Gastro Oesophageal reflux

Hello, I’m new to this site and looking for advice /guidance to help my 4 year old Standard Poodle. He has intermittent flare ups of gastric reflux. This makes him vomit , lip smack, retch and cough. He paces about at night obviously in distress. He also has pica ( eats mud and roots)
I have tried him on low protein/low fat diets. Raw( he didn’t like it ) Wet food including Naturo, Forthglade and Lily’s kitchen. The flare ups still continue and I can see no pattern to link the food to the problem.
He is on Pure at present Turkey terrific but still vomiting bile and froth. Vet just put him on omeprazole and recommended Prescription food but I am doubtful.
Any help would be much appreciated.

Hello and welcome to the forum. As you say, you have tried him on various diets with no improvement so this leads one to conclude that it isn’t food related. Dogs with this kind of problem sometimes benefit from regular, small meals - three or four per day.

Have you thought about further investigations to rule out an anatomical problem or a foreign body? I had a similar problem with one of my dogs some years ago. It went on for some time and several vets examined her but it was an experienced senior vet that found a foreign body by palpation (the object could not be seen on x-ray). She needed surgery but made a good recovery.

If you want to give your dog one more try on a different food, in view of the fact that he is eating mud/roots, maybe have a look at cold pressed. The Markus Muhle products contain a peat/earth additive which is there to aid digestion. Gentle and Guru are both retailers of MM products and are based in the UK so can offer support. If you do try it, I would suggest that you try soaking it and feeding your dog four times a day.

Hello Dottie and thanks for your response. I have wondered about Douglas swallowing a foreign object, so far vets have said they can’t feel anything. It’s a terrible puzzle because he can be fine for many months. As he’s a poodle and deep chested I’ve always fed him four small meals a day having been warned by a friend who’s dog got bloat.

I will certainly look at the foodstuffs you mention. He’s on day four of omeprazole and seems to be OK currently but I really don’t want to medicate him if at all possible.

I shall keep you posted. I’m so glad I found this website it is brilliant. Thanks again

My pooch has intermittent flares with GERD and sometimes eats mud and roots. She also has extra stomach sounds before an episode and also does lip smacking etc. Very very rarely has bile vomit. Have you tried raising her food bowl and using a slow feeder?


DannyB - thank you for the reply and I look forward to hearing how you get on with your dog. My poor pooch had the foreign body inside her for some time before it was detected. A lot depends upon whether it is radio opaque. Hers wasn’t. I am so grateful to the vet who located it and it was just by good old fashioned touch. He palpated quite hard but then he is a very experienced vet, sadly now retired. :frowning:

Food wise, the only other thing I can suggest is fresh cooked food because it is highly digestible. This can be achieved by home cooking but needs some research to get the balance right (see home cooking section of the forum). There are a couple of companies in the UK who sell fresh cooked, frozen food. These are Butternut Box and Different Dog. Both are a bit more expensive than dry and wet dog food though. The latter has more variety and they include turmeric in the recipe which is known to be anti inflammatory. The company has a vet who is available for advice over the telephone.

Spanielowner - that’s a great idea about the slow feeder/raised bowl. Also wondering if a canine specific probiotic such as YuDigest might help work.

Edit: If you would like to know more about cold pressed food we have a thread about them here.
My dog who had the foreign body also likes to snip pieces of earth. She likes leaf mould when we are in the woods and I have recently caught her munching on the compost from a tub of plants that I have in the garden. I don’t know whether there is something in it that she needs or perhaps she does it just because she can. I can’t let her off the lead now because I don’t trust her not to eat rubbish and cannot risk another operation. The other dog likes eating grass. Strange doggies. ???

DanielB - Alison Daniel (My Pet Nutritionist) is doing a Facebook Live video about acid reflux on Friday night, 11th December 2020 at 7pm. Her talks are usually very good. The Facebook page is here.

Hello and thank you for your replies. My dog does have a raised food bowl and has small meals four times a day. This is the worst episode so far . As I type he is pacing and whining in distress.
He goes for further investigation today to the vet so I can’t feed him as he is to be sedated. I will keep you posted.mIm continuing to look at different foods .
currently I have him on home cooked pasta and chicken for a few days.
He is on omeprazole but so far this doesn’t seem to have lessened his discomfort.
I will certainly look out for the talk on
Friday. thanks again

Thank you for keeping us updated. I hope that all goes well with the investigations.

Good morning. My dog Douglas had his X Ray and palpation , bloods etc yesterday. The vet has diagnosed colitis and gastritis probably allergy related. I’m puzzled by colitis diagnosis because he hasn’t had diarrhoea and the gastric reflux diagnosis seemed to make more sense. He is now on buscopan for cramps and gas and Cerenia to prevent nausea.
I now have to try and find a food which doesn’t irritate his digestive system and has few ingredients.
Allergy testing hasn’t been suggested and I don’t know how accurate it is.
I’m going to home cook for him for the next few days sticking to three ingredients eggs, pasta and fish. Will see how he goes.
I’ve avoided chicken and white rice as they seem fairly common allergens.

The vet suggested Chappie which I tried last night but Douglas had one sniff and walked away. Vet also suggested James Wellbeloved which would be back to kibble which I think I’ll try and avoid .

Thank you for all of your input. It has helped me feel less isolated with my Douglas’ problems.

Thank you for the update. Years ago I had a dog with colitis and it did affect her appetite, being occasionally sick but mostly it was diarrhoea. She had Buscopan too.

I think your idea of home cooking is a good starting point for an elimination diet. Beef and chicken are said to be common allergens. I would also avoid legumes and white potato. Start with fish if you know your dog is ok with it. Otherwise choose a novel protein that he hasn’t been exposed to before. If you are planning to home cook for a while, you will need to supplement it with calcium and omega oils. You will also need some balanced recipes and we have links in the home cooking section. If you are minded to try Different Dog, ask to speak to their vet first. A number of their products contain beef and chicken but they have fish, lamb and turkey. Pheasant Stew is offered when they can get the birds.

There is sometimes crossover with food intolerances so it might be helpful to look at The Itchy Scratching (allergic dermatitis) thread. Allergy thread is here and David’s resource article on elimination diets is here.

Hello. I’m sorry to hear how unwell Douglas is at the present time. I know just how you are feeling. My dog started to become unwell at 7 months old, he was losing his fur and he had a constant upset stomach. I spent many hours sitting with him, trying to get him to stop licking and pulling at his fur, whilst crying my eyes out. He is my first dog and friends & family told me I was imagining things and his first vet told me he had “puppy itches”. So I moved vets and saw a couple of really lovely vets who ran a series of tests on him, ending up with the allergy blood test. The results of this were a game changer as he not only has food allergies but also environmental ones. We’ve learnt to cope with these, things aren’t perfect…he’s allergic to dust mites and storage mites, to name a few! But without the allergy blood test, I’d never have guessed he was allergic to these along with some food. So, if you can get the allergy blood test done, I would thoroughly recommend it. It may not give perfect results but it will be a fantastic starting point for you and Douglas. Good luck and don’t give up.

Thinking about GERD in humans and wondering how many other non medical remedies might work for a dog. So far I’ve come up with lower fat meals, grain free meals, vitamin D supplements, slippery elm, walking gently after a meal, sleeping with the head of the bed raised etc. The mechanism for GERD in dogs is the same as in people … stomach acid comes back up because the stomach sphincter muscle doesn’t close for some reason.

Also I have thought perhaps after a time on the restricted diet and if a virus or other infection was the cause of this chronic event that it might be possible to add other foods later.

Also for storage mites, if that is a potential problem they only happen I dried foods and multiply when large bags of dry food are left open until the dog has eaten it. Smaller bags will help but may cost more. Or you could split the bags down into airtight portions.

Good morning and thanks once again for your helpful comments.i spoke to the vet yesterday to query the diagnosis of colitis because my dog has not had diarrhoea until he started the omeprazole. That has been stopped and he is now on buscipan and cerenia to prevent sickness. Neither of these is addressing the real cause of the problem. I am being told he has GORD and colitis. Advised to feed Chappie or James Well beloved.
I’m continuing at present to feed him home cooked pasta and fish but realise long term I need to find something more nutritious. I’d also like to get him off Cerenia which can cause digestive problems itself.
He’s had better nights on the meds and no vomiting.
I am wondering about a dna sensitivity test? It’s cost me a lot in vet fees already so if a test would help I’d try that. Has anyone any experience please?
Thanks so much for your input.

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I have replied to your thread about allergy testing and I apologise for not being able to help. I found a lot of information about it on the Internet when I was looking it up a few days ago but I am still not sure about the reliability.

I appreciate your comments about expense and it is tempting to have the tests if it saves money in the long run. An elimination diet should pinpoint any intolerances and it may be worth considering consultation with a nutritionist. Unfortunately we have not been able to find many but there are a few listed on the forum, particularly in the home cooking section.

The My Pet Nutritionist Facebook Live video on acid reflux has been rescheduled. It was due last Friday but will now be shown tonight at 7pm.