Dog Sneezing & Gagging

Sneezing and gagging are common with dogs and are usually related to non-serious causes like a reaction to dust. But they can also indicate more serious issues like nasal infections or digestive problems. In most cases, you don’t need to worry about your dog’s occasional sneeze or heave, but it helps to know when a trip to the vet might be in order.

Contact us or call (301) 228-0681 today to ask questions about sneezing and gagging or schedule an appointment for your dog in Frederick County.

Why Dogs Sneeze

When your otherwise-healthy pup lets out a sneeze or a snorting reverse sneeze, it’s usually because an irritant has entered their nose or pharynx. Like humans, dogs try to eliminate the nasal nuisance by expelling air through their nose and mouth. 

Typical reasons for canine sneezing include:

  • Seasonal allergies or sinus infections that cause nasal discharge
  • Ciliary dyskinesia that causes a tickling effect in the respiratory tract
  • Foreign objects like a bone splinter lodged in the mouth, throat, or esophagus
  • Mucus or mites obstructing the nasal passage
  • Nasal passage or throat inflammation
  • Canine flu or pneumonia
  • A cleft or elongated soft palate blocking the airway, particularly when exercising
  • Chronic dental diseases, often found in older dogs
  • Compressed nasal passages as seen in bulldogs, pugs, and Boston terriers
  • Nasal tumors, typically caused by second-hand smoke
  • “Kennel cough,” which can occur after a dog spends time in a boarding kennel or shelter

Why Dogs Gag

Dog gagging is best described as a honking noise your pet makes just before or after a cough. Kennel cough can also be followed by a gag. When a dog gags, they might open their mouth wide and make a retching sound, but nothing comes out except perhaps a small amount of mucus. 

The two most common reasons for gagging in dogs are gastrointestinal disease and laryngeal paralysis. If your dog coughs first and then gags, it’s most likely related to problems that cause lower respiratory conditions and bronchitis. If they gag first and then cough, it’s usually some sort of larynx dysfunction.

Does your dog have a sneezing or gagging problem? If you need immediate help, call Village Vet of Urbana at (301) 228-0681 today. 

What To Do if Your Dog Is Sneezing or Gagging

Treating a dog’s sneezing or gagging depends on the underlying cause. If your pup sneezes or gags but is bright, alert, eating, drinking, and breathing normally afterward, simply monitor the situation for the next 48 to 72 hours. If either condition continues for more than three days, or if your pet appears in distress or has trouble breathing, a trip to the vet sooner rather than later is best.

Schedule an Appointment With Village Vet of Urbana

If a foreign object in their throat or nasal passage is causing your dog’s sneezing or gagging, removing it is likely the fastest cure. However, if your pet sneezes or gags due to an underlying medical problem, treating the health condition is the only way to manage the issue. Before diagnosis and treatment, your vet may prescribe a decongestant or antihistamine to control involuntary sneezing and gagging.

Whatever the reason behind your dog’s sneezing or gagging, the professional team at Village Vet of Urbana can help diagnose and treat it so your dog can return to complete health.

Contact us online or call (301) 228-0681 today to schedule an appointment for your dog at our Ijamsville, Maryland, location.

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Most Trusted Animal Hospital

Adamstown | Ballenger Creek |
Brunswick | Frederick | Green Valley |
Hyattstown | Mt. Airy | New Market

Learn More