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Dr. Gary
Dr. Gary, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 19294
Experience:  DVM, Emergency Veterinarian; BS (Physiology) Michigan State Univ
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My five month old chihuahua mix has been dry heaving for the

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My five month old chihuahua mix has been dry heaving for the last couple hours, and I just noticed that she has some frothing around her mouth. She ate normally last night, but her stomach seems slightly more bloated than it should be. What could be the cause of this? I have an appointment with her vet later today to get her last round of puppy shots. Could this be more urgent than that?

Your advice is greatly appreciated.

These signs of retching and dry heaving in young dogs will typically be due to either some irritation in the stomach, intestinal parasites or potentially kennel cough. With kennel cough, they will usually cough and then gag and dry heave. They'll sometimes bring up some frothy white fluid.

If she chews on rawhides, then I would also want to rule out a bone obstruction in the esophagus.

Typically we'll check them for tracheal sensitivity that would point to kennel cough. We treat them with antibiotics and cough suppressants. If it's parasites, then we'll deworm as needed. If it's just some GI upset, then we'll use anti-nausea meds.

There are a couple things you could give at home:
1. Robitussin DM- 1/4 teaspoon 2-3 times daily to help with any coughing
2. Pepcid AC (Famotidine)- 1/4 of a 10 mg tab 1-2 times daily for nausea

I hope this helps, let me know if you have any other questions.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
She hasn't been coughing, so I tend to think it isn't kennel cough, but she does have a Nylabone Puppy Bone that she chews on. I took a chunk of it from her mouth yesterday after I noticed her making choking noises. Is it possible that she irritated her trachea that way, and her retching is the result of that irritation?

The other possibility I was thinking is that her food might be upsetting her stomach. I feed her Purina Pro Plan toy breed puppy. Maybe a more organic/less processed option would be easier on her stomach?

Thank you again for your help.
It is possible that she tried to swallow a piece of the bone and it's stuck in her esophagus. If it were in the trachea, she would cough. If in the esophagus, they'll gag, swallow hard and retch. If you're seeing those signs and it's possible, you'll need an x-ray to find it. We'll then remove it with a scope if that is the case. If it's just irritation, we'll put them on a medication to coat the esophagus (called Sucralfate/ Carafate).

I would keep her on Pro Plan Toy. That is a good puppy food.
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Ok, I will bring that up with the vet today. Thank you!