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Dr. Gary
Dr. Gary, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 19798
Experience:  DVM, Emergency Veterinarian; BS (Physiology) Michigan State Univ
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my dog sounds like he is choking and sounds like there is phlegm

Customer Question

my dog sounds like he is choking and sounds like there is phlegm - it was intermittent and occasional and now sounds like an "attack" - about 20 minutes and he can't sleep - what should i do?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Gary replied 6 years ago.

What kind of dog is this?
Does he have any history of heart disease/ heart murmur?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
thank you for replying so quickly. Remy is a cocker spaniel and he has no history of heart disease/heart murmur.
Expert:  Dr. Gary replied 6 years ago.
Ok thanks.
And also check his gums- are they pink, pale or blue?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
OMG they are scary spotted blue - nver seen this before
Expert:  Dr. Gary replied 6 years ago.

My guess is that she is in heart failure and has fluid backing up in the lungs. This leads to coughing, labored breathing (especially when lying down), blue (cyanotic) discoloration to the gums and can kill them. You really should get to an ER vet as this is something that cannot be treated at home. They will likely confirm this by hearing a heart murmur and fluid in the lungs. They'll then do x-rays to see an enlarged heart and to see how bad the fluid in the lungs (pulmonary edema) is. Treatment is with a diuretic (Lasix) + oxygen + other heart meds (Enalapril and Vetmedin/ Pimobendan). This is manageable once we get them out of heart failure, but without therapy it is fatal.

Hopefully I'm wrong and it's just a collapsing trachea or mild pneumonia, but with blue gums and the signs you're seeing at home it's definitely worth the ER vet exam.

I hope this helps, let me know if you have any other questions.
Dr. Gary and other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
i'm leaving for the ER right awaay.. i so hope my boy will be ok - he means everything to me - thank you for your help. please say a prayer - even if you don't believe in it.
Expert:  Dr. Gary replied 6 years ago.
You're welcome, best of luck... and I will! Let me know how he does.