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Wednesday, July 5, 2017

How to Manage Acid Reflux in Dogs

Acid reflux is fairly common in dogs and it is treatable. It occurs when there is a build-up of acid in the stomach which can be caused by obesity, eating inappropriate foods (usually human foods) or high blood calcium.

Here are some of the symptoms of acid reflux:
·         Gurgling and burping sounds
·         Vomiting
·         Bad breath
·         Whining when eating
·         Demonstrating discomfort when eating
·         Wheezing
·         Excessive salivation

If your dog has some or all of these symptoms and is diagnosed with acid reflux, there are some things you can do to help treat it at home. Here are some tips.

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Small Meals
A dog with acid reflux will need to eat little and often. This is so the stomach doesn’t remain empty for long periods of time, allowing a buildup of acid to occur. You can still feed your dog dry food every few hours, but if you notice your dog vomiting after eating or drinking, you may need to change the diet while treating them for acid reflux. Food like cooked chicken, plain rice and broccoli are all hydrated foods and could be a better option for your dog. Make sure your dog has something to eat before sleeping through the night and something to eat immediately after waking.

Avoid Long Walks
When dealing with acid reflux, it’s better for your dog to have short burst of exercise, rather than prolonged ones. Dogs that have been on long walks are more likely to come back and want to drink and eat excessively. Large amounts of water or food in the stomach is likely to lead to vomiting. Dogs that go on shorter walks are less likely to be tempted to gorge on drinks and meals. So, instead of going for one long walk per day, do two short walks- once in the morning and once in the evening.

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Allow Your Dog to Rest
Just like any other canine illness, acid reflux can take its toll on a dog’s energy levels. Rest promotes self-healing so it’s important you allow your dog to rest when needed. You may notice slight lethargy and there may be changes to your dog’s breathing as it sleeps. If any of your dog’s behaviour starts to worry you, it’s important you seek advice from a professional, like a Kotara Vet. A vet will be able to tell you if there are any underlying issues that could make the condition worse.

Honey
Although it’s important to get the okay from your vet first, honey is often recommended for dogs with acid reflux. Just one teaspoon is enough to coat the oesophagus and provide protection from gastric acids. Feed the teaspoon of honey to your dog before an evening meal and you could start to see an improvement. This condition can take months to resolve so honey is an ideal solution for relief in the interim.

The most important thing to do is monitor your dog. As a dog owner you’ll have a sixth sense about what your dog needs, so go with your instincts.

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