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Every spring, for the last 4 years, I have had to take my dog to the vet due to a gagging, choking, certain-she-is-dying episode that lasts for about a week and is mostly aggravated by excitement or running but also occurs intermittently when she is just lying down and resting. After a thorough arm down the throat diagnosis followed by x-rays that reveal nothing she is put on antibiotics and poof the problem is gone until next spring. Note: she never turns blue or passes out but it is far more serious than an inverse sneeze as it is an all day event and can be easily recreated just by getting her to wag her tail. Regardless, she will continue to run and play, all the while gagging, as she is a tenascious little devil.
She is an 8 year old pit bull that used to run to the end of the lead after vermin until it snapped her entire body around at which, point she would get up and pull against it until it choked her - a sheer joy for me at the other end. After the second episode, on my veterinarian’s recommendation, she has been on a harness only but we (my vet and I) think that there may be permanent scar tissue in her throat aggravated in the spring by allergies or freshly chewed grass.
My vet says that she would recommend a surgeon that specializes in this sort of throat surgery but the fact that it only occurs once a year, same time every year, and only lasts for a week makes her think otherwise. She finds it odd that it should be such a sporadic occurrence rather than a consistent problem.
As surgery is a risk to older dogs and the problem may become more serious if untreated, should I consider seeking the advice of a specialist now before it becomes something bigger or do I just have a dog with a freak allergy attack?
I am fully aware that I need to discuss this matter further with my vet and I will do so on her follow up visit next week but I just want to know if anyone has had a similar issue, some advice or input.
Thanks so much,
-M
 

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what about treating the alergies? My first thought over and over your whole story was ....allergies...allergies... if thats the trigger why do they want to treat her with surgery and not allergy meds first?



Dog | Forum | Rocks!
 

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Pepsi, my 17 year old Jack Russell has the same problem. It started after she was sterilised. I think the anaesthetic caused the problem which was at the time diagnosed as 'kennel cough'. Her "cough" never went. I seems to come each time she is anxious, eats something cold or breaths in some sand after she has buried a bone. It happened in front of our Vet when she went in to have her nails clipped. She became very distressed as the very fresh out of school young vet nurse tried to contain her. She started wheezing and coughing (it is a horrible sound) as she is grasping for air. I usually don't do anything except appease her or if it is sand, I clean her snout with a wet face washer. Pepsi has been like this since we got her from the pound 16 years ago. If it is what Pepsi has, I wouldn't worry too much about it especially that the vet finds nothing.
 

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I agree it sounds like allergies if its a seasonal occurance. Benadryl is very safe for dogs. my lab/border collie at 70 pounds can have 2 25mg tabs in the morning and evening when his act up.
 

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Thank you

Thanks so much everyone. My vet agrees that it is allergy stimulated and has suggested that Denver is nice this time of year – lol.
Anywho, my personal concern is that scar tissue is allowing a place for post nasal drip or pollen to harbor infection. Additionally, she never shows signs of allergies until they are full blown so it is difficult, if not impossible, to treat in advance.
I wish I lived near an ear nose and throat “dog” doctor just to get an expert opinion rather than a general practitioner. A specialist would be nice. At least they could help me learn to recognize the warning signs in advance.
Regardless, the attacks have subsided once again after a few days of meds. Hopefully next year we will be moving south and the problem will take of itself.
Thanks so much again for everyone helping to assauge my anxiety attack. I will keep reminding myself that it is not the cough of death but just allergies. :) I just feel so helpless at times and wish I could do something for her other than ride it out. :(
Thanks
-M
 
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