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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 32755
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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My 13 year old Golden Retrieve Bitch will make a serious retching

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My 13 year old Golden Retrieve Bitch will make a serious retching sound a few hours after feeding. Sometimes she wil go into the garden eat grass and be be sick. Our vet has carried out numerous tests including an internal examnination of throat and stomach all proving negative.
She has a number of orthapedic problems with hips and back but can still run. Weeing and pooing are more difficult because of the bone problens but are normal.
Any ideas.
Aloha! You're speaking to Dr. Michael Salkin
I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. The retching you've described indicates dysphagia (difficulty swallowing) associated with esophageal disease (megaesophagus, e.g.) and neuromuscular diseases such as myasthenia gravis and GOLPP (geriatric onset laryngeal paralysis polyneuropathy).
It sounds as if megaesophagus has been ruled out by scoping Gemma and laryngeal paralysis wasn't apparent during visual examination under light sedation. Please have an acetylcholine receptor antibody test performed - the gold standard for identifying acquired myasthenia gravis - a relatively common disorder which can result in such dysphagia yet no gross signs upon examination.
Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.
Dr. Michael Salkin and other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Thank you for your kind accept. I appreciate it.

I'm going to check back with you in a week for an update. Feel free to return to our conversation - even after rating - prior to my contacting you if you wish.

Please disregard the info request.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

On 24th April 2014 blood tests were taken that are described as follows.

"Item Code" ptds anti Ach receptor Ab (Taken from Vet Bill).


These proved negative.


The retching problem occurs usually say 3 to 4 hours after eating and usually but not always in the evening. Gemma is on 3 meals a day. 7.30 am, 12.00 miday & 5.00 pm.

We are curently trying James Wellbeloved Turkey and rice in a sachet. Also Pedigree tinned food in a jelly.


Does this help? Xrays on a previous examination showed hip arthritis and a lower back dissorder. She can and does still bound along after me in the mornings.


Otherwise a happy dog. Vet says her breathing is laboured and she does puff in the mornings.


Any ideas?





Thank you for the additional information! Esophageal dysfunction unrelated to myasthenia gravis is likely and so the newly suspected GOLPP should be considered. This polyneuropathy isn't well know by vets at this time. Please confirm for me that Gemma was lightly sedated and the motion of her arytenoid cartilages found to be normal; in other words, no evidence of laryngeal paralysis exists.

The administration of metoclopramide - a promotility drug should be considered. It stimulates motility of the upper GI tract and acts as a centrally acting antiemetic.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Michael


I will be contacting my Vet shorttly and have a discussion about on going treatment along the lines you have suggested.





Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Michael


I will be contacting my Vet shortly to follow up on the suggestion you have made and the to discuss the drug treament.





Thank you, John. I'll speak to you soon.

Please disregard the info request.