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My dog sounds like she is choking/going to vomit but nothing…

My dog sounds like...

My dog sounds like she is choking/going to vomit but nothing is coming out. We had a concern that she might have swallowed a small fragment of broken glass yesterday, but aren’t certain. She ate/drank normally and has urinated/defecated normally all day. Aside from the moments when she is trying to vomit/clear her passageway, she is acting normally.

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. The Expert will know if your dog will be able to digest that. Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about your dog?

She’s about 6 1/2 months old. A Maltese/Shih Tzu mix.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Also, I fed her a couple pieces of bread about 15 mins ago, as I read that was suggested by other vets to help coat a sharp object if she did indeed swallow one.
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
the choking/clearing her passageway has only been occurring since about 30 mins ago.
Answered in 8 minutes by:
3/23/2018
Heath Wilkerson
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 559
Experience: Associate Veterinarian at Woodland West Animal Hospital
Verified

Hi, Dr. W here. I'm sorry to hear this :(

Do you have a short video of it?

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
No, but I can video it if/once it occurs again.

Okay, I understand it can be hard to catch on video.

In the meantime, is it more like this video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TvkoDCni3po

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or this video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0mfXIC5uIT8

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
She just did this. Sounds like a reverse sneeze, but there isn’t the persistent throat noise like in the first video. She really sounds to be expelling something from her throat. And sounds like she is hiccuping from her gut.
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Im trying to send file, but it keeps freezing on me.

reverse sneezing is very common in small breed dogs.

Does this sound accurate?:

Reverse sneezing is a disconcerting event in which a dog makes unpleasant respiratory sounds that sound like it is dying -- or will die in the next few minutes. Reverse sneezing sounds similar to the honking noise made by a dog with a collapsing trachea, but reverse sneezing is a far simpler condition that usually does not need any treatment. It is called reverse sneezing because it sounds a bit like a dog inhaling sneezes. The sound the dog makes can be so scary that many owners have rushed in a panic to emergency clinics in the middle of the night.

The most common cause of reverse sneezing is an irritation of the soft palate and throat that results in a spasm. During the spasm, the dog’s neck will extend and the chest will expand as the dog tries harder to inhale. The problem is that the trachea has narrowed and it’s hard to get the normal amount of air into the lungs.

Anything that irritates the throat can cause this spasm and subsequent sneeze. Causes include excitement, eating or drinking, exercise intolerance, pulling on a leash, mites, pollen, foreign bodies caught in the throat, perfumes, viruses, household chemicals, allergies, and post-nasal drip. If an irritant in the house is the cause, taking the dog outside can help simply because the dog will no longer be inhaling the irritant. Brachycephalic dogs (those with flat faces, such as Pugs and Boxers) with elongated soft palates occasionally suck the elongated palate into the throat while inhaling, causing reverse sneezing. Small dogs are particularly prone to it, possibly because they have smaller throats.

Reverse sneezing itself rarely requires treatment. If the sneezing stops, the spasm is over. Oftentimes, you can massage the dog’s throat to stop the spasm; sometimes it’s effective to cover the nostrils, which makes the dog swallow, which clears out whatever the irritation is and stops the sneezing. If the episode doesn't end quickly, you can try depressing the dog’s tongue, which opens up the mouth and aids in moving air through the nasal passages. Treatment of the underlying cause, if known, is useful. If mites are in the laryngeal area, your veterinarian may use drugs such as ivermectin to get rid of the mites. If allergies are the root of the problem, your veterinarian may prescribe antihistamines. Because reverse sneezing is not a severe problem, do not worry about leaving your dog home alone; if it occurs when you're not there, the episode will most likely end on its own.

If reverse sneezing becomes a chronic problem rather than an occasional occurrence, your veterinarian may need to look up the nasal passages (rhinoscopy), and may even need to take a biopsy to determine the cause of the problem. Sometimes, however, no cause can be identified.

Some dogs have these episodes their entire lives; some dogs develop the condition only as they age. In most dogs, however, the spasm is a temporary problem that goes away on its own, leaving the dog with no after-effects.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
it does sound accurate. Not sure what the irritant would be. Is it common for it to occur for long periods of times? If it persists for hours should I be one of those to go to the emergency vet in the middle of the night? If she did indeed swallow a small fragment of broken glass yesterday, what should I look for in terms of problematic symptoms?

Surprisingly broken glass typically doesn't cause problems. Feeding bread or canned pumpkin to add fiber is a good idea. If it were a problem you would look for vomiting with blood in it or black tarry stool indicated a high GI bleed, but this is very rare.

In small breed dogs it can happen for long periods of time. Sometimes gently massaging the top of the snout starting at the tip of the nose and moving backward toward the face can alleviate it. other times you just have to wait. Benadryl 2 mg/lb orally can also help becuase it helps to dry any unneccessary mucus secretions that may be in the nose or the back of the throat and it can help her relax and sleep.

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Walmart, Target, Walgreens, CVS should all have childrens liquid Benadryl which you can easily dose for a small breed dog.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Okay. I feel less worried now. No vomiting and her stools have been normal. I’ll try with massaging her snout if it continues. Checking to see if we have liquid Benadryl on hand. If not, I’ll add it to our allergy fighting medicine cabinet.

Sound good! I wish you the best! It’s my pleasure to help you and your pet! Please remember to “accept” my answer, AND RATE OUR CONVERSATION 5-STARS (so I will receive credit for helping you). Bonuses are always welcome. (I am not compensated in any other way). If you have more questions or if I can help in any other way, please do not hesitate to ask! I’ll be online for another hour or so. Thanks and have a great night!

Heath Wilkerson
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 559
Experience: Associate Veterinarian at Woodland West Animal Hospital
Verified
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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Will do! Thank you.
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