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petdrz, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 7325
Experience:  Over 30 years of experience caring for dogs and cats
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I came home after work last night and my 8 year old female

Customer Question

Hi Dr. Andy, I came home after work last night and my 8 year old female shih tzu had some hacking spells, one episode some food actually came up, the other episodes were just mucoid sputum. She occasionally has these episodes then returns to her normal self but today the episodes persist. She is drinking and eating and had a normal BM but I'm concerned this hacking is more persistent than usual.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  petdrz replied 1 year ago.
I am sorry that you have been waiting for a response. I recently just logged onto the site and noted that your question hasn't yet been answered. I am a licensed veterinarian with over 25 years’ experience and would be happy work with you if you are still needing assistance.
It can be difficult in some of these cases to know if the problem is in the GI tract itself in the respiratory tract. Hacking can be due to upper airway disorders like bronchitis and if they cough hard enough, they can bring up mucus and even lead to a gag reflex and bring up food. On the other hand, an esophagitis can also lead to a cough or hacking type behavior and gagging.
If she is still having a normal appetite and is otherwise acting ok, it would be OK to use a trial of an over the counter antacid like Pepcid AC (famotidine) to see if maybe her esophagus is irritated by gastric reflux. The dose of pepcid to use is 1 mg/pound and round down to the nearest pill size. So for instance a 12 lb dog would need 12 mg, but the nearest available pill size is 10 mg, so I would give that twice a day for at least a few days to see if it helps. If not seeing improvement, I would have her examined by your veterinarian.
I hope this is helpful. Please let me know if you have ANY other questions. My goal is to give you 100% satisfaction and if you are not yet satisfied, please reply so I can clarify for you.
Dr Z