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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Breeder,Behaviorist, formerVet Asst
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 18814
Experience:  Former vol Vet Assistant.Breeder 18+ years Dog trainer / behaviorist
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lab: gags all the time..collar

Customer Question

My chocolate lab gags all the time. Is there something wrong with her throat? I am thinking it has something to do with her chocker collar that she has worn since a pup. She is 2.5yrs old. She randomly chokes and gags.
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 9 years ago.
Hi Harley,

If she has ever been jerked very hard with the choker collar, then she could have injured her trachea causing it to collapse from time to time. You can read about this here:

However, she could be coughing which could be from many different causes including upper respiratory illnesses such as kennel cough and canine influenza which you can read about here:

A heart condition such as heartworms can also cause a cough, which will need to be checked if your dog is not on heartworm preventative or an older dog.

You will want to monitor your dogs condition looking for colored discharge from the nose or eyes, a productive cough (coughs stuff up), stops eating or lethargy. These are signs of a possible bacterial infection as well and my require antibiotics. If your dog appears to be having a difficult time breathing, you will need to see your Vet as some dogs dog get really sick with canine influenza and need support to recover.

To help your dog breathe easier you can run a NON-medicated humidifier in the room your dog is in, or sit in a steamed up bathroom with your dog to help keep the mucous moving. Robitussin DM at a 1/4 teaspoon per 5 pounds can be used to control the cough. Dosages can be obtained at this website.

The following site goes over canine coughs.

I hope you find this information helpful.