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Cerecita
Cerecita,
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My Pomeranian gags and coughs like she's coughing up a furball

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My Pomeranian gags and coughs like she is coughing up a fur ball - she alway ends the cough with an exagerrated hack. She does this periodically during the day - but especially when she gets excited or lays in certain positions. She is 11 years old and this started about a year ago. What could this be? I took her to the vet and they checked her out and thought it might be a "pinch" in her trachea.........but she is now choking like this about 10 - 12 times a day. I don''t want to be ignoring something else that might be going on............what else should I get checked out? and have you heard of these actions in other small breeds?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Cerecita replied 8 years ago.
Hello,

Does her cough sound like a 'goose honk'?

When was she seen by the vet and what were the results of the x-ray of the trachea?

Was she diagnosed with kennel cough, or the vet just prescribed this medication to help ease her coughing?

Thanks,
Cher
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
She was seen by the vet about 6 months ago.........and No - it does not sound like a goose honk - it is more like a gaging or choking and trying to cough something up.........she always turns herself up so she is standing or promps herself up so as not to choke - and then ends the coughing or choking with an exagerated hack like she finally cleared something. We only tried the kennel cough medicine to see if she had a slight case - but No she was not diagoned - the vet did not see anything on her x-ray - but the x-ray technician said that he saw a slight pinch - so my vet said we should just keep on eye on it - but it continues and I am afraid I might be overlooking some other condition that I might need to be checking for. The cough is more like a kennel cough - but it does not go away.
Expert:  Cerecita replied 8 years ago.
Hello again, and thanks for your reply with additional information.

From your description, it sounds like she may have a collapsed trachea, but that kind of cough usually sounds like a goose honk and the loss of elasticity in the rings of her trachea, might have shown up on the x-ray, however, this is not easily seen in all dogs during x-ray; an endoscopy would show more. Pomeranians are predisposed to this condition. A slight trauma to the trachea, which was incurred accidentally and you didn't know about, might also have started this coughing.

http://www.sniksnak.com/doghealth/col-trachea.html

She also could be 'reverse sneezing', as this can sound like a cough and have the properties you describe. This is not a sneeze at all, but a spasm caused by an irritation of the soft palate.
http://www.petplace.com/dogs/reverse-sneezing-in-dogs/page1.aspx

Coughing can also be related to a cardiac condition, so because she's a 'senior' and she seems to need to put herself in a more 'upright' position, to cough and try to clear what's bothering her, perhaps an evaluation by a veterinary respiratory/pulmonary and/or cardiac specialist, would be a good idea, at this time. Specialists can be found at ER vet centers and also Veterinary Colleges. Ask your vet for a referral, if you decide to do this.

I hope you're able to have her definitely diagnosed and treated soon, so she'll be feeling more comfortable and you'll be feeling less worried!

Cher
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Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Reply to Cher's Post: Thank you for your response = I forgot to mention that she also seems to get a stiff neck every once in a while and walks with her head arched forward - it also is sensitive to the touch - do you think this has anything to do with the condition we were discussing?
Expert:  Cerecita replied 8 years ago.
Hello again,

Yes, I do think these additional, yet intermittent symptoms, could be related to the conditions we were discussing. A dog will stretch her neck forward when trying to cough and feels like she must dislodge something from her throat/trachea, to breathe better.

cher
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