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Dr. Peter
Dr. Peter, Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 30581
Experience:  16 years of small animal internal medicine, surgery and preventive medicine.
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I have a Chihuahua...he has quit barking...barely

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I have a Chihuahua...he has quit barking...barely winded when he runs and hacks like he wants to throw up and never does...his breathing is labored....he is about 7 years old....I have looked in mouth..teeth are fine and throat looks clear....he does not cry in paid when I rub down his throat.
Welcome and thanks for asking your question. My name isXXXXX am a licensed veterinarian. I am happy to answer your question today. First I need to ask you a few questions to be well informed and give you the best advice.

1- How long has this been going on?
2- Any pre existing medical conditions?
3- Has he been seen by a veterinarian for this problem?
4- Can you take a look at his gums and see if they are pink or pale?
5- Can you take his rectal temperature?

There may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my replies as I type out a thorough reply for you.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

About three preexisting conditions....never seen for this problem....gums look pale....not a chance for the rectal temp....our vet thought that eventually he would have issues because we could never stop him from drinking the pool water....but he has never been sick not one day


Friend, the symptoms that you are describing are not related to drinking pool water. I am a bit concern of his symptoms because they are consistent with an underlying heart disease. Having pale gums is a sign of either decrease blood pressure, decrease cardiac output, anemia, poor circulation, etc. The main concern is that his heart may not be functioning appropriately as a pump. Unfortunately there is nothing I can recommend for you to do at home that would have a significant therapeutic benefit. It is extremely important to rule out heart failure as it could be fatal if not treated quickly. Highly recommend having him checked tonight by nearest ER veterinarian. I realize that this answer may not be entirely to your liking, and I regret being the bearer of information that you really don’t want to hear. But it would be unfair to you and unprofessional of me were I to provide you with anything less than truthful and honest information. I hope you understand. To find the nearest ER veterinarian in your area follow the link below:

My goal is to provide you with excellent service – if you feel you have gotten anything less, please reply back. I am happy to address follow-up questions. Thank you for your business and I hope to work with you again soon!

Dr. Peter
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I thought it could be that or his lungs....his breathing is so labored and the hacking like he want to hack something out of his throat made me think it was not his heart....could it be anything like that?

The lungs get filled up with fluid when the heart is not working appropriately as a pump. The hacking occurs as a consequence to two things:
1- The lungs get filled with fluid.
2- The heart enlarges and places pressure on the thoracic trachea.
So, once these changes occur the patient will become lethargic, anorexic, labored breathing, coughing/hacking and as a result of lack of oxygenation of the blood we see the pale gums. For this reason I am concern and it is important to rule out heart failure in your dog. There could be other conditions with similar symptoms. But, right now the main concern is making sure he is not in a situation that is life threatening. For this reason I recommend having him checked by ER veterinarian.

Please reply if you have additional questions.

Dr. Peter
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