Most of you already know all about dry heaving or just heaving. It looks weird and many of you are worried about your pet. This means that we must explain the topic and help you understand why your dog does this and what you should do about it. A dog dry heaving but acting normal is not rare as you may think. Now, let’s see why your pet is doing this occasionally or all the time.
Dry Heaving: First Things To Know
Dogs vomit frequently. In 99% of cases, there is no need to worry about it. He ate too much or he ate something that shouldn’t end up in the stomach! A dog dry heaving but acting normal is a bit different. Basically, your pet will try to vomit but nothing will get out. The behavior is the same and you can see your pet trying to vomit all the time. It looks scary. Of course, your pet will be in some level of discomfort. But, because dogs are tough, he will usually act normal. Keep in mind that dogs can vomit and continue walking or playing within seconds!
Possible Reasons Dry Heaving
There are 5 possible explanations. You need to look at the signs and determine why your pet does this. In some cases, there will be no additional signs. In others, there will be a couple of them. It is also possible that a dog acts normally at first but will start showing other symptoms soon.
It is possible that your dog is dry heaving due to bloat. Bloat or Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus happens when gasses and food are trapped inside the stomach and digestive tract in general.
They can’t get out. If a small level of bloat is present, your pet will act normally. But, it will increase quickly so a dog will show other signs and his behavior will change. He will have pale gums, loss of energy and his heart will beat faster. This can be a fatal condition and your pet deserves immediate treatment.
2. Foreign object
Dogs like to eat anything and they will eat everything they can. Some of those things can end up in the throat. When this happens, he will dry heaving. He will do this in order to try and remove the foreign object. In many cases this is effective. In some, it isn’t. You can examine the throat of your pet first. If you see something, take him to a vet.
3. Kennel Cough
Kennel Cough is an infection and it is very contagious. Your pet must be isolated as long as he suffers from this issue. It attacks the upper respiratory tract. Your pet will also have nasal discharge and dry cough. Luckily many cases are not severe and your pet will be fine. But, in the moderate end also in severe cases, serious treatment is mandatory.
Tonsillitis happens when the tonsils in the throat swell. They will usually cause your pet to dry heaving or have issues with breathing. In essence, these will trigger the gag reflex which explains the issue better. This is not a huge problem for some dogs and it can go away on its own (rarely) but you still must take him to a vet.
Don’t think that we are referring to cancer immediately. This can be a benign tumor that is in the throat. As such, it will interfere with breathing and eating. Dry heaving is common as a side effect. Obviously, you cannot do anything at home. Your pet needs surgery that will remove the tumor and your pet will be fine. This looks very bad but it is not a huge problem.
Things You Can Do To Help Your Dog
There are a few things we must discuss here. The first one is that all of these issues are not a huge problem as soon as they appear, except bloat. Others can last a couple of days and are not life-threatening. However, this also means that you should take your pet to a vet as soon as you notice dry heaving. If your pet does this once and he is fine after that, you can postpone the vet check. If he has been doing this for a few hours, take him to a vet immediately.
Bloat is a huge issue here. Your pet will need a surgical treatment that will remove the bloat. He will be fine after that. On the other hand, if you don’t treat it, bloat can be deadly. Now you may wonder how a dog will act normally if he has bloat. He will act a normal first couple of minutes or even a few hours. After that, he will start showing all sorts of signs as the issue gets more advanced and more complicated.
Even if the foreign object causes dry heaving, you should take your pet to a vet. He can remove the object without damaging the throat or mouth. You can try to do this if it is close to the mouth. But, if it is deep, it is best to leave it to professionals.
Possible Prevention Methods
Yes, you do have a few options to solve this. The biggest issue is bloat. Smaller but more frequent meals are the best thing to do here. Then you can opt for gastropexy. This is a surgery in which the surgeon will suture the dog’s stomach to the wall of the abdomen. As such, the stomach is not able to twist and cause bloat. This is preventive surgery ideal for dogs such as Great Danes and Doberman dogs. These have a much higher risk of developing bloat than other dogs.
You can protect your pet from Kennel cough. Avoid taking him to areas where there are a lot of dogs or areas where ventilation is poor. Other than this, there are not a lot of things you can actually do.
The Final Word
A dog dry heaving but acting normal is something that looks bad and scary. It can be both things! Take a look at all of the reasons above and determine why your dog does this. If there is a need, take him to a vet immediately. A proper treatment will be saucerful within hours or days.