How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dr. B. Your Own Question
Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 15630
Experience:  Hello, I am a small animal veterinarian and am happy to discuss any concerns & questions you have on any species.
Type Your Dog Veterinary Question Here...
Dr. B. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Appears to be dry heaving : He appears to be dry heaving :

Customer Question

Appears to be dry heaving
JA: I'll do all I can to help. What seems to be the problem with the dog?
Customer: He appears to be dry heaving
JA: Where does the dog seem to hurt?
Customer: He's looks like he's trying to throw up
JA: Hopefully it didn't make a mess. Did the dog eat anything unusual?
Customer: Nothing came out & no just normal dog food he's a puppy about 9 weeks we just got him
JA: OK. The Veterinarian will know what to do. What is the dog's name?
Customer: Woody
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Woody?
Customer: No
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Veterinarian about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 4 months ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you today. I do apologize that your question was not answered before. Different experts come online at various times; I just came online, read about your wee one’s situation, and wanted to help.

Again I do apologize that my colleagues could not aid you sooner, but can you tell me:

How long has he been dry heaving?

Can he keep water down?

Are his gums pink or pale/white? Moist or sticky?

If you press on his belly, does he have any discomfort, bloating, tenderness, or tensing?

Could he have eaten something he should not have (ie bones, toys, plants, chemicals, etc)?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
He's been dry heaving on and off since last night.
He can keep water water, doesn't throw anything up just makes a noise a couple times then gags. It almost seems as if he had a hair ball.
His gums are pink, I think moist.
Pressing on his belly he doesn't have any discomfort or tensing. Maybe a little bloating.
And I do not think so!
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 4 months ago.

Thank you,

First, I am glad to hear that he isn't likely to have eaten something harmful and hasn't any of those signs I asked about. If he seems a bit distended, we do need to be careful but this sounds mild if any at all. As well, if he isn't actively vomiting, can keep everything down but retching/gagging; then this does sound like the root of Woody's signs may be throat related.

Now we don't usually see hairballs in dogs, so we'd be more suspicious of irritation from something he may have chewed, a esophagitis (from acid reflux), viral or bacterial inflammation of the trachea +/- a brewing respiratory tract infection.

With these in mind and since he isn't actually vomiting nor has emergency signs, we can try to soothe his throat and get him settled. To start, since we have GI and respiratory based concerns, I would advise trying him with a liquid antacid (ie Milk of Magnesia 0.25tsp every 8 hours). This will coat his throat and should help soothe any nausea afoot. Alternatively, if you do think he is mostly irritated in his throat and may have a bit of a cough with this, you can also use a mild cough suppressant. Commonly we will give a few millilitres of plain honey & glycerin cough syrup or plain honey. These can be given as often as needed. Alternatively, you could use Robitussin DM at a dose of 1 milligram per pound of body weight every 8 hours. Of course, do make sure to only use this and avoid any with pet toxic cold medications (ie acetaminophen, paracetamol, ibuprofen caffeine, alcohol, or pseudoephedrine) here.

Finally, just to address all of the above concerns, we can plan to offer a soft or light/easily digestible diet. Examples you can use are cooked white rice with boiled chicken, boiled white fish, cottage cheese, or scrambled eggs (made with water and not milk). There are also OTC vet diets that can be used (ie Hill’s I/D or Royal Canin’s sensitivity) too. These will help avoid any further throat irritation but also soothe his stomach if there is a degree of GI upset here.

Please take care,

Dr. B.


If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond.

**Afterwards, I would be grateful if you would rate my service by clicking on the "Rate my Expert' button at the top of the page as this is the only way I am credited for helping you. Thank you for your feedback!: )