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Candy, Veterinary Technician
Category: Dog
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Experience:  Practicing Veterinary Technician for 26 years.Former Veterinary Practice Owner, Technician Trainer
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My 6 yr old chihuahua woke up from a dead sleep last night

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My 6 yr old chihuahua woke up from a dead sleep last night coughing like she was trying to cough out something from her stomach almost like throwing up motion but nothing would come out. She repeated doing this for almost 5 minutes until finally a white sticky foam came out. She has done this spontaneously on other occasions with no regularity. Her vet prescibed an antacid pill, but she still occasionally hacks out white foam.

Hello and Thank You for contacting JustAnswer


I am sorry your girl is having trouble.


Can you tell me how often this happens?


Is this most often in the middle of the night?


What time of day does she get her antacid? Is is given on an empty stomach?


Is she coughing at any other time of day?


What time does she eat her last meal for the day?



Customer: replied 5 years ago.
This happens so infrequently, it's difficult to put any regularity to it. It happened two weeks ago, also during the night, and that time food came up from her stomach, and then again that morning. This time, no food came up. And she won't take a treat this morning or eat her morning food. She gets her antacid before bed time. Last night she ate just before bed time, an eighth of a cup of her Royal Canin for Chihuahuas. She threw up foam as a puppy, then it stopped, and about a year ago it persisted which was when we started with the antacid. Just recently, the coughing like something is stuck in her throat began.



Of this form of coughing and white spittle coming up is associated with acid build up in the stomach. You want to be sure she is getting the antacid on an empty stomach as this medication works better in an acidic environment. I would give this 30 minutes before her last meal. If she is not eating this morning she may still have an upset stomach in that case a second dose of the antacid may help.


Another possibility is intestinal parasites, worms can crawl into the esophagus and cause irritation if you are not using a monthly heartworm prevention that also covers other intestinal worms it may be worth having a stool sample check by your vet. This is very inexpensive and can rule this out as a cause.


Allergies can also cause this problem.Reverse sneezing or collapsing trachea may also be what you are seeing as this is often confused as a cough.

Here is some additional information


Here are videos of what these look and sound like

Collapsing Trachea


Reverse sneeze


I hope this has been helpful,please reply back if you have additional questions or concerns



Edited by Candy on 12/4/2010 at 4:01 PM EST
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