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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 21260
Experience:  Hello, I am a small animal veterinarian and am happy to discuss any concerns & questions you have on any species.
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My dog has been dry heaving two days. Nothing has

Customer Question

My dog has been dry heaving for about two days. Nothing has come up, except a tiny amount of white bile. I limited her food yesterday. She also seems as if she does not feel good.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.
Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.
How is her appetite and thirst?
Can she keep water down?
Are her gums pink or pale/white? Moist or sticky?
If you press on her belly, does she have any discomfort, tenderness, or tensing?
Could she have eaten something she should not have (ie bones, toys, rocks, plants, chemicals, etc)?
Has she had any diarrhea?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Her appetite seems to be okay. I am only giving her about half of her usual amount. Her water intake is about the same as normal. Her gums are pink and moist. She has only had one stool that was a little loose, but not diarrhea. She does not seem to have discomfort when I press on her belly. She sometimes licks up bird seed from the feeder in the backyard. Also I found remnants of an apple that dropped in our yard from the neighbors tree. She might have been munching on that.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you,
I am glad to hear that she is comfortable and has no changes to her intakes or gum color. Though if she is eating bird seed (and possibly bird feces) and/or aged apples (and their seeds), this could be enough to trigger a low grade nausea, the most likely reason for her dry heaving and gagging.
Therefore, while I would suggest trying to reduce her access to these to rule them out. Furthermore, I would advise starting some supportive care to soothe her stomach and reduce this nausea for her. To do so, you can try her on antacid therapy. There are a number of antacids that are available over the counter and pet friendly. I would advise only treating with one, but the two I tend to recommend are Pepcid ( or Zantac ( This medication of course shouldn’t be given without consulting your vet if she does have any pre-existing conditions or is on any other medications. Ideally, it should be given about 30 minutes before food to ease her upset stomach.
Once this is on board, you can start trying her with a light/easily digestible diet. Examples of this would be cooked white rice with boiled chicken, scrambled eggs (made with water and not milk), or meat baby food (do avoid the ones with garlic powder in the ingredients). There are also veterinary prescription diets that can be used here (ie Hill’s I/D or Royal Canin’s sensitivity.). The aim of these light diet options is that they are easier to digest and can reduce stomach upset. And you can feed this until she settles, and then slowly wean her back to her normal diet.
Finally we also do want to keep an eye on her water intake and general hydration. To check her hydration status to make sure she is not becoming dehydrated there are a few things we can test at home. One is whether the eyes appear sunken, if the gums are tacky instead of wet/moist, and whether the pet has a "skin tent" when you lift the skin. To see how to check these parameters for dehydration, you can find a wee video on this here. ( I wouldn't expect your lass to have any dehydration since she is bringing up very little, but it is still ideal to keep an eye on this. And of course, if you are seeing any signs of dehydration, then you do want to have your lass seen by her vet.
Overall, her signs suggest mild GI upset and nausea. Therefore, as long as we can stop her accessing the trigger (be it bird seed or not nice apples), then our supportive care should settle her stomach. So, I would advise the above approach for th next 24-48 hours. If you find that she doesn't settle or her vomiting does become productive, then that would be our cue to follow up with her vet for a check to make sure she hasn't eaten anything we don't know about or caught a GI bug.
I hope this information is helpful.
If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!
All the best, *****
If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need. Thank you and hope to see you again soon! : )
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I thought your answer was thorough and helpful. The cough got worse and I took the dog to the vet. She had kennel cough.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.
Poor lass!
That was quite a cough if it had her heaving and vomiting. In any case, hopefully she is responding to treatment and on the mend. Of course, if her throat is still tender, you can soothe her cough by giving a few milliliters of plain honey as needed.
All the best,
Dr. B.