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stumped on health problem

3967 Views 24 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Erin
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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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,
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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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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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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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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I feed my pack Nutro Natural Choice - either Lamb and Rice or Chicken, Rice and Oatmeal (I switch around). I live in a very small town - there are no pet stores here, and the local Grange does carry Nutro products. Mine have all done very well on the Natural Choice, shiny, soft coats, clear eyes and they've all been healthy. When I first got Romeo his breeder was feeding Purina Pro Plan, so I kept him on that for a while - he had constant ear infections - then the vet said that most ear infections now are caused by food allergies - so I immediately switched him to the Nutro - corn and wheat are major allegens for many dogs. It is the best I can get for them locally. When I can get to a Costco store (the closest is over 60 miles from here), I buy Kirkland, it has a good rating and it's about 1/2 the price of the Nutro. You will find that feeding a good quality food it will take less (my kids get 1 cup a day or less - depending on their size), split into two meals. There's also less clean up. You might want to check into a food with NO grains - by the way, if you notice, IAMS does not have a very good rating, and Science Diet gets an F. I have boycotted IAMS for years because of their research practices. If you consider Nutro, make sure you don't go for the Nutro Max, which does contain wheat. There are several very good foods that don't have grains at all - I just can't get them here. The Nutro is roughly $43 for a 40# bag, and they go through about 2 bags a month. Of course, if I'd let them, they'd eat a bag a week and still tell me they're starved - but there's not a skinny beagle in the pack.
IF you use dog biscuits, you might want to make sure they don't contain wheat, too. Wheat is usually the first ingredient in most dog biscuits. It might <span style="text-decoration: underline">not be the cause, but it's worth a try</span>. I've completely stopped giving dog biscuits to the kids, and have switched to saving a little of their kibble out as treats, or for special treats, I slice hot dogs VERY thin and dole out slices of hot dogs. With the kids, it's not the size of the treat, but the idea of the treat! Cheerios makes a good training treat, too. One of my clients gets commodity deliveries and she often gives me 2 lb boxes of cheese, which I cut into TINY cubes for treats too. Good luck! Don't they LOOK undernourished???
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