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PitRottMommy, Veterinary Nurse
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 7721
Experience:  15 yrs experience in vet med, 8 in emergency med. Founder of a non-profit animal rescue
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My dog always gwya these episodes of trying to hack

Customer Question

My dog always gwya these episodes of trying to hack something up but doesn't, eats grass, and her breathing sounds really raspy. It happens probably every 6 weeks or every time we bring her home from some place. I don't know what to do
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
She also licks her lips a lot and gulps and gulps and gulps
Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 1 year ago.

Hi Andrea, thanks for your question.

I would like to see if you provide me with a little more info on what you're witnessing. I have two videos here, can you watch both and tell me if what you're seeing is anything like either of them?

I'll be able to help you better with this additional info. Thank you!

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi.She definitely doesn't sound like the first video. In the second video she sounds a bit like that dog when she's trying to cough something up, but doesn't have that "squeak" I guess in the beginning of the video. The best I can describe is it sounds like she is trying to cough up a popcorn kernal that's stuck in her throat. But besides that, it sounds like she's trying to breathe thru her nose with a stuffed/runny nose. Normally this will happen at night, keep us up all night, and by the next afternoon she's back to her old self.
Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 1 year ago.

Andrea, thanks for the additional feedback. These two videos, respectively, detail a reverse sneeze and a collapsing trachea, which are common in small breed dogs.

Because her coughing fits don't look exactly like either of this videos, it would be wise to have her seen by a veterinarian. There are many things that cause coughing, one of the most concerning is a cardiac cough and another is a cough because something has become lodged in the airway (some dogs do this often if they eat kibble too quickly).

When you describe a cough that is intermittent, it can be something that is truly happening randomly or it could be something that is happening infrequently and progressively getting worse. The fact that she keeps you up all night with these fits is a concern. Usually a reverse sneeze is random and short-lived. More advanced tracheal issues can be prolonged, but they usually last a few minutes (tops). Cardiac issues can be prolonged, as can allergic issues, although the latter seem to come on slowly, get worse, then get better over a long period of time.

In being seen by a veterinarian, there are a few things your vet can do to determine what may be causing this. First, during a physical exam, we can usually elicit a tracheal spasm by palpating the throat gently. If there is no tracheal involvement, this seldom happens. We can also listen to a pet's heart and determine if there is a murmur. Not all forms of cardiac disease occur with a murmur, but a substantial number of dogs with cardiac afflictions will have abnormal cardiac or lung sounds. As well, your vet may be able to witness what it is that you're seeing and determine how to handle the issue. Your vet may wish to do some chest xrays to see if there are abnormalities present and chose a medication regimen from that point forward.

Unfortunately, aside from antihistamines, there is little that we can do to treat coughs in pets without a prescription. However, if you wish to try antihistamines before going the veterinary route, see the attached link.

If my response has helped you, please kindly take the time to issue a positive rating. If questions remain, please reply and I will help you further. You will still be able to reach me after a rating has been issued. Best of luck with your little girl.

Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 1 year ago.

Here's more info on diagnosing coughs in dogs:

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Is this something I should urgently do- going to the vet or is it safe to wait and do it first thing in the morning?Thank you for your time to thoroughly explajn! I really appreciate it!!!
Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 1 year ago.

Unless she goes into a prolonged fit where she starts to have issues, this can wait for the morning. So, if you reach one of those nights where she cannot rest and stays up all night coughing, that'd be the time to either go to the ER or monitor her closely until her vet opens. Most of the time coughing is benign and with small dogs it's something we do often see, but I want to be sure we don't tell you to stay at home and keep an eye on her for a long period of time if this is something that needs treatment much sooner.