Coughing and Gulping leading to throwing up.... HELP!!
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Thread: Coughing and Gulping leading to throwing up.... HELP!!

  1. #1
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    Coughing and Gulping leading to throwing up.... HELP!!

    I'll give a little history leading up to the present day:

    I have a 9-year-old Boxer named Cali. She has always been in excellent shape, never overweight and very active. Strong heart. Until last year, I hadn't had very many health issues with her at all.

    Overall, last year was rough on my old girl. She had a hematoma on her right ear. No sooner than we got through that she woke me up in the middle of the night in August disoriented with "darting" eyes. We found out this was from Vestibular or "Old Dogs Syndrome" when we rushed her to the vet. She came back fighting from Vestibular and in no time she was back to her normal self.

    Now, for you to understand the full scope of the issue we are facing right now I must go back to this time last year where our current problem started. Out of nowhere, she began coughing maybe once or twice a week which led me to believe it was from allergies. We have a wood stove that we use in the winter here... So, I thought dust could be the culprit. She was looked over by a vet and they came to the same conclusion - allergies.

    October led to another middle of the night visit to the vet because she was having trouble breathing and coughing again and gulping after she hadn't coughed in months. I will try to make this part short - She was seen that night by an emergency vet. 2 days later she was seen by my regular vet. A week later she was seen by another vet. During these visits, a fecal and urine sample were taken, bloodwork, x-rays, and checked for heartworms. All came back normal. After all of this, my regular vet suggested Cali be seen by an internal specialist in Virginia. I set the appointment up for that, but in the meantime, she started a new thing - throwing up every time she would cough. Makes sense right? If you're coughing a lot it would make sense that it could lead to throwing up. But it was every day, multiple times a day.

    Fast forward to the visit with the specialist. She did an ultrasound which also came back normal. At this point, all of the vets that have seen her have no idea what could be causing this. I've been given many different cough suppressants for her to no avail. I've bought air purifiers, new bedding for her to sleep on, I wash her blankets once a week, anything to try to ease any irritations that could cause her to cough.

    She does not throw up like she was... One good thing out of this, but she still has a persistent cough every single day that includes a lot of gulping... My fiance has acid reflux so we wondered if that could be it because he said it reminds him of when the acid comes up, he usually swallows a lot. I brought that up with the specialist and she pretty much said it could be, but she couldn't tell.

    I would just like to know if anyone else has experienced anything like this or know of someone who has? I am at my witts end and I just feel terrible for her. I don't know what else to do and none of the vets know either....

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  3. #2
    Senior Member gingerkid's Avatar
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    Re: Coughing and Gulping leading to throwing up.... HELP!!

    There have been a handful of times where Snowball has experienced acid reflux, and it's caused him to sound like he couldn't breathe and rapidly gulp air (as well as try to eat literally anything in sight that wasn't tied down, which is VERY abnormal for him and the scariest part). We eventually figure out that eating stuffed kongs while lying down was triggering it, probably because it flattened out his upper digestive tract and allowed for the stomach acid to more easily splash up against the esophagus. He got a short course of acid reducer/stomach protecting medication so his stomach could heal and we stopped giving him kongs, and that pretty much fixed it.

    (Not suggesting that your girls' issues are triggered by stuffed kongs, I just know that Snowball's are. I've stupidly tried twice since then to give him kongs and sure enough, within a few hours, another GERD episode occurs, so now he only gets chews and things that he can eat standing or sitting up).

    Coughing and regurgitation are both symptoms of a hiatal hernia, but I suspect that's what the specialist was looking for with the ultrasound?

    And I know you said that her heart is strong, but persistent coughing is the number one symptom of congestive heart failure.
    Snowball CGN NTD, American Eskimo Dog - Est 2004
    Ida NTD, Samoyed Floof Mix - Feb 2015
    Tessa , Border Pap Extraordinaire
    - Nov 2017

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    Re: Coughing and Gulping leading to throwing up.... HELP!!

    Thank you for your reply, gingerkid and I apologize for my late response.

    Could you fill me in on the short course of acid reducer that your dog underwent? Was this with over the counter medicine or something prescribed? I am really starting to believe that acid could be the issue.

    I am going to reach out to another vet today to see what their thoughts are. Within the last few days she's started throwing up again and at this point, I either need a fix for this issue or I'm considering euthanasia because it's hard to keep weight on a dog that throws up all of their food... I won't let her wither away to nothing. I just feel absolutely terrible for her because other than these issues she is still rambunctious, happy and wants to do all of the things she's always done. Which is why I keep searching and trying to find a resolution because I can't imagine putting her to sleep without getting this figured out.

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    Senior Member gingerkid's Avatar
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    Re: Coughing and Gulping leading to throwing up.... HELP!!

    Quote Originally Posted by boxermama2010 View Post
    Thank you for your reply, gingerkid and I apologize for my late response.

    Could you fill me in on the short course of acid reducer that your dog underwent? Was this with over the counter medicine or something prescribed? I am really starting to believe that acid could be the issue.

    I am going to reach out to another vet today to see what their thoughts are. Within the last few days she's started throwing up again and at this point, I either need a fix for this issue or I'm considering euthanasia because it's hard to keep weight on a dog that throws up all of their food... I won't let her wither away to nothing. I just feel absolutely terrible for her because other than these issues she is still rambunctious, happy and wants to do all of the things she's always done. Which is why I keep searching and trying to find a resolution because I can't imagine putting her to sleep without getting this figured out.
    After each emerge visit he got 3 days worth of sulcrate. Looking at my records, the internist prescribed 21 days worth of Omeprazole plus a round of amoxicillin (an antibiotic) in case it was an ulcer.
    Snowball CGN NTD, American Eskimo Dog - Est 2004
    Ida NTD, Samoyed Floof Mix - Feb 2015
    Tessa , Border Pap Extraordinaire
    - Nov 2017

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