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Sally G.
Sally G., Dog Training Consultant
Category: Dog
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Experience:  Service/assistance dog training/ behavior /obedience/Therapy dog Evaluator/AKC Evaluator
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My French Bulldog, all of a sudden, at about 2 in the morning,

Customer Question

My French Bulldog, all of a sudden, at about 2 in the morning, started wheezing, vomiting white foam (a lot) and developed a runny nose. I am in bed with a horrible flu, could the dog have caught it from me? I have the same symptoms, except for the white foam bit. Would it come on so fast? Or, could the dog have swallowed something and it went down an airway? I tried to massage his throat, gave a gentle Hemlich, no changes, no particular sounds, other than the not-usual wheezing. I gave him one nov lexin, about 5 hours ago. I made him sit in a steamy bathroom for 10 minutes. He seems to be getting worse. Advice please.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Sally G. replied 6 years ago.

Hi and welcome to Just Answer. The common flu is not passed from human to dog or vice versa. IF your dog is having problems breathing he could have bronchitis, an upper air way obstruction, a virus , tracheal collapse, a fungal infection, a bacterial infection, any of the above would require treatment from a vet.


The only other thing that would cause similar to wheezing or gagging would be a reverse sneeze which is harmless. You can see a video of one here and compare it with your dog. There is usually more reverse sneezing this time of year as people start to put their heat on.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thank you
For the bronchitis, virus and fungal infection, after another dosage of the novo lexin, I ought to start seeing results, no?
What would cause a tracheal collapse?

Yes, I know the answer is usually "go to the vet", and I would absolutely normally go, but at the moment I have a flu and have taken a few spoons of cough medicine, it's pouring out, I have no-one to take him to the vet, and I was hoping for a more advice than this. This is the first time I am trying this service.

I guess really my big question is, is there a way, at home, to figure out if it is a blocked airway/tracheal collapse problem, or one that can be cured by antibiotics(virus/bronchitis)? Would the wheezing sound different, would the nose run with the airway/tracheal? some sort of difference? for the airway/tracheal, I would bundle up and hop in a cab and go to Animal ER, for the others, not so much, I think I have started the cure.

Thank you
Expert:  Sally G. replied 6 years ago.

Ah, you must be feeling miserable and this has to be hard on you.


The nose would run if there were a fungal infection, a tooth or gum infection, something foreign stuck in the nasal passage or if he had a problem with allergies.


A tracheal collapse can be hereditary. You can see how it happens here


Bronchitis would cause coughing and wheezing


this breed is also prone to brachycephalic syndrome, so I wold check the gums and make sure they are pink and not blue or grayish. you can find more on this here.

Sometimes steam from a shower can make the lungs feel worse. If you have a cool mist vaporizer I would run that in a room minus any medication in it, just plain water.


I would take his temperature rectally and make sure that is normal. IF there is a fever then it would be a good indicator of an infection in the body. Normal for dogs is 100.5 to 102.5. If he has a fever you can start to reduce it by laying cool towels on the abdomen and keep checking the temp. once it starts to drop stop the towels.

IF he is eating and drinking normally it should be able to wait unless he is really showing signs of severe breathing distress. You looked at the reverse sneeze and you feel it is not that correct?

You wold see improvement on the novo Lexin only if there is a bacterial infection as it is an antibiotic and it only helps bacterial infections. One of the side effects of this drug is difficulty breathing.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
It's not reverse sneezing, I certainly know what that is ( I love the "short noses").
It's not tracheal collapse, I gooled that, and it's not that.
He's not coughing, so thinking not bronchitis.
Gums are fine, brachycephalic syndrome it is not, besides that would not have appeared overnight

Don't have a thermometer, is there another way to gage if a dog's temperature is high?

The blocked airway scares me, I have been sitting, staring at him, trying to listen to any kind of indication if that could be it, it just seems like a wheezing, though he's not moving around too much. He keeps licking his lips, does that mean anything? If it were a blocked airway, is that something the dog could stand for 16 hours?

Thank you
Expert:  Sally G. replied 6 years ago.

Licking of the lips could be due to nausea,as could drooling, and both would be a side effect of the medicine if he is on that.Wheezing would be more a sign of bronchial problems. To say what it is would be very difficult. I can only tell you how to check the vitals of temp and breathing, gums, all things that may deem this to be serious enough for vet care now. As for the temp there is no other way to tell if there is an actual fever other than taking the temp rectally. Many dogs will get dry noses or warm ears but it does not mean it's a fever which many believe.


Because the dog does not display every sympXXXXX XXXXXsted, does not mean that is not the problem, the symptoms are guides of things that may or may not be seen.

In giving yet another look at prone illnesses to the bulldog breed I am seeing laryngeal paralysis which can present gagging or coughing/noisy breathing. But again the gums would be a bluish color.


If you have used any new type of product on the floors, then that may cause a reaction, or any type of air freshener , Lysol etc.

I can only tell you that your flu would not have been passed on to the dog, and if there is problems breathing the dog should be looked at and while I understand your position, the best thing you can do now is watch him and check his heart rate, breaths per minute, temperature, etc.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I'm ruling out any prone illness, as I say, it came on suddenly. Yes, he is a quiet heavy breather, naturally, but not like this.
No changes in the houehold, or food, so ruling out allergies.
I just took him out for a walk from one end of my building to another, he did his business, walked fine,normal to slightly slower speed, seemed to be breathing alright on the quick jaunt,vomited upon arrival, just the foam, I placed his favorite food out, he is ignoring it, is just laying on the stairs, sleeping, breathing somewhat normally, it's only when he moves that he wheezes and he's not moving much.
Oh, I'm in such a pickle. I guess Animal ER is the same cost now, or in a few hours. I'll monitor him a bit more. Maybe they can cure me there as well. My vet is still open (I think), but this is the vet that prescibes novo lexin for everything , I know the dog is not reacting to that as the same symptoms were there prior to the pill, and the dog has been on this medication several times plus and I know this vet does not have an X-Ray machine, which I am assuming will be needed to determine a blocked airway...and I don't trust him much, he likes to do whole bunches of un-neccessary procedures, which have never come back positive.

I was so hoping you would be able to pinpoint something down for me, relieve me of some anxiety, tell me, "yes, the novo lexin you administered will do the trick", tell me, "no,do this, and then you don't have to go to the vet". Go to the vet is the answer I knew, just did not want to hear.

Thank you
Expert:  Sally G. replied 6 years ago.
Oh, I wish I could do that for you especially knowing what your personal health is right now. No fun for sure. I wish I lived near enough to take him in for you! Please keep in touch and let me know if you decide to take him in and if so what they find. I'm wondering about any non food items that he may have eaten, like raw hides, greenies, bones, pig ears anything like that that may be lodged in the airway.