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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok... this is going to probably be a long post regarding Daisy's health problem that no one can figure out...

We got her from the Jacksonville Humane Society last September (almost a year ago to date). When we looked at her they told us that she had some snorting problems, including the whole reverse sneeze thing. We just figured she had some minor allergies and didn't give it much thought. She seemed healthy and happy other than the snorting sound she would make occasionally.
About two months after we got her she, out of the blue, began having what we called fits. The following links will take you to videos of what she does, but I will try to explain it also:

Daisy's Problem: Video 1
Daisy's Problem: Video 2
Daisy's Problem: Video 3

There are no common threads to when she has these problems. She could be outside playing or inside sleeping. She will be acting perfectly normal and then out of the blue she'll frantically start licking the floor, couch, or anything she get can her mouth on. She'll also try to eat fuzz, grass, even my hair! All things she wouldn't normally give a second glance to. During this fit she tucks her tail, licks, swallows, snorts (not reverse sneezing), and coughs up white mucus. Nothing we do makes her stop. These fits can literally last for HOURS, even all night long once they start. We have had many sleepless nights preventing her from eating things, cleaning up mucus, and just trying to comfort her. If we crate her she'll lick the sides of the crate, bottom, and try and eat/lick the comforter that we have in there, especially if there's a small thread sticking off of it. These fits began in Nov. of 2007 and have been sporadic since then. Sometimes she's had them once or twice a week, and sometimes once a month or once every two weeks. When she isn't having fits, she licks her feet a lot as well as her belly, and sometimes even has a small rash on her tummy which our vet attributed to a contact dermatitis. We're pretty sure she has skin allergies, but she has not been tested. Listed below are all of the things we've done to try and figure out what the problem is and the one thing that seems to work
(although we don't know why):

Things we've done that don't work, tests that came back normal:

Antihistamines (various types and dosages)
Throat wash
Chest X-rays
Valium (during the episode, which didn't really work)
Spoken with 5 different vets, including an internal medicine specialist
Anti-nausea medications
Phenobarbital (one vet thought it might be a partial motor seizure)
Food change (from Pedigree to Eukanuba: Natural Lamb and Rice to Blue and back to Eukanuba)
Full blood panel
Throat Scope (the specialist put a camera down her throat and also back of her nose)

The ONE thing that seems to help:

Temparil-P (I believe each pill has 5mg of antihistamine, 2mg of Prednisone)

She has been fit free for 3 months since being on one pill per day. We've recently cut it down to half a pill per day and she seems to be doing ok. She still snorts but has had no episodes. The problem is... no one knows WHY it works! I'm thinking she's having some kind of reaction in her throat that's causing inflamation and making her feel like she can't swallow. All the licking builds up some mucus and she has to cough it up. But I'm not a vet, and the vets don't know. Any ideas??? Our current vet wants to keep her on 1 pill/day or 1/2 pill/day for six months and then try to take her off, hoping the tissue that was getting inflamed has been given time to heal. If that doesn't work we'll probably end up at Auburn University's vet clinic. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! It's been a LONG year trying to help her.

Thanks and sorry the post was so long!!

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The only thing I see in common is her licking obsessively during and after those fits.
1. reverse + licking
2. throwing up + licking
3. licking
Now, I'm no expert and maybe just throwing in a wild guess, but have the vets checked her for any neurological problem? I hear sometimes that's what makes them do obsessive things.

Other than that, the reverse sneezing thing, Chloe has that sometimes, throwing up, happens occasionally (I don't take it seriously unless its recurring more than once/twice a day).

Just the licking is what puzzling me...

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The vets think that since the Temaril P seems to be working that it is most likely something physical and not neurological. We did have one vet that had us try Daisy on Phenobarbital for seizure activity, but it didn't work. We really appreciate your response and your help

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I've never seen anything like that - tho have seen some compulsive lickers - they didn't have the other problems. Would you mind if I cross posted this on Beagle Bay - perhaps some of our members there might have seen something like this? I wish I could offer you some help. All I can do is offer you sympathy. Daisy is a beautiful dog and reminds me of my JoJo in coloring - tho JoJo has both the blue and red ticking - they have that beautiful dark coloring that I love. Good luck - and let me know if it's all right to share this on BB - who knows, perhaps someone there might be able to shed some light on this mystery.
Big hugs,

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Glenda - you may absolutely post anywhere you might think could offer advice! I'm always open!

Just a side note. I've also spoken with a behavioralist and from the description she didn't seem to think it was a behavioral problem. I myself am still leaning towards an allergy. Mainly because of all the things we've tried, but also because our other dog (Rocky) occasionally does something similar. It's MUCH more minor and he doesn't spit up mucus. I can usually stop him just by giving him a little something to eat. I think his may be more related to getting something caught in his throat. It usually happens after he's been licking himself or munching on little pieces of grass (which he does sometimes I think just because he can). Thank you so much for your help, maybe someone from Beagle Bay will have more suggestions!
And thank you for the compliments, she is my beautiful pound puppy!

Chloe's Mom - Thank you!
Although we don't know what it is, we're so grateful to have found something that gives her relief, and us as well!

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My Maggie is a compulsive licker -- she was on Prozac for years which reduced the licking significantly (she can't take it now due to Cushings related liver failure) but she never had anything similar to the mucous issue that Daisy has. Maggie's favorite target for licking was anything that had sand in it (concrete, brick pavers, etc.) and she would throw up if she licked too much. Since stopping the Prozac, Maggie is licking more, primarily walls and doors -- thankfully, I'm in a new home so don't have to worry about lead-based paints!
It sounds like you have done a very thorough research job trying to get a diagnosis for Daisy -- you are great beagle parents! My only concern about the Temeril-P is the negative effects of long-term cortisone but I'm sure your vet is taking that into consideration. Hopefully, a reader here or on Beagle Bay will have some new suggestions for you.

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Thanks, I will definitely post it on BB now that I have your permission. We have a lot of beagle owners there - many of them with wonderful advice.
One of the dogs I fostered a few years ago was a compulsive licker - I think hers was an insecurity problem - she was purchased, trained and loved by a teenaged boy - when he grew up and went into college his mom (who had divorced his father) re-married and the new hubby hated the dog. When the mom learned I had beagles she asked me if I'd take her. I fostered her for about 6 months and would have kept her (she was a wonderful beagle girl), but my Lab/Shepherd cross started attacking KC - so I found KC a new home (with my friend Joanie). KC LICKED the bed (I can't tell you how many nights I slept on soggy sheets) - and anything else. KC didn't have the mucus problems, tho she just LICKED and LICKED, and then LICKED some more. Of course she was insecure, her daddy left her, then she was relegated to being outside or in a crate all the time. She'd been an only child and very loved, and became an outcast. She is now happily in Joanie's pack - and is very loved again!
Will let you know if anyone on BB has any suggestions! Good luck!

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Judy - Thanks! One vet suggested some kind of behavior medication and that's when I called the behaviorist. Since the licking only occurs during these episodes we're pretty sure she's just not feeling good. But when it happens, it's definitely compulsive. I've spoken with the vet about the Temaril-P because I had the same concerns about the steroid part of it. He assured me that as long as she's on 1/2 pill per day she'll be fine. Apparently the amount of prednisone is very low. However, we would like to eventually be able to get her off of it, which is why we're keeping Auburn in the back of our mind. They have a wonderful clinic there. I'm sorry to hear about your pooch's licking problem, but at least your walls will be clean.
Thank you so much for the support!

Glenda - What a shame that he wasn't able/didn't keep his dog. I can imagine she had a tough time. When my parents first adopted one of their labs, Lexi would sit at the window and cry. But she too is now quite happy and healthy, it just took time.
Thank you for all of your help and I look forward to hearing if anyone from BB has a suggestion!

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Erin - since it's the week-end, there have only been two responses - but expect more later on. Neither of them had heard of this particular problem, and had no suggestions to offer. But hopefully someone will have heard of a similar problem.
I know that sometimes there are legitimate reasons to re-home a dog, but I don't think the people that had KC had the right to get rid of her. She was a sweet dog, and VERY well-trained - unlike my bratty beagles, 8 of whom are surrounding me at the moment. Lottie won't come down here to the family room unless the others are outside. She's a mama's girl, but doesn't especially like the rest of the pack. She came to me with a lot of baggage, too.
I hope someone can find a solution to your problem - or at least a place to start!
I'm glad the prednisone dosage is LOW - it's like a miracle drug for some things - but long term usage can be very dangerous - as you know.

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Ok - I am a member over at Beagle Bay which is where I first saw this question. I'm moving what I posted over here too-

Ok - this suggestion is coming from way out there but I'm wondering if it could be some kind of behavioral thing?(I read your earlier posts about contacting the behaviorist but I still have to wonder) Is there something different going on in Daisy's environment and this is her way of coping with it? I'm wondering this because of her incessant licking of all kinds of things - sort of like a person's answer to an increase in their anxiety level may be a compulsion to pluck their hair or when a person is so obsessed with being safe in their house that they feel compelled to make sure that the house is locked securely before they go to bed at nite - repeatedly check locks before going to bed. As for why this one particular med works, maybe somehow it helps to alleviate Daisy's increased anxiety (if that is what it is)

I also have a question about the food - is Eukanuba the same as Iams? That is what I see when I Google it (I have never done much research and pay little attention to any other than what I feed the Beaglebratz). Ok - the med appears to be working well but I wonder if they could really cut down the med if changed to a different brand of dog food - one with absolutely NO corn product whatsoever? I haven't checked every variety of Eukanuba yet but so far the three I have looked, all have corn of some kind listed early in the ingredients - one has it listed as #1.

Now as for what the behaviorist said about there being a physical componet (throwing up) - when a person's anxiety level becomes high enuf it can cause a panic attack and the person may experience sweaty palms, sweat profusely, headaches, heart palpitations, rise in blood pressure
blurred vision, experience nausea, dizziness - the person may even be convinced they are having a heart attack.

Just some thoughts of mine.


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well, this JUST happened to me but with not quite the intensness. jack is staying over at the vet - he has two slight infections,one on his neck and a slight ear infection. however, one of the topics discussed was this light wheezing caugh, licking the carpet, grass, paws, etc. then he throws up the EXACT same looking white, foamy and mucousy (sp).

now, we may just not be as far along in testing, etc. but my vet thinks it's the allergies and post nasal drip that collects in his throat or nasal passages and then he has to get it out, much like what you talked about in your post. i have only given him benedryl 25 mg 2 x's a day and it helps but not completely.

i'll be curious what even others come up with - jack's episodes aren't quite as bad but, god forbid, they should get worse and be something totally different....

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Here are a couple of responses from Beagle Bay. Apparently it isn't quite as rare as we had thought.

Dora occaisionally does something similar but not for hours on end. If she eats too fast she will throw up her food almost like it went down but wet. She also licks the floor over an over again. I always thought of it as her trying to cope with nauseau. She ends up throwing up the white stuff, clear liquid and sometimes with dog hair because she's been licking the floor for so long. She also does the reverse sneeze thing.

I have no idea what causes it. It seems to come and go. The only thing I can tell you is that she hasn't had any other issues that have caused concern and the vet hasn't said there is anything wrong with her. I am taking her in for shots next week....I'll ask about it and see if I get any info from our vet.

It sounds like Daisy's fits are far more dramatic than Dora's. I can sympathize but I don't have any information. If I find anything out I will post.


I have no idea either.
Believe it or not Little Guy does this too.
We have figured out it is probably his nerves.
Carafate seems to help him, and why I don't know. He has slowed down quite a bit lately .

Kim posted her response on Beagle Bay as well as here.

You know, Beaglemom's vet might just have the right idea - post nasal drip can collect like that. Having had allergies most of my life, I know it can be VERY annoying! Don't know about in dogs, but I do know that in humans the coughing mechanism and the upchucking mechanism are very close and the coughing CAN trigger throwing up. Ask anyone who's ever had bronchitis
Hopefully this can be resolved soon. It has to be miserable for the whole family.


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Here's one more post from a Beagle Bay member - Kathy has had beagles for many years - and is very knowledgeable about the breed.

My Lewie has woken from a deep sleep and shot of the bed only to start licking every thing is site, and if I don't stop him he would probably do it for a long time. How do I stop him...I feed him!

The vet says he is in perfect health.

I think he is having dreams of when he was left in a field to fend for himself (I adopted Lewie at the age of 3) and wakes up frantic with hunger.

Maybe there is something in your little ones past that has her doing this. If she were mine I would:

1: get her off the steriods
2: try giving her a herbal tranqualizer (they are much better than steriods)
3: next time (if there is a next time) give her something to eat...no promises but it helps Lewie.
4: try not to worry and don't pamper her when she does it...sometimes this just makes it worse as it gives her attention that she would not normally be getting.
5: create a place where there are things she can lick safely and if she does spit up won't ruin anything.
5: for her licking herself to the point of causing damage to the skin ask you vet for some spay that they put on bandages to keep pets from chewing them off...it works on all sorts of things.

Hope this helps

Hugs Kathy

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I was responding individually to posts but there are so many! I very much appreciate all of your suggestions!! It relieves me that at least she doesn't have some rare tropical disease or something...
Here's some further info with Daisy:

1. I have given a lot of thought to the allergy thing over the last year. She almost ALWAYS sounds mucusy (like she's got a cold or something), but all of the tests we've had done come back that she's in perfect health. However, we have not had her tested for allergies.

2. We've tried just putting her in her crate (where she can't eat anything), turning off all the lights, and leaving her by herself so that we're not encouraging the behavior. But she will still continue for hours and hours until she just wears herself out.

3. We have also tried feeding her during her fits and she just ends up throwing it all back up. One time I even tried giving her some warm water. She just sucked it all down then threw it all up. Our other dog, however, will stop if we give him something to eat.

4. I don't believe Eukanuba is the same as Iams. The food we give her lists chicken as the first ingredient. Here's the website for Eukanuba: http://www.eukanuba.com/EukGlobal/US/en/jsp/home/LocalHome.jsp

5. We've tried benadryl, along with a few other antihistamines, but haven't had any luck.

6. The post nasal drip sounds very interesting! I've offered something similar to the vets as a suggestion but haven't really gotten anywhere with it. When they did the throat scope (endoscopy), the specialist didn't see any signs of a problem so who knows! I may bring up the post nasal drip thing with our current vet though and see what he thinks.

7. She doesn't really do any damage to herself. She licks her feet but doesn't chew, so there haven't been any cuts or other wounds.

8. Our goal is to get her off of the Temaril-P, but each pill only has 2mg of prednisone, with 5 mg of an antihistamine. The vet wants to keep her on the low dose for another 3-4 months and then try to get her off of it completely. If that doesn't work, we'll be going to Auburn OR beginning some allergy treatment.

I guess the worst, besides the fact that she's miserable when these fits happen, is that before the Temaril-P we were terrified to leave her alone. We were always worried a fit would happen while we were away and that she would get into something that could hurt her. Even if we crated her she'd sometimes try to eat the comforter.

Anyway, thank you all so much for your support and responses. Jason, Rocky, Daisy, and I really appreciate them! It's been a rough year... not to mention an expensive one!

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I wonder if she would get any relief by switching to a grain free food. Eukanuba does have corn and sorghum (which I have recently read some negative things about). If there is a possiblilty it is allergy related, I wonder if a grain free food would help at all?
You have my sympathy. This must be so worrisome for you and I know its difficult for you to watch her go through this.

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I went to the Eukanuba website to try to find ingredient lists - but the site was frustrating to me.

  • 1. Jassy says Eukanuba does contain corn. Corn and wheat are both major allergens to many dogs. I would agree to switching food to a formula that does NOT contain either corn or wheat. I think under the circumstances, as Jassy suggested, I might consider switching to a food without ANY grains to see if that helps. By the way Miss Jassy is an Assistant Manager at Beagle Bay
    . and is such an asset to the group.

    Here is how my BB co-manager responded. She works for a boarding kennel/groomer - and has bred both German Shepherds and beagles. She's my JoJo's breeder and is very dog savvy.

    OK I ran this past my boss this am...she is very dog savy. Her thought was some kind of gastric problem like we get indigestion. She asked about diet. Her suggestion was pepcid or another product that I forgot the name of as for dosing she said to check with Vet.

    I do hope some of these suggestions are helpful to you.

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Since it's not something physically wrong with Daisy, I am leaning toward thinking it is some sort of allergy. I would try switching to a different food. Eukanuba is owned by the same company as Iams, and I have nothing good to say about Iams. Jersey tends to lick things when she get nauseas. I think it's her way of trying to make herself throw up. I agree with Jassy, try a grain free food, or at least one without corn in it. It can't hurt!

BTW, there are several posts on here about the quality of dog foods. I am embarrassed to say that as a moderator I can't figure out how to link to one of them at the moment. There is a sticky in the Health and Welfare forum about this as well. But here is a guide to follow. It's a good place to start.

Start with a grade of 100:

For every listing of by-product, subtract 10 points!
For every non-specific animal source (meat or poultry, meat, meal or fat) reference, subtract 10 points!
If the food contains BHA, BHT, or ethoxyquin, subtract 10 points
For every grain mill run or non-specific grain source,subtract 5 points!
If the same grain ingredient is used 2 or more times in the first five ingredients (i.e. ground brown rice, brewer's rice, rice flour are all the same grain), subtract 5 points
If the protein sources are not meat meal and there are less than 2 meats in the top 3 ingredients, subtract 3 points
If it contains any artificial colorants, subtract 3 points
If it contains ground corn or whole grain corn, subtract 3 points
If corn is listed in the top 5 ingredients, subtract 2 more points
If the food contains any animal fat other than fish oil,subtract 2 points
If lamb is the only animal protein source (unless your dog is allergic to other protein sources), subtract 2 points
If it contains soy or soybeans, subtract 2 points
If it contains wheat (unless you know that your dog isn't allergic to wheat), subtract 2 points
If it contains beef (unless you know that your dog isn't allergic to beef), subtract 1 point
If it contains salt, subtract 1 point

Extra Credit:

If any of the meat sources are organic, add 5 points
If the food is endorsed by any major breed group or nutritionist, add 5 points
If the food is baked not extruded, add 5 points
If the food contains probiotics, add 3 points
If the food contains fruit, add 3 points
If the food contains vegetables (NOT corn or other grains), add 3 points
If the animal sources are hormone-free and antibiotic-free, add 2 points
If the food contains barley, add 2 points
If the food contains flax seed oil (not just the seeds), add 2 points
If the food contains oats or oatmeal, add 1 point
If the food contains sunflower oil, add 1 point
For every different specific animal protein source (other than the first one; count chicken and chicken meal as only one protein source, but chicken and beef as 2 different sources), add 1 point
If it contains glucosamine and chondroitin, add 1 point
If the vegetables have been tested for pesticides and are pesticide-free, add 1 point


94-100+ = A
86-93 = B
78-85 = C
70-77 = D
69 and below = F
Here are some foods that have already been scored.

Dog Food scores:

Authority Harvest Baked / Score 116 A+
Bil-Jac Select / Score 68 F
Canidae / Score 112 A+
Chicken Soup Senior / Score 115 A+
Diamond Maintenance / Score 64 F
Diamond Lamb Meal & Rice / Score 92 B
Diamond Large Breed 60+ Formula / Score 99 A
Dick Van Patten's Natural Balance Ultra Premium / Score 122 A+
Dick Van Patten's Duck and Potato / Score 106 A+
Foundations / Score 106 A+
Hund-n-Flocken Adult Dog (lamb) by Solid Gold / Score 93 A
Iams Lamb Meal & Rice Formula Premium / Score 73 D
Innova Dog / Score 114 A+
Innova Evo / Score 114 A+
Kirkland/(that would be from Costco/Price Club) Signature Chicken, Rice, and Vegetables / Score 110 A+
Nutrisource Lamb and Rice / Score 87 B
Nutro Natural Choice Chicken, Rice, and Oatmeal/ Score 94 A
Nutro Natural Choice Large Breed Puppy / Score 87 B
Ol Roy Premium Dog Food / Score 53 F
Pet Gold Adult with Lamb & Rice / Score 23 F
ProPlan Natural Turkey & Barley / Score 103 A+
Purina Benful / Score 17 F
Purina Dog / Score 62 F
Purina Come-n-Get It / Score 16 F
Royal Canin Bulldog / Score 100 A+
Royal Canin Natural Blend Adult / Score 106 A+
Sensible Choice Chicken and Rice / Score 97 A
Science Diet Advanced Protein Senior 7+ / Score 63 F
Science Diet for Large Breed Puppies / Score 69 F
Wellness Super5 Mix Chicken / Score 110 A+
Wolfking Adult Dog (bison) by Solid Gold / Score 97 A

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
That all sounds great! I think I will look into switching their food. We've tried a couple of nausea meds given during Daisy's fits and none seemed to help. One was an orange liquid and one was an actual shot that the vet administered.

Again, a continued thank you too all of you for posting and helping!

I read through the food list (very helpful) and was just wondering what kinds of food you all give your pups?
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