Dog gagging cough

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Dog gagging cough

This is a discussion on Dog gagging cough within the Dog Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; My 12 year old shepherd mix has been gagging at night for the past 3-4 months. It is a gagging type cough that seems like ...

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Old 02-24-2013, 08:50 PM
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Dog gagging cough

My 12 year old shepherd mix has been gagging at night for the past 3-4 months. It is a gagging type cough that seems like he has something that he's trying to hack up but nothing comes up (he used to do this every once in a while and white foam would come up but apparently that's not a big deal). Anyway, he only does this at night, usually when laying down and usually only once or maybe twice.

I took him to the vet about 3 months ago and he was x-rayed and they found nothing wrong. His heart sounds good, so no problem there. He was semi-diagnosed with bronchitis. He was put on Prednisone and the gagging went away. He just got off the prednisone last week and it has come back.

I took him back to the vet and they suggested more prednisone, but I'm worried about prolonged use. Instead, they gave me a prescription of hydrocodone. I haven't given him any of the prescription yet, I am waiting to see if the gagging gets worse.

I was wondering if anyone else had come across this type of thing with their pet and what was the outcome.

Thanks.
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Old 02-24-2013, 09:00 PM
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Did it look anything like this?


It could just be a reverse sneeze. Weird for it to start happening late in life, but if the vet can't find anything wrong, this might be it, and it is not serious. Can you get video of it? My dog does this once every week or two.
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Old 02-24-2013, 10:58 PM
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I had a dog with a similar issue, although it probably is not be the same thing. Your dog sounds more like its a lung issue?

We ended up diagnosing him with Laryngeal paralysis. See if any of these videos look like what your dog is doing.

I too would hesitate to be giving pred long term, or oxycodone if you do not have a diagnosis. Seems like your vet has not figured this out yet.
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Old 02-24-2013, 11:15 PM
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OK, I looked through those videos and they are all pretty extreme cases. Our dog showed up more like this one at first.

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Old 02-24-2013, 11:24 PM
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Our dog would have these episodes of gagging, just like that golden in my post 4 and usually at night when it first started. The gagging would sometimes bring up a bit of white foam, as you describe. We thought it was an acid-tummy issue and were giving him antacids, as per the vet's instructions. Not sure it helped much.

Later he would have these gagging episodes if he exerted himself during the day. Finally, when it got really bad, he looked a bit like the dogs in the videos on my first post, number 3. He had a couple of episodes where he collapsed because he was not getting air.

Vets had trouble diagnosing this with our dog, probably because he always appeared normal at the vet office. It was video that helped us get him diagnosed for sure. I tried 3 vets before figuring it out myself. sigh...

He had the life saving surgery and lived happily for a couple more years, passing finally from unrelated causes.

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Old 02-24-2013, 11:26 PM
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Another symptom that can go along with laryngeal paralysis is noisy breathing when exerting. Our old fella had that too, but it was such a long standing thing we thought it was just normal for him.
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Old 02-25-2013, 12:48 AM
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Allergies might be another one to check on.

Also, is your dog overweight?

When my 10 year old cat developed a hacking cough that was triggered by exertion, the vet couldn't really give an exact diagnosis. She was fat because my stepfather would feed her anytime she meowed at him. I switched her food to grain-free and beat it into my stepfather's head that he shall not feed her. 3 months later, the cough was nearly gone.
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Old 02-25-2013, 01:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbjams22 View Post
My 12 year old shepherd mix has been gagging at night for the past 3-4 months. It is a gagging type cough that seems like he has something that he's trying to hack up but nothing comes up (he used to do this every once in a while and white foam would come up but apparently that's not a big deal). Anyway, he only does this at night, usually when laying down and usually only once or maybe twice. ....

I was wondering if anyone else had come across this type of thing with their pet and what was the outcome.

Thanks.
Funny you should mention this - just last night (or rather, 6am this morning), Bree had an episode of gagging-coughing that sounded like she was about to puke. I rushed her outside, as I always do when she is about to puke, and she stopped. Brought her back in, she started again. Rushed her back outside, she stopped. Came, she started again, so laid down on the couch so as not wake the bf - she stopped. Got up, she started again. At this point, I figured she simply was bored with sleeping and went back to bed (a little miffed, truth be told) and she didn't have any more issues. She has done this before - made the "I'm about to puke" noise only to grab a ball when I let her outside because she didn't get to play enough the day before. Sigh...

But I am wondering -does your dog seem to have a super-sensitive chest/throat area? Bree has started the gagging thing if I pet her even almost hard on her throat (hand pressure is the same as if I had ink on my hand and if I pressed it down, I'd get a light impression on the paper), although mostly it's when she wants something else (i.e., the cat) and I'm trying to distract or redirect her.
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Old 02-25-2013, 08:12 AM
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Thanks everyone for the replies. I will definitely try to get a video of him doing this. He sort of sounds like the golden in the posted video but definitely not that bad. He doesn't have the "honking" or troubled breathing like most of these dogs and he isn't tender to touch.

Besides the winter weight that he always puts on, he isn't overweight. We just bought a new house and haven't been exercising as much as we used to, that is something we are going to rectify immediately. I'll try to get a video of him doing it and post it asap.
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Old 02-25-2013, 07:45 PM
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I ditto allergies. This happened with my dog when he was active and after a few days on benadryl he stopped. My parents dog just started in with this after a big storm and 3-4 windy days. I always recommend benadryl first then try other meds if it doesn't work. I have to be honest....3 months worth of prednisone? Is that normal to prescribe it that long?
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