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Our new dog just came home 5 days ago. About two days ago, I noticed that randomly, every 2 hours or so, he'll start doing something like a wheeze mixed with a gag, kind of like he's trying to to a huge cough or throw up, but there's nothing there so his mouth stays closed. Then he does some kind of choking motion, like when a dog pulls too hard on a leash and the collar causes it to choke. He'll finish it up with some sneezes and coughs mixed in. It is really random, at other times he's totally fine and playful. This happens inside and outside. We want to bring him to a vet but a.) we have no guarentee that the coughing will happen while he is at the vet, and b.) we don't want to have to pay the high vet bill for a diagnosis, so I turned here first. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
 

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Our new dog just came home 5 days ago. About two days ago, I noticed that randomly, every 2 hours or so, he'll start doing something like a wheeze mixed with a gag, kind of like he's trying to to a huge cough or throw up, but there's nothing there so his mouth stays closed. Then he does some kind of choking motion, like when a dog pulls too hard on a leash and the collar causes it to choke. He'll finish it up with some sneezes and coughs mixed in. It is really random, at other times he's totally fine and playful. This happens inside and outside. We want to bring him to a vet but a.) we have no guarentee that the coughing will happen while he is at the vet, and b.) we don't want to have to pay the high vet bill for a diagnosis, so I turned here first. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
Symptoms sound very much like kennel cough to me, in which case he needs to see a vet.
 

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Did you adopt this guy from a kennel/shelter? Do they do HW testing there? Was he vetted before adoption?

It SOUNDS like kennel cough to me. Very common, especially in boarding or shelter situations. It's not always serious but CAN be. It is viral so meds don't stop it but can be used to lessen the symptoms and make the dog more comfortable, some vets do antibiotics to prevent secondary infections from cropping up.

Anytime you get a new dog you should plan for a vet check within two weeks of getting it. Please have him checked to make sure it is not something far more serious. His health and wellbeing are now your responsibility and your vet is an important part of caring for your dog.
 

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Do you have a video camera or phone that records video? Keep it nearby and you might be able to get a "sample" before your appt to show the vet.
 

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I agree that it sounds like kennel cough. My friend's dog had it.

I like Bird-Dog's suggestion of trying to catch it on video before going to the vet. If it is kennel cough, though, it's pretty easy to diagnose.
 

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it does sound like KC. If it's a mild case you shouldn't have to use meds. When someone brought it back several years ago from the Houston shows, my whole kennel got it as well as the neighborhood dogs. Everyone hacked for few days, then they were over it.
 
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