Aside from dry heaving, other signs include a visibly distended abdomen, restlessness, panic, heavy breathing, pale gums, increased heart rate, weakness, and/or excessive drooling. If this is suspected, immediately seek emergency veterinary intervention and treatment.
Respiratory infection, including Kennel Cough
– If there is excessive mucus in the lungs, this often causes coughing and gagging, which can easily lead to dry heaving. Other signs include chronic cough, wheezing, rapid breathing, runny nose, sneezing, exercise intolerance, lethargy, decreased appetite, and/or fever.
– An infection of the tonsils is possible with canines, but is almost always a secondary condition that develops after a bout of chronic cough, chronic vomiting, periodontal disease, or other issues.
While this may not cause dry heaving during the early stages, once the tonsils become so enlarged that they partially block the airway, dry heaving can be intense. Other signs include reluctance to eat and/or frequent lip licking.
The treatment for this involves resolution of the initial issue as well as antibiotics to treat the tonsillitis. It is exceptionally rare for a dog to need to have his tonsils removed, and it is only done in cases of highly reoccurring infections.
Obstruction in the esophagus or throat
- What may be lodged and partially blocking a dog’s breathing passages range from hairballs (canines can indeed get these too) to a foreign object being swallowed.
Retching may release the object; however, it is very important to monitor your Yorkie for signs of breathing impairment, including weakness and/or pale or blue gums. Dry heaving that is not productive is also a reason for immediate veterinary treatment. When in doubt, bring your Yorkie to the closest animal hospital.