I am glad to hear that his gums are pink and that he has no bloating or other GI signs. If he he hacking, then we have a few considerations. This can be related to GI upset (where the retching is related to nausea) but this sounds less likely here. Otherwise, I would be concerned that your lad's signs are related to issues of the throat and airway. When these tissues are irritated it can cause coughing, hacking and throat clearing.
In regards ***** ***** for this, further to having eaten something odd, it can be secondary to viral or bacterial tracheitis, esophagitis (inflammation of the esophagus), parasites (lungworm, heart worm), lung infections, kennel cough
, bronchitis, allergic lung disease, and even with mechanical irritation to the throat.
Now if his signs have been mild but are now progressing, we do want to tread with care. I will outline some supportive care to soothe his throat but if he continues to hack, then we'd have to be wary of something more serious then throat based irriations and would want this checked by his vet. Still, to start you can try to soothe his throat and try to reduce this coughing and retching. First, you can try him with plain over the counter glycerin/honey cough syrup (with no drugs in it). Typically we will give a milliliter (~1/4 teaspoon) as needed. This will aid to soothe his throat and settle any upper airway related coughing. Alternatively, you can try Robitussin DM
. If you choose to use this one, I would just say to make sure to use this preparation and avoid any containing other medications like Paracetamol, Acetaminophen, Pseudoephedrine, Phenylephrine or caffeine (since these can be toxic
). If it also contains Guaifenesin that is okay. Dose-wise, we tend to give this as 1/2 (half) teaspoon per 10lbs of the dog's body weight every 8-12 hours. These will help soothe throat irritation and can help at least decrease the hacking, retching, and throat irritation.
Overall these signs do raise a few concerns for your lad. If he has been otherwise well but this is not becoming more of a bother, we do have to be wary of infectious agents or inflammation of his upper and lower airway. Therefore, do try the above to give his throat some relief, but it would be prudent to follow up with his vet for a check-up if this is lingering. The can listen to his chest and help you pinpoint the cause of his cough. That way you can ensure that you are able to treat his hacking effectively and settle it for him.
I hope this information is helpful.
If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!
All the best,