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My dog seem like he gags or chokes on some thing. Its almost…

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My dog seem like...

My dog seem like he gags or chokes on some thing. Its almost like an asthma attack what can I do.

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'm sorry to hear that. Coughing can be worrying. The Expert will know what you should do. What is the dog's name and age?

Rocky he 9 years old

Veterinarian's Assistant: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Rocky?

It seem it happin agter he drinks . & sometimes he foams while gagging.

Submitted: 7 months ago.Category: Dog Veterinary
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Answered in 1 hour by:
10/4/2017
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Kara, Veterinarian replied 7 months ago
Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 18,347
Experience: Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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Hello, I'm Dr. Kara. I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian and I'd like to help. Please give me a moment to review your concerns.

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Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Kara, Veterinarian replied 7 months ago

I am sorry to hear that your fellow Rocky is having some sort of episode where he gags and chokes, almost like an asthma attack, and I understand that you are concerned.

Dogs don't really get asthma. They can have chronic obstruction pulmonary disease and lung disease, and that can cause bronchoconstriction.

Do your pup's episodes look like this?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0HXcMLokADc&feature=related

If they look like the video this is a "reverse sneeze" which is caused by irritation of the pharynx.

It can be from inhaled irritants (like any sort of pollen).

It can be related to gastroesophageal reflux.

It can be caused by excitement or post nasal drip or an overlong soft palate.

In some cases it can be related to laryngeal swelling or paralysis. Large breed dogs that tend to pull on their collars as they walk can damage the nerves to their larynx over time leading to poor function. The larynx doesn't open or close as it should, and food, or liquids can get into the trachea and cause a cough/spasm.

Dogs with dental and gum disease can have lots of inflammation and may be predisposed to post-nasal drip and reverse sneezing.

A reverse sneeze isn't necessarily harmful as it's just a spasm of the muscles around the pharynx because of the irritant, but it's no fun to watch. It can be stopped most times by rubbing the throat gently.

If it is because of gastroesophageal reflux then giving him an acid reducing medication may help. You can try either:

1) Pepcid-ac (famotidine) at a dose of one 10mg tablet per 20 to 40 pounds of body weight every 12 hours.

OR

2) Prilosec (omeprazole) at a dose of one half of a 20mg tablet per 20 to 40 pounds of body weight every 24 hours.

These will reduce stomach acid and should help decrease symptoms related to reflux. These medications are quite safe and can be used long term if need be.

If it is related to an overlong soft palate then surgery may be required eventually if this is interfering with enjoyment of life or leading to breathing problems.

Bulldogs and other flat faced breeds are known for having a complex of issues that can make breathing more difficulty, called brachycephalic syndrome. These issues include an overlong soft palate, stenotic (small, closed in) nares, and parts of the larynx that evert out when breathing called everted laryngeal saccules.

If they have a low grade respiratory infection or are exposed to cigarette smoke, candle or incense vapor, pollution or other irritants then that can be a possible complicating factor as well.

And of course and I mentioned above laryngeal paralysis is a possible cause.

Ideally if this is worsening your fellow needs to be evaluated by your family veterinarian. They can determine whether this is related to a reverse sneeze or the more serious brachycephalic syndrome or laryngeal paralysis, and see how much he is affected and whether a thorough dental cleaning or surgery to correct his primary problem would be beneficial.

If your pup has brachycephalic syndrome, dogs that don't have these problems corrected surgically can suffer from exercise intolerance and easily suffer from heatstroke because they cannot breathe properly. Long term they can suffer from tracheal collapse and secondary heart disease from their struggle to exchange oxygen. If the abnormalities are corrected surgically the pup can have a normal life. Surgery is best done by a very experienced, board certified surgeon to have optimal results.

Here is a link to a webpage that discusses brachycephalic syndrome if you'd like more information: https://www.acvs.org/small-animal/brachycephalic-syndrome

In the meantime I recommend making sure your pup does not get overheated or exercise too strenuously.

Please let me know if you have any further questions.

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Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Kara, Veterinarian replied 7 months ago

Hello, I wanted to make sure that you didn't have any further questions for me, and I'd like to know how things turned out for your pup. If you could give me an update that would be great, thank you, ***** *****

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