Up at 5.30 for the second time in 3 nights...

Kat_Bath

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Glad to hear it went well tonight/this morning. I'm sure you'll figure out which size of portions to give when, and of what, that works for both him, and you, with a bit of trial and error.

I have to admit that even though I measure up my bitches other daily food portions, I've just used eye measurement when giving them their smaller evening meal. I usually measure their feed in decilitres, but since this post made me curious, I've just weighed up all their different meal portions in gram.

My bitches are not as big as a Labrador in size, and they presumably eat a different brand of food than yours. Actually, Jonna eats a different dry food than Beata, and Blomma, and their food is a little bit different in weight. But perhaps it might still be interesting for you to see how I've chosen to spread out their daily portions.

1st meal = around 30-40g each.
2nd meal = around 60-70g each.
3rd meal = around 30-40g each.
4th meal = without including their 2 slices of boiled carrot, around 10-20g each.

By the way, I totally understand you not wanting to eat around 6, and him having to wait to 7pm for his dinner. I grew up with that you didn't eat lunch around noon, without dinner, and that's what I still do, and I build my bitches food schedule around that they get a meal when I eat dinner. Against what most experts suggests, I even give them their food first, before getting my dinner from the kitchen. ;):eek:
I find it much easier to teach a puppy to not beg to share my dinner, if I know that they've just eaten theirs. It's a routine which works for me, so I continue with it, even now when they're old, and have since long learnt not to beg. :)
Thanks FL - that's very interesting!

No sign of poops in the evening walk which is a shame but it's not yet a habit and he is a dog of habit. I'm sure, like you say FL, we'll find what works... Fingers crossed!
 

Kat_Bath

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Just an update for anyone interested... We learnt a valuable lesson last night. OH had a bath early evening, I went upstairs to shower when she came downstairs and in the crossover, neither communicated about the late night frozen kong. So the late night frozen kong was never administered... And guess what happened...?! Up at 5am.

This time, he went out to graze and I immediately went and got some food, he had a small handful (no resistance this time), had a wee and we went back upstairs. (And I've been awake ever since...)

There was a small part of me that wondered if he was doing it for attention but I discounted that as I figured he wouldn't go and eat grass and also, I don't think he's that clever. I may be underestimating though...

I used the time wisely and read up about acid reflux. There seems to be some good information and some pretty bad information. It's all looking very familiar though and when I look closely, all the signs are there:

- Once every 2-3 weeks, he's sick after food (I always thought it was too much water)
- He burps a lot
- He's a very slobbery dog
- He licks a lot at night
- He kicks his lips a fair amount (normally after food though, not at other times)

So just when the vets thought they'd seen the last of me and my sick guinea pig... I'll ring them later. Harvey will be delighted to go to be fair.

On reading up, it seems veterinary intervention isn't always required and that it's manageable at home except in cases that require surgery. But I should think now this has happened 3 times that it would be best to get him checked.

In the mean time, the frozen long will be given later and I'm tempted to start soaking his food but not sure whether to start that now or wait and see if the frozen long helps again later.

Thanks to anyone who's still reading this. And thank you again - I know I keep saying it, but I really mean it - for all your earlier replies.
 

FinnishLapphund

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You say thank you to us who are reading the thread, I say Thank you so much for the updates. It's always interesting to get to know what happens afterwards, even though it's not fun that you think that there is a real problem which is causing Harvey's problems. Fingers crossed for that his problem isn't worse than that the veterinarian thinks it can be managed at home.

Hope the veterinarian have a really good biscuit to give him.
 

Kat_Bath

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Thanks FL, that's really lovely of you to say.

I'll update again in due course, if you like. I called the vet and they said to monitor it for a week and record everything and then we'll go in next week if either a) we need to and/or b) it gets worse etc. She's a good vet who is good at doing things in agreement with owners, whilst still gently steering in the right direction if required. Of course there will be very good biscuits available and probably a LOT of them!

It's funny what I see now I know so much more. We genuinely thought he was just a burpy lab but perhaps not.

I couldn't live with the thought of not soaking his food when I could be doing it so easily so started that today regardless. It smells so delicious the second the hot water hits it - mmm, yummy.......... :oops:
 

FinnishLapphund

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I would both appreciate, and like, another update.

And just the other week me, and my mum, were sniffing on a newly opened can of Hill's Metabolic stew cat food, and agreed that we both thought it smelled quite edible.

Fortunately the cat also agreed with us, which isn't always the case. :D


Hope the warm water soaking his food helps. Any chance of both you, and your OH, giving him a frozen kong each for the night tonight? You know, just in case the other one had forgotten again... I presume Harvey would appreciate that sort of forgetfulness.
 

Kat_Bath

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I would both appreciate, and like, another update.

And just the other week me, and my mum, were sniffing on a newly opened can of Hill's Metabolic stew cat food, and agreed that we both thought it smelled quite edible.

Fortunately the cat also agreed with us, which isn't always the case. :D


Hope the warm water soaking his food helps. Any chance of both you, and your OH, giving him a frozen kong each for the night tonight? You know, just in case the other one had forgotten again... I presume Harvey would appreciate that sort of forgetfulness.
Then I will update :)

I'm glad the cat agreed. I really don't know how Harvey thinks his soggy food is nice but then again, he is a Labrador.

Funny you should mention kong x 2. We're going to pop to our favourite dog shop this weekend and buy another one so we can have a couple on the go and I have absolutely no doubt that one day, he will get two... And he will enjoy it! He is a lucky, lucky boy! Although I think he's a bit miffed at not getting a salmon crunchie today. He doesn't get them every day but he had one yesterday so definitely didn't give one today, just in case.
 

Kat_Bath

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This morning, we saw 4.27am.

He's very unsettled at night. There was no nudging so we ignored him until half 6 as there was a small chance it was a case of expecting food at 5.30... OH said he grazed his way round the morning walk and did have 2 soft poos (he has had soaked food though) so not ideal but we can't keep getting up at 5.30 to give him a handful of food and he is quick to learn a routine.

I'll be ringing the vet to book him in and get him seen. Meanwhile, I've written down everything that's happened since Friday and posting on here has been very helpful for that!

I'll update again in due course!
 

FinnishLapphund

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Poor you getting woken that early. Hope the veterinarian can help.

I don't know if Labradors is different than Lapphunds, or if it's in general more about individuals, but there's a big difference between my bitches hoping for an early breakfast, only because we've gotten up early some days in a row, and my cats/cat. My bitches may hope for an early breakfast the next morning, too, but if I don't get up, they know they're not getting anything.

My cats/cat on the other hand, they're much more likely to try really hard to wake me up, if they think I've missed giving them their breakfast.
 

Kat_Bath

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We went to the vet today!

At the end of last week and Sunday/yesterday, things settled. He was very lethargic on Saturday though, and lacked a bit of zest. Had that continued, I think I would have called the emergency vet on Sunday but on Sunday morning, he was the most energetic he'd been for a week! I met a friend who knows him well and when I arranged it on Saturday, I said it would be interesting how she thought he was. Then he was bouncing about all over the place, ears switched off, eating all kinds of poo... :rolleyes: She wondered what on earth I'd been chatting about!

Anyway, we seem to have settled on a good routine of 120g of soaked food morning (7am), lunch (1pm) and dinner (6pm) and then 30-40g (a handful basically) of soaked food at 10pm.

We were doing 11pm but it wasn't sustainable with still getting woken up at 4.30/5am but once that settled, we pulled that forward to 10pm and - touch wood! - that seems fine.

Anyway, perhaps we didn't need to go to the vet after all but I'm glad we did, just to be on the safe side. She said there's not anything that's majorly concerning. She said a lot of other things as well but I'm struggling to recall it all now. I didn't have a pen - fail! It doesn't help that it's all done via the phone.

She said he's happy in himself, not in any pain, but the symptoms point towards reflux and acid things. She did say that dogs produce stomach acid in preparation for being fed so if they do that too early, then there's acid that doesn't have anywhere to go so it can go other places. Not ideal, especially for a Lab who thinks 4.30pm is 6pm...

She said he might be a grazer but I'll be blowed if I'm leaving food out for him, although sensibly, she didn't suggest that! I think I'm going to continue to soak his food though - I can't bring myself not to now I know just how much it swells up by. I'm not convinced it massively helps but why fix what's not broke...

We've to record everything for 4-6 weeks, including all the subtle symptoms as well. There may be a pattern, there may not be. She is a good vet and discusses everything with you as opposed to saying "let's try drugs" and sending you away with a prescription without any other information. I'm quite happy with monitoring it. I think if he hadn't have settled, I'd want more but we seem to have cracked it. It's interesting that it took some time to settle though - his poos are still a bit all over the place even now but hopefully we'll cement a routine. I don't think he'll be a 3-poos-a-day dog but at least he might get used to having one in the evening if he needs to.

I'd like to read more about acid and reflux in dogs but haven't found much more in-depth information. If anyone knows of anything, please do let me know. I might ask my Vet School colleagues but that might be a bit too in-depth!

So that's where we are! I feel like we've had a lot of drama for not much of a reason and it seems a bit mysterious, there being no event to pin it on. But hey ho, at least it doesn't seem to be anything serious...

I'm off to record when my dog burps! Wish me luck! :D
 

FinnishLapphund

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Thank you for the update, and sorry, but I have no in-depth info to offer. However, about the mysterious ways bodies works bit, I'll quote my mum, and say that "When you hear about how much different stuff that's going on in our bodies, it's amazing that it works as often as it does, and doesn't go wrong more often."

Glad to hear that it now seems to be going in the right direction, fingers crossed for that it continues. And best of luck with the burp recording.
 

Sandstone1

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I have known dogs that have had ranitidene a hour before food to settle their stomach. Dont know if that is something to mention to the vet?
I think there are issues with that drug now though, there is something called Zitac for dogs though which is similar. Think it is a prescription drug though so you would need to speak to your vet, its a sort of anti indigestion drug.
 
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Kat_Bath

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Thank you for the update, and sorry, but I have no in-depth info to offer. However, about the mysterious ways bodies works bit, I'll quote my mum, and say that "When you hear about how much different stuff that's going on in our bodies, it's amazing that it works as often as it does, and doesn't go wrong more often."

Glad to hear that it now seems to be going in the right direction, fingers crossed for that it continues. And best of luck with the burp recording.
Thanks FL :) I'm totally with your mum - I am always amazed!

I have known dogs that have had ranitidene a hour before food to settle their stomach. Dont know if that is something to mention to the vet?
I think there are issues with that drug now though, there is something called Zitac for dogs though which is similar. Think it is a prescription drug though so you would need to speak to your vet, its a sort of anti indigestion drug.
It's funny you should mention settling before food. He gets fed after he's been walked - it's just always been the routine. But there's a part of me that wonders if he should be fed before or at a different time as surely it can't be good for a dog with acid issues to walk on an empty stomach. The evening walk might help explore this as he gets fed at 7.30am, 1pm and 6pm and the evening walk is normally at about 7/8pm at the moment.

The more I think about it as well, I would like to try and prevent longer term issues (ulcers...) so I'm going to make a note of EVERYTHING and if we're still having these subtle symptoms (which I think we will), I'd like further investigation. He's only nearly 7 so many more years yet.
 

Pearlsasinger

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I am pleased that he seems to be improving.
I wouldn't feed and walk within the same hour, as a matter of course and I must admit that it has never occurred to me not to add water to feed. I would be worried about the possibility of bloat if I fed kibble or biscuits dry in quantity.
 

Clodagh

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I am pleased that he seems to be improving.
I wouldn't feed and walk within the same hour, as a matter of course and I must admit that it has never occurred to me not to add water to feed. I would be worried about the possibility of bloat if I fed kibble or biscuits dry in quantity.
At home I feed kibble dry, but they don't have very big meals.
 

Kat_Bath

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Thanks everyone. If I was to feed before a walk, it would be a very small handful. It's something I'll keep an eye on and see if there's a pattern or something obvious that's different on the morning walk compared to the evening walk and vice versa.

Now I've seen it soaked, I feel I can't go back to dry. He doesn't like it wet, as in a splash of water in with it, but seems to quite like it soaked. Granted I probably add quite a bit of water but it swells to twice the size - 120g fills a tub we have half full and I fill to the top with water and it sooks it all up no problem. He does get dry kibble on walks as treats but they get swallowed like a tablet. Sometimes I wish he'd appreciate the nice tasty food a bit more - he surely can't actually taste it if he swallows it whole and I put a lot of my hard earned ££ into that food!

At least we seem to have settled on a good routine and have options if we need them in the future.

Thanks again for all of your help - I have never been so grateful to have such great support. Lockdown has been tough without seeing people so it's lovely to know there's still a very helpful online community :) :) thank you all!

Here's a gratuitous picture of His Majesty Lord of the Sofa for you as a thank you!
 

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FinnishLapphund

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I don't add water to all my bitches dry food meals. Some of their dry food meals I throw out on the floor, hide in wrinkled up blankets, or similar, and let them use their nose, and brain, to find everything.
But it slows down their eating, and they don't get large portions. I've always heard that fast eating, and large portions, is more likely to lead to bloat.
 

cobgoblin

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One thing that may help would be to give him a bed that keeps his head higher than his stomach at night. Doughnut shaped perhaps?
 

Pearlsasinger

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Sometimes I wish he'd appreciate the nice tasty food a bit more - he surely can't actually taste it if he swallows it whole and I put a lot of my hard earned ££ into that food!



Here's a gratuitous picture of His Majesty Lord of the Sofa for you as a thank you!


He's a Labrador, the vast majority of them 'wolf' their food down. Ours savour a treat but barely seem to taste their meals (unless, of course, they decide they don't like it). Of course dogs don't chew their food like we do, they would tear it off the bone and swallow, if they were in the wild, so that has a bearing on their eating requirements.

He is gorgeous, I had 2 brown Labs, I have a very soft spot for them, although I have elected not to have any more, as they both had health issues.
 

Kat_Bath

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I don't add water to all my bitches dry food meals. Some of their dry food meals I throw out on the floor, hide in wrinkled up blankets, or similar, and let them use their nose, and brain, to find everything.
But it slows down their eating, and they don't get large portions. I've always heard that fast eating, and large portions, is more likely to lead to bloat.
In the summer, I used to spread his dinner around the garden - much to his delight and dismay! We can always do that again. He's not a classic fast eater (he's not a patch on my friend's spaniel who is unbelievable) and having it soaked also slows him down further. The only thing we can't do with it soaked is put it in his ball, which was again, something he loved and hated in equal measure I think!

One thing that may help would be to give him a bed that keeps his head higher than his stomach at night. Doughnut shaped perhaps?
Ironic you should mention this. I recently bought him a very nice sofa bed, with bolsters round the side, thinking he would love it. He actively chose not to lie/sleep in it and when he did use it once, he lay in it begrudgingly, head over the front on the floor (so about 6inches lower than the rest of him). That got sent back before we even realised the acid thing was indeed a thing but I'm so glad I sent it back now. He quite often lies with his head off the bed or upside down which I'm sure does not help but a doughnut bed would be a good compromise - thanks for the suggestion.

He's a Labrador, the vast majority of them 'wolf' their food down. Ours savour a treat but barely seem to taste their meals (unless, of course, they decide they don't like it). Of course dogs don't chew their food like we do, they would tear it off the bone and swallow, if they were in the wild, so that has a bearing on their eating requirements.

He is gorgeous, I had 2 brown Labs, I have a very soft spot for them, although I have elected not to have any more, as they both had health issues.
That's a very good point, about being wild. I'm just so disappointed that he doesn't appear to appreciate a lamb lung! Mind you, I can't complain because when it comes to wormer, it is straight down the hatch without a backwards glance so you win some, you lose some!

I never knew I needed a Lab before we got him but he wouldn't have been my first choice of colour. That said, I wouldn't swap him for the world - he is a really great dog.

You could also try a slow feeding bowl or maybe feed with the bowl raised? might be worth a try.
We're going to our favourite dog shop this weekend and need a new bowl anyway as his old food bowl got water in it, between the inner and the outer, which was a shame. I'm planning in finding something a bit more fun so, yes, a slow feeder is potentially on the cards. I was reading about raising the bowl up when I first started this thread so thought I'd try it. I chose something way too tall to start with (about 10 inches off the floor it must have been) and he just looked at me like I was insane, but that was also when he was not feeling great so it could have been a general look of disapproval! He sat there though, tail wagging, eyes wide, and I'm sure he was thinking I was bonkers. We've settled for a cereal box currently so that about 4inches higher than the ground. Again, I don't know if it helps but why fix what's not broke now. He's not a gulper, which goes in his favour.
 
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