Of the things I expected to learn today, I can’t say that learning the difference between vomiting and regurgitating was one of them. But there is a difference. Zane has been bringing up his food the last few weeks and days with more and more frequency. It happened twice at the Malt Shop last night, several times this morning, and in the vet lobby this afternoon. We were startled to discover he’d lost 3.5 pounds since he was at the vet two and a half weeks ago for his physical. The vet explained that distinct, loud sounds of vomiting brings up substances from the stomach. Regurgitating is when the dog very quietly lets loose the food which has been stopped in his Esophagus. Zane was right next to me at the Malt Shop, and I didn’t hear him do anything. He’s also been very good at hiding it here at home. Mega-Esophagus is a condition in which the muscles of the esophagus can’t perform the job of squeezing the food into the stomach. It is a neuro-muscular condition tied to auto immune disease.
The vet gave Zane an anti-nausea shot, and the vet says if it is regurgitation, it will happen anyway. Blood work has also been sent to screen for infections or thyroid problems. If this problem is related to them, it is treatable. If not, Zane may have to retire soon. He can have a quality life as a pet, as long as his people are willing to liquefy his food and feed him on a higher surface. I can’t worry about whether Zane is going to bring up food in public, and that is why if it is this regurgitation, he will need to retire. It’s not often that I pray for an infection or a thyroid issue, but either would be a best scenario. He has a little less energy than normal, but his tail still wags. He eats and drinks with gusto, but he just can’t seem to keep it down. His work to and from the buses was pretty good all things considered. We’ll learn more about the blood work tomorrow, and if everything is normal there’s one more test which may be performed to ensure that’s what it is. He eats a bit of food with some dye in it. Then they x-ray the esophagus and stomach after a couple of minutes to track where the food is. If it’s still in the esophagus, we have our answer. If the blood work is normal though this may be a moot point. Stay tune for tomorrow’s episode of when Rebecca’s Stomach Turns. The tear ducts have been doing over-time, and I have a couple people who have said they want to be considered when Zane retires. They probably aren’t counting on a dog who may throw up more if not fed in a precise way.