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Dr Scott Nimmo
Dr Scott Nimmo, Small Animal Veterinarian.
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 20755
Experience:  BVMS, MRCVS. { Glasgow UK }
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My Yorkie has begun a gagging choking type sound tonight, nothing

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My Yorkie has begun a gagging choking type sound tonight, nothing in her throat and she is breathing but she was getting pretty aggitated. She has head movement like she is trying to spit up something. Not sure what to do or if I am explaining this right.
Thanks for the questionCustomer

While I cannot diagnose this over the internet it would come as no surprise to me if your Yorkie has some form of respiratory disease such as kennel cough. However be aware that there is always the possibility that this is something more serious such as heart disease as this can present as a congested cough as well.

Kennel cough is a common contagious respiratory disease of canines. This disease is usually associated with recently having been in kennels or having been where dogs congregate, but dogs living on their own can sometimes catch it as well as it is an airborne disease.

This is a disease which vets will see quite a lot, we often have to explain the symptoms to clients :

1. Most owners whose dog has kennel cough think there might be something stuck in the throat due to the strange retch that these dogs have - a bit like a seal honk!

2. The dog may sneeze a little but the cough is the main symptom, these dogs are usually otherwise quite bright and alert.

3. The dog will retch for a few minutes and in the end it will be productive, she will bring up some white sputum, some owners take this for vomit. Once she has done this she will settle down for a bit.

4. It is normally not a serious disease but will run its course given one to two weeks without treatment, however antibiotics will speed up recovery and make your dog feel better very quickly.

Here is a link for more information on this disease : LINK

My advice to you is to have your vet check out your dog out sooner rather than later as there is not really much you can do on a home treatment basis here and as I said there are other possibilities other than kennel cough.

If I have not answered your question fully enough or if you would like to ask more I will be on line for the next hour or so and I will be pleased to discuss your question further.

Scott Nimmo BVMS MRCVS
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

He has had Kennel Cough vacination about 2 months ago, so he has calmed down now and did not produce anything from the cough. When you are saying sooner rather than later do you think a 1am visit to the vet or tomorrow morning. He was really barking alot today as construction work was done around the house. Just trying to decide if I should wake the Vet or not. thanks for the reply

Hello again,

1. There are a number of variations on kennel cough, in fact the word kennel cough is a group name covering a number of different diseases. Not all forms can be vaccinated against just a couple of the main ones so it is still possible your dog has kennel cough, and a respiratory disease like that would be the main possible diagnosis judging from your dog's symptoms.

2. The decision on whether to call you vet or not rests on how your dog is other than the cough. If your dog is otherwise fairly normal and not too concerned then you would be taking no great risk in waiting to see your vet tomorrow but if you are worried the safest thing to do is to see an ER vet now.

Good luck,

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