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Vomiting after dental surgery
07-03-2015, 05:40 PM,
Vomiting after dental surgery
I have an 11 year old black lab mix. During her recent annual the vet noticed some bad teeth. We made arrangements to have the teeth pulled. Everything was fine and good for a couple days after the teeth extraction. Then she suddenly started vomiting her food. We were soaking her kibble in water to make it easier for her to chew. The vomiting continued for several days. It made no difference if the kibble was soaked or not. We took her back to the vet. He gave her some anti-nausea pills and some canned Hills ID food. She was vomiting the canned food. Took her back to the vet and they x-rayed her to make sure she didn't have an obstruction. They gave her additional meds and told us to feed her small frequent meals. Nothing helped and she was losing weight fast. She had lost 10# in 7 days. They reran the pre-op blood tests along with some others checking for pancreatitis. They also performed an ultrasound on her abdomen. Nothing was out of the ordinary. Meanwhile she would vomit the food as soon as she ate it. You could see her abs gyrating as she ate. She never lost her appetite through any of this. In fact she was begging to eat. She could not eat and hold down 1/4 c of food. Even several tablespoons would come back.

The vet is at a lost for the cause of her problems. I went back to get some more canned food and he suggested I try baby food. I bought some of the "meat" bottles of baby food. She managed to eat and hold down 6 oz of a turkey dinner. After several meals of baby food, I tried pureeing some of the canned food to make it the same consistency of the baby food. She needs to lap it instead of chewing it. At this point I can get her to eat and hold down one cup of this puréed food. If I give her the food right out of the can, she vomits it.

Why can a dog "lap" her food but vomits it when she chews? Since this all started days after the dental surgery, we believe something went wrong during the dental surgery. Any suggestions?



Ps). Sorry for the long post
07-03-2015, 07:44 PM, (This post was last modified: 07-03-2015, 08:35 PM by alexadry.)
RE: Vomiting after dental surgery
I am so sorry your dog is going through all of this. Can you describe the vomiting? Is this happening right after eating--like a few seconds? Is it coming passively out without any stomach contractions, nausea or drooling? Does the food appear the same as when it was eaten? like is there stomach acid too or does it look just like food that didn't have time to reach the stomach and be digested?In other words, trying to see if you are dealing with actual vomiting or regurgitation as both are caused by different things.
Former AAHA animal hospital employee, dog trainer and dog behavior consultant. Published dog author on several print and web publications.
07-03-2015, 08:04 PM,
RE: Vomiting after dental surgery
Thanks for the response.

The stomach gyrations start as soon as she swallows the food. It is not regurgitation. The vomit starts within 5 minutes -- the length of time it takes to get her outside. In the beginning the food was accompanied with yellow bile. After several days it was accompanied with white foam. The food comes out looking like it went in not digested. The vet had her on an antacid, a drug for vomiting, an antibiotic, and one for coating her stomach. Nothing helped.

She has never had a fever during the vet visits. There is no diarrhea. The stools were well formed and typical color. As days went by, the size of the stools decreased until they disappeared. If you don't eat there is no output.

07-03-2015, 08:18 PM, (This post was last modified: 07-03-2015, 08:47 PM by alexadry.)
RE: Vomiting after dental surgery
Thank you, within 5 minutes is generally still considered regurgitation and the fact it looks undigested also makes the regurgitation scenario likely. Also, with regurgitation, most dogs retain an appetite, versus vomiting they tend to lose it. I have posted above in my previous post symptoms of an esophageal stricture and some readings, but for ease of reading I will re-post them below. If your vet didn't rule this out, it's something perhaps worth considering.

Re-posting the info here:

"Causes and treatment of regurgitation after surgery
The most common cause of regurgitation is reflux of acid from the stomach into the esophagus while your pet is under anesthesia. Acidic fluid from the stomach can cause a chemical burn of the esophagus and result in a bad case of heart burn, which is called esophagitis. This results in poor motility of the esophagus so water and food will accumulate in this structure. In most cases esophagitis is self-eliminating and will resolve within two or three days. " BUT....

If the esophagitis is severe the esophagus may develop one or more strictures. A stricture is a narrowing or stenosis of the esophagus, does not allow passage of food down the esophagus, thus the pet has persistent regurgitation. This problem should be brought to the attention of your doctor within the first two weeks so that it can be treated by ballooning the stricture (minimally invasive procedure as it is done with the aide of an endoscope). If an esophageal stricture is chronic surgery is needed.Symptomatic treatment of regurgitation caused by esophagitis includes feeding bland food, and administering a coating agent such as sucralfate. You should consult a veterinary health care professional if the regurgitation continues for more than a couple of days."

Source: http://www.vetsurgerycentral.com/resp_tr..._tear.html

As to your question, why can your dog lap up food but vomits when she chews, see this quote in regards to dogs with a stricture:

"Liquid meals are often tolerated better than solid meals"

Source: http://www.petmd.com/dog/conditions/dige..._stricture

Now, not saying this is what you are necessarily dealing with, but something to consider and ask your vet if it was ruled out ...(or try another vet for a second opinion)

Edited to add: was your dog properly fasted prior to surgery? This can sometimes happen when there's food in the stomach and a dog didn't properly fast within the time frame suggested. This doesn't necessarily mean forgetting and feeding the dog something. At times, it could be dog owners follow the instructions to a T but the dog somewhat finds something to eat during the night or a child may accidentally drop food and the dog gets to it the morning of the surgery and nobody knows about it.

I hope this helps!
Former AAHA animal hospital employee, dog trainer and dog behavior consultant. Published dog author on several print and web publications.
07-03-2015, 10:08 PM,
RE: Vomiting after dental surgery
Thank you again.

After further reading the symptons sound very close to what my dog is exhibiting.

At this point this has been going on about two weeks. I'm not sure if my vet ever considered this. With this being the holiday weekend I can not get in touch with him until Tuesday (he doesn't work on Mondays).

If in fact this is the problem as the result of the dental surgery, will she continue to get worse? She is currently eating and keeping down puréed food. Will she get to the point that this is not an option?

We did restrict her access to food the night before her surgery.

I would really like to get her healthy again to eat regular meals, but if I have to purée her foods forever, I will do that too.

Thank you so much for your response. I will definitely discuss this with him.

07-04-2015, 01:34 AM, (This post was last modified: 07-04-2015, 01:49 AM by alexadry.)
RE: Vomiting after dental surgery
(07-03-2015, 10:08 PM)Shirleyj62 Wrote: If in fact this is the problem as the result of the dental surgery, will she continue to get worse? She is currently eating and keeping down puréed food. Will she get to the point that this is not an option?

If this would turn out being the cause of the issue, it looks like the prognosis varies. I have heard of some dogs with esophagus damage do well on pureed foods for the rest of their lives. I know of a dog who lived to 13 with a similar condition. However, it looks like the longer it has been present, the more challenging it is to return to normal eating. While there are several procedures such as ballooning, it appears that they must be repeated often and the issue tends to recur. It sounds like something to consider carefully, but of course, you don't know yet if this is really the case or not. But if it would turn out to be, because it's a condition that's not so common, it may be best to talk to a specialist or a veterinary college to hear about the latest developments. I think the fact your dog is keeping pureed food down is very good.

Here is a case strikingly similar case to yours with a vet's response:

Another vet's observations:

Interestingly, both cases involve senior dogs. It seems like there's some predisposition for senior dogs to develop esophagus damage. According to Pet MD: "Young dogs born with congenital esophageal abnormalities are at an increased risk for esophagitis. Older dogs that are being treated with anesthesia for surgery, or for other reasons, may also develop this condition"
Former AAHA animal hospital employee, dog trainer and dog behavior consultant. Published dog author on several print and web publications.
07-04-2015, 01:54 AM,
RE: Vomiting after dental surgery
I don't have much to add as I really am not familiar with these symptoms but I just wanted to send you positive vibes that all gets sorted out for you and your dog. Keep us posted please.
02-16-2016, 11:55 PM,
RE: Vomiting after dental surgery
I hope your dog has been recovering well, just stumbled on this post as a friend of mine went through something similar. Here is an article that may be helpful to others who notice vomiting in their dogs after surgery:

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