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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 20627
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 five year old Chihuahua acts like he's going to puke

Customer Question

My five year old Chihuahua acts like he's going to puke gagging short of breath it happens a few times a day is it acid reflux
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.

How long has he had these signs?

Does it seem more like he going to vomit or is coughing so hard that it causing him to retch?

Has he had any appetite loss or is his belly tender when you press on it?

Are his gums pink or pale/white?
Can you take a breathing rate for me (just count his breaths for 10 seconds + multiply that by 6)?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Retch and the symptoms have been going on for about a year or so. No appetite loss. No adominal or stomach tenderness. Is gums are pink with the normal lighter pink kind of whitish towards the root of the teeth. 42
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
These attacks started out like once every few days and then it got to where it once a day than a few times a day and now it's about 4 or more times a day. He has a diagnosis of separation anxiety and gets depression when separated from his owner
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He also eats a lot of grass
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Did you get my answer to your questions ?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Are you there ?
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.


I did and am in the midst of typing my reply. While I do so, can you tell me if these episodes seem to occur before he eats or with excitement?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
They happen randomly everything is fine and then you have these attacks it's like attacks
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
They happen randomly.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you again,

Now with this long term history of his signs and the seemingly random nature of his attacks, we do have a few concerns. These signs coupled with the grass eating do fit with acid reflux and GI upset. That said, being a small breed with separation anxiety, his signs also raise concerns of this being related to a tracheal collapse (where they tense their neck muscles when excited and this deforms the trachea such that they cough/retch).

Now in this case, we will want to take a symptomatic approach at home. To start we'd want to allay any underlying nausea and see if we can reduce any irritation in his throat from a reflux. To do so, we could trial him with an antacid like Pepcid (More Info/Dose @ or Tagamet (More Info/Dose Here @ Alternatively, as a better throat coating option, we could alternatively use Milk of Magnesia (0.25 tsp every 8 hours). Whichever you choose, we’d give this 20 minutes before offering food to allow absorption. Of course, do double check with your vet if he has a known health issues or is on any medications you haven't mentioned.

Otherwise, if we did continue to see this (especially linked with excitement), we'd then need to consider his trachea. In regards ***** ***** we can sometimes soothe mild irritation with a cough suppressant. Commonly we will give a few millilitres of plain honey & glycerin cough syrup or plain honey. These can be given as often as needed. Alternatively, you could use Robitussin DM at a dose of 1 milligram per pound of body weight every 8 hours. Of course, do make sure to only use this and avoid any with pet toxic cold medications (ie acetaminophen, paracetamol, ibuprofen caffeine, alcohol, or pseudoephedrine). Though for more severe cases we do sometimes need their vet to use steroids to reduce the frequency of these attacks for them.

Overall, Thor's signs do raise a few concerns. Though with the grass eating as well, it is reasonable to approach this as an acid reflux/nausea issue to start. Therefore, we'd want to use the above antacids to see if we can reduce this for him and settle his signs.

Please take care,

Dr. B.


If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. **Please rate my service afterwards, as this is the only way I am credited for helping you today. Thank you! : )

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Okay thank you were going to start with the milk of magnesia tonight and see how she does over the next few days if the problem still happen we will go to the honey and DM cough syrup and if that doesn't work I will message you again or go to work but thank you very much
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Take care ♡
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

You are very welcome,

That sounds like a good plan of action. Though just to note, if he doesn't settle, then do try videoing what he is doing, That way both your vet and I would be able to see these attacks in action and that may allow us to narrow down our concerns further here for him.

All the best,

Dr. B.


**Please rate my service afterwards, as this is the only way I am credited for helping you today. Thank you! : )

Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.


**I would be very grateful if you can rate my recent answer to your question, as this is the only way I am credited for helping you (this is at no extra cost to what you have paid already). If you have any lingering questions, please reply to me. I will be happy to continue further and do everything I can to provide you with the service you seek. Thank you. :)