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Discussion Starter #1
I've been snoodging around the internet for stuff that might help me find the cause of Caeda's intermittent interest in food, occasional bile vomiting (not often, but enough I wouldn't call it rare), interest in eating grass and such. I found out about something called Lick Fits, apparently Swissies are prone to them, as well as Newfs, GSDs sometimes, and some other breeds (they all seem to be large breeds prone to bloat).

I found this small description:
When in the middle of a Lick Fit, the dog will lick anything they can (carpet, floors, walls) and will eat anything they can find (grass, leaves, dirt, carpet) and will gulp air and swallow constantly.
(Source)

I've also posted questions on this on the Swissy forum, but it doesn't seem to be a terribly active forum, plus I'm looking for all of the info I can get.

Caeda does seem to lick sometimes, not floors or anything, but sometimes very into licking hands, sometimes blankets, her paws etc. That along with her vomiting on an empty stomach is making me wonder if it is lick fits. She also had an episode (I had almost forgotten about!) where she woke me up at 3am or so, she was whining and obviously uncomfortable, I could hear her belly gasses going from several feet away. I checked her over thoroughly, she wasn't bloating but she definitely had serious gas. I rubbed her belly, gave her a snack, hung out with her for a while and she finally let some gas go and settled (took me longer to settle, I was freaked!). I've also read that lick fits often happen when the dog's stomach is empty (which seems to go in hand with the occasional morning bilious vomit). She also has times when she is VERY intent on eating grass and gnawing on wood etc. I showed DH a vid of a dog having a lick fit and he said it looked far more extreme than what Caeda does, but he finds some of it disturbingly familiar. The only thing that isn't squarely fitting in stuff I'm reading about lick fits is her lack of interest in food....I haven't seen it mentioned much, though considering it IS associated with tummy troubles I can see the disinterest as being possibly associated.

I just want to know if anybody knows anything about Lick Fits, have had any experience with them, if it seems like some of what is going on with Caeda that I've mentioned does fit the bill (to me it seems to, but I don't want to assume just yet). I'm taking her in less than a month for her vaccinations, I'm going to talk to the vet about it then, for the time being I'm just looking for experiences others may have had to help me decide how thoroughly to pursue it with the vet (like do I push if she pooh poohs it as an issue...I don't know her well enough to trust her thoroughly yet, or do I let her run a crazy number of tests that may end up being a waste of money). I've googled thoroughly, but I'm really interested in hearing from anyone who has had some experience with it....
 

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I've never heard it called "lick fits," but there are a fair number of dogs out there that will due this whenever they are experiencing any type of GI distress. I'd say anecdotally probably diarrhea (I assume from the cramping), overeating/food bloat, or acid reflux are the ones I see most commonly associated with it, although a lot of times you just never really know.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The odd thing is, no diarrhea seems to be associated with this in Caeda, at least not commonly. She'll occasionally go for one last poo before bed and it gets pretty soft towards the end, or there is usually another obvious reason for the diarrhea (she scooped some banana bread off of the counter once....that was messy). Apparently it is very rare in other breeds, and is very much a swissy thing. I also found it called the 'Swiss lick', and apparently there is no clear cause, though most think it is what you mention sassafrass, bloat, reflux or empty stomach.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Have you had her checked for giardia?
When we took her in because of her vomiting the Vet figured the Revolution should take care of that, and she has been on it for months now. It is something I'll mention to the vet though, since I believe deworming is an off label use of Revolution and it isn't a guarantee that it works.....thanks for mentioning that!
 

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Shep licks a lot, possibly due to aging joints, then he'll lick the rug or his bed, as if he's cleaning or scratching his tongue... I've seen other Labs do this, but don't think that it's a Lick Fit.

He has licked enough to irritate his stomach (maybe 5 - 10 times in 13 years?), resulting in a small volume vomit to clear his stomach ... otherwise fine.
 

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Dear Greater Swiss.
New member, buy YES I do know about "Licking Fits" and YES I know and read the Swiss study. My dog Toby who will be 7 in Dec is a Dachshund Mix about 29lbs he's a standard size for Dachshunds. He started these licking fits about 2 1/2 years ago...One night about 4 hours after dinner he started to lick the floor frantically then the base boards then the area rugs anything that was on that floor... my in stinks where to take him outside to eat grass and he did!!! About 10mins+. This would happen twice and now is the pattern, but now...it's about 1:30-2 am when fits start. At the time we were living in Norway so Norwegian vet gave us Zantac 75 cut pill in thirds. Vet thought stomach issue...acid reflux, but Zantac didn't work. Came back State side (husband Military) I wasn't happy with the Norwegian vets there so went back to our old vet we had before leaving. I explained to the vet his issue and like ALL vets and Neurologist (yes) ALL look at me like I have 3 heads as they've NEVER heard of this before and after Toby's Neurologist did a little home work found the Swiss study got it...I'm jumping ahead of my time line... I asked our old vet I wanted his stomach scoped and take a biopsy of his stomach to see if something was wrong with stomach and throat as when Toby has these fits it sound like there's a lot of mucus in his throat. Everything came back ok. Vet thought maybe he had Epilepsy and wanted to try Phenobarbital. I didn't want to do that as I read up on the side effects and yes it's very rare, but I didn't want to dope my dog up. (all this time he was eating Blue Buffalo for sensitive tummy). Vet said to confirm if he did have Epilepsy they would have to do an EEG as he was having the seizure. This wasn't possible as they happen 1,2 3 A.M. in the morning.....So I took him to a Neurologist for animals and had a MRI done on his brain and throat area to see if he had any tumors or saliva glands are over producing saliva which some dogs can have....I already asked the vet about this....I do read...,but MRI all came back ok. Neurologist suggested to take him to dentist as maybe a tooth, teeth, gums where bothering him...we he had his teeth cleaned and two pulled, but about two weeks later again licking fits. I have shown my vet videos of Toby having these fits...so now he's on Hills Prescription Diet z/d Canine as Vet thought maybe his system has a hard time digesting proteins,but still has fits.

By the way, Toby has had these fits in the afternoon while laying on the coach with nothing in his stomach...not often, but they can strike almost at any time. I've seen other dog owners on UTube posting same licking fits and wonder what is going on and how can we help our dog so Vets out there are clueless and makes me upset as when the look at you like your nuts.

Now when Toby does have these fit and I still take him outside to eat grass, but can't be much as he'll get sick on the grass eating to as these has happen. I let him eat just enough to (I think) that would help. Another note, when he as these fits I've tried to (shout "hey toby",clap my hands) to try and "snap him out of it if it might be some kind of a seizure...but he looks and continues. I have spent a lot of $$$$$ trying to figure out what this is as I need to help my little boy! But as of right now I'm back to square one.

I hope this can inlighting you some, but doesn't help. Just remember your not along on this issue. If I someday find out something I will let you and the dog world know! When your in the front yard at 2AM eating grass is not fun, but this is what you do to try and help!
Best regards
Shannon
 

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I associate it with an irritation they trying to sooth either a digestive upset or allergy reaction.. I've had both, the allergy was finding the source my case was foods to avoid, for the digestive upsets it was pepcid AC for sour stomach, or Gas X for bloating.. to calm them down... so the lick fits I can say I've seen them...
 

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Dear Patricia
Thank you for the reply, what did you use pepcid ac and or gas x and how much? Was it before or after meal time. I used ZanTac on Toby and didn't work…?
Shannon
 

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Hey Toby8 my Major was an extensive vet tested pup into adulthood for his sever digestive problems, nothing could be found from the test that the vet could fix. after an extensive episode he couldn't come out of, they tacked his stomach down, and my vet suggested for management of the episodes after they started 1 tablet for a 94 lb dog, depending on what type of episode he was having. You couldn't use them as a preventive only management after an episode started. No healing properties for using them, Major was a dog that needed assistance. What really did help him long term was switching to cook home made meals with added probiotics and digestive enzymes..(many kibble brands now have them already added now) and once his body healed from fewer and fewer episodes I went completely raw keeping the probiotics and digestive enzymes for the remaining of his life to be problem free having a strong iron gut that nothing upset him.

It was helpful knowledge to give them to help to get through an upset,, but I wouldn't stop with just management and keep looking into what is wrong and what you can do for them not to have digestive upsets.. :) Sooner or later like Major his body that was broken/struggling as a puppy , finally completely broke and shut down when he was 3 years old.. :)
 

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I had a Chihuahua/Eskimo that would have these fits. I would give her pepcid AC like Patrica from CO did and that did seem to help some. It was hard to know when these fits would take place. She would start panting and then start licking anything and everything. The floors seemed to be the favorite target. I also added Probiotics on a daily dose. With her I think hers was more due to nerves than anything else. She was very nervous. I had a friend who had a golden do this too. She would just let the dog lick. She said the dog would just start licking and then would stop.
 

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Dear Greater Swiss.
New member, buy YES I do know about "Licking Fits" and YES I know and read the Swiss study. My dog Toby who will be 7 in Dec is a Dachshund Mix about 29lbs he's a standard size for Dachshunds. He started these licking fits about 2 1/2 years ago...One night about 4 hours after dinner he started to lick the floor frantically then the base boards then the area rugs anything that was on that floor... my in stinks where to take him outside to eat grass and he did!!! About 10mins+. This would happen twice and now is the pattern, but now...it's about 1:30-2 am when fits start. At the time we were living in Norway so Norwegian vet gave us Zantac 75 cut pill in thirds. Vet thought stomach issue...acid reflux, but Zantac didn't work. Came back State side (husband Military) I wasn't happy with the Norwegian vets there so went back to our old vet we had before leaving. I explained to the vet his issue and like ALL vets and Neurologist (yes) ALL look at me like I have 3 heads as they've NEVER heard of this before and after Toby's Neurologist did a little home work found the Swiss study got it...I'm jumping ahead of my time line... I asked our old vet I wanted his stomach scoped and take a biopsy of his stomach to see if something was wrong with stomach and throat as when Toby has these fits it sound like there's a lot of mucus in his throat. Everything came back ok. Vet thought maybe he had Epilepsy and wanted to try Phenobarbital. I didn't want to do that as I read up on the side effects and yes it's very rare, but I didn't want to dope my dog up. (all this time he was eating Blue Buffalo for sensitive tummy). Vet said to confirm if he did have Epilepsy they would have to do an EEG as he was having the seizure. This wasn't possible as they happen 1,2 3 A.M. in the morning.....So I took him to a Neurologist for animals and had a MRI done on his brain and throat area to see if he had any tumors or saliva glands are over producing saliva which some dogs can have....I already asked the vet about this....I do read...,but MRI all came back ok. Neurologist suggested to take him to dentist as maybe a tooth, teeth, gums where bothering him...we he had his teeth cleaned and two pulled, but about two weeks later again licking fits. I have shown my vet videos of Toby having these fits...so now he's on Hills Prescription Diet z/d Canine as Vet thought maybe his system has a hard time digesting proteins,but still has fits.

By the way, Toby has had these fits in the afternoon while laying on the coach with nothing in his stomach...not often, but they can strike almost at any time. I've seen other dog owners on UTube posting same licking fits and wonder what is going on and how can we help our dog so Vets out there are clueless and makes me upset as when the look at you like your nuts.

Now when Toby does have these fit and I still take him outside to eat grass, but can't be much as he'll get sick on the grass eating to as these has happen. I let him eat just enough to (I think) that would help. Another note, when he as these fits I've tried to (shout "hey toby",clap my hands) to try and "snap him out of it if it might be some kind of a seizure...but he looks and continues. I have spent a lot of $$$$$ trying to figure out what this is as I need to help my little boy! But as of right now I'm back to square one.

I hope this can inlighting you some, but doesn't help. Just remember your not along on this issue. If I someday find out something I will let you and the dog world know! When your in the front yard at 2AM eating grass is not fun, but this is what you do to try and help!
Best regards
Shannon
Has there been any updates? My Cavalier does this too.
 

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Google Search:

"“Lick Fit” is a term Swissy enthusiasts use to describe the frantic licking Swissys can be prone to. This phenomenon has been reported to hit roughly 17% of the breed. When in the middle of a Lick Fit, the dog will lick anything they can (carpet, floors, walls) and will eat anything they can find (grass, leaves, dirt, carpet) and will gulp air and swallow constantly. Their actions make it obvious they are in severe gastrointestinal discomfort. Many Swissy owners speculate as to the causes, theorizing about acid reflux or gas buildup in the stomach. Some have success in alleviating lick fits by allowing dog to eat grass, feed a slice of bread soaked in milk, and/or giving Tums or Gas-X. Lick Fits are most common in young Swissys, but any age can be affected. Many owners are able to prevent lick fits by ensuring the dog never has an empty stomach, using more frequent, smaller meals as opposed to one large one and feeding large dog biscuits as between meal snacks."
 
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