnewe2

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 03:32 PM

Or how bout that he's ingesting allot of his own hair licking so much that he's getting a hairball stuck in his throat.
Could the licking be caused by allgeries. EVERYTHING is in bloom or has bloomed already around here, allgery season has started early.

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#12 emilyfalk

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 05:49 PM

Could be a long shot, but I'd have his anal glands checked while at the vet's. Full anal glands can cause itchiness, licking (of the dog's body and of other objects), and coughing. Just adding an idea that hasn't already been posted.
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#13 beachdogz

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 06:46 PM

I also would like to know where you live. I also believe it is allergies....and finding out just what can be difficult. I've been that route. Knowing your location could help pinpoint airborn culprits....he doesn't necessarily have to come in contact with it.
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#14 bcnewe2

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 07:39 AM

As for finding out what he's allergic to....Raven suffers from seasonal allergies almost every year. There is no way I can afford to figure out what she's allergic to. I treat the symptoms as needed. This year believe it or not has been a good one for her. Last fall she looked like she had mange with her itchy self. She had to have steroids to get over last falls, this year she hasn't even needed benadryl. If you can treat the symptoms I'd be happy with that.
Have you tried benadryl?
And anal glands can cause some strange symptoms too. Mick suffers from yucky ones. If I let them get bad he will go crazy licking. First his butt then his paws and everywhere.

Hope you figure it out soon.

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#15 Ancarrow

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 08:10 AM

Is there drooling? Last worming? What's that worm that comes from injesting a flea...can't remember. I'm betting on spring allergy thing, if not anything in the stomach that won't pass. Yes, let us know what vet says. Oh, if you suspect a food allergy, try a food with a higher level of fat, instead of protein, or just go to people food for awhile: Rice and beef/lamb meat. Did that once on a Golden Retriever that had similar symptoms and it helped. We added olive and/or cod liver oil to his food also. Just using the scattershot approach to brainstorm with you.

#16 Tuxedodog

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 12:06 PM

I would also think about food allergy. I have them and if I eat something that snuck in without me realizing it I drool too, and I itch since it is an irritant all the way through. Even if it is only the evening meal, the exposure in the AM, might be enough that dinner pushes him over the edge. I had a friend with a horse allergic to oats and timothy, his poop smelled really bad and he drooled when he ate.

#17 Sue R

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 02:03 PM

Is there drooling? Last worming? What's that worm that comes from injesting a flea...can't remember.

Tapeworms come from ingesting fleas. I think.

Monterey? Ed and I spent a couple of days up that way when we were in grad school, judging wildlife food plots. Spent a couple of nights in the old Monterey Hotel, dogs allowed in the rooms, wonderful home cooking, great time had by all (us and the two dogs).
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#18 Katrice

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 02:59 PM

Our vet thinks that only a part of his problem is seasonal allergies. He has been on benadryl twice a day for a couple of weeks now. This has helped with the incessant scratching, but the licking and swallowing are new developments. The vet thinks that Edgar is also dealing with OCD and an anxiety disorder, and possibly some other neurological problem which exacerbates the constant licking and swallowing. The licking and swallowing seems to be triggered when one of his human family members leaves the room that he is in.

#19 WWBC

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 03:05 PM

think I'd be going somewhere for a second opinion....so in the morning no one leaves the room when the dog is eating? only in the evening?......OCD, and an anxiety disorder and possible other neurological problems. yep, second opinion would be the way to go for me....

#20 Katrice

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 03:33 PM

think I'd be going somewhere for a second opinion....so in the morning no one leaves the room when the dog is eating? only in the evening?......OCD, and an anxiety disorder and possible other neurological problems. yep, second opinion would be the way to go for me....



I'm definitely going to get a second opinion. He did start doing this behavior this morning as well, when I left to go to the grocery store. Could be coincidental, but maybe there is something to it.


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