Possible reflux or digestive issues. Worried about my boy.

I've been a longtime reader of this Forum, and I can't tell you how much it's helped me with raising my best friend: my sweet bullie that's now over 10 years old.  In reading the Forum, I've gained information on what may be going on with him, but I just felt the need to share this with people that can relate.  I've been very lucky with my bullie's health for all of these years.  But in recent months, he's begun showing signs of gastric or digestive issues that he's never experienced before.  It started with an ear infection about six weeks ago.  The Vet has actively tried different meds, none of which has completely cleared it up, and now is going to do the culture/lab work for a more exact diagnosis.  In recent weeks, he's had episodes of excessive salivation and slight bloating (not large/dangerous bloating) starting almost immediately after he eats.  It doesn't happen every day, but has happened a few times in the past six weeks.  When he starts salivating, it doesn't typically stop for hours.  He also licks his feet, and often licks the air, especially after he eats.  Since it doesn't happen every day, the Vet hasn't been overly concerned so far.  But I'm starting to highly suspect that he's got a serious food allergy or gastric reflux, or all related together.  Seems odd that he would suddenly start such a reaction to the food he has eaten for over 10 years, but I know it happens.  After another salivating episode this morning, he's spending the day at the Vet.  I'm nervous about what they may tell me when I pick him up.  I just want him to always feel comfortable and happy, especially in his difficult senior years.  Thanks for letting me ramble and I'll post updates.

Kathy Chester Newman and Jessa's picture

Licking and salivating can be a sign of pain...

Our Chester used to do this when his back hurt and he would slobber puddles.  It can also be from nausea, maybe from the ear meds. 

Suspecting the ear infection

Thanks for your response Kathy. I'm really beginning to think the drooling is related to his long-lasting ear infection. The Vet suspects possible reflux or digestive issues because the drooling seems to occur mostly after he eats. But not always. And just tonight, he was fine all evening and all of a sudden, he looked visibly shaken and the drool started. I rubbed his ears for several minutes and it seemed to ease off a bit. He laid down and slept for awhile and when he woke up, back to normal. His ear still looks red and yeasty. Tried several things, but now using ear wash and Tresaderm. It's beginning to stress me out obsessively worrying about him!

Kathy Chester Newman and Jessa's picture

I know the feeling.

Chester was so bad we would have to put a towel under his head when the drooling started. Definitely sounds like pain. Hope the ear infection clears up. 

gbrad71's picture


I use Zymox for the ear infections, and let me tell you its like a miracle cure! Also, both my bullys lick the air repeatedly, and I think its one of two reasons. One, they are both have severe allergies to the food I have given them, and two, the wrinkles above their nose seem to be itchy to them. I clean them with a septic wipe, and the licking stops. I get the ear meds from a place called Revival Animal Health. Hope this help!