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-   -   Dog occasionally coughs and gags - Answered by Dr. Van Lienden (

SuperWanda March 1st, 2007 07:32 PM

Dog occasionally coughs and gags - Answered by Dr. Van Lienden
Hi - my 8 year old husky hound cross has always had an occasional cough. I have mentioned this to the vet a few times. Once the vet actually squeezed her throat and made her cough and asked me if that's what I hear - which it was. She didn't seem to be to concerned about it. Said sometimes something shrinks or gets harder in the throat as they get older - can't remember if it was the vocal chords or what??? The last time I was there I asked again - not too much concern.

I am considering going back again - she still coughs occasionally but sometimes gags like there is something caught in her throat. She's been doing it tonight as we sit and watch tv.

I was just wondering if anyone else has experience with this problem?


Cathy1 March 1st, 2007 08:54 PM

My Duke does it once in awhile, maybe once or twice a week. I mentioned it to the vet but she didn't seem to concerned either.

Mocha's mum March 1st, 2007 09:24 PM

Mocha does this sometimes too. I just think it's fluff from his toys or something off the floor that gets stuck in his throat. He has a drink of water, and it seems to clear it up....:shrug:

Dobb March 2nd, 2007 02:16 AM

Not to alarm you, but ask your vet to check for fluid around the heart. My former shih zu would cough and gag like that , my vet said that is was from the fluid build up. She took a medication for it.

SuperWanda March 2nd, 2007 09:30 AM

Thanks for all your replies!

This morning she is not doing it as much - maybe the odd cough but not the gagging part.

I have heard that coughing may be a sign of heart troubles as well - that is why I worry sometimes. She certainly doesn't cough all the time but I would say I notice it every week - it seems worse especially when she does the gagging thing. Sometimes she does it when she licks at her legs or feet a lot - then I start wondering about hair stuck in her throat.

I will ask the vet about it again and mention the heart thing at our next Spring time visit.

Do you know how they detected the fluid? Did they notice that just by listening to her heart? or was some other test involved?


Dobb March 2nd, 2007 11:11 AM

My vet could tell by listening I think, my dog had heart problems as well .

clm March 2nd, 2007 03:59 PM

I don't want to alarm you, but both of my past dogs. Both keeshonds, had the cough you describe and the gagging. Both ended up having cancer. One had pancreatic cancer, he was 9.5 and the other had liver cancer, he was 10.5. Other than the occasional cough and gagging, no other symptoms. Both ate fine, both had normal stools, right up until their tumours ruptured their organs, then all he-- broke loose and they were gone within 24 hours. Might be worth an xray to see if there is anything else going on.


SuperWanda March 7th, 2007 11:23 AM

Update on the coughing a gagging
Thank you for all the advice. I did end up going to my vet. She did a full exam and reassured me that her heart and lungs sounded great - all organs feel normal size etc. She felt the throat and trachea and did come to a part that elicited the cough. She felt it was an upper airway irritation that is more common in smaller dogs but can be seen in larger dogs. If it gets really bad they can give an anti-imflammatory but felt her case was minor. Could be from food scratching or I often notice it after she is licking a lot so hair or larger particles may cause irritation and inflammation - so she feels like she need to cough or gag to remove it.

Guess it's just good to get these things looked at because I'm sure that it could be a sign of something more major or minor.

Prin March 7th, 2007 04:33 PM

I'm glad it wasn't anything major. :fingerscr it goes away soon. :)

petdr March 14th, 2007 07:53 AM

Coughing in dogs has multiple potential causes: cardiac disease, laryngeal paralysis, pulmonary disease, allergies with post nasal drip, heart worm disease, cancer, chronic sinusitis, infected teeth/periodontal disease, environmental irritants (such as cigarette smoke, out-gassing paint/carpets/other home construction products, cleaning supplies, etc.), and the list goes on.

For piece of mind, I would delve a bit more deeply into your pet's problem. It may be nothing, or there may be a deeper problem than realized. I suggest that your veterinarian may be too cavalier, if she doesn't seem concerned, get a second opinion to confirm that view or find out if something is indeed wrong.

Dr. Van Lienden

Dr. Raymond Van Lienden DVM
The Animal Clinic of Clifton
12702 Chapel Road, Clifton
Virginia, U.S.A. 20124

SuperWanda March 14th, 2007 09:37 AM

Feeling worried again
Thanks, after seeing my vet I felt better but now I feel worried again...

I guess I'll get a second opinion.

She has also been doing some exagerated, repeated swallowing/gulping after she eats. Runs outside to eat big chunks of snow and grass but doesn't vomit. I have a call into my vet again but maybe I should go somewhere else?

breeze March 14th, 2007 09:45 AM

IMO if you are not happy with the first opion then by all meens get a sceond one, if you have any doubts then that is what you should do. go with your gut it will never lead you astray

good luck :goodvibes: keep us posted please

SuperWanda March 14th, 2007 09:57 AM

I was happy with what my vet said because she basically assured me that there was nothing serious going on but Dr. Van Lienden's comment above has made me feel concerned again. I understand that everyone is offering their advice and opinions and I really appreciate them.

I guess I just felt relieved and now after reading these posts I feel worried again.

I have a call in to my vet so I'll see what she says and if I am still concerned maybe I will seek out a second opinion elsewhere.

breeze March 14th, 2007 10:37 AM

my bernesse mountain dog love hair balls that she finds on the floor, after eating them she ends up coughing and gagging also the electric heat in the house does not help matters.

A call is worth it's weight in gold and i agree if you are not satisfied then you should get a second opion. you have to go with what is right for you,

sometimes it can get scary with all the one want to leave a stone unturned it does not mean that is what is wrong. all dogs are different.
once you talk to your vet you will feel better i am sure of it

Postie March 3rd, 2015 04:34 AM

Coughing and weezing, big ball of fur
[QUOTE=SuperWanda;390222]Thanks, after seeing my vet I felt better but now I feel worried again...

I guess I'll get a second opinion.

She has also been doing some exagerated, repeated swallowing/gulping after she eats. Runs outside to eat big chunks of snow and grass but doesn't vomit. I have a call into my vet again but maybe I should go somewhere else?[/QUOTE]

Hi, I'm new to this site, so not sure if I'm doing this right, but have been going crazy as my dog has suddenly developed this cough and weezing and the vets don't know what's going on, they've taken X-rays and blood samples and there fine, he's eating well, runs around, stools are normal. Vets also don't think it's his heart as he's very lively.

He also pants a lot, he's a keeshound and not many in New Zealand so I'm not sure if he should be panting that much even with a fan on him, but the vets seems to think it's normal.

He's also had irritable bowel disease, his immune system keeps attacking itself, had two lumps removed that were benign, plus had a operation to remove fluid from some sac in his throat, (can't remember much on that one) I should of kept a journal. Have only had him 4 years was found abandoned in a forest, took him to see specialist last time when they diagnosed IBT and had to get a loan of $10,000 so they could perform all the tests, he finally came right from that but that used all the money up, now this coughing has started and I can't afford to keep paying for these test that aren't showing anything,

Specialist also thought back then that he might have asthma (he wasn't coughing then) and hyperthyroidism but tests were inconclusive for them

So guess my question is does anyone have any idea what tests I can have done instead of spending on test that come back inconclusive, I cant borrow anymore from the bank so am madly trying to save but New Zealand vets charge a fortune

Any help would be greatly appreciated, posted a thread at the top of my novel as her dog sounds like it had the same symptoms as mine and she was having the same trouble finding out what was going on but couldn't find what the diagnosis was.

MaxaLisa March 4th, 2015 01:42 AM

Tick disease can cause a cough? many vets will miss it in the bloodwork - look for low platelets, or changes in the blood counts.

Lung stuff is tricky.

Postie March 4th, 2015 01:50 PM

Hi, the vets did a full blood count and they said it was excellent, because of how his immune system would keep attacking itself they're usually pretty thorough but think they're a bit stumped this time and they don't seem that worried.
He was coughing quite bad yesterday so I gave him a coedeine (apparently a cough suppressant) doesn't usually work for him was hoping he might have a bit more restful sleep, it's 8.45am and he hasn't coughed yet so might off helped x fingers.
Forgot to mention about a month ago. (I wasn't home when it happened) my partner said he got out of the car, looked like he wanted to throw up, then fell over and stiffened, we rushed him to the vet, tests and everything was normal, vets said she thought it was a seizure, he hasn't done this since.

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