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Discussion Starter #1
I adopted Sam at about 7-8 years old from the pound June 2018. The last two months he has vomited his meal three times. The first time he vomited five times, took him to the vet straight away, ran tests and all was normal.

The last 10 days he's vomited again on two different occasions. One after eating a half a paper towel roll I accidentally left within range. I would think that would be it but when I first got him it took a while before he trained me to be ultra careful with paper products! - anyway, he never vomited then.

Rice, pumpkin, canned chicken, normal after. I'm really trying to keep him calm before and after meals but it's not easy.

I'm feeding him Nutro Turkey and Rice Large Breed. He eats anything, not picky at all. We are going back to the vet and I'm looking for questions to ask to be sure I'm doing the best I can for him.

This vet does not want him on grain free because he has a minor heart murmur, but I have to wonder if I should try it.
 

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Is he vomiting (= digested/partially digested food) or regurgitating (= spitting up undigested food soon after eating)?

It really makes a difference which one it is. If he's regurgitating soon after eating, he needs to be evaluated for mega-esophagus. Does he ever spit up water right after drinking? Or have a weird little "tickle cough" after meals? Those are also typical of Mega-E. Not all vets understand this condition, but finding a vet who does can be very important for the lifespan of the Mega-E dogs. This condition can be genetic (starting when they're young) or "acquired" later in life ("acquired" is generally caused secondarily by some other condition, like myesthenia gravis...which itself needs to be diagnosed). If the dog is developing mega-E, it is critical to find out quickly, as it needs to be managed with a careful feeding protocol to prevent aspiration pneumonia.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
20-30 minutes. Last night he pooped then he vomited twice. First one had foam and partially digested, the second one looked like soaked kibble and there were literally three treats that he didn't even chew.

He has not spit up water ever that I have seen. No tickle cough, but loud gurgling gut sounds.
 

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Yes, blood and vitals, no ultrasound or anything... all were normal. I will ask for another panel to be run to be sure there are no changes.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Oh and I just found out feeding in elevated feeders is bad. I had no idea :( He's now eating with his bowl on the floor.
 

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20-30 minutes is right in the ballpark of being worrisome for Mega-E. I would at least have the vet take some xrays of the esophagus to check -- hopefully they'll rule it out. It won't cost much to get some images.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
If he's acting normally otherwise, full of energy, wagging tail, etc., do you still think it warrants xrays? I literally know nothing about Mega-E.
 

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Yep. They often have no other symptoms, especially early on. It can even go undiagnosed for a long time in some dogs. Eventually they may start losing weight, but that can take a while if it's in an early stage. (It's basiclly a sock-like void that forms in the esophagus -- food sometimes gets trapped in the"sock" on the way down to the stomach, then comes back up.)
 

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My dog was vomiting and diagnosed with IBS. Food was coming up undigested but also had blood in it. She also had nausea and refused to eat. It turned out a diet change fixed it all. She had been on grain free for convenience, not medical reasons, and I switched her to a full grain diet, which she could not tolerate. I ended up switching her to Honest Kitchen grain free which worked and she doesn’t vomit or have internal bleeding anymore.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Ok I was wrong about the two months. The first one was in September, quite a while ago. This vet has GSDs and many client GSDs. I brought in a stool sample (which looked normal) and some mushrooms I found in the backyard (!). After hearing everything and doing an exam (normal), the vet ran through everything it could be, as well as the Mega-E, the odds of each and then said to be certain we could do an ultrasound, that is what would show the most. Of course she couldn't say it's probably nothing, but what she did say was to watch him and if he vomits again we will revisit (he hasn't vomited since Wednesday).

Thanks to everyone for your input, much appreciated.

'
 
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