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Dr. Gary
Dr. Gary, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 19767
Experience:  DVM, Emergency Veterinarian; BS (Physiology) Michigan State Univ
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My lab keeps licking, drooling and gagging. She hasn't

Customer Question

My lab keeps licking, drooling and gagging. She hasn't vomited but has come close. The is very restless and has labored breathing. This isn't the first time this has happened and the vet says he's never heard of anything like it. I don't know what to do to help or console her.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Gary replied 1 year ago.


I'm a little worried that you're dealing with bloat. Bloat is where the stomach twists in the abdomen. It occurs commonly in older large breed dogs. We don't know why it happens, but we see dry heaving, gagging, retching, abdominal distension and labored breathing.

Bloat is fatal pretty quickly if not treated surgically. I would want to get an x-ray to make sure this is not happening. If it is, then surgery is curative and we tack the stomach to prevent recurrence. If it's just some gas in the stomach, then I would use Simethicone (Gas X) to see if that helps the signs.

Here is a nice link on bloat in dogs:

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

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Bloat kills dog usually within a day and my dog has had these symptoms in the past. It's not bloat, if it was she would have died last year when she first had symptoms like this. My vet has seen her and we've told him about the symptoms but he has no explanation. They come on suddenly and usually go away after she "sleeps it off" I wish I could get an answer but no one seems to know what's going on with her.
Expert:  Dr. Gary replied 1 year ago.

Sorry about that wait- I had to go see a case.

Oh, I didn't know this was a recurrent thing. In that case, I would guess it's more of an indigestion issue. It could be acid reflux. It could be some gas distension and bloating (but not twisting). Ideally I would get abdominal x-rays while the signs are occurring. That will tell you more about what's going on in there.

My guess is that some Gas-X or Pepcid (or any antacid) should help to just treat symptomatically when it occurs.

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