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Dog gagging and coughing.

Species: Dog
Breed: Shep Mix
Age: 2-5 years
My dog is gagging and coughing like there is something stuck in his throat. Does this sound serious?




Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Hi Andy! I have some questions for you before I answer:

Does Sneakers seem to be bright and happy?
How is her appetite?

Thanks!
Dr. Marie.



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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

Customer reply:

Thanks for getting back to me so quickly! She seems to be happy other than the gagging every now and then. She ate well this morning.


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

OK, thanks for that info!

There are a few things that can cause a dog to cough like you have described.

By far the most common cause is a respiratory virus such as kennel cough. These viruses are airborne and while they are more likely to be picked up in an environment such as a kennel they really can be picked up anywhere as the virus travels through the air. The good news is that most dogs get over this on their own, just like we would get over a cold. The fact that your girl is bright and alert is excellent. There really isn't an over the counter cough suppressant that is safe to give until we know what the cause is for sure however.

So, as long as your girl is bright she should be ok. Kennel cough usually goes away in about 5-14 days. Now, if she is getting lethargic or if the nasal discharge turns to green or yellow then she may have developed a bacterial infection. If this happens she will need to see the vet for some antibiotics. Also, if she is bright but you think she needs something to stop the coughing you can see your vet for some cough suppressant medication.

Here is a youtube video with an example of a dog with kennel cough:

http://www.youtube.com/v/zx7tveHyFqk

There are other things that can make a dog cough such as a heart problem, a nasal or sinus infection, a fungal infection or a foreign object up her nose. If the problem is not getting better then you will need to see a vet to get a diagnosis and some treatment.
Hope she does oK!




Customer reply:

Thanks Dr. Marie! My dog is coughing exactly like the one in the video.


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

By the way...feel free to come back to this page if you have more questions!





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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.