This sounds like epiglottal entrapment, and can show up at any time. I see it usually in overweight dogs, however lean dogs also can be troubled. The epiglottis is a flap of tissue that will close over the trachea while swallowing. The esophagous lies above the trachea and if this flap of tissue were not automatically engaged by a neurologic reflex to close over the trachea, then food/water/saliva/mucous/etc. would enter the lungs with dire
If there is excessive soft tissue (elongated soft palate, skin
folds, fat, etc.) then the epiglottis can be caught in the closed position, consequently the dog has difficulty getting adequate breath. Panic ensues further adding to oxygen deficit, and fainting/blacking-out may occur.
The condition is not considered lethal but does impact life quality. In severe cases surgery is an option, however if the dog is overweight, then dieting may be all that is needed. Have your veterinarian evaluate her and make recommendations based on the severity of her condition.
Dr. Van Lienden
Dr. Raymond Van Lienden DVM
The Animal Clinic of Clifton
12702 Chapel Road, Clifton
Virginia, U.S.A. 20124