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Dr. Christy
Dr. Christy, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 298
Experience:  12 years clinical experience with a passion in small mammals and internal medicine.
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My dog has had dry heaves for about 24 hours. He tries to vomit

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My dog has had dry heaves for about 24 hours. He tries to vomit but nothing or a small amount of clear liquid comes out. It seems like an obstruction or something caught in throat (he does eat/pull apart his stuffed animal toys). Otherwise his condition is normal--eating, drinking water, and playing at the park.
I am so sorry that your boy is not feeling well. I just want to clarify: he is able to eat a full meal and keep it down with out vomiting it up? When was his last full meal?
I am wondering since he is eating and drinking normally could he possibly be coughing? Dogs who have a bad cough will often hack multiple times followed up by what looks like a gag and bring up clear liquid. Any thoughts on if this is what you are seeing?

Thank you
Customer: replied 8 years ago.

Hi Dr. Christy,


His last meal was dry kibble about 10 minutes ago. It has not come back up. He ate his evening meal partly, but left half of it (typical). I started him on a new dog vitamin (Trader Joe's generic chewable) about ten days ago. Also started him on "Missing Link" supplement from the vet. He seems to like the vitamin, less crazy about the grainular missing link (it looks like ground flax seed and can be rather dry on top of his dry kibble).


He is a twelve year old golden retriever in good health for his age. No known illnesses. He last exercised at 5 pm and his activity level was normal. He did not eat grass (there is lots of grass at the park where I take him). His symtoms started yesterday morning. They appear occassionally--I don't think they wake him up, but when he's up, he does it every 30 minutes or so. It's less of a cough and more of an attempt at vomiting (about 6 heaves, then a vomit attempt and then about a penny of clear fluid).


I tried to gag him with my finger and while he allowed me to do it, he just gagged a bit, but no vomit.


He has slightly loose bowels and pee is normal. He peed about ten minutes ago. No bowel movement this morning (he usually waits until mid day).


I am concerned that it is stuffing from a toy or a plastic piece from a toy (such as an eye). I did not observe him chewing on anything at the time of onset, but he's known to chew his toys apart and spit out the pieces (he doesn't appear to swallow anything).


His demeanor is normal--happy.


His gums are pink and he doesn't have skin tenting.


His last vacine for kennel cough was probably 18 months ago. He lives with one other golden and that dog is fine.


I hope that gives you some background that is helpful. The real question is do youu think that this constitutes an emergency (I'd have to go to a special er vet because it's the weekend and my vet is closed). Or is it a situation where I should observe and take in if X or Y happen?



Thanks for your help,





thank you for all the great information. It seems that if he is perky and able to swallow all of his food with out regurging then it is unlikely to have anything stuck in his throat. Although anything is possible, the throat forgien bodies I have diagnosed have been much more severe then you are describing.
Nothing that I am reading is constituting an emergency. I would only take him to the e-clinic if he is unable to keep his food down (he vomits quickly after eating - undigested food), begins heavy drooling or pawing at his mouth, or has a significant change in his attitude.
If he remains as he is now I would monitor through the weekend and contact your veterinarian on monday
I hope that this helps! Please reply back if this did not completely answer your question. If you have found this helpful please accept!

Good Luck
Dr. Christy and other Dog Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 years ago.

Thank you, that's very helpful! I will monitor him closely and follow up with the vet if necessary. I think it was very helpful that you mentioned the specific signs to look for.


Thanks again!



Good Luck and I hope all goes well for the both of you!