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Rebecca
Rebecca, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 14517
Experience:  More than 30 years of companion animal practice.
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My dog heaves and sounds like he is going to throw up constantly.

Customer Question

My dog heaves and sounds like he is going to throw up constantly. He never does though. We tried Pepcid thinking it was acid reflux but that is not helping. What else could it be. He is a 2 year old rottie - 85lbs.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Rebecca replied 5 years ago.

Rebeccavet :

Hi JACustomer,

Rebeccavet :

Sorry to hear about your dog. How long has he been doing this?

Rebeccavet :

How many times a day?

Rebeccavet :

Is he coughing/gagging, or is the heaving definitely coming from the stomach?

Rebeccavet :

I have seen dogs gag and gag and then sort of cough or "yack" because they have irritation or even a foreign body like grass or weed seeds in the tonsils.

Rebeccavet :

When I see a dog gagging and not bringing anything up, the first thing I do it look as far down the throat as possible. Sometimes this means sedating them. I have pulled bones, weeds, and other things from underneath the tonsils and you could never see or get to them without sedation.

Rebeccavet :

If the Pepcid did not help, and he is eating normally, this is probably not coming from the stomach.

JACUSTOMER-of8q00pa- :

It has been goin gon for about 3-4 months. At first just once or twice every so often. It is now happening much more frequestly - as much as 20 - 30 times a night. He sounds like it hurts. He stands up, starts gagging like he's going ot throw up never does, burps and then sits back down. He did it about 20-30 times last night.

Rebeccavet :

Has a veterinarian examined him for this problem?

JACUSTOMER-of8q00pa- :

He eats very well. We buy holistic kibble and I make their soft food. THey do stay outside a lot - we ar eon 2 acres and eats everything out there. I have lirope which my mom said is poisonious.

Rebeccavet :

Has a veterinarin examined him for this? Is Lirope a plant?

Rebeccavet :

If I were your dog's veterinarian, I would start with a good physical examination, and a look down the throat. Until we know what is wrong, we can't know the best way to treat.

Rebeccavet :

Do you mean the grass called liriope? I looked that up, it is not toxic to dogs. However, I have seen dogs that eat and chew grass get grass or seeds caught in the tonsils, and gag like you describe. When that happens, the only treatment is to remove the grass or seeds.

Rebeccavet :

So my best recommendation would be a physical exam.

Rebeccavet :

If this is a respiratory irritation, then I recommend a Chinese herb called Pi Min Kan Wan, 2 to 3 tablets twice daily and during an attack. This is helpful for irritation in the sinuses and throat, but won't help if there is something irritating in the tonsils.

Rebeccavet :

Can I answer anything else? Do you have another question?