Dog episode of pacing, licking floor, hiccuping/swallowing

(40 Posts)
FishChipsAndBeans Mon 06-Feb-17 16:50:55

My dog has a long soft palate and seasonal allergies, so I'm used to her occasionally reverse sneezing, and allergy-related symptoms.

She has just spent around 10-15 minutes madly pacing, frantically licking the floor, while hiccuping/swallowing. I couldn't distract her from this at all. Around halfway through she stopped and hacked like she was going to vomit, but nothing came up. This is new for her - I've not seen her do this mad licking before.

She's settled down now and seems fine again. I've felt her stomach and it doesn't feel distended. She's only had on-lead walks today and I've not noticed her picking anything up, apart from a couple of twigs which I told her to drop and she did do straight away. She's eaten and drank normally today.

I phoned the vet's, described what had happened and asked whether I should be worried/come in to see someone, or just monitor seeing as it only lasted 10/15 mins and she's ok now. They were non-committal and just said I can either monitor it or make an appointment if I was worried.

I've googled it, but have only found anecdotal stories - mostly I found that the frantic licking of the floors seems to be due to the dog feeling nauseous and the equivalent of them trying to find grass to eat. But I also came across bloat, which is why I mentioned her stomach not being distended.

I suspect it's more likely something as simple as nausea, or it's to do with her long soft palate being irritated. But if it's something else then I'm conscious of ignoring it as so many things I take her to the vet for end up being down to allergies or her palate.

Has anyone else experienced anything similar?

OP’s posts: |
TheGiantSausage Mon 06-Feb-17 23:11:19

My dog acts a bit like this before she vomits (she's quite a vomit-y dog). I, personally, wouldn't rush her to the vet but I'd probably have her sleep in with me for the night just to keep an eye on her.
The first time my dog got ill, I also panicked and thought of bloat but it was just a regular little stomach bug.
Hope she's feeling better now and it was just a bit of nausea that's now passed.

flumpsnlumpsnstuff Mon 06-Feb-17 23:15:19

My old dog did this when she had eaten a chocolate bar she stole/found out on a walk. She ended up at the vets very poorly. Sorry

FishChipsAndBeans Tue 07-Feb-17 06:45:40

Thanks for your replies.

The floor-licking thing happened again an hour later, so I took her to the vet's last night. They can't work out what's wrong with her, but because she's had a few vet trips related to her throat area, they've booked her in for Xrays and an examination under sedation today - I'm taking her in this morning and she'll be there all day.

She's not had a good night - she's been restless, gulping and occasionally crying.

OP’s posts: |
Burntbum Fri 10-Feb-17 23:29:09

How's she doing Fish?

FishChipsAndBeans Sat 11-Feb-17 07:01:53

Well everything came back normal! They did xrays and did a thorough exam under sedation, and the vet couldn't find anything at all - no inflammation, nothing.

We're a but stumped now as to what it was. The vet said we could proceed to endoscope under general anesthetic to look at her oesophagus and get a better look in her stomach, but as this gulping/floor licking has only happened twice, we're all inclined towards thinking that's probably not necessary yet. If it increases or becomes more severe then we'll do that, but for now we're assuming it was some kind of irritation or nausea.

Anyway, she's completely fine now - back to her usual happy self!

OP’s posts: |
Burntbum Sat 11-Feb-17 13:53:15

Glad she's better. What a relief for you!


FishChipsAndBeans Sat 11-Feb-17 14:26:16

Thanks Burntbum, yes it's a massive relief! She's very precious to us smile

OP’s posts: |
BillyDaveysDaughter Sat 11-Feb-17 14:30:27

My dog has frequent episodes of this. Nothing has ever come of it? She doesn't even vomit...

twojues Sat 11-Feb-17 20:40:15

My dog does this.

It usually starts about 1am for some reason. We seemed to have worked out it's something like heartburn.

He coughs, hiccups and licks his bed or the wooden floor. If I let him outside he eats grass. He will drink quite a lot if I let him (I do restrict him now). He is sick, but only really brings back the grass and froth.

I give him a couple of antacid tablets and lie on the sofa with him by my side on the floor. I will stroke him which seems to calm him. It can take a couple of hours.

He is absolutely fine in the morning and eats his breakfast ok.

FishChipsAndBeans Mon 13-Feb-17 14:18:13

Thanks for your responses.

Twojues, it's interesting that you say that - I came across this forum with around 130 posts all saying a similar thing about acid reflux:

OP’s posts: |
Terryem Sun 21-Jan-18 06:07:07

Help! I am still confused as to why my dog will all of the sudden start pacing back and forth while licking the bed and hiccuping. She goes outside and eats the grass and then runs in and continues licking, gulping and pacing. I placed her in my kitchen and to my surprise, she had destroyed my rug. The only time she is like this is at night when I am tired. Has anyone come up with a definitive answer to this?

Jaderbaby Wed 29-Aug-18 05:56:34

My dogs use to do this ALL OF THE TIME!!! It drove me crazy. I couldn't figure out why it was happening and when I tried to explain it to the Vet they would just look at me like I was crazy.
Well fast forward many years later and I believe that I have finally figured it out or at least I have for my dogs (I have 4).
When I switched my dogs from kibble to human grade/ home cooked( sometimes raw)food EVERYTHING about them changed. Before the switch they were all over weight, they had horrible coats and they were always doing the gulping and licking but now they are each 30ish pounds lighter , the coats are amazing and they no longer gulp and lick the floor.
I would say that the problem was the food for my dogs no doubt about it (do your research).
Dry dogfood is hard for our dogs to digest because it is nothing but junk. The food also expands in the belly and even if your dog chews up every little piece of dry dogfood the food is still junk regardless of what the world tells you so when your dog wants to eat grass (pecticide free of course) let him because he is sick to his stomach and wants to throw up, the grass will help him with that!!

FishChipsAndBeans Sat 01-Sep-18 19:23:19

Oh I'm the original OP of this thread! (a regular user name changer) I just saw it has been resurrected from last year.

In case this is of any use to anyone else, here's an update. These episodes happened several more times. The last one was really bad. It lasted a few hours, dog was pretty stressed - panting and tail right under - and she was just constantly gulping and licking. We saw a few vets but they were stumped.

We ended up being referred to a specialist animal hospital, where they did CT scanning, swallowing image studies and biopsies. They found chronic inflammation throughout her digestive system - cause unknown. I've always fed her very good food anyway, but we cut out dry food - we had previously tried her on raw for a while but stopped that as it's slightly more difficult to digest and has an added risk of pathogens. She's now on gently cooked food - Butternut Box - and we're very careful not to let her have kibble or anything dry as this is also harder to digest. The hospital vet we saw specialises in nutrition and we're following her advice.

After the inflammation was found, she was on steroids for a couple of months; now weaned off those and it's a waiting game to see how she does. But it does seem very much a digestive problem, even though we don't have an answer to what caused the inflammation.

OP’s posts: |
Miscella Sat 01-Sep-18 21:01:28

Fish - google slippery elm bark powder for doggy digestive problems. It is fantastic for digestive issues, and is totally safe for both dogs and humans. It is cheap and easy to get in health food shops.

Kristi67 Mon 10-Sep-18 22:13:21

Hi Fish, to heal the gut you might want to also add bone broth (I use store bought Primal) and colostrum in case that helps. Thank you for your post and updates smile

starcrossedseahorse Fri 14-Sep-18 19:17:24

Sp glad your dog is doing well. Our boy licks the floor frantically when he feels sick - had lots of dogs and not had this with any other but it seems to be a thing.

Snowydoo Thu 20-Sep-18 03:39:49

My dog has also done this gulping, swallowing, licking the carpet or eating grass & he was weaned onto a raw diet & continues to eat raw now for 5 yrs. So whether they eat kibble or not doesn't matter. He can be sound asleep & suddenly wake up doing this behavior. The vet suggested to video it from my phone. When she saw it, she thought it was some kind of seizure type episode.
I disagree, I've had a dog with small seizures, this is not like them. I'm looking for a homeopathic remedy to give him to calm him down, as relaxing the dog makes the swallowing stop. If I find it, I will let all know.

Ps1438 Sat 27-Oct-18 15:35:09

Success at last!! At least for my lab/boxer mix. She was fine when I got her, but one day this behavior of "double gulping", incessant licking everything she could everywhere, anxiety and panic, acting like she would throw up, sometimes doing so, most of the time not able to, eating everything under the sun during the episode she could, grass, bark, rope, blankets... just anything. I would calm her down best I could, had to sit with her hours on end to keep her laying down, and the episodes would usually last throughout the entire day. I took her to the vet and started spending a lot of money, over 800 for the first visit alone, and no one had a clue, but they were willing to run very expensive test, x-ray etc., to find out absolutely nothing. I began researching forums online, only to find no one had a solution, and others had spent 5000-10,000 dollars on vets to find out no vet had a real solution.

On one forum, I noticed the issue seemed to be related primarily to their ability to digest the food. I read how having an elevated dog feeder was very important for big dogs, so I got one, and this did not fix it, but is important for larger dogs to prevent many medical conditions and aid in digestion. So, this is highly recommend to all big dog owners. I started to notice many dog owners with this issue had dogs that ate their food very fast, so many tried slow feeder bowls, which for me also proved to not slow my girl down, because she still did not chew the food. She will fill her mount with a handful of large kibble, and swallow it without chewing every time. The episodes were happening increasingly, and I might have a few days of peace or even a week, and then it would happen again, and I had to focus on her all day. The only time she ate her rope and things that were not good for her, was when she was in one of her panic double gulping episodes, so I kept her as calm as possible during these episodes and did not allow her to eat or lick anything.


I prayed for Jesus to help me know what to do, as it seemed hopeless, and immediately, the idea came to my mind, digest the food for her! I could not get her to chew it up one by one, (tried feeding it to her by hand for a few weeks, but boy was that not fun)... so I decided to grind up her kibble, add some warm wanter and make it mush for her! I tried it, and with having an elevated dog feeder, coupled with giving her the already ground up mush kibble, I did not have to worry about her eating too fast, because it was already "chewed" up for her digestive system. I did not have to change her food, I just had to take care of the issue of her being able to digest and break it down in her stomach. It has been about a 2 years since this started to work, and she has not had an episode since I started doing this.

Before you waist tons of money trying new foods, medicines or on visits to the vet, just try getting an elevated dog feeder if you have a big dog, and grind up the food for them. Wet dog food would work probably just as good, but I have another big dog, and did not want to mess with two different foods, so I just grind hers up. I hope this solution works as well for you, as it has for me, and I am so thankful to God, because I believe Jesus gave me the idea, as it came to me just after I prayed.

mustangsusie Thu 17-Oct-19 12:27:38

We let our dog eat spaghetti last night. He always eats too fast but doesnt bother him usually. About an hour later he started licking the floor (carpet tile didnt matter what) We took him out...ate grass...came in threw up spaghetti but that was 12 hours ago. He has been licking everything including the air & gulping (like hiccups almost) non stop...only gags now...nothing to throw up. I had to make him get off of bed because he started licking it to the point of making the bedspread wet. He tries to lay down (he hasnt slept & neither have we but my husband went in to work anyway). Husband wants to wait but its not improved in the 12 hours so not sure what to!!

pigsDOfly Thu 17-Oct-19 12:37:34

This is an old thread mustangsusie but the information is helpful nonetheless.

Sounds like the spaghetti has messed with his digestion, probably from the wheat. In your shoes I'd be taking him to the vet. He's obviously very uncomfortable and from the sound of it in a fair bit of pain.

The vet will be able to give him something to settle him and allow him to rest.

mustangsusie Thu 17-Oct-19 12:55:30

Thanks I am calling vet...his stomach is making noises occasionally now. I didnt know how to start a new post. This is 1st time on this page. He us a strong dog...husband usually takes to vet & I cant get in touch with him. I am very panicked. I am calling vet
...still a few minutes til they open so gettjng dressed....again thanks.

pigsDOfly Thu 17-Oct-19 13:12:19

Hope you get him sorted out. It's horrible to see them in pain.

If you want to start a new thread just click on 'Start a new thread in this topic', which is just under the 'Dog house' sign.

Dogdadx2 Mon 11-Nov-19 23:18:14

To everyone experiencing this.

It's pretty simple. The dog has what we humans call gastritis. Severe inflammation if the stomach and intestines.

You do not usually need thousands in tests.

Just sucrelafate tablets basically mylanta
and omeprazole tablets antacid

The doggo gets trested with this for about a week. With a bland diet chicken and rice

Then it should be fine.

Talk to your vets about it. Both of my dogs have had this issue

mdking05 Thu 21-Nov-19 22:37:21

Dear ladies. I was so relieved to read your accounts of strange dog behaviour, identical to three episodes I have had with my little poodle terrier crossbreed.

As someone said, it happens late at night, and I was so panicked wondering if she had been poisoned that I got out of bed and drove her to the veterinary hospital. Obviously their out-of-hours service costs a small fortune and I was offered no helpful suggestions. It didn't help that the mad behaviour had subsided after the 30 minute drive, and I felt they didn't believe how severe the symptoms had been. So, just an anti-emetic injection and I was on my own again! I was beginning to fear that my little girl had a mental problem.

Now, thanks to you, I have some remedies to try and I feel your diagnosis may be right.

I am afraid I don't really qualify for mumsnet in the usual way, but my two lovely dogs are my "children".

With best wishes and many thanks.

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