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Rebecca, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 15376
Experience:  More than 30 years of companion animal practice.
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My dog has been doing this short but, hard breathing,

Customer Question

My dog has been doing this short but, hard breathing, several times and then dry heaves. Th dry heaving has occurred a couple times a week over the last 2 months, but in the last week is now accompanied by 3-4 short hard breaths, then a big dry heave, and is now occurring several times a day, often 2-3 Times in a row, then she goes back to sleep. She is 14 yr old Lab/Shepard mix. Today, while on our morning walk, she collapsed, and could not walk home, I carried her.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Sally G. replied 1 year ago.

Hello and thank you for using this site to help you. Does it sound like the dog may be choking or gagging?

Do the episodes come on randomly , last from a few seconds to a few minutes and then subside just as quick as they came?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Does not sound like choking or gagging, definately dry heaving. Has been very random and infrequent up until today, more frequent today
Expert:  Sally G. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for that information. I am going to direct you to a video, please tell me if it looks anything like this.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Not really. Although allergy season is off the charts here in Vegas. She pants hard, 4-5 times then ends with a long groan and Gag. Her lips peel back during the panting.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
She has stopped eating today, but did drink a little water. She us on Rimadyl for her arthritis pain
Expert:  Sally G. replied 1 year ago.

Since you say she collapsed it is worrisome , syncope (passing out) can be a sign of heart disease. Coughing can be a sign of heard disease as well.

However since you think she is dry heaving I have to wonder if something is blocking her airway. Given her age I would think an x ray might be a good idea.


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
She did not pass out, her legs gave out, she could not get herself back up. When I did get her to standing position, she could barely manage a few steps.
Expert:  Sally G. replied 1 year ago.

I am going to opt out and see who is available online to help you. Hold on please

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. I believe I should get to the vet now, we have a 24 hour one here. These episodes are now occurring very often, it just picked up 1 hour ago and has occurred about 5 times in the last hour.
Expert:  Sally G. replied 1 year ago.

Can you let me know how you made out please?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I will. Thank you again for your help. If she does it again I will also try to film it and send it to you for reference.
Expert:  Rebecca replied 1 year ago.


Your first expert asked me to join in the conversation. My name is Rebecca. I am a veterinarian and will do my best to help.

I think getting to the vet is the best idea. If she collapsed/legs gave out, I would want to listen to her heart and lungs, check her blood pressure, feel her pulses,etc. If you are already on your way to your vet, or an emergency clinic, that is probably best. Let me know if you have any more questions I can answer.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Recap. Her liver and kidneys were shutting down. There was fluid leaking from the liver, her heart was enlarged and there was a mass, likely cancerous, on her stomach. We did not wait to confirm.
Expert:  Rebecca replied 1 year ago.

I am so sorry to hear that. Thank you for the update. My sincere condolences.