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Dr. Andi
Dr. Andi, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 612
Experience:  I am skilled in small animal emergency, medicine, surgery, acupuncture and complementary medicine.
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My papillon (3yrs old) has been coughing and gagging a lot

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My papillon (3yrs old) has been coughing and gagging a lot for the last 3 days. He vomits after gagging and it is mucousy with not much substance. He pulled on his leash really hard a few days ago when he ran after a skunk. Could he have damaged his throat? Or are these not related?

It is possible that pulling on the leash hard could mildly damage the trachea. However, what you are describing sounds like Kennel Cough. Was your dog around other dogs, at a dog park, etc about 5-7 days ago?

Here is a video of kennel cough:

If this is what your dog is doing, then you should take him in to your vet tomorrow. Kennel Cough is pretty easy to treat, as long as you catch it early. Your vet can prescribe antibiotics and a cough supressant. Kennel Cough is very contagious to other dogs, so be sure to keep your dog isolated until you can take him to the vet.

If your dog's behavior doesn't match the video, then let me know so we can discuss other possibilities. Thanks!
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
His coughing is very similar to the video, but my dog is gagging a lot more at the end of the cough, then throws up and laps it up before it's out. He goes to dog parks often and is a few months late on his vaccinations. He was with another dog a week ago while being dog-sat for a day, but that dog looked fine. If it is kennel cough, can I get something over the counter? I really can't affort an office visit right now. Also, I have an opportunity tomorrow to get him vaccinated; is it a bad idea to do that when he's coughing?
Unfortunately, you can't get anything over the counter to deal with any infection he might have. You can use Robitussin DM; 1.6 ml 3-4 times per day (1 tsp = 5 ml) to help with the cough. If he continues to cough/gag, you really should take him to the vet. If it is Kennel Cough, and it goes untreated, it can turn into pneumonia. I would not get him vaccinated now. If he has Kennel Cough, the vaccine will make it worse- wait 2-3 weeks after he is treated or the cough stops to vaccinate. If he doesn't have kennel cough, other possibilitis might be that he has something stuck in his throat, heart disease, other lung infection or fungus.

Good luck, and I hope he feels better soon!
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