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Dr. Gary
Dr. Gary, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 19752
Experience:  DVM, Emergency Veterinarian; BS (Physiology) Michigan State Univ
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My dog is gagging but not throwing up. Its not uncommon for

Customer Question

My dog is gagging but not throwing up. It's not uncommon for her to gag, but the gag is really loud. It's happening every 30-45 minutes. Nothing comes up. She is eating just fine. Her gums are bubble gum pink. Her tongue is a little dark pink but that is normal for her. Her nose is wet.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Gary replied 5 years ago.

What kind of dog is this?

Is her abdomen distended or hard?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
She is a weimaraner. No her abdomen doesn't seem distended or hard. She will let me push on it. She licks her feet and has been licking a lot lately which leads me to think maybe it is allergies. But I am reading about CHF and heartworms so I am concerned.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
There is a youtube video called "dog gagging himself" and that is what she sounds like. Without the howling part. Ironically that dog is a weimaraner too.
Expert:  Dr. Gary replied 5 years ago.
Ok thanks.

My main worry with dry heaving/ retching/ gagging in older large breed dogs is bloat (aka twisted stomach or GDV). This is when the stomach twists. It is a very serious emergency and it is life threatening. I would expect her to look a lot worse with bloat, but you could be catching it early. These dogs usually worsen and die within hours if they are not treated surgically (derotate and tack stomach at surgery).

Hopefully this is just some GI upset or esophagitis (inflammation of the esophagus). In that case, you could give over the counter Pepcid AC (Famotidine). The dose in dogs is 0.25 mg per lb every 12-24 hours.

It's hard to know for sure, but to be safe I would run to an ER vet and x-ray her stomach to make sure she's not bloated. It's better to error on the side of caution in potential bloat dogs as it is a fatal disease when untreated.

I hope this helps, let me know if you have any other questions.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

So this doesn't raise red flags for CHF or heart worms? I truly don't think it is bloat. I've been watching her closely and its been going on for a day or so. Thanks!

Expert:  Dr. Gary replied 5 years ago.
No, this doesn't sound like CHF or heartworm disease.

CHF usually presents as labored breathing, blue gums, coughing and bringing up a red tinged fluid. Heartworm present similarly as they are not sick until they get CHF from the worms.

If it's been a day, then it's not bloat. Bloat would have killed her by now. It may be some esophagitis. I would try the Pepcid and see if that helps. If no improvement in a day or two, then I'd get x-rays of her throat/ esophagus to rule out a bone being obstructed.

Dr. Gary and 4 other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.



Expert:  Dr. Gary replied 5 years ago.
You're very welcome.