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Good Morning and welcome! I am Dr. Loretta, a licensed veterinarian and I am happy to answer your question.
I am so sorry to hear that Toby is not feeling well. This cough and gagging could be one of 2 conditions.One is Congestive Heart Failure or CHF. This is a typical cough/gag for this condition but it does not normally come on so suddenly. The other possibility is Tracheobronchitis or Kennel Cough.
This is a very contagious disease that causes a hacking cough so much so that it appears as if they have something stuck in their throat. This is often contracted at a kennel, groomer, or vets office because this disease is air borne. Since this disease is air borne, Toby can pick this up anywhere. Luckily, this is a self limiting disease that will eventually go away on its own. Give Toby 1 teaspoon of Robitussin DM per 20 pounds of his weight given every 8 hrs. This will calm down the cough so he is more comfortable.
It is best to have your vet examine Toby so you know for sure what treatment will be best for sweet Toby.
Does that make sense to you?
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Yes, this does make a difference. These signs are more likely due to a condition called Laryngeal Paralysis. This means that the food and/or water that Toby tries to ingest could be allowed to go into the trachea rather than the esophagus causing this cough/gag. Have your vet examine Toby to be sure that this is the problem. treatment is surgical. This LINK will explain in more detail.