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Pet Doc, Dog Veterinarian
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My 1 1/2 year old min pin/terrier mix is starting to make hacking

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My 1 1/2 year old min pin/terrier mix is starting to make hacking noises like if something is caught in his throat. It usually happens when he's running around or after he drinks water too fast. He extends his neck and head forward like he's trying to clear his throat. He has thrown up after drinking water. He also likea to eat grass and He also gags like he's choking after he eats it.

He has his kennel cough vaccine but he's also around other dogs often at the park and a dog day care.
Hi there,

Thank you for your question. My name isXXXXX and I am happy to be able to help you today. Before I put an answer together for you, I am going to need a little more info:

- How long has this been going on for please?
- When did he last have his kennel cough vaccination?
- Does he wear a collar when going on walks?

Once you get back to me, I will start typing up my response. Thanks for this and I look forward to hearing from you shortly.

Dr E
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
It's been going on for a month or so. It's been less than a year since he had his kennel cough vaccine. I think it was around March. He wears a easy walk harness. He also sneezes a few times during the day. I thought maybe allergies since we have carpet in our apt
Hi again Monica,

Thanks for your prompt reply regarding your boy. There are a few things that could be causing these symptoms in your boy, and even though he has had the Kennel Cough vaccination, this could still be a mild ongoing form of kennel cough. Kennel cough occurs due to a number of bacteria and virii, however we generally only vaccinated against the bordetella bacteria and parainfluenza virus. This would typically cause a goose honk type cough and hacking/gagging, however it would be unlikely that this would go on for more than a couple of weeks. Other possible causes for your boy's issue here includes anything from a collapsing trachea (windpipe), to a primary heart issue, parasites (hopefully he is up to date with deworming treatments), to less common issues like myaesthenia gravis. You are right in that this could also potentially have an allergic basis and dogs do get asthma and allergic rhinitis.

If this has been going on for more than a month and is much the same as when it first started, then I really would encourage you to get him along to your Vet for a full physical examination if possible. A course of antibiotics may be enough to settle these symptoms if this is a chronic kennel cough issue. If asthma or a heart issues is suspected, then they may want to take xrays. It is better to follow up these issues promptly rather than see if the settle on their own, as often they can be difficult to deal with if symptoms worsen.

If he isn't too bad, and doesn't seem too bothered, then you could try a little Bendaryl in case this helps to settle the issue. The typical dose used is 1mg per pound of body weight up to twice daily. Continue to use the harness rather than a collar, and keep a close eye on his symptoms. If this coughing/gagging/sneezing continues for another week - then you really should get him checked over.

I hope all of the above makes sense? Please let me know if you have any other questions. My goal is to provide you with excellent service – if you feel you have gotten anything less, please reply back. I am happy to address follow-up questions.

Kind Regards,

Dr Edwards

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Pet Doc, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 6472
Experience: Veterinarian
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thanks for your reply. He went for his check up in August and heart worm was negative. I mentioned the sneezing to the vet and she said it may be allergies. I wasn't too worried about the gagging then But I will make another appt and discuss this issue with her. Are any of these issues life threatening? It sounds like collapsing trachea is awful for dogs.
Hi again Monica,

Little dogs cope just fine with collapsing trachea, and those that have a severe problem can have special stents placed via surgery to help stop the trachea collapsing - so don't panic if this is the diagnosis. So long as your boy can breath fine and is eating and drinking as per normal, then this isn't life threatening, however do follow up on this with your Vet early next week if you can.

Kind Regards,

Dr E

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