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NancyH, Dog Expert:Rescue, Train,Breed,Care
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 31958
Experience:  30+ yrs dog home vet care & nursing, rescue, behavior&training, responsible show breeding, genetics
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what would make my dog cough and gag a lot

Resolved Question:

my dog keeps coughing and has a very large souding gag after about 10 coughs. it sounds like an old man...
Submitted: 10 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  NancyH replied 10 years ago.
How old is your dog?
What kind of dog is this?
Is this new behavior or has it gone on for more than a couple of weeks?
Customer: replied 10 years ago.
Reply to Nancy Holmes's Post: Kelsey is 11 years old. Two weeks or less. She is a lab mix.
Expert:  NancyH replied 10 years ago.
There are a couple of possibilities with one being an upper respiratory virus and the other being a heart issue.
If your dog was around other dogs before this started it may be that your dog may have either kennel cough
or canine influenza
You can see if some Robitussin DM will help the dog breathe better and control any cough or sneezing or runny nose. Read here about cautions and dose info
But as your dog is an older girl there is a possibility this is due to fluid build up from her heart not pumping as well as it should.
If your dog has gums or tongue that look white, blue, or gray tinted where they are normally pink, has a slow color refill if you press on a pink area of gum or tongue, or is becoming lethargic and non responsive to you then I'd get the dog in to see a vet right away.
One more possibility is that she has a larynx problem. This is seen in older labs sometimes and you can read about it here
I'd advise a check up of your senior girl by your vet to make sure you know just what you are dealing with.
Hope this helps you!
Customer: replied 10 years ago.
from looking at the link it seems that describes the problem perfectly. Can I give her benedryl and aspirin to help? What other home remedies do you suggest? I'm on a tight budget and cannot afford to go to the vet right now. I appreciate your advice!
Expert:  NancyH replied 10 years ago.
If its the larynx you need to consider vet care.
You can try Benadryl (plain and generic is ok as long as its plain) at a dose of 1mg per pound of dog every 8-12 hours to see if that helps.
I wouldn't use aspirin.
I would suggest checking to see if will let you finance some vet care so you can get an in person evaluation of the issue.
I'd try to keep her calm and exercise her when its the cooler part of the day. You might, if its warm where you are, consider soaking her down or placing a light colored damp towel over her before taking her out for a potty trip to reduce heat stress on her as evaporation helps cool her.
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