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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 21419
Experience:  General practice veterinary surgeon with extensive experience in a wide range of species.
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Hi my dog has been coughing up all night, bile mainly then

Customer Question

Hi my dog has been coughing up all night, bile mainly then swallowing it, I've just given him his breakfast in the hope it'll settle his stomach but he's clearly still not himself. How long do I leave it?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 3 years ago.
Dr. B. :

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.

Dr. B. :

Did this just start last night?

Dr. B. :

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.






Did this just start last night?



Dr. B. :

Has he kept the food down?

JACUSTOMER-0osfvcin- : Thanks, ***** ***** up in the night to hearing him wretching
JACUSTOMER-0osfvcin- : Yep food kept down ok last nght
Dr. B. :

So, he is wretching more then coughing?

JACUSTOMER-0osfvcin- : Also gave him his breakfast maybe half an hour ago
Dr. B. :

Good, so we have a retch/cough (which suggests throat irritation instead of stomach) but he is able to keep food down.

JACUSTOMER-0osfvcin- : Yeah wretching and bringing up white foamy stuff then eating it
JACUSTOMER-0osfvcin- : I took him for a walk in the night so that he didn't feel the need to lick it back up
JACUSTOMER-0osfvcin- : Yep
Dr. B. :

If that is the case, we'd be thinking about conditions that cause throat irritation without direct effect on the stomach. This means issues like

foreign bodies (ie bones, toys, rock, etc) or gastroenteritis would be less likely.

JACUSTOMER-0osfvcin- : But he's definitely not acting himself
JACUSTOMER-0osfvcin- : Feeling sorry for himself
Dr. B. :

Instead, we'd be thinking more about issues like Kennel cough, parainfluenza, and possible tracheitis or esophagitis.

Dr. B. :

Absolutely, all of these would make him feel under the weather.

JACUSTOMER-0osfvcin- : While we were walking yesterday, he did pick up a bone and managed to eat a bit before I stopped him
JACUSTOMER-0osfvcin- : Ok
Dr. B. :

In regards ***** ***** you can try soothing his throat by giving a few milliliters (1-2 ml or half a spoonful) plain glycerin + honey cough syrup.

Dr. B. :

You can even use plain honey, as this too will soothe the throat.

JACUSTOMER-0osfvcin- : Ok
JACUSTOMER-0osfvcin- : So u think maybe this bone is stuck?
Dr. B. :

Absolutely, not.

JACUSTOMER-0osfvcin- : Ok
Dr. B. :

A bone being caught would cause us to have a dog that couldn't keep food down and couldn't stop coughing

JACUSTOMER-0osfvcin- : Ok
Dr. B. :

I am much more suspicious of the conditions I noted above. And if we do have a benign irritation (like the tracheitis or esophagitis) halting the cough with a throat soothing agent may just settle this for him.

Dr. B. :

If it doesn't completely over the next 12-24 hours, then those infectious agents (kennel cough, parainfluenza) would be suspect and we'd want to have him seen by his vet for evaluation and antibiotics.

JACUSTOMER-0osfvcin- : Ok
JACUSTOMER-0osfvcin- : Is it ok for me to try to take for a walk or shall I leave him be?
Dr. B. :

So, you can use one of those soothing options, or as long as you have a good read of the label you can use Benylin's childrens tickly cough syrup. Just make sure to avoid any with paracetamol, pseudoephrine or any drugs.

JACUSTOMER-0osfvcin- : Ok thanks
Dr. B. :

Actually, it is best not to walk him at the moment since any infectious agent he may have would be spread should he cough out on the walk (which is likely how he caught this, as agents like kennel cough can survive for months in the environment).

Dr. B. :

So, its best to just let him go in the garden and come back in.

JACUSTOMER-0osfvcin- : Anything I need to keep an eye out for ?
Dr. B. :

But again if we soothe his throat and he is still lethargic or not settling over today, then we'd want to have a check with his vet tomorrow.

JACUSTOMER-0osfvcin- : Ok
Dr. B. :

As long as he isn't coughing constantly, his gums remain nice and pink, breathing comfortably and he can settle; that is what we are looking for.

JACUSTOMER-0osfvcin- : Ok thanks
Dr. B. :

And just to note in case you were keen to have him seen today, some veterinary practices in our country have Sunday office hours. As well, most veterinary practices here do have contingency plans for emergency care for their patients even when they are not open. Therefore, if you think he is really miserable or you were worried then it is worth ringing the practice. If they are open, you can get him seen today. If they aren't, then they will likely have a message to direct you on how to contact their out of hours service. And if you don't have a vet you can find one local to you, you can check the RCVS Register (HERE) to find your local Vets Now (LINK) who are open all nights/weekends. In any case, if you wanted to get him checked out sooner then there are options to have him seen today too.

Dr. B. :

Is there anything else I can help you with today?

JACUSTOMER-0osfvcin- : No that's all thank you very much
Dr. B. :

You are very welcome and all the best with Ron,

If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!

Have a good day,

Dr. B.

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If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need. Thank you and hope to see you again soon! : )

JACUSTOMER-0osfvcin- : Sorry, just wanted to check, he also had his rabies jab this week, in prep forgetting his passport, could it be this?
Dr. B. :

That is doubtful, as rabies vaccines do not cause these kinds of signs. Instead, I'd be more suspicious that he was brewing a respiratory bug that his immune system had in check until the vaccine was given and distracted the immune system.

Dr. B. :

So, we'd not suspect that vaccines as the root of his signs.

JACUSTOMER-0osfvcin- : Ok I see thanks
Dr. B. :

You are very welcome.

Dr. B. and other Vet Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 3 years ago.

Hi again, Mark.

Since it seemed we were finished chatting, I have swapped into the Q&A mode. If you do have any other questions, don't hesitate to just ask.

All the best for Ron,

Dr. B.