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Donna P.
Donna P., Veterinary Technician
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 1234
Experience:  Veterinary Technician with 15 years experience. Boston Terrier Breeder
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My King Charles Cavallier Spaniel has been gagging for the

Resolved Question:

My King Charles Cavallier Spaniel has been gagging for the last five days. A trial of Priolac was given for for three days so far. Today is the fourth day, and the gagging started again. Any advice?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Cher replied 8 years ago.

Has your dog seen the vet, and then was put on the Prilosec, suspecting acid reflux?

Did he stop gagging for the first 3 days?

Is he vomiting at all?

Is he walked outside on a leash, or does he go out by himself to eliminate?

Is your dog eating and drinking normally?

Is he coughing in addition to gagging and does it sound like a goose honk, if he's coughing?

Customer: replied 8 years ago.

Hello- Trevor saw the vet about three days after it started. He took an xray to check for possible blockage and saw none. He said a cough and gagging were esentially the same. Trevor has had some strange eating behavior. It seemed like he was afraid to eat because it stimulated gagging. Then he stopped eating for two days. I think he may have lost his sense of smell because he rejected food after coming near to it. I tried putting a morsel behind his lips and that made him want to eat. I give him very little pieces to try to cut down on the gagging. He drinks normally.

Lately when I walk him I am carefull to not pull the leash. Sometimes he goes without a leash in the back yard.

The Prilosec seemed to work for the first three days but this am it was quite severe B.

Expert:  Cher replied 8 years ago.
Hello again, Bobbie, and thanks for your reply.

I'm going to refer your question to one of our other dog experts, as I need to sign offline now.

I hope Trevor will be fine.

Expert:  Donna P. replied 8 years ago.
Could I get a little more information?
Does he spit anything up when he is doing this gagging?
Does the pulling on the leash seem to cause or worsen the gagging?
Does he do this in episodes - like seems to be an attack of gagging/coughing and then seems fine?
If I understand your earlier reply correctly - he is now eating fine if you hand feed him?
Has there been any actual vomiting?
Does he seem to pant a lot or have an intolerance to exercise?
Has he had a heartworm test and been on preventative?
Donna P.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.

Hello- To answer your questions:

There is no issue from the gagging. It sounds almost like a person trying to clear the back of nasel passages.

Tight leash restraint causes it- but so does almost everything- getting up, eating, getting exctited etc etc.

After a session of gagging usually lasting 5-15 seconds he cowers, looks up fearfully as if he expects not to be able to breath in the next second. He calms with petting and reassurance. He is no longer fine at any time. This is terrible!!!

He doesn't vomit but he has had some loose stools- probably from the prylosec. He does not pant, he still likes to walk, he has no heartworm. B

PS Is there anyone on this list who is a vet or specialist?


Expert:  Donna P. replied 8 years ago.
Hello again,
Yes there are many vets that are experts. I have two ideas first that I would like to run by you and then I will certainly refer you to them if neither one of these seem to fit your circumstances as we want to make sure you get a proper answer.

The first possibility is a reverse sneeze. Here is a link to some videos of other dogs reverse sneezing.

This is caused by any sort of irritation of the back of the throat. It can be made worse by an elongated soft palate, possibly allergies, dental issues, and upper respiratory infections. The good news is that there is no treatment required and although it looks horrible it causes no problems. Many dogs with short muzzles do this their whole lives on occassion. Now he seems to be doing it a lot - so there is probably some source of irritation that you should discuss discovering with your veterinarian. Sometimes benadryl at 1mg per pound is recommended. Here is a link to more information.

The second possibility is a collapsing trachea. This can cause little fits like the reverse sneezing - but it looks and sounds a bit different. Here is a link to videos.
This is caused by the cartilages in the trachea not being the right shape - this allows the dog to suck their windpipe closed when they inhale. If severe enough surgery is a possibility to correct - one was showcased in the video link. Often though, this is managed with or without medications and is something to discuss with your veterinarian. Here is a link to more information.

If neither one of these seem like reasonable possibilities - just reply to your question and I will refer you to a veterinarian.
Donna P.
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Donna P., Veterinary Technician
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 1234
Experience: Veterinary Technician with 15 years experience. Boston Terrier Breeder
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