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Lisa, Certified Vet Tech
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 16070
Experience:  AAS Vet Tech. Bully breed rehab & Behavior modification
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My black lab mix is hacking/coughing/gagging pretty consistently

Resolved Question:

My black lab mix is hacking/coughing/gagging pretty consistently the last 3 days. I took her to the emergency vet Monday when it was at its worst. They did blood work to rule out infection and said that her throat was most likely inflamed. They gave her an anti-inflammatory injection and a cough suppressant injection which helped for that night and sent me home with more anti-inflammatory's and Robitussin DM but it doesn't seem to be going away. She acts completely normal otherwise. What could be causing this?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Lisa replied 4 years ago.

Hi jacustomer-e4qzklep~



Does it look like either of these videos:


Has she been around other dogs (dog parks, vet clinics, pet stores)?


Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I would say it is more similar to the first video, but it looks like she is trying to vomit at the end of the episode though nothing comes up.

We go to the dog park fairly regularly and she was groomed within the last 2 weeks as well. The vet on monday said her blood work came back normal and ruled out any type of sickness.
Expert:  Lisa replied 4 years ago.

Thanks for answering my questions.


As with most things, in this forum it's hard to give you a 'for sure' answer about what could be going on with your dog and the cough. There are actually quite a few possibilities that range from the simple to the complex. Some of the biggest offenders are:

**Upper respiratory illnesses such as bronchitis:


**Allergic reactions to inhaled substances such as pollen or dust:


**Kennel cough, which is most likely if your dog has been boarded or kenneled recently, or if your pup has been around a large number of dogs in a place such as a dog park. **This is the one I'm thinking she's got. Especially since she's in places other dogs with questionable vaccination status go****


**Some breeds and some dogs are prone to collapsing trachea. This can be a chronic, degenerative issue that could impact the health of the dog. You can find more information on this particular issue here( and although this is an article about small breeds, there are large breeds with this issue as well): ****This could be the issue if you said that she most closely resembles the first video you watched. ****


**Finally, it could be that your dog is having what is known as 'reverse sneezing', which is pretty common in some dogs:


Normally, I'd tell you at this point to see your vet to determine what is going on, but since you've already done that, and she's been on medications for a couple days, I think the best thing to do at this point is to adopt a wait-and-see approach. Sometimes those medications can take several days to kick in, so if she was at the vet Monday and isn't much better today, I'm not all that surprised. The good news is that other than the coughing, she's acting completely normal...if she were doing things like being lethargic, anorexic, doing a lot of vomiting or not being able to defecate, then I'd be a bit more concerned.


Of course, it goes without saying that if your dog is having difficulty breathing, experiences lethargy or you notice a bluish tinge to the lips, gums or tongue, you need to seek medical attention for your dog at once as this is a sign that your dog is not getting enough oxygen for some reason and needs to be seen by a vet as soon as possible.



I hope this helps!

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