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Dr. Andy
Dr. Andy, Medical Director
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 30054
Experience:  UC Davis graduate, Interests: Dermatology, Internal Medicine, Pain Management
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My dog has several episodes of coughing/gagging at night.

Resolved Question:

My dog has several episodes of coughing/gagging at night. She does not reguritate, but it sounds like she should. These episodes can last from 5 minutes to 30 minutes. The gagging is so loud that it awakes me. Her last meal is at 5:00 PM and the episodes usually occur at 11:00 PM, 2:00 AM, and 4:00 AM. Hydrocodone did not eliminate the coughing/gagging and an X-ray was negative for a lung problem. But a course of antibiotics was Rx'd with no help. My vet can't figure it out. However, he did not mention GERD as a possibility. Her health, appetite, and energy levels are great. Could irritation caused by GERD be a possibility?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Andy replied 5 years ago.
Yes, dog's can experience a form of GERD that could cause similar symptoms.

However, I am not confident this is even a stomach issue.

First, here's a sampling of reverse sneezing and collapsing trachea. Just to review these to ensure it doesn't sound like either.

Reverse Sneezing Video
Reverse Sneezing Information
Collapsing Trachea Video
Collapsing Trachea Information.

If neither then perhaps it is stomach related.
To help with possible GERD, you could try one of the following antacids:

1. Pepcid A.C. (famotidine) comes in 10mg, 20mg, or 40mg tablets.
You can give it every 12 hours. You can give 0.5mg per pound of body weight. So, a 20 pound dog would get 10mg.

2. Prilosec (omeprazole). It comes in 10mg or 20mg tablets.
You can give in every 24 hours. You give 0.5mg per pound of body weight. So, a 20 pound dog would get 10mg

3. Zantac (Ranitidne). It comes in 75mg, 150mg, or 300mg sizes.
You can give it every 8 to 12 hours. You give 0.25 to 1mg per pound of body weight. So, a 20 pound dog would get roughly 1/3 tablet of the 75mg. Even with bigger pets, it is easiest to get the smallest size tablet. Even a 75 pound dog would only need one 75mg tablet.

4. Pepto-Bismol or Kaopectate
You can give it every 8 hours. The average dose is 1ml per pound of body weight, and that is the TOTAL dose for the day. So, if a pet weighs 30 pounds, they would get a total of 30ml a day or 10ml every 8 hours. This is dosing for regular strength Pepto-Bismol. If you use maximum strength liquid, give half as much.

I would also ask your vet about doing a trial with a medication called relgan (metoclopramide). It is a anti-vomiting medication, but helps to empty the stomach a bit quicker.

Good Luck
Dr. Andy


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