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Rosie_MRCVS, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 1065
Experience:  BVetMed MRCVS, Qualified veterinarian of ten years in small animal practice in England
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My dog has intermittently been coughing up yellow liquid

Customer Question

Hi, my dog has intermittently been coughing up yellow liquid and dry heaving over the last few days. Although it is not constant and she appears to be eating and drinking normally, I am worried that this may be a sign of something serious...
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Rosie_MRCVS replied 1 year ago.
Hi I'm Rosie one of the vets and I'd like to try and help you and Maggie. I'm sorry to hear that she is unwell. I have a few questions, if that's ok.
- what food is she on, and has it changed at all?
- when do you feed her - morning/evening/both?
- any pattern to the coughing or retching?
- any change in the amount she is drinking?
- are her faeces ok?
- has she eaten anything unusual recently?
- is she a scavenger?
Sorry for the number of questions - the extra information will really help. You can get back to me by hitting 'reply'. Thank you, Rosie.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
To answer your questions:
She eats Solid Gold Wolfking (this has no changed, she has been on it since 6 months old
She eats 1 cup of food in the morning and 1 cup at night
The coughing is not all day, it happens in episodes and one time I noticed it was after she ran around a lot. Other than that it seems to be pretty random.
I haven't noticed anything with her drinking, seems pretty normal.
Feces also seems to be normal, and she usually goes after she eats (twice a day)
She has not eaten anything unusual as far as I know and I would not consider her a scavenger.
I researched it and kept getting directed to bloat, which worries me but then again she seems to me moving okay and her stomach looks normal.
Thanks in advance!
Expert:  Rosie_MRCVS replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for the extra information - that really helps. I can understand why your research would lead you to bloat, and I equally understand why reading about that condition would terrify you! Bloat is a horrible condition, but to me this does not sound like a bloat case - she would be much much sicker by now. To ease your mind, with bloat yes, they retch without bringing anything up, which is why the research leads you that way. She would also be restless, unsettled, panting, uncomfortable, bloating up - a visible bloat in the abdomen which is very obvious, and eventually collapsing and being unable to stand. If she is bright and well in herself, wanting to eat and drink and keeping the majority of her food down then this really doesn't sound like bloat.
There are a few things which could be going on and which I would want to rule out if I saw her in my clinic. The occasional virus can cause a stomach upset in this way. Equally eating something a bit silly can make them feel unwell, although this is obviously less likely in her case if she isn't a scavenger. Sometimes things going on internally (for example liver and kidney issues) can make them feel a bit unwell. Occasionally it can be a cough, which causes them to bring up some mucus.
If she is bright and well in herself it might be worthwhile switching her onto a bland diet for a few days. You can make this yourself with plain boiled chicken/rice/fish/potato, but it would probably be easier (and more balanced) to get a commercial diet for dogs with upset stomachs. Two types that I usually recommend are RCW (royal canin) gastrointestinal, or hills i/d. Both come in wet and dry, and both are formulated to calm things down for her. I would also feed her little and often - if possible divide the same amount of food (all have feeding guides on for her weight) into about five or six smaller meals, spread throughout the day. If you have any (you should be able to find some at the pharmacy), zantac can also help. This is an antacid that will calm things down in her stomach, and also acts on the stomach and intestines to move things along in the bowel. The does for her is 0.5mg per pound twice daily. If she is on any other medication I would check with your vet first.
If she becomes unwell in herself - stops eating, stops drinking, becomes lethargic - I would definitely get her checked out. Similarly, if you try the bland diet for a couple of days and the retching continues I would also recommend getting her checked out. She would likely need a blood test at that point to make sure everything is functioning ok (I would want to do that if I saw her at my clinic). The vet will also be able to feel her abdomen to make sure everything feels happy in there. Similarly, if you are concerned about how she is now then it may be worthwhile getting this checked sooner (I don't think this warrants an ER visit).
I hope I've helped - if you have any questions from this then just hit 'reply' again and I will get them and get back to you. Otherwise please leave a positive rating.
Thank you, ***** ***** luck, Rosie.
Expert:  Rosie_MRCVS replied 1 year ago.
Hi Caitlin,

I'm just following up on our conversation about Maggie. How is everything going?