Is Your Dog Dry Heaving? It Could Be a Sign that Something’s Seriously Very Wrong!
Is your dog dry heaving?
Dry heaving basically means that your dog is trying to vomit, but nothing is coming out. And while there are a few reasons that could be behind it, it’s something that could potentially be fatal.
So, if your dog has been dry heaving, you definitely should consider your options such as getting a vet’s advice as soon as you can for proper diagnosis.
Dry heaving is a sign of another condition called GDV, or Gastric dilatation volvulus, but more about that later.
First I’d like to help you differentiate between what can be normal coughs and something more serious.
Contact a vet?
Obviously, a veterinarian can help narrow down the symptoms to an exact culprit in most cases.
Visiting your vet though can be stressful for you and your dog, not to mention needlessly expensive.
If you’re concerned with any symptoms or complications related to your dog’s dry heaving, you can chat live with a vet or even have a quick video call for some immediate answers.
You’ll learn quickly whether your dog’s dry heaving is something truly serious and what you should do to help them now.
We’ve partnered with Just Answer Veterinary – click here to connect with an experienced veterinarian.
They have been great for all of our dogs over the years. They’re easy to chat with about any issues and always give amazing guidance for next steps.
Also, some helpful products may be in order to help sooth your dog and decrease or even prevent your dog from dry heaving if you want to try stuff on your own:
|Gas and Bloat Relief|
|Slow Feed Bowl|
|Parasitic Worm Medicine|
What Could Be the Reason Behind Your Dog Dry Heaving…
Let’s talk about the reasons your most loyal and loving pet has been keeping you up all night with his or her constant coughing.
The fact is, there are a few different reasons your dog may be coughing regularly. We’ll be getting in those.
Now, I know what you’re thinking…you’re a dog parent, not an aspiring vet!
Well, I agree with you.
As a responsible and loving pet owner, if you know what’s normal and what’s not, you’ll know when to panic and when you should take your best friend to the doctor right away.
They say knowledge is power, and this way you’ll know the difference between a life-threatening condition (that a lot of people tend to miss), and a normal one.
So with that, let’s look at all the different causes, what you should be looking for and what you can do to help.
Things to look out for:
● Dry cough
● Fever between 103 to 105 degrees
● Yellow discharge from nose and eyes
A Distemper cough is an airborne illness that your dog may have probably caught from another one of his doggy friends.
Although your dog may be vaccinated for this in his puppy years, but if you have been slacking on those yearly booster shots, then chances are your dog is dry heaving because of this.
Get this checked as soon as you can.
Okay so now that you know what a distemper cough is all about, let’s see what you can do…
What you should do:
Well, for starters, never miss a booster shot! And also, book an appointment with your vet and pay him a visit…
You’ll also have to deal with your dog’s pleading eyes when he realizes that you’re taking him to the vet!
If your dog doesn’t have a distemper cough, then keep reading for more…
This is also known as Bordetella and this also is airborne like a distemper cough caused by a bacteria called Bordetella bronchiseptica.
Now that you know the science-y stuff, let’s talk about what you should look out for:
● A dry cough without mucus
● Runny nose
● Lethargic Doggy friend
● …..And a low fever
A Kennel cough usually goes away on its own and it can be prevented through a proper vaccine.
Anyhow, let’s go on to the next one…
So, I don’t know how to tell you this but something could be living inside your dog!
Well, if you paid attention in biology class then, you’d know a thing or two about parasites.
If not, I’m here!
A Little about Parasites (Because why not!?)
Well, parasites are basically tiny insects that live inside us (yes, even us humans!).
And just suck the nutrients or whatever they need out of our body!
Some parasites like a leech, can ‘latch’ on to our bodies on the outside.
● The Roundworm
Dogs become infected with roundworms from eating or licking soil or anything contaminated with the eggs. Like licking soil wasn’t bad enough!
Worms then travel to the lungs through your doggy’s bloodstream, reach the windpipe of your pet and your dog swallows them too and they reach the intestines.
So, um, what do parasites have to do with my dog dry-heaving?
Would you be upset at me if I said nothing?
Okay, I’m only kidding, don’t worry! When your furry baby is coughing because of roundworms, this means that their windpipe is sort of irritated by the larvae, eww…
There isn’t just the roundworm, though…
● The Heartworm
Don’t worry, I’ll not go into the anatomy, I promise.
I think you get the point of how this stuff works from the somewhat detailed description above. Remember, knowledge is power, right?
There are other worms called Heartworms that also cause a kind of coughing with gagging without any vomit.
This parasite doesn’t allow enough oxygen in your pooch’s blood to travel to the heart and lungs, so if you ever suspect heartworm, you need to take your dog to the vet ASAP!
Another symptom of canine parasite besides a dry cough can be when your dog keeps licking its lips and swallowing.
Now, talking about parasites is making me squeamish, so let’s move on!
4. Canine Bloat
This is the most common reason and a life-threatening one when it comes to your dog dry heaving.
So take this one seriously, okay?
Canine bloat is also called Gastric Dilation and Volvulus (GDV) in medical terms.
In this situation, your dog’s stomach gets filled with air and the food inside your dog’s belly becomes distended.
Now, when the torsion occurs, the stomach gets twisted on itself which cuts off the exit routes for food, gas, and other fluids.
This means that your doggy is unable to throw up or belch which leads to your dog dry heaving without passing any food or gas out.
Things you should look out for in GDV:
● A hard, swollen abdomen
● An agitation and restless doggy
● White foam
● Fast or labored breathing
● Pale gums
● Increase in the dog’s heart rate
● Low blood pressure
There are also a few risk factors that are involved when it comes to GDV.
I’m talking about them so that you don’t unnecessarily panic if your dog doesn’t have GDV…I mean I’ve had a lot of panicky moments when I Google my symptoms.
I’m also talking about these so that you can call your vet if you feel that your dog may indeed have GDV. Your dog’s health is the most important.
So, now let’s talk about the risk factors with GDV:
Risk Factors for Gastric Dilation and Volvulus
I’ll discuss risk factors that contribute to GDV and increase your dog’s chances of developing it.
1. Large Breeds with Deep Chests
Dogs that are large in size have greater chances of developing GDV because of the structuring of their internal organs.
2. Feeding Intervals and Meal Sizes
It’s true for you and it’s also true for your dog!
Instead of giving your dog big meals, break them into smaller ones throughout the day.
If, however, you’ve been giving your furry ball of fur two big meals instead, then, your dog is at risk. So, stop!
Even I used to give my dog two big meals until I read into and researched GDV.
Most dog owners don’t know much about this… Share this with as many dog parents as possible!
3. Aged Dogs
Older dogs from the above-mentioned breeds have higher chances of developing GDV than younger dogs and puppies.
For reasons unknown, male dogs have higher chances of developing GDV than their female counterparts.
5. Life History and Pedigree
Just as a lot of human diseases are genetically predisposed to us, dogs whose biological parents, and/or older relatives have experienced episodes of GDV are more likely to develop it as well.
Also, dogs that have experienced gastric dilation are more likely to develop GDV.
Best Dog Dry Heaving Products to Help Your Dog
After reviewing all of the symptoms, you can use the following products to help your dog.
Each of these products is good for helping your dog, particularly their digestive system and complications that can come from eating quickly or foods they are sensitive to.
Probiotics that help the digestive track stay healthy is a recommendation vets will often give to dogs that have dry heaving symptoms due to digestive issues.
|Gas and Bloat Relief|
|Slow Feed Bowl|
|Parasitic Worm Medicine|
What Does All This Mean!?
There are several reasons to why your dog is dry heaving and I have explained them all to you in great detail.
Some reasons, like GDV, are serious and require you to take your doggy friend to the vets immediately.
Others aren’t as serious but may require you to see a vet anyway. Especially if you’re dog won’t eat or drink and lays around.
All you should take away from this article is that your dog’s dry heaving isn’t just a cough that’ll go away on itself.
It could be something very dangerous and life threatening, so book an appointment as soon as you can!
Leave comments if you want to know more about dry heaving or share your own story.