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 S. August Abbott, CAS Your Own Question

S. August Abbott, CAS
S. August Abbott, CAS, Own Animal Care/Rescue Org.
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 7343
Experience:  We rescue what others leave behind; Animal Care author; Behavior & Nutrition Consults
1604863
Type Your Dog Question Here...
S. August Abbott, CAS is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My dog keeps making these horrible gagging noises. Is this ...

Resolved Question:

My dog keeps making these horrible gagging noises. Is this something I can treat?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  S. August Abbott, CAS replied 6 years ago.

A dry, hacking cough that sounds like something might be stuck in the dog's throat is one of the symptoms of Kennel Cough. Bordetella Bronchiseptica has an incubation period of 2 to 14 days. It's often caught while dogs are boarded in kennels (hence the name) or even in dog obedience classes, dog parks, vet waiting rooms, etc.. It's more commonly passed along in poorly ventilated areas (and puppies in pet stores or shelters are especially vulnerable). It's a bacteria which in normal situations isn't especially difficult to treat. There is usually a secondary infection (or more) that needs to be addressed in order to eliminate the problem, so a vet check is warranted. The treatment is an antibiotic medication that may be given with a cough suppressant (a med that is prescribed).

In dogs with immune system or other problems, this could be a more serious condition and indicate emergency treatment to insure a better chance of survival.

Other causes for dog coughing are environmental, like cigarette smoke exposure, dust, temperature extremes (too hot, too cold) and even stress. It could be tracheal disease or just allergies.

Heartworm may cause coughing, shortness of breath and other signs of distress.

To make him more comfortable until you see the vet: Some people recommend Robitussin DM .5 to 1 mg per pound. There are eye dropper/measuring delivery systems available for baby care in most pharmacy aisles of stores. They're great to have on hand for pets.

Setting up a vaporizer (without medications in it) in the room with the dog may also prove helpful. Offering a heat source such as a heating pad set on low, beneath their bedding may make them more comfortable too; however, I prefer to avoid electric sources an animal may gnaw on. We use rice socks. Fill any clean sock ¾ of the way with uncooked rice and knot the end closed. Microwave this for 1 to 1 ½ minutes, shake it out to distribute the heat and make sure it's not too hot - tuck it in the dog's bedding - it stays warm and holds body heat for hours. It's very important to remember that these are just temporary, possible reliefs - in no way a cure. These will not make the animal ‘better'.

 

For more dog-cough information: http://www.canismajor.com/dog/cough.html

 

S. August Abbott, CAS, Own Animal Care/Rescue Org.
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 7343
Experience: We rescue what others leave behind; Animal Care author; Behavior & Nutrition Consults
S. August Abbott, CAS and other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
He gets his Bordatella meds regularly and just got it in June, wouldn't that prevent him from getting it?
Expert:  S. August Abbott, CAS replied 6 years ago.

You ask a very, very good question here.

 

Also, there are 9 types of vaccines available against Bordetellosis, usually products with whole cell bacterin, extracted cellular antigens or avirulent live culture. Some are intranasal (rather than injectable).

An interesting note is that among veterinarians, there is a differing opinion as to the necessity of these vaccinations, as well as how effective they actually are and whether or not the protection lasts.

So, yes - it's some protection, but no - it's not 100% protection.

Columbia Animal Hospital provides more http://www.cah.com/dr_library/kennekcough.html

It's still better to have these vaccinations than to not have them.

Also, remember, this could be something else. An allergic reaction to something or perhaps he actually did eat something wrong like a bone or piece of a toy, rawhide or ball? Dogs can be vacuum cleaners! Do you think there's any chance of this?

 

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Oh yes, that is always possible with him; however, I've had those problems with him in the past and this gagging is nothing like he's had before. Bentley is a 12 year old Weimaraner and I thought it might be a symptom of old age (like acid reflux) since we as adults seem to have more issues as we get older?
Expert:  S. August Abbott, CAS replied 6 years ago.

Well, let's take a step back and try to associate this with something in particular, or not.

Is Bentley still eating and drinking normally? No constipation or diarrhea?

Has he been around any other dogs in the last 2 weeks, or dog areas, parks, the vet, groomer or boarding?

Any changes in his food ?

How long has this cough been happening?

 

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
He is still eating and drinking normally and no constipation or diarrhea. He goes to day care at least twice a week and has been since he was a puppy. He has food allergies and has been eating the same food and treats for years with no change. I think he's had this for about a month. It's not constant and I notice it more at night. I remember it more since he's had his teeth cleaned at the Vet, but my husband thinks he had it before then.
Expert:  S. August Abbott, CAS replied 6 years ago.

I'm still leaning toward bordetella, especially with the words "I notice it more at night" and that he's been around another dog, plus in the vet's office for teeth cleaning.

Everything else seems as it should be and that he's moving stool and urine normally - it's probably not a blockage. Also, since it's been going on for a while, even more against it being a blockage.

Try installing the vaporizer (without meds) and giving him a heat source for more comfort and possibly his sleeping through the night - but a course of antibiotics is probably going to be necessary so seeing the vet really has to be done.

This is actually good news you know? If it were a blockage or foreign object ingestion you might be looking at surgery and at the very least a sedation/anesthesia and endoscopy. Kennel Cough is relatively 'easy' to treat.

 

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • You are a light at the end of scary tunnel when $ are tight, but people need professional help to turn to for help with their dear pets! Linh Charleston, WV
< Last | Next >
  • You are a light at the end of scary tunnel when $ are tight, but people need professional help to turn to for help with their dear pets! Linh Charleston, WV
  • $1,000 spent at his vet, and I finally get the correct diagnosis from Nancy Holmes for $15 Carol Cedar Hill, MO
  • I think this is the greatest web site in the world. Thanks to all! Judy New Haven, CT
  • I have referred several friends to your web site. I'm impressed with how easy it is to use your site, the Experts available and the quickness of answers. Nina USA
  • I am completely pleased with the quick response that I received in our time of need for our dog, Jasmine. I couldn't believe how quick the response was and I thank you. It's good to know you're there!! Jasmine's Mom USA
  • Please let everyone involved with your site know that your Expert, Dr. Lucy, has saved my dog's life. I will recommend your site to all my pet loving friends. Thank you again for simply being there! Sonya G Easley, SC
  • Last night my Expert spent close to 3 hours working with me on my dog's illness. Thank you so much for this opportunity to share in her care and knowledge! Cathie M Pompano Beach, FL
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Dr. Gary

    Dog Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    2534
    DVM, Emergency Veterinarian; BS (Physiology) Michigan State Univ
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RY/rydergar/2012-6-6_192240_IMG0328.64x64.JPG Dr. Gary's Avatar

    Dr. Gary

    Dog Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    2534
    DVM, Emergency Veterinarian; BS (Physiology) Michigan State Univ
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/JA/Jav917/2012-2-20_54059_201221802254JoananddavidArchuleta3.64x64.jpg Joan's Avatar

    Joan

    Vet Tech

    Satisfied Customers:

    4544
    Vet Tech for over 30+ years working w/Dogs/Rescues
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/JA/jadedangel57/2011-11-8_193134_janenewsm.64x64.jpg Jane Lefler's Avatar

    Jane Lefler

    Breeder,Behaviorist, formerVet Asst

    Satisfied Customers:

    13847
    Former vol Vet Assistant.Breeder 16+ years Dog trainer / behaviorist
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/ER/ERPetNurse/2011-11-7_1293_b.64x64.jpg Candy's Avatar

    Candy

    Veterinary Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    7108
    Practicing Veterinary Technician for 26 years.Former Veterinary Practice Owner, Technician Trainer
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BA/babybloo/2011-3-10_62613_DavidandI.64x64.jpg Theresa's Avatar

    Theresa

    A Voice for Your Pet

    Satisfied Customers:

    4704
    19+ years experience in small animal medicine
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/VE/vetforyou/2012-6-20_33122_PearlPhoto.64x64.jpg Dr. Andy's Avatar

    Dr. Andy

    Medical Director

    Satisfied Customers:

    4430
    UC Davis Graduate, Interests: Dermatology, Internal Medicine, Pain Management
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/VE/VetAnswers/2013-4-5_8257_prof10.64x64.jpg Scott Nimmo's Avatar

    Scott Nimmo

    Dog Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    3977
    BVMS, MRCVS.