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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 20548
Experience:  Hello, I am a small animal veterinarian and am happy to discuss any concerns & questions you have on any species.
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My dog woke us up dry heaving. Nothing coming out?

Customer Question

My dog woke us up dry heaving. Nothing coming out?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you today.

How long has he been like this?

Any chance he has eaten something he should not have?

Are his gums pink or pale/white?

Is you press on Hunter's belly, is it hard, tense, sore, or distended?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He threw up once Friday eve. Something came up then. Fluidly substance. Today is Monday and he woke us up dry heaving.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
There is always a chance he could have eaten something ? He licks and pulls hair off his body and tail a lot
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you,

Since you didn't mention any pain or distension of his belly, I will assume that is not an issue. If they were or he had pale gums, we'd want him seen urgently. Otherwise, if Hunter has been vomiting and is now dry heaving, we likely have a lingering nausea. Common causes we need to consider for this include bacterial or viral gastroenteritis, pancreatitis, parasites/protozoa infections, general dietary indiscretions, and ingestion of harmful items (ie toxins, plants, non-edible items).

With this all in mind, as long as he can keep water down, we can try some home supportive care to try to settle his stomach. To start, if he hasn’t just vomited (since otherwise we’d need to rest his stomach for a few hours first), then you can consider treating him with an antacid. Common OTC pet safe options would be:
* Pepcid (More Info/Dose @
*Zantac (More Info/Dose @

* Tagamet (More Info/Dose Here @
Whichever you choose, we’d give this 20 minutes before offering food to allow absorption. Of course, do double check with your vet if he has a known health issues or is on any medications you haven't mentioned. And I would note that if you give this and he cannot keep it down due to nausea that is usually a red flag that we need to bypass his mouth with injectable anti-vomiting medication from his vet.

Once that has had time to absorb and he is steadier on his stomach, you can consider starting him on a light/easily digestible diet.Examples you can use are cooked white rice with boiled chicken, boiled white fish, cottage cheese, or scrambled eggs (made with water and not milk). Thereare also OTC vet diets that can be used (ie Hill’s I/D or Royal Canin’s sensitivity) too. The aim of these diets is that they will be better tolerated/absorbed by the compromised gut.

Overall, there are a wide range of agents could trigger this GI upset we are seeing. Therefore, as long as you are not seeing those more worrisome signs I noted, we’d want to start supportive care to settle his stomach. If he cannot keep that or water down at any point, appears dehydrated already, or doesn’t respond to the above within 12-24 hours; then we'd want to get his vet involved. They can assess his hydration, rule out fever, make sure there is nothing in his stomach that shouldn't be there or any sinister viruses present. Depending on their findings, his vet can treat him with injectable anti-vomiting medication +/- antibiotics to settle his stomach,and get him back feeling like himself.

I hope this information is helpful.

If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!

All thebest,

Dr. B.


If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need. Thank you! : )

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
His gums are pink. It does not feel like his stomach is tight.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He is keeping water down also. We did not feed him this morning. He kept food down yesterday though
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Good, I am very glad to hear that those are all normal for him. In that case, use the above to soothe that upset stomach at this point.

All the best,

Dr. B.


If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need. Thank you! : )

Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Hi June,
I'm just following up on our conversation about Hunter. How is everything going?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He has kennel cough. He's doing fairly well. Each day is better.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for the update,

The poor lad, it does sound like he had it quite severely if he had been dry heaving and retching with it. Still, its great to hear that he is settling and getting back to feeling like himself.

Take care,

Dr. B.