BERNER-L Digest 243 Date: Sun, 10 Mar 1996 14:18:19 -0500 From: To: Subject: Berners and gulping Message-ID:

Our sincere thanks to all of you who took the time to respond to our request for more info. on gulping. Mocha seems no worse the wear for her experience. Those of you that have experienced this firsthand can probably remember the panic it put you in the first time. From the responses we got, those of you that have not yet experienced it are very lucky and should probably be forewarned.

We received several responses from the berner-l family plus input from others we contacted in other ways. At least three of the individuals are vets and several have long-time involvement with Berners. I thought I would briefly summarize the info we received. Again, this is a summary of info. From several sources, I obviously don't know what may or may not be accurate.

First of all, Dorothy's description of our little episode seems identical to what others of you have seen in your Berners. Sudden onset in evening/night, dog goes into panic and usually heads straight for you for help, dog seems to be gulping as if it can't get its breath. If let out will start eating grass/leaves/mulch, etc. Seems to be self-limiting and ends almost as quickly as it starts. In almost every case, stomach is not and does not become distended but was in a couple of cases with one Berner.

This seems much more common to Berners than other breeds. Some individuals seem to have recurring episodes throughout their life, others have only one or two. A couple of breeders mentioned they had seen this in most Berners they were familiar with. Almost everyone was in agreement that this was not a form of or a precursor to bloat although might lead to it if too much air was gulped during an episode.

Potential causes mentioned were several and surprisingly varied, even from the vets we talked to: allergy, excess soft tissue in throat, infected throat from licking impacted anal glands, seizure, and upset tummy (excess gas). The last of these was mentioned by the most people along with comments that use of PeptoBismol or other similar product usually produced quick relief. Walking the animal was also mentioned as providing some relief.

Again, our thanks to all of you. If you want more details on any of the above, feel free to contact us directly.

Chuck, Dorothy and Mocha, Rochester, Washington


BERNER-L Digest 758 Date: Thu, 12 Jun 1997 23:20:32 -0700 From: ken and cile jones To: Subject: Re!: gasps

Dear Greg

I think my Bronco has the "gasps" too! When he gets excited it sounds like he is unable to catch his breath, a deep chesty wheeze/gasp sound sometimes followed with a GAAACK (thanks Liz Bradbury!). I wondered if it was an asthma attack at first. Bronco began this at about 1 1/2 years old and it seemed to be worse in the winter; lately I have heard him do it when I arrive home and he is excited to see me.

My vet was unsure what was causing this and suggested I bring him in *while* he is wheezing. Keep in mind I live 20 miles from his office,this sound only lasts a few minutes, and it never happens when Bronco is already with me, so I doubt that will be possible.

Does anyone know what this is???

Cile Jones Bronco ("hey look, I coughed up my toenails") and Sugarbear ("he just does that to get attention") the Kuvasz The Home Ranch


Date: Thu, 12 Jun 1997 21:27:23 -0400 (EDT) From: To: Subject: Gulps-A unified theory (long)

A while back the Berner-L carried lots of 'gulpy' Berner stories. Some people had either eliminated or greatly reduced the incidence and/or severity of 'gulp attacks' by identifying certain foods as triggers. This made me start thinking about when Kalie's gulp attacks were most likely to occur.

We had long ago stopped giving rawhide as that was guaranteed to trigger an attack. Gulps after obedience class were a pretty sure bet too. hmmmm? I used liver as a training treat, could it be all things beef?

With great trepidation I changed Kalila's diet from the one she had been on for years (great coat & stools, why change?) which contained "meat meal" to a lamb & rice formula without unidentified meat products. In training, I switched from treating with liver to using turkey.

Gulp attacks decreased dramatically, enough to finally convince my husband that it really would make sense to change the *sacred cookies* too. Finally, those were switched to a lamb/rice product as well.

A few months later, this is a changed dog! In addition to almost no gulps (usually after someone has slipped her a treat at the park) Kalie is again showing the joie de vivre that was her trademark for her first couple of years but she seemed to have lost in the last few years. hmmmmm ?

Now, I am obviously convinced that gulps are an allergic reaction yet this seems to conflict with the veterinary community's evidence that gulps are a seizure event. As one who puts great store in scientific vs anecdotal evidence, I was pretty uncomfortable with my assumptions.

That is, until I read the April issue of Cornell U, Vet Med newsletter. One sentence leaped off the page. An article about food allergies includes the statement, "A small number of dogs may even suffer from epilepsy.", in the list of clinical signs indicating allergy. Doesn't that make a tidy package of the anecdotal and the EEG data?

allergy = epilepsy = seizure = gulps

hmmmm... S.F.V Ct


Date: Sat, 14 Jun 97 18:13:13 -0000 From: Leigh and John Conran To: Subject: Re: Gulps-A unified theory (long)

Wow, 2 posts in one day!

S.F.V commented on "the gulps": > >That is, until I read the April issue of Cornell U, Vet Med Newsletter. One sentence leaped off the page. An article about food allergies includes the statement, "A small number of dogs may even suffer from epilepsy.", in the list of clinical signs indicating allergy. Doesn't that make a tidy package of the anecdotal and the EEG data? > > allergy = epilepsy = seizure = gulps > Interesting, interesting! Beren gets them so rarely it's hard to pin him down, but I'll look a bit more carefully next time.

I also wonder if the trigger food might be setting up a short-term localised swelling in the throat or somewhere down the digestive tract, which would have subsided by the time a vet checks the dog. I know this throat swelling is a pretty common food allergy response in humans (I get it with walnuts, my husband with fish) - fairly mild with us, but I have friends who would suffocate from the severity of their reactions if triggered. Tie this in with the common dog response of rushing out to eat grass and vomit up a bit of bile, I wonder if it's an oesophageal irritant effect or something - why would the dog suddenly want to vomit? It doesn't seem to be tied to a full on emptying of the stomach, just a little bit.

Any vets want to posit an opinion here?

Leigh and Beren in Australia


Date: Sat, 14 Jun 1997 09:53:49 -0400 (EDT) From: To: Subject: Gasping

Have been reading with interest the posts on gasping. Neither of my Berners do this but I have a little mixed breed stray that does this when he is excited or eats too fast. When he went in to the vet for shots the vet felt his throat and said "Ah, a collapsing trachea." I don't know if this is something that large dogs would get but I certainly think it might be a good idea to mention the gasping the next time you're at the vet. D. Pearson and the Boys in KS


Date: Sat, 14 Jun 1997 09:51:45 -0700 From: Pat Long & Paul Dangel To: Subject: Gulps

The food allergy theory may be a good one. I've been having some annoying hay fever this spring, and one of the side effects has been an itchy throat. Not sore, but itchy. I tend to use the back of my tongue to rub it, which gives a gulping sort of sound if I do it with my mouth shut. (I'm trying to avoid doing this in public for obvious reasons). So a food allergy causing irritation in the throat is a very interesting possibility!

Itchy and sneezy in Philadelphia, Pat Long, Vesta & Maggie, (Sam & Luther)


BERNER-L Digest 761

Date: Sun, 15 Jun 1997 00:55:25 +0930 From: "Andrea Madeley" To: "BMD Mailing List" Subject: Re: Gulping & Bloat

Isn't the gulps an odd syndrome! I too thought my dog was bloating the 1st time I saw her do it. > > Kathy Berge DVM


I have heard that this gulping we sometimes see is somehow related to bloat. Apparently, there have been some autopsies done to suggest that the air found inside the animals is in fact room air and not digestive gasses.

I can't vouch for the authenticity of this but I do believe it was printed in one of the vet journals. What are your thoughts on this?

Andrea Madeley & Aari Aldinga Beach - South Australia


BERNER-L Digest 762 Date: Mon, 16 Jun 1997 05:48:22 -0400 (EDT) From: To: Subject: Re: gulps

In a message dated 97-06-13 05:46:42 EDT, Kathy wrote:

Isn't the gulps an odd syndrome!

VERY odd... >From vets to veteran dog people, I have never met anyone outside of the Berner community that has ever seen or heard of this.



BERNER-L Digest 768 Date: Thu, 19 Jun 1997 08:58:55 -0400 From: Elizabeth Malcolmson To: Subject: Re: Licking at Air -- Another name for "the gulps"?

Perhaps all the recent posts about "the gulps" would apply to this licking at the air problem -- Tycho, when gulping, is basically doing this -- swallowing and shooting her tongue out a bit and nodding her head up and down... but it's not "feverishly" so maybe this is something a little different or a variation on the same "syndrome." The timing (when you want to sleep) is the same...

Just a thought...

Elizabeth Malcolmson Rockport, Massachusetts


BERNER-L Digest 936 Date: Mon, 27 Oct 1997 10:12:26 -0600 From: Tina Slanc To: Subject: reverse hiccups?

Hi all,

Just joined the list a couple of days ago, and so far I've learned a lot. My name is Tina and I live in Milwaukee. Our berner Ginger will be four in January (we promised my brother he could name her. Since he loves Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers movies, he wanted to name her Ginger. I'm glad we didn't get a male, I couldn't picture calling him "Fred"). She is such a doll. We first learned about the berners from my aunt in Germany, she owned one herself.

Ginger is small for her breed so we don't show her, but I am interested in Therapy Training. Here's my first question- this past year Ginger started to get what the vet called "reverse hiccups". They said it wasn't serious, but I can tell Ginger gets very distressed when it happens. Right away she wants to go outside and eat grass. This seems to remedy the problem. Can anyone tell me alittle more about this condition?

Question 2 isn't really a question, more like an opinion. I've talked to a couple of breeders at various dog shows when we were looking for a puppy, and they always asked me how I heard about berners. I'd always tell them that my aunt had one and Senta was a wonderful dog. Well, both responded to that with a statement like "The dogs bred in Europe aren't of as high a quality and those in the U.S." I was somewhat surprised to hear this. I don't know if they were talking about characteristics or waht. But Senta was a beautiful dog and lived to be over 13. Anyway, is there anything to what they said? I would suppose it depends on the breeders?

I think I rambled enough for now. Thanks

Tina Slanc (berner lover) Milwaukee


Date: Mon, 27 Oct 1997 22:04:06 -0500 (EST) From: To: Cc: Subject: Re: reverse hiccups?


Maybe...but probably not.

What you're describing seems to be pretty common among Berners and is frequently referred to as "The Gulps". I've never met a Vet who knows what it is (have heard guesses at everything from reverse sneeze to excess stomach acid) but every time it's described in a Berner forum, there's lots of responses from people who recognize it immediately.

What is it? Well, no one knows for sure. Someone established that during the event there was seizure type of activity in the brain so it came to be thought of as a psycho-motor seizure. I went along with that until the subject came up on the Berner-L and a number of people talked about virtually eliminating the gulps with a change of diet.

When 'attacks' were coming day in, day out, I finally decided to give the allergy approach a try. After all, my bitch who had *the gaggies* is severly allergic to some vaccines, so maybe???

We knew that giving Kalie a rawhide chew was sure to trigger a gag attack. Plus, attacks were very common right after obedience class, hmmmm? I started with the premise that she might be allergic to beef (as in rawhide and liver used in training). I switched to a food without beef, liver, or unidentified meat products. This cut the gulp attack rate way down but didn't stop it completely. Finally, I convinced my husband to switch 'cookies' to a Lamb & rice cookie that looks like the canine equivalent of an oat-bran snack (yuck-but the girls don't mind :). Gulp attacks almost gone...But sometimes, after a table treat...Figured out that wheat (as in the pieces of bread we'd hand out) was also an allergen for Kalie. About the only time we have an attack now is if someone outside slips her a cookie before I can intervene.----- Can you teach a dog not to accept 'candy' from strangers? -----

One thing to remember if you do consider the possibilty of allergy is that dogs can react to a food allegen days, even weeks after an exposure. You don't always see an immediate effect when the food is given or withdrawn so you really have to allow enough time to pass before evaluating the result.

In an article in the Cornell newletter I came across a reference to epileptic seizures being triggerd by a food allergy. In my mind, that finally made the two seemingly contrary theories mesh.

BTW-So long as your dog has 'gulps' be extra careful about toxic plants, indoors & out. Mine never touched plants, except...During a gulp attack when (after I had removed the ficus, pothos, etc) she'd even dive into a dried flower arrangement complete with thistle! In addition to grass, Pepto Bismol tablets (give 2, cherry flavor preferred) are somewhat paliative.



BERNER-L Digest 941 Date: Sat, 1 Nov 1997 10:49:53 -0000 From: Liz Bradbury To: Berner List Subject: The Gulps - was Reverse Hiccups

When Pat Long did her article on Bloat for the list, it was suggested that 'The Gulps' might be a precursor of Bloat...

So the night before last I found myself in something of a panic. About 2.15am I was woken by the sound of one of the gang desperately gulping. I was out of bed before I even knew it! It turned out to be Poor-Belle (naturally...) I tried to massage her stomach and her throat - her stomach wasn't hard, but it felt as if the muscles in her neck had spasmed. Then I let her out, where she went crazy, dashing hither and thither to find grass. I watched, while deciding what to do next - Ring the vet? Wake up Malcolm to tell him to get the car out and ready? After 15 minutes or so, I fetched Poor-Belle back inside, still gulping - my panic mode went up another notch. Her stomach still felt normal, but her throat was very tight, so I did some more massage. Suddenly she produced a belch strong enough to blow the remaining leaves off the trees... It must have given her immediate relief, as she stopped her frantic running around AND the gulping. We all retired back to the bedroom, where Malcolm was still peacefully sleeping, unaware of his narrow escape! I laid awake for the next hour and a half, listening for any abnormal doggie noises, but they were all asleep and snoring before my feet had chance to warm up :-).

I wonder if prolonged gulping could actually trigger bloat? It was obvious that Poor-Belle had taken a lot of air into her gut, which was only released when I managed to pump it out of her. She never was sick, the grass just went straight through, reappearing during the afternoon... She does suffer from lots of low grade allergies, so I am always very vigilant about introducing strange things to her diet; nothing has been changed for the past few weeks, so I don't think an allergy was the cause of this particular episode. Her food times hadn't changed, her routine hadn't changed. So I am at a loss to know what provoked it, especially as she has never had such a prolonged attack before, although she has been known to give one or two gulps occasionally.

I wonder if we will ever get to the bottom of the causes? Liz Bradbury in Scotland, with Toby-Newf, Annie, Belle and Jaz the Bernese and the 6 Feline Fiends.


BERNER-L Digest 945

Date: Wed, 5 Nov 1997 21:12:20 +1030 From: "Andrea Madeley" To: "BMD Mailing List" , Subject: Re: The Gulps - was Reverse Hiccups

I wonder if prolonged gulping could actually trigger bloat? It was obvious that Poor-Belle had taken a lot of air into her gut, which was only released when I managed to pump it out of her.

My puppy when she was about 3 months had a gulping attack and did indeed bloat (thankfully we got her to the vet on time).

I do believe that the cause may have been the gulping.

Andrea Madeley, Aari & Mischka Aldinga Beach - South Australia Email: Home Page STILL under working progress.....


BERNER-L Digest 963 Date: Sun, 16 Nov 1997 13:34:42 -0500 From: Jim Barrett To: berner-l Subject: 'Gulping' questions

A while ago there was some discussion about 'gulping' episodes. The Jaskiewicz's posted some comments about this possibly being correlated to rawhide.

Has anyone else observed this?

A related question, I am aware of previous discussions of fly snapping syndrome, but the general topic is (I think) petite mal siezures. How common are these in berners?

Any information greatly appreciated.

Jim Barrett Charlottesville VA USA


BERNER-L Digest 1470 Date: Wed, 23 Sep 1998 07:29:29 EDT From: To: Cc: Subject: Re: Acid-Blockers and Gulpers

In a message dated 9/21/98 10:19:32 AM Eastern Daylight Time, writes:

(( I don't think gulping is the same as "heartburn" in humans and before you try any home remedy discuss it with your veterinarian. Persistant gulpers should be examined by a veterinarian. ))

Hi Rose,

Excellent advice! FWIW, I have chatted with a number of vets about 'the gulps' thing. No one has a clue as to exactly what it is, possibilities mentioned range from post nasel drip to heartburn. There are some who believe it is a type of seizure and treat with phenobarbitol.

Believe it or not, I also haven't found anyone who's seen it in another breed. The various vets I've spoken with have felt that if it doesn't seem dangerous to the dog (I've heard of some 11 year olds that have gulped for years), don't bother with batteries of tests to try to determine the cause.

I've cleared any remedies (such as Pepto or Tagamet) with my vet for dosage & safety before trying them out but by far what has been most affective to date is eliminating what seems to be 'trigger' foods from the diet.



Date: Wed, 23 Sep 1998 07:29:29 EDT From: To:, Cc: Subject: Re: "gulping" also

In a message dated 9/20/98 9:44:39 AM Eastern Daylight Time, writes:

(( I wonder if anyone has tried Tagamet, Zantac, or any of that family of acid reducers? ))

Tried tagamet, didn't work any better than Pepto Bismol. Best I've found is a diet controlled for triggers, a good graze in the yard +/or PB for an occassion bout, and Benadryl for clusters.



Date: Wed, 23 Sep 1998 10:03:28 -0400 From: "Elizabeth Malcolmson" ( To: "Berner-L" ( Subject: Gulps -- a definition

Having come from a fresh experience I'm only too glad to provide the definition of this (huge collection of adjectives left off) behavior.... Tycho had a rough night of it last night... In the end (about 4:00 a.m.) I hitched her with a long leash to the front door to limit her range of motion enough so that the rest of us could get some sleep...

Gulping, in my experience, is where the dog suddenly begins to swallow and swallow repeatedly and with increasing speed until the dog is anxiously at the door demanding out NOW... Once outside, the dog frantically eats grass... She may eat until she hacks or maybe until she can then throw it all up again or she may just swallow all that grass and walk off the attack of gulping... Mostly this happens after you've been asleep for a couple of hours and then continues through the night... The dog will go out, stay out for anywhere from ten minutes to an hour, ask to come back in, settle down, and then perhaps repeat the whole process in an hour or two... Also, diahhrea is another thing that might occur outside.

My opinion of why this happened last night was that we were out of dogfood (it's coming via UPS any day now) and so I made Oatmeal & Egg from one of Dr. Pitcairn's recipes... The dogs both loved it, but apparently it only loved one of the dogs. HOWEVER, I can be feeding the same food endlessly and Tycho can start a gulping episode out of the blue... So it isn't necessarily food related.

I'm not sure whether it's gas pain related or whether all that gulping of air causes a lot of stomach gas -- Tycho's stomach will get somewhat "bloated" and tight (but so far it's never been bloat) -- I give her some extra-strength maalox pills and sometimes they help. But she has a tough time settling, especially lately... If we hadn't just tested her thyroid level and discovered that it was in a good place on 1/2 the dose, I would think the medication was still too much as she paces and pants and pants and paces throughout the night. The gulping was fairly mild last night and she was only outside briefly. Then she came on the bed and I tried to soothe her by rubbing her all over, especially her stomach. It seemed to help for awhile but then she began to breathe more rapidly and then to pant which means OFF the bed as the whole bed shakes with her panting... I cleared off her "I-don't-feel-so-good" chair where she likes to sit when she has a stomach ache, but she wouldn't stay there either. And so in the end, I hitched her with a 12-foot radius. She lay down on the dogbed and was quiet.

We've also been sleeping downstairs while the upstairs floors dry and vent from being re-finished last weekend. Perhaps there was some stress wrapped up in that experience as she has been prevented from going upstairs (where her beloved grandmother also sleeps when she comes to visit) and she REALLY hates change.

Sometimes, if the gulping is mild enough, you can talk them out of it. If the dog tries, it CAN control this but the swallowing muscles can get into a spasm mode and then the dog can't control it at all -- it's kind of like those swallowing muscles have a seizure and then the behavior becomes involuntary. I grab Tycho's muzzle and clamp it shut (the tongue shoots out as she swallows, naturally), and tell her "you can control it, stop it, GOOD!, no, stop, you can do it, Good!", and maybe, just maybe, she can skip a frantic trip outside. But this only works about 25% of the time, when the gulping is mild. With her muzzle held shut, I wait for her to breathe WITHOUT swallowing -- if she breathes through her nose without swallowing then I tell her "GOOD!" and loosen my hold on her nose...

But, no definite cause and no definite cure. Many people try many things and some things work frequently for some people and some people think that some things cause it in their dogs, but unfortunately I haven't been able to track down a specific cause or cure. Just a way to deal until it passes, which it does by morning... And if she still has a stomach ache in the morning (she will follow us around and SIT wherever we are, panting and eyes slightly bugged out), then I give her some more gas pills and she's usually fine by lunchtime at the latest... If diahhrea is part of it, then I might confine her to somewhere clean-up-able until she seems to be under control again. Your vet will more than likely claim to never have heard of such a thing or suggest that it's reverse sneezing. I've seen reverse sneezing, and gulping is NOT reverse sneezing.

Elizabeth Malcolmson Rockport, MA, USA BMD's in Obedience web site:


BERNER-L Digest 1472 Date: Thu, 24 Sep 1998 11:07:38 EDT From: To: Subject: Its the "GULPS" again

Dear List

My 4 year old female, Daisy, has had episodes of the "gulps" since she was a pup. The frantic gulping episodes would require a trip to the backyard to eat some grass and would end several minutes later with one exhausted dog (from all that foraging) and frequently with her hurling up a combination of grass and bile. You owners with "gulpers" know the drill. After discussing her problem with two vets, who said the "gulps" as I was describing was heartburn or digestive upset and to give her a short course of Tagamet, I made some changes in her diet. Daisy was sent home with instructions from breeder to be put on what I would consider large doses of Vitamin C ( 2000 mg for an adult dog). I switched Daisy to a product that contains a lower dose non-acidic form of Vitamin C, probiotics and digestive enzymes called "Daily Greens". This she gets with her meal at night. In the morning she gets 2 tablespoons of plain organic lowfat yogurt added to her food. The incidents of "gulps" has been *GREATLY* reduced. Through process of observation and elimination I think the following contribute to the "gulps" in MY dog: Vitamin C in large doses, Rimadyl or Ascriptin, high fat meat, and any other indigestable foods which my naughty husband may slip her while I am not looking. Also, when Daisy gets something caught in her throat that she can't seem to cough up ( bernerfur or raw bone fragments for example ) she uses the grass eating gulping technique for relief. And yes, I am worried that every episode of the "gulps" is a prelude to the dreaded bloat.

Regards, Ellen Barnaby and her Cape Cod "girls". (


Date: Thu, 24 Sep 1998 10:35:08 -0700 From: "Ruth Reynolds " ( To: "Berner-L" ( Subject: Re: Its the "GULPS" again

After discussing her problem with two vets, who said the "gulps" as I was describing was heartburn or digestive upset and to give her a short course of Tagamet, I made some changes in her diet. > Daisy was sent home with instructions from breeder to be put on what I would consider large doses of Vitamin C ( 2000 mg for an adult dog). I switched Daisy to a product that contains a lower dose non-acidic form of Vitamin C, probiotics and digestive enzymes called "Daily Greens". This she gets with her meal at night. In the morning she gets 2 tablespoons of plain organic lowfat yogurt added to her food. The incidents of "gulps" has been *GREATLY* reduced.

This GREEN product you mention Ellen and the probiotics in the yogurt may be the keys to your success in treating Daisy's gulps.

Several of my Dynamite customers have found relief for the "gulps" with the use of Dynamite's Herbal Green and probiotic Dynapro. Many dogs graze on grass. The addition of Herbal Green has alleviated symptoms of pica, grass grazing, stool eating and food scarfing in some dogs. These behaviors seem to indicate the animal is seeking nutrients from "odd" sources because the symptoms abate when the Herbal Green is added to their diets.

The gulps sounds to me, in most cases with which I am familiar like a response to mild gastric distress. Addressing the possibility of too much acid with natural remedies has helped some dogs. In some cases, drugs like tagamet or even pepto biomol are not necessary if the initiating cause is addressed.

Animals process foodstuff differently. We are hearing over and over that owners have addressed the issue of gulping in their dogs with avoiding certain foods. Seems like a highly digestible food would work best for these dogs whether as raw foods or baked (vs extruded) kibble.

Ruth Reynolds

"when you give the body what it needs, it can often heal itself"


BERNER-L Digest 1476 Date: Sat, 26 Sep 1998 18:55:03 -0600 From: Iyllis Moore ( To: Subject: gulping in humans

Hi you all,

I am catching up on some back digests as Guido and I just spent a marvelous week of vacation in Montana and the Yellow/Teton area. Found a grrrreat place for dogs in the Tetons and will post about it later on.

Meanwhile, I am reading the gulping posts. Guido hasn't ever done that, but boy did Elizabeth's description of Tycho's episodes sound familiar. It reminds me of very scary episodes of exercise and food related anaphalactic reactions my adult son has had. He was 19 the first few times, and we sort of got through them. I am going to send some of your descriptions to him and see what he says. He doesn't tell me about them much anymore, partly because I am not happy that he is very far from a hospital now.

There is variation in the triggers, the intensity, the reactions, and the directions in which they proceed. Some begin at the top of the esophagus and go down, and some begin low and move up. As it went on, he learned to recognize a lot of patterns. Me too; we didn't know what was happening and I would take notes. The speed of the reaction varied. So did the intensity, and also the direction of the reaction. In his episodes, he also salivates a whole lot and in one type of two directions of it causes him to swallow a whole bunch. As in gulps. Sometimes it would be mild and subside if he held still and didn't make it worse. And other times he knew he needed the adrenalin shots before he got to the emergency room where they would give him much bigger doses of adrenalin.

But there is a lot of spitting in his case and swallowing/gulping too. As they got worse, we ended up in the emergency room (4 minutes away) several times. He saw an internist, a GI specialist, and an allergist. In the emergency room, medical personnel who had not seen him come in before would be relaxed and casual until they looked into his throat. Then they would sprint for the injections and monitor him closely.

As far as food triggers, we were sure of some definite and reliable triggers, mostly preservatives and gums. However it also occurred in the well-documented absence of packaged foods for a long time, etc. And it can be triggered by vigorous exercise, in which case anything at all going into him can set it off. Also fatigue or stress does seem to be a factor, though when my husband was dying and Eric was working long hours far from home and driving grueling amounts to be with us as much as possible, he never experienced one that I know of. (Hmmm)

Anyway, I will send the descriptions of the dog's episodes to him and see what he finds to relate to. Maybe all he had was "the gulps." I anticipate he will be amused.

Buff Moore and Guido in still (!) warm Wyoming


BERNER-L Digest 1475 Date: Tue, 29 Sep 1998 12:46:42 -0400 From: Chris Cottle ( To: Cc: Subject: Re: Gulping

My Elsa was a champion Gulper. Her first attack occurred at about three months old. I thought she had something in her throat. She was very panicky the first time and became calmer as she got older when having the attacks. This first time after eating tons of grass she drank tons of water gulping in air at the same time, next thing I knew her little tummy looked like she had swallowed a big ball. Off to the vets we ran, she burped a couple of times on the way but still needed a tube put down to release the air in her tummy. Ever after I never let her drink while having a gulping episode. She would have them at all times of the day or night usually starting with a clearing of the throat sound. I could never figure out any correlation between stress or diet, she actually seemed to have them less frequently if she was well exercised

Remey just started having gulp attacks at 5 years old. He doesn't actually "gulp" the way Elsa did, but desperately needs to eat grass. With him it is definitely his stomach. And often occurs after I have been away at an unusual time. I've decided he gets acid stomach if he worries. So now ,if I know the routine is going to be different, I give him a Zantac and usually it seems to do the trick. I feed him a cooked natural diet . Chicken, rice veggies yogurt and raw bones.

Marjorie Cottle, Jamestown R.I.


Date: Tue, 29 Sep 1998 13:02:40 -0400 From: Melnik Margaret Kearney ( To: Subject: Re: Gulping

I have also been following the posts on "the gulps" with great interest. It seems that many of us have experienced the same "end result" in our dogs, but that it occurs in many of them for different reasons.

Samantha came home with us at 11 weeks. We knew she was kind of small, but didn't know that she would be living at our vet's for days at a time for the next 8 months. She has had the gulps since we brought her home. (we thought that it was just a 'delicate' digestive system. When she was a pup, however, the gulps were followed by episodes of diarrhea sometimes lasting days (Hence the stays at the vet. She still thinks that the word vet means party!!! They loved to have her there and she pretty much had the run of the place). By the time she was a year old she had pretty much settled down to just the gulps. She still has them every so often, but now we know that usually she's eaten something forbidden (like socks, rags, Poptart wrappers; 2 weeks ago it was her leash!). She's been xrayed, but never had surgery, because everything always comes either through or back up. Sometimes she just gets the gulps for what appears to be no reason. Then my son Tim lies on the floor with her and talks soothingly to her and quiets her down considerably. We've found in her case eating grass causes her to become worse. Sam's, personality is extremely outgoing, wiggly, and at 7 1/2 she has just lately begun to slow down a tiny bit. I wonder if gulps are more prevalent in really hyper or shy/stressed dogs. My IW who is very shy and wary of EVERYTHING occasionally gets a very mild case of the gulps, usually lasting only a minute or two (more like the burps), but in August she had bloat with full gastric torsion. I almost lost her, but she's doing fine now. Having seen the gulps and bloat, there was no mistaking the difference in the symptoms at all!!! I don't know if the symptom difference could be because of breed, but, with the gulps, Sam keeps gulping, gasping, retching, gulping, etc. While bloat was quite different. Frisbee began to pace, then she began to drink and pace, then her belly began to swell, then she would try to drink and then pace, and she would lie down and immediately leap up then lie down again. (having never seen bloat before, it took me a while to become suspicious as to her symptoms). After a while she just stood there and panted, occasionally retching but would not lie down at all. We drove to the vet with her standing the whole 20 miles, panting.

was not the last episode she would have. >For those of you who have or have had dogs who experience this, I think it would be interesting to hear what you feed and how (wet/dry/time of day, etc) and whether you think there is an emotional component to this condition.

Sam gulps at any old time, but once she starts, if it goes more than a half day, it's usually an indication that she's eaten something. If not, a quiet day stops them. She eats dry kibble with a very occasional treat or leftover piece of meat from the table on the rare occasions we eat meat. Anything other than dry kibble can cause very loose stools for her. (However, she's very clever at snagging any unattended [for 10 seconds or so] food). Frisbee (IW) on the other hand gets IAMS dry kibble with a dollop of canned mixed in with kibble and water, and let set 10 minutes. If I change her food, we get a nasty case of rapid transit.

Sam's gulps really follow no pattern with the exception of the ones that occur when she's eating socks, etc. (by the way, the leash came back up, a bit eaten away, but intact except for the metal clip which she had chewed off).

Margaret the lurker Frisbee, Samantha and Gloves


BERNER-L Digest 1476 Subject: gulps Date: Tue, 29 Sep 1998 19:56:22 -0400 From: Das Bunger Haus To:

Bess has been plagued with the gulps all of her nine years. They always occur at night--she comes upstairs to wake me up, and desperately wants to go outside. Once outside, she voraciously eats grass--in the winter she substitutes snow. Sometimes she regurgitates, sometimes not. It happens about 4 times a year, scary to watch, but she handles it fine--she knows what she needs to do. I see no pattern to the cause of these episodes, but she does have a fairly delicate digestion. We are always careful never to give her more than a taste of something new. Moyra & Bess Manlius, N.Y.


BERNER-L Digest 1478 Date: Mon, 28 Sep 1998 12:16:50 EDT From: To: Subject: Gulping

I have also been following the posts on "the gulps" with great interest. It seems that many of us have experienced the same "end result" in our dogs, but that it occurs in many of them for different reasons.

Lucy has always gulped. I'm not sure when it started, but it was certainly before she was a year old. The first time I was in a panic, sure that it was the dreaded bloat. I checked her tummy, her throat, listened to her heart and lungs as best I could, and decided to wait it out. After grazing in the yard and vomiting what appeared to be bile, she settled down and slept the entire night away. Of course I was on pins and needles, trying to stay awake to watch her to make sure she was not suffering from gastric torsion or worse. I felt much better in the wee hours of the morning when I watched her move her bowels and take a nice long drink of cool water. Little did I know that this was not the last episode she would have.

Lucy is now 4, and she still gets the gulps. We have tried various remedies (PeptoBismol, cabbage water, Tums to name a few) and nothing seems to make a difference. She needs to graze and vomit, sometimes several times in quick succession, other times several times throughout the night. And did I mention, it's always at night? Never during the day. Never.

One thing I am sure of, and that is that the gulping is most likely to occur if I am away in the evening, such as at work. She is much more likely to have an attack if I am away for a period of time, and I think that it is emotional (rather than something Bob fed I am her person, and she is restless when I am away from home for more than a short time, especially for several days in a row. And that is exactly how my work schedule runs, as I work 3 days every other week.

For those of you who have or have had dogs who experience this, I think it would be interesting to hear what you feed and how (wet/dry/time of day, etc) and whether you think there is an emotional component to this condition. I'm convinced that in Lucy's case, there is for sure. She is fed ProPlan Lamb and Rice, moistened with water and a little canned Pedigree meat mixed in for her evening meal. In the morning, she munches on a little dry kibble, with a few cookies for a snack mid-day. She also does get vegetables and fruits mixed in as they are available, or meat scraps from the table. She is a healthy 88 pounds (she is skinny, actually), and active and happy.

Heather has never had the gulps. At 8 months and 82 pounds, she is fed the same as Lucy, but she gets part of her regular kibble replaced with reduced- calorie ProPlan, as she has started to bulk up and we don't want to strain her joints. She will eat anything, and is constantly on the lookout for food. She checks around the food bins every time she goes near the kitchen, just in case someone dropped a piece of kibble. What a chow hound!

Still covered with Bernerfur,

Jaye Carl, Lucy who gulps, and Heather who can't figure out what the heck Lucy

is doing! Make her stop it, Mom!


BERNER-L Digest 2326

Date: Sat, 29 Jan 2000 22:16:06 -0800 From: Paul and Brenda

To: Berner-l Subject:

Help: ? about rapid swallowing, gulping, licking

Hello all,

I have a question concerning a condition my Berner displayed tonight. We were watching a movie and the dogs were in the room with us, Keisha(my Berner) had been sleeping. She got up and within a few minutes started to lick and swallow rapidly. As close as I could tell she may have had a little swelling in her jowls so I gave her some Benadryl. There was no prominent swelling but her gums also looked a little pale. This went on for about 1 hour of licking and gulping and panting. She would not relax, I am sure it was making her nervous. What I am unsure of is what caused this. If it was an allergic reaction or not. She at no time was gone from the room where she would have gotten into something she shouldn't have. Like I said if there was any swelling it was minor and I am not 100% sure it was. In the past she has allergic reactions to her rabies vaccine and every time she has this vaccine we have to put her on Benadryl. This is the only other time I have seem her act similar, but definitely not as severe. If anyone has any ideas or suggestions please let me know. It has now been about 2 hours and she seems to be fine. I appreciate any feedback.

Brenda And Keisha


The symptoms for me are him almost hiccuping then frantic pacing around, desperate to get outside then eating the grass like a starving sheep.

I have even been known to be outside with a flashlight with Oaky picking grass for him which he greedily grabs, chews a bit and spits out and moves on to the next lush growth .... hmmm, quite a picture.

It always is at night because that's when Oaky get's his meat. I have believed he's taken in lots of 'air' with his food rather than chewing it properly ... maybe it feels like heartburn to him? Or indigestion? Anyway .. it's worrying. Cause then I start thinking about bloat.

How do I help? Well apart from the grass technique which really isn't quick enough for me, I find oil can having quite a calming effect and at this stage he knows he needs it and laps it up straight ... also milk ... I also gently massage and pat his stomache (yes .. burping the baby) .... I am real pleased when I get an almighty way down gassy BURP .... then we can all relax ... I also had some chlorophyl/spirulina tablets that I would shove down his throat like 10 of them ... and they seemed to abate the problem too.

Needless to say I'm very tense whilst he's going thru this and won't rest until he's burped and asleep ... He can't rest until this passes anyway, just races around ...

Oaky has (touch wood) never bloated - but I'm on the guard if it develops. I've never used 'medication' ... and I'm mindful now so his meat is minced. He is fed lots of raw bones and the only one he gets this gulping with is the lamb necks .. just a bit smaller and he can get bigger bits off this neck and that equals problems. So he doesn't get them much ... every time I do give him one I live to regret it half an hour later.

I don't feed super big meals. I also ensure Oaky is fed on a 'step' so his neck is not extended. Those neato feeding stations look great too.

My boy Oaky (yes, you know what one's first born BMD is like ... trouble with a big "T" -- nah, he's always going to be Christmas on a stick, but never have so many grey hairs have I had until he arrived .. yes I'm a worry wart too, guess that won't help either!!!)

'Thunder from Down Under' Ann-Maree, Oaky & Vogue ALDGATE - SOUTH AUSTRALIA

-----Original Message----- From: To: ; Date: Monday, 31 January 2000 0:26 Subject: Re: Help: ? about rapid swallowing, gulping, licking

In a message dated 1/30/2000 1:15:01 AM Eastern Standard Time, > writes: > > Keisha(my Berner) had been sleeping. She got up and within a few minutes >started to lick and swallow rapidly. >> > >Hi Brenda, > >Take a deep breathe and relax...... >What you described is not uncommon in Bernese (judging by previous posts to >the L) and is usually referred to as "The Gulps". There are a number of >theories about exactly what it is and what causes it but after all is said, >there doesn't seem to be any danger to the dog. Following are some of the >frequently repeated theories and treatments: > >1) Psycho-motor disorder, a type of seizure activity (along the lines of >epilepsy). I'm not sure where this came from but it has resulted in some >dogs being "treated" with phenobarbitol. > >2) A gastro-intestinal upset... sort of like reflux... triggered by EITHER a >food sensitivity (like someone who can't eat cucumbers), an allergy, or >stress. > >My personal experience leads me to favor the second. I have a 'gulpy' girl, >I KNOW that giving her beef in any form will trigger a gag-attack. Ditto for >wheat and a number of other foods. Stress will also trigger a bout. > >We (both myself AND the dog!) have learned how to control 'the gulps' to a >very great extent. > > We started to get it under control when I realized that once it started, my > girl's fear made it worse. I set about keeping myself calm and communicating > to her that there was nothing to be afraid of. Instead of nervous > hand-wringing, I sat and quietly spoke to her while massaging her ears. This > seems to break the cycle and lessen both the duration and severity of an > 'attack'. > >You may notice that Keisha has a strong drive to eat plant material...of ANY >kind. If I didn't let Kalie outside, she would eat plants inside. When >those were removed, she headed for dried flower arrangements. I finally >figured that if plant material made her feel better...let her have it, now I >let her outside to eat grass. > >The other thing I've found to help is Pepto Bismol tablets ("cherry flavor >please"). If Kalie is compulsively licking a spot on the rug, I know a gulp >attack is on the way. I give her a pepto tab and that usually does the >trick, especially when caught early. If she does go into full gulp mode, >she'll wake me up and lead me downstairs to let her out. When she's ready to >come in, I let her and we all head back to bed. > >Watch Keisha closely and you'll learn what her 'triggers' are so you can >eliminate as many as possible. Learn her 'warning signs' and you'll be able >to teach her not to get upset when she feels it coming on. (Kalie is now > able to control/cut-off all but the worst events herself.) > >Worst case: In addition to food triggers which we have pretty well under >control, Kalila has seasonal allergies (as well as vaccine allergies) so she >has a particularly bad time every spring & fall. When these allergies >trigger repeated gulp attacks I use Benadryl to break the cycle (and to >control the allergy in general). > >The good news is, I've known some 'gulpy' dogs who lived to 10, 11, 12 years >of age :-) > >Hope this helps, I've learned to deal with this in my girl in bits & pieces >over the past 7 years so this may be disjointed. Let me know if it sounds >confusing. > >-S.F.V


Date: Sun, 30 Jan 2000 21:19:10 -0500 From: "Melissa Zebley, DVM"

To: Ann-Maree , Subject: Re: Help: ? about rapid swallowing, gulping,


Ann-Maree What kind of oil are you using? Just a word of warning for everyone -

never give your pets mineral oil. Because it has no taste, it is too easy for

them to aspirate the oil - breathe it into the lungs. If they get oil in the

lungs, they will likely die. This is a big concern w/ colicky horses, where the

vet passes a nasalgastric tube and pours mineral oil directly into the stomach

to help pass whatever is obstructing the horse. They have to be absolutely

certain the tube is in the stomach rather than down the trachea. I'm not sure

how much of a risk that is with other oils. I would guess it's probably related

to how much taste the oil has.

Melissa ------------------------------------

Date: Mon, 31 Jan 2000 13:42:54 +1030 From: Ann-Maree To:, Subject: Re: Help: ? about rapid swallowing, gulping, licking

Great question and timely advice!

I give Oaky only Organic, Cold Pressed Flaxseed Oil or Cod Liver Oil - or at worst my Organic Cold Pressed Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

If I don't have any of this, I stick with the milk. Or I give oil first then some milk ....

'Thunder from Down Under' Ann-Maree, Oaky & Vogue ALDGATE - SOUTH AUSTRALIA


BERNER-L Digest 2328 Date: Mon, 31 Jan 2000 00:19:12 -0500 From: Heather McKibben To: "''" ,, Subject: RE: Help: ? about rapid swallowing, gulping, licking

In a message dated 1/30/2000 1:15:01 AM Eastern Standard Time, writes:

Keisha(my Berner) had been sleeping. She got up and within a few minutes started to lick and swallow rapidly. >>

You may notice that Keisha has a strong drive to eat plant material...of ANY kind. If I didn't let Kalie outside, she would eat plants inside. When those were removed, she headed for dried flower arrangements. I finally figured that if plant material made her feel better...let her have it, now I let her outside to eat grass.

The good news is, I've known some 'gulpy' dogs who lived to 10, 11, 12 years

of age :-)

Heather McKibben & Madison Norton, MA


BERNER-L Digest 2329 Date: Mon, 31 Jan 2000 10:01:57 -0800 From: Tina Tenbus To: Subject: reverse sneezing

Reverse sneezing is a term I know, didn't realize it was the same as gulping. My eskie does this, she just gets set off for no particular reason. Sometimes she wakes me in the middle of the night doing it. I have found that if I go to her and hold her close to me and talk soothingly to her telling her to calm down, it helps almost instantly. The only thing I know makes her do this is on occasion if she lays upside down on her back, other wise, it is a random occurrence.

Good luck, Tina


BERNER-L Digest 2330 Date: Mon, 31 Jan 2000 22:02:41 EST From: To: Cc: Subject: Re: reverse sneezing

When my Mom's Corgi did this frightening (though apparently harmless) "reverse sneezing," her vet told her to hold the muzzle w/ her mouth over the dog's mouth and give one big quick PUFF of air, like giving mouth to mouth in CPR. Seemed to help.

Vilma Kistner Akron OH


BERNER-L Digest 2334 Date: Wed, 02 Feb 2000 11:16:40 -0600 From: Debbie Tripp To: "" Subject: Gulps is a warning signal

Joyce asked if anyone has seen their girls suffering from the gulps? My old girl, Kimaroo, suffered the gulps frequently, ate tons of grass and bloated when she was 10.5 years of age. I still think that gulping and excessive grass eating is a precursor to bloat - so watch your dogs. One of these days, they may not be able to relieve whatever is causing them pain in their stomachs that makes them gulp and eat grass.

If I'm scaring any of you with this - my main point is...don't let down your guard just because your dog does this all the time. Just keep a watchful eye on them for signs of problems - better safe than sorry.

Hunka Hunka Berner Love - Kimberlite Reg'd. Debbie Tripp - Saskatchewan Canada - Berners since 1986 "A grain of experience is worth a pound of precept."


Date: Wed, 02 Feb 2000 09:22:13 -0800 From: Sheila Avalos To: "" Subject: Re: Gulps is a warning signal

My girl gulps now and then but she also burps a lot and LOUD! I'm glad she does burp! :o)


Sal & She Avalos*ONE TNG Akita & Bernese Mt. Dogs** * "Ye are blessed of the LORD which made heaven and earth." Psalm 115:15


Date: Wed, 2 Feb 2000 12:49:05 EST From: To:, Subject: Re: Gulps is a warning signal

Debbie Tripp wrote: >My old girl, Kimaroo, suffered the gulps frequently, ate tons of grass and bloated when she was 10.5 years of age. I still think that gulping and excessive grass eating is a precursor to bloat - so watch your dogs.

Deb, Never thought about this before, but our Heidi who bloated at 3 years of age gets the gulps frequently. She did not torsion, they caught her in time (would you believe while we were on our way home from the 96 National--Heidi was in the kennel) and we did a stomach tack a few weeks later. She is still a gulper and will eat any vegetation in sight during an attack. Now instead of letting her out to eat grass I give her a spoonful of Maalox and it stops the gulps. Heidi will be 7 in April.

Regards, Lynne Robinson

Lynne & Rick Robinson DuCoeur Bernese Mountain Dogs "From our Heart to Yours" Ft. Collins, CO Visit our homepage!


BERNER-L Digest 2335 Date: Wed, 2 Feb 2000 19:43:40 -0800 (PST) From: Eileen Morgan To: "" Subject: Re: Gulps is a warning signal

Having a dog who bloated, torsioned, survived, and bloated another time or two before death at an average age for his breed, I can only say that if I had a dog who had this problem, I would be feeding an antacid with EVERY meal for life. Gas-X, charcol cookies, tagament, whatever. I NEVER want another bloat prone dog again . . . after one bloat with torsion, every meal is a damn nightmare, and whenever you leave the house you wonder if your dog will have died in agony while you were gone. That is two years I never want to revisit.

==== eileen morgan The Mare's Nest, PA Updated January 16, 2000:


BERNER-L Digest 2342 From: Jennifer Popp To: "'Bernese Mountain Dog Mailing List'" , "''" , "''" Subject: Gulps (but this is good news) Date: Mon, 7 Feb 2000 12:58:49 -0500

I just thought I'd relay the latest 'gulps' incident at my house this last week.

Boy they are getting more frequent, so I armed myself with a few remedies I heard of on different lists and with what was recommended in Don Hamilton's book "Homeopathic Care for Cats and Dogs" for bloat.

At the first sign of the gulps I gave Ziggy 5 pellets of Carbo Veg 12C, then 5 tabs of Nux Vomica 30C, then 1 activated charcoal tablet. It stopped after about three minutes whereas the one previous (before I had the remedies) lasted about 20 minutes.

I was excited!!


P.S. Wendy, I'm almost finished the Don Hamilton book and I owe you a review for Boris' page. You will receive that soon.



BERNER-L Digest 3577 Subject: RE: strange behavior Date: Fri, 18 Jan 2002 00:08:08 -0800 From: "GTE/kelento" To: "berner-l"

Hi Couldn't help but jump in on this comment. My Berner boy did this behavior to the T. Even eating grass. From 6 months 2-3 times a month. He did it when his kidney values would go out of whack. Or when he was under heavy emotional stress. He lived til he was 4 years. I put him down 4 months ago, when the attacks were 2X weekly. We always let him eat grass,like a cow, sometimes that alone would help.

He had poorly functioning kidneys all his life. We switched to raw(no grains) and he thrived for a year or more longer.

I don't know if this helps, but it did seem like a seizure. He was not very responsive to our voices. Sometimes we would go on midnight walks to get his mind off feeling bad. And it worked very well.

Good Luck Kelly Phillips Canby, Oregon Canine Assistance Partners (service dogs for the disabled)


Subject: Re: Streange Behavior - Need some insight Date: Fri, 18 Jan 2002 07:31:50 EST From: To:,

Hi Mandy,

This sounds like a classic presentation of what we call "the gulps". My husband and I always called it a 'gag attack' but when the internet connected lots of berner owners, we discovered that many dogs experienced the phenomonon and it came to be known as 'the gulps' by popular choice .

I have a girl turning 10 next month who started doing this when she was less than a year old...SCARED the heck out of us!!! Over the past 9 years, I've learned a lot about 'gulps'.

First: The feeling of panic that you see will subside IF you and your husband take on an aire of calm, steady, low key, re-assurance that everything's ok. This makes a big difference in the length and intensity of episodes.

Second: No one knows exactly what causes the gulps for all dogs...theories abound, from seizure activity to allergies. The important thing is to closely observe YOUR dog and think about the context, the 24 hour period preceeding the event, etc...any common elements?

Third: There have been cases of dogs who bloated after gulping episodes, but there are many more dogs who gulp and never bloat. Research (Purdue) indicates that taking air into the stomach and stress are factors in the development of bloat. Since both of these can be a part of the gulps, you can see how it may contribute to bloat as well.

Fourth: Tums, pepto bismol (Kalie's preference was cherry flavored chewables), and the like help many dogs...especially if you give it as soon as you notice the signs of an oncoming 'attack'. Combined with your presentation of *calmness*, you'll find the episodes usually pass fairly quickly and without too much stress, though they may recur thoroughout the night.

Fifth: My girl is now 100% free of the gulps. For her, specific foods are the trigger. Literally one bite of a beef burger and she'll gulp later that night. Same for wheat, soy (even her Vit E has to be from a non-soy based source), venison, and most cruciferious vegetables.

For years she was on one kibble. I found that she'd be pretty good for a while...then I'd open a new bag and she'd be gulping every night. This bitch is also prone to seasonal allergies which have gotten worse (as allergies are prone to do) over the years. Her gulp attacks tended to rise in frequency during her high allergy season.

In the fall of 2000 I decided to try a regimen of supplements (I call it "woo-woo stuff") instead of the prednisone we'd had to use every spring and fall to control her allergies. Much to my surprise, the supps worked!...and we noticed a bonus, the incidence of gulps was drastically reduced....but not elminated all together.

That encouraged us to take the plunge and see if a homemade (BARF) diet where we could control ALL inputs would go the rest of the way and eliminate the gulps all together. It took a lot of trial and error, a lot of close observation and avoiding the temptation to add more than one new item at a time...but we're there!

The only time Kalie has a gulp attack now is if I decide to try a new food item and it doesn't agree with her...other than that, she's gulp free.

So, my theory is that for some dogs, "the gulps" are caused by a food sensitivity. I believe it's a feeling somewhat like reflux or hiatus hernia in people. (From an HH website: "Other symptoms [in addition to heartburn] include belching, pain on swallowing hot fluids and a feeling of food sticking in the oesophagus.")

Anti-acids can be palliative and relieving stress helps to break the self perpetuating cycle that sets in once the process starts. But try finding the root cause and you may be able to eliminate the problem all together.

Hope this helps, S.F.V


BERNER-L Digest 3709 Subject: RE: Fly-snapping Date: Thu, 4 Apr 2002 15:33:35 -0800 (PST) From: Todd and Jennifer Zaayer To:

Fly-Snapping is seizure activity. I hope that you are referring to reverse-sneezing, or as some people refer to it as "the gulps". If your dog is showing signs of Fly-Snap Syndrome (biting at invisible dust particles in the air, and snapping at nothing with a dazed look on her face)

Actually, I think we are talking about _three_ different things here, rather than two. I have had several dogs (non-Berners) who do reverse-sneezing, and one Berner who has gulps occassionally. They are quite different, in my experience. The reverse sneezing is a nasal, sort of "snorting" behavior. The gulps is more of a frantic swallowing, wanting to eat grass, and tearing it up in rapid bites. Sometimes my gulper will vomit the grass, but most times does not. It happens so infrequently I don't really worry about it, and just let him out to eat grass. If I catch it quickly enough, a squirt of Naturade "Stomach Formula" seems to stop it more quickly, or the homaopathic remedies carbo veg or lycopodium can work too.(Consult a homeopathic practitioner to determine which might be appropriate for your dog).

just my experience so far,

Jennifer Zaayer


BERNER-L Digest 3711 Subject: The Gulps (was flysnapping) Date: Fri, 05 Apr 2002 08:09:48 -0600 From: catherine green To: berner-l

Our Mickey has been getting "the gulps" since a pup and after the first couple of incidents (which scared the living daylights out of me -- thought he was going into bloat) I found out what they were (thanks to this list!) and followed the advice given by one member -- to not get upset, but the calmly observe, let the dog outside to eat his grass and then let him back in when wll was over.I don't reinforce him for being in distress, nor do I ignore the situatio. Staying calm and letting him do what he needs to do without transmitting a sense of "emergency" has helped to make these episodes less frequent and less lengthy. He used to eat and gulp and vomit - now he just goes out, eats a little grass and comes back and is fine. He had one just last night that was the briefest so far.

Catherine in Madison WI Shadow & Mickey