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Hello all,

I posted about a month ago about my newly adopted miniature poodle mix that was vomiting from antibiotics for pneumonia. After stopping the antibiotics he did improve. His cough went away and his energy level increased. But a few days later he started regurgitating his food and water, sometimes right after eating/drinking, and sometimes up to 8 hours after. I have been to 5 different vets in the past month, and they don't have any clear answers for me. What we do know is that he doesn't have pneumonia anymore and his blood tests came back pretty unremarkable (phosphorus and neutrophil slightly low, but overall white blood count normal, so the vet didn't seem to think it indicates anything). He has gotten chest, abdomen, and barium xrays. The vet said that the barium xrays MIGHT be showing a foreign object (it looked very faint if anything was there) but admitted that it was not clear and that it could be something else. He suggested "tentatively making an appointment with a specialist for an endoscopy", but that his condition seems somewhat stable. He still has a ravenous appetite and is having normal bowel movements. It seems that several small meals a day help keep food down, but even when he doesn't regurgitate for days, he will still make the burpy sound/motion as if he's about to throw up after he eats. He doesn't want to drink water AT ALL. I am able to coax him into drinking by mixing water into his food. The vet wasn't super concerned with this, since he doesn't show the signs of dehydration, but it still worries me. He also seems to be peeing more liquid than he's taking in. He was previously on sucralfate and metoclopramide, but after stopping those pills, his condition stays the same, no better or worse. I've spent over $1600 dollars trying to figure this out, and I can't afford the endoscopy right now, especially when I feel like it might not even be helpful. I've honestly been on the verge of having to return him to the shelter, but I can't bring myself to do it. I guess I'm just wondering if anyone else has experienced something similar and what ended up being the problem.
 

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Lots of questions here:

So he does not regurgitate after smaller meals? Have you tried some sort of toy/kibble dispenser that would force him to eat his food over a period of perhaps 20-30 minutes versus all at once? What brand of food are you feeding him? What size are the kibbles? Did periods of heavy activity precede the vomiting? Do you feed your dog from a raised feeder, or on the ground? Have you switched foods at all during this process? Is his feces always solid, or does he have diarrhea?

It strikes me that if smaller meals have helped or nearly solved the issue, several things may have been happening. If you are feeding a food with grains or corns as the main ingredients, those foods tend to expand and fill the stomach. Even if your food isn't grain-based, it still expands slightly. So if you were feeding him one or two large meals a day, it could be that his stomach was simply becoming way too full and he was vomiting it up to relieve the pressure.

If you've switched foods, it could be that your previous food wasn't agreeing with him and was causing stomach irritation. I'd guess my first suggestion, him just being overly full, is far more likely, however.

A few of my dogs make burping noises after they eat every meal, so I think that's fairly normal.

Has he never been interested in drinking water? Have you tried putting water in different containers and at different heights? Some dogs don't like plastic bowls and some dogs don't like metal bowls. If he's not dehydrated and he's urinating normally, he must be getting water somehow. I know you're mixing it into his food, but that doesn't strike me as enough water to hydrate him normally. Do you supervise him constantly? Are you sure he's not simply drinking quietly when you're out of the room? There's no way he can urinate more water than he consumes, that would be physically impossible.
 

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When I first brought him home last month I was giving him small kibble mixed with a little bit of wet food. He was drinking normally at this time. When I first brought him to the vet for coughing and started him on 2 antibiotics, he started vomiting and lost his appetite. I tried the plain boiled chicken breast and rice and that didn't seem to help much. I eventually stopped the antibiotics and that's when he stopped vomiting and started wanting to eat again. After about 4 days he started regurgitating after eating and especially after gulping down a lot of water. I would try to stop him from drinking excessively, but usually he would regurgitate immediately or moments after. I thought maybe he still had some sort of infection and a new vet suggested putting him back on Clavamox. But after several days of that, he was still throwing up. I took him to another vet and the he was quick to say he shouldn't be on antibiotics, that he no longer had pneumonia and the drugs were just putting too much wear on his GI tract. He told me to feed him special Hills W/D canned food in small portions and eventually prescribed metoclopramide and sucralfate. For about 4 days he was holding down all food, but then even on the pills he started regurgitating. At this time, he has stopped drinking altogether, aside from the water I put in his food, and of course, the moisture in his wet food. I do watch him constantly, so I would know if he was drinking. Even after a long walk or running around inside, he will be panting, but will refuse water. He has severe separation anxiety so he follows me around the moment I move anywhere. I tried a trick where I mixed a small bit of chicken bouillon broth with the water to entice him and he did drink some of that, but regurgitated it almost immediately. I mentioned the increased urination because I know that's often a symptom of an underlying condition. He is often urinating more than he seemed to when he was drinking normally. And yet, his blood test didn't suggest liver disease or something like that. The vet now says that he thinks the special food probably isn't making much of a difference. So I just started giving him Wellness brand Simple limited ingredient canned food, a few tablespoons at a time, several times a day, fed at an elevated height. He has still regurgitated a couple times, but I think maybe these little changes have helped somewhat. Stress and physical activity do seem to exacerbate the regurgitation, but it has also happened without any prompting. There was one night a little over a week ago where he regurgitated every 15 minutes just about all night and continued into the morning. That was the worst it's been. It's usually brown looking liquid that when I clean it up with a paper towel looks clearish with brown specks of food. I don't think he's ever been overly full during this ordeal. He only gets small portion servings at a time, which is scarfs down IMMEDIATELY and he's lost several pounds through all this and it's very difficult to get his weight up. He has never had diarrhea since I've had him.
 

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How old is your dog? Is he up to date on all of shots? Any changes in behavior or energy level? Is the vomiting/regurgitation worse at different times of day and do they always look clear/brown? Any bile?

Also, can you get those x-rays reviewed by a specialist or even take additional views to definitively rule out large foreign objects? X-ray of the esophagus could be helpful too to see if megaesophagus could be a culprit. I would also consider adding Pepcid/Prilosec to reduce irritation of the esophagus from the stomach acid.

My dog had something similar a few months ago (linked below). Not identical to your case, but could be helpful.

http://www.dogforums.com/dog-health-questions/400114-need-advice-vomiting-dog.html
 
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