Health Tips

Help! My Dog Is Gagging And Not Throwing Up

Help! My Dog Is Gagging And Not Throwing Up
Written by Adriana

Dogs are very intelligent animals. They can recognize their owners’ voices, distinguish between different sounds, and even respond to commands. They also love to play and interact with humans.

Unfortunately, dogs sometimes get sick and require medical attention. If your dog has a stomachache or is vomiting, he may be experiencing something called gastroenteritis.

Sadly, it can be difficult to tell what is wrong with your dog when they are sick, and how you should help them. That’s why it’s important to pay close attention to your dog’s behavior and notice if something seems different or strange.

If your dog is gagging and not throwing up, this could be caused by many different things, including stress, anxiety, or gastroenteritis.

Gastroenteritis is caused by bacteria or viruses that enter the digestive tract. The symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting, fever, lethargy, and dehydration. Your vet can diagnose the condition using blood tests and X-rays. He may prescribe medication to treat the infection and prevent further complications.

If you suspect your dog has gastroenteritis, keep them calm in a quiet place and comfort them. Do not give him anything to eat or drink until your vet arrives. Try to avoid stressful situations when possible. Keep his environment clean and free of any irritants.

If your dog vomits repeatedly, it could mean he’s suffering from an obstruction in his esophagus (the tube connecting the mouth to the stomach). This is usually due to inflammation of the lining of the esophagus. A veterinarian will need to perform an endoscopy to remove this blockage.

What’s The Difference Between Gagging, Vomiting, And Coughing?

Vomiting is the act of regurgitating what was ingested into the gastrointestinal system. Dogs vomit for several reasons: they may have eaten too much; they may be feeling ill; they may have ingested poison; or they may simply be trying to rid themselves of gas. When a dog vomits, it looks like liquid coming out of its nose.

Coughing is another common symptom associated with gastroenteritis. It occurs when mucus builds up in the lungs, causing them to cough.

Gagging is when a dog tries to swallow but cannot, which is usually because there is something blocking the throat.

When Should You Call Your Vet?

Call your vet if your dog displays any of these signs:

  • Has been vomiting for more than 12 hours
  • Appears weak, tired, or dehydrated
  • Is having difficulty breathing
  • Has bloody stool
  • Has diarrhea
  • Has a fever
  • Has had seizures
  • Is lethargic or unresponsive

Your vet may recommend treating your dog with antibiotics. In severe cases, he may administer fluids intravenously.

Don’t wait! Get emergency help right away if your dog shows any of the above signs.

What Causes Dog Gagging?

There are many causes of gagging including:

  • Food poisoning
  • Gastric torsion
  • Foreign body ingestion
  • Obstruction of the esophagus
  • Retained foreign object
  • Respiratory disease
  • Stomach ulcers
  • Tumor
  • Viral infections
  • Worm infestation

The above list is not exhaustive, as there are countless reasons why your dog may be gagging.  The above reasons are, however, some of the most common.  

How Can I Prevent Dog Gagging?

How Can I Prevent Dog Gagging

Preventing gagging involves keeping your dog healthy. Make sure that he gets plenty of exercise and fresh air. Feed him well-balanced meals and make sure that he drinks enough water. Also, don’t feed them foods high in fat or sugar.

You should also teach your dog good eating habits by making sure that he eats only from approved bowls and dishes.

If you notice any symptoms of illness, contact your vet immediately. He can diagnose your dog’s condition and prescribe the appropriate treatment.

When Should I Be Concerned About A Dog Gagging?

It is important to note that dogs who gag frequently do so because their digestive tract isn’t working properly. They might also be experiencing pain, discomfort, or irritation in their gut.

If your dog exhibits any of the following behaviors, call your vet immediately:

  • Does not eat or drink
  • Appears weak, sickly, or lethargic
  • Acts unusually nervous, anxious, or afraid
  • Seems disoriented
  • Sinks back in her bed after eating or drinking
  • Appears to have trouble breathing
  • Appears to have abdominal pain
  • Appears to have blood in their stools

What Can A Veterinarian Do To Help Dog Gagging?

Veterinary medicine has come a long way in the last couple of decades. Today, veterinarians use various methods to treat your dog’s health problems. Some of the treatments include:

  • Antibiotics
  • Antihistamines
  • Anti-inflammatories
  • Anesthetics
  • Blood transfusions
  • Chemotherapy
  • Cortisone injections
  • Diuretics
  • Laxatives
  • Steroids
  • Surgery
  • X-rays
  • Ultrasounds
  • Vaccinations

As you can see, veterinary medicine offers a wide range of options to help your dog get better. If your dog is showing any of the above symptoms, it is best to visit your veterinarian right away. Your vet will be able to determine what is causing his problem and give you an effective solution.

Oftentimes, a veterinary doctor can tentatively make a diagnosis based on a physical examination alone.  Otherwise, additional tests may be needed, such as blood work to search for signs of infection.  Sometimes a radiograph of the neck and lungs is needed. 

If the vet believes that the condition may be laryngeal paralysis, or if your dog has swallowed a foreign object that is lodged in the dog’s throat, sedation will be needed to conduct an examination of the larynx.  

Most of the time, cases of a dog gagging are usually very straightforward and easy to treat. Even if the cause of the gagging is more severe, such as laryngeal paralysis or pneumonia, there are many treatments available today that can either cure or greatly improve your dog’s condition and make them much more comfortable.

How To Stop A Dog Dry Heaving?

Dry heaving or “non-productive retching” can occur when your dog burps or gags repeatedly without actually vomiting.  This can be caused by a range of different things, as we have outlined above, but a common cause is stress or anxiety.  To stop dry heaves, try these tips:

  • Keep your pet calm and comfortable.
  • Give your dog plenty of water.
  • Make sure your dog gets enough exercise.
  • Talk to your vet about medications that could help with anxiety.

In addition to treating your dog’s stress level, it is also important to keep your dog healthy by making sure they receive regular checkups from your vet. A good rule of thumb is to schedule visits every six months.

During each visit, your vet will examine your dog thoroughly to ensure that everything is fine. They will also perform routine lab tests to monitor your dog’s overall health.

Why Is My Dog Coughing And Gagging?

Why Is My Dog Coughing And Gagging

Coughing and gagging are both normal behaviors that dogs do while trying to clear their airways. When your dog coughs, mucus is released from the trachea (windpipe) into the pharynx (throat).

The pharynx then moves down through the esophagus to the stomach where it mixes with gastric juices and empties back into the intestines via the pylorus. In this process, the mucus helps remove bacteria and other particles from the digestive tract.

Coughing is one of the body’s natural defenses against illness and disease. Dogs who have been exposed to germs or viruses will develop coughing fits because the virus or germ enters the lungs and causes inflammation. Other reasons why dogs cough include allergies, heart problems, lung diseases, and even cancer.

Gagging occurs when food or liquid becomes stuck in the throat. If you notice that your dog is constantly swallowing and chewing, it may indicate that something is stuck.

Your dog may gag after eating too fast or eating foods that are too large. You should take your dog to the veterinarian immediately if you see any symptoms of choking or gagging.

What Causes A Dog To Vomit?

There are several different types of vomiting. Some are caused by physical problems like kidney stones or intestinal blockages. Others are due to emotional issues like fear or anxiety.

Still others are caused by medical conditions like pancreatitis or gastroenteritis. Regardless of the cause, vomiting is never a positive sign for your dog.

Vomiting can be dangerous for your dog. If your dog vomits frequently, it can lead to dehydration. Dehydration can put your dog at risk for heat stroke, which can be fatal. If your dog has diarrhea, it can contain harmful bacteria that can make them very sick.

If your dog shows signs of being ill or upset, such as excessive salivation, restlessness, rapid breathing, or drooling, contact your vet right away.

How To Stop A Dog Gagging?

The best way to stop a dog from gagging is to prevent it from happening in the first place. By feeding your dog properly, exercising him regularly, and keeping his environment clean and safe, you can reduce the chances of your dog developing an upset tummy.

Also, if you notice that your dog seems uncomfortable when he eats, consider switching to a raw diet. Raw diets are high in protein and fiber, which help decrease the amount of gas produced by your dog’s digestive system.

If your dog still continues to gag, there are some things you can try. You should make sure that you’re feeding your dog excessively. Stick to small portion sizes and only feed them twice a day, and don’t give them too many treats or food off your own plate.

You should also stick to feeding them the same type of dog food.  Also, give your dog frequent opportunities to exercise. It’s important to keep your dog’s environment clean. Finally, consult your vet about medications that might help relieve your dog’s discomfort.

Is My Dog Retching An Emergency?

Retching is a common symptom of many different illnesses. However, retching can also be a normal part of your dog’s digestion process.

If your dog is experiencing this problem often, it could be a sign of an underlying health issue. Consult with your vet if you notice any changes in your dog’s behavior or appearance.

If your dog is constantly retching, this may be an emergency as it is a sign of gastric dilatation and volvulus, commonly known as GDV or gas bloat.  GDV is common in larger breeds of dogs, such as Labradors, Dobermans, Great Danes, and German Shepherds.  

What Is GDV?

GDV happens when air collects in the stomach because of a blocked esophagus. The air then expands into the stomach causing severe pain. This condition needs immediate veterinary attention.

A vet will need to perform surgery to remove the air from the stomach. Afterward, they will insert a tube down your dog’s throat to drain the stomach contents. Your dog will likely need fluids and medication after this procedure.

Can I Prevent GDV?

You can prevent GDV by making sure your dog never gets overfed. Try to limit their daily caloric intake to between 20-25% of their body weight. If your dog is overweight, you should start working on losing weight now.

You can also use a commercial product called Gastrolyte to help prevent GDV. Gastrolyte contains sodium bicarbonate, which helps neutralize stomach acid. It also has enzymes that break down fats. 

Finally, you can take advantage of natural remedies for gas bloat. Some people recommend using apple cider vinegar mixed with water. Others suggest adding ginger root to your dog’s water bowl.

Still others say that garlic powder sprinkled onto your dog’s dry kibble can help reduce gas production.

How Does A Dog Get GDV?

How Does A Dog Get GDV

The cause of GDV is unknown. There are several theories regarding how it occurs. One theory suggests that when a dog eats a large meal, the stomach fills up quickly. The pressure inside the stomach builds up until it causes the esophagus to close.

Another theory says that the esophagus becomes inflamed due to stress. In either case, the esophagus closes and prevents air from entering the stomach. As a result, the stomach swells and begins producing more gas than usual.

GDV Symptoms

Your dog may have symptoms of GDV, but these symptoms aren’t always present. They include:

  • Vomiting
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Drooling
  • Excessive panting
  • Lack of appetite
  • Diarrhea
  • Frequent urination

How Can I Tell If My Dog Has GDV?

There are several ways to tell if your dog has GDV. First, watch out for signs of vomiting. You should see your dog throw up at least once every hour while they are eating.

Second, look closely at their eyes. If your dog has GDV, their eyeballs will appear sunken in.

Third, listen carefully to your dog’s breathing. If they seem short of breath, they might have GDV.

Finally, examine your dog’s abdomen. If there is excessive swelling, your dog probably has GDV.

Can GDV Be Lethal? What’s The Prognosis?

If left untreated, GDV can lead to death. Fortunately, most dogs survive this condition. However, some dogs die within 24 hours of having GDV.

Even though your dog may recover from GDV, they may still have problems digesting food. Like most illnesses, the earlier it is treated, the more of a chance your dog has of making a full recovery.

If your dog is showing any of the symptoms outlined above, consult your vet as soon as possible. 

What Happens During Surgery For Gas Bloat?

During surgery for GDV, your veterinarian will make an incision in your dog’s chest. Then, they will open up the esophagus so that they can remove any blockages.

Once the esophagus is clear, they will place a tube down your dog’s throat to drain the stomach. Afterward they will insert another tube through your dog’s nose into his stomach.

This tube allows them to administer medicine directly into your dog’s stomach. Your vet will then close up the incisions.

Conclusion

Your dog may be retching or gagging without throwing up for many reasons, but you should always consult your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s wellbeing. They can help you determine which medications are best suited to treat your dog’s condition.

The information provided on this site is intended to provide educational material only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

Always seek the advice of your healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking it because of something you have read here.

GDV is a painful condition that affects many dogs. Unfortunately, it can be fatal if left untreated. Fortunately, most dogs who suffer from GDV make a complete recovery. To ensure that your dog makes a speedy recovery, speak with your vet about treatment options.

About the author

Adriana

Adriana has been around dogs since she was a little kid. It all started with growing up with a German Shepherd Lord and an English Cocker Spaniel Bady. Her dream job has always been becoming a veterinarian. She has been taking care of animals all of her life and she wants to share her experience with other dog lovers.