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Why Does My Dog Cough and Gag After Barking?

Gagging is a noise that your dog makes before or after coughing. It seems your dog is trying to vomit while coughing, but gagging is different than coughing and vomiting. Gagging is not a sign of illness, but if your dog gags and becomes unresponsive and loses its appetite, you must take it to the veterinarian. If your dog’s gagging includes saliva and phlegm, it could be dangerous, and you must not neglect it. This article lists the common reasons why dogs cough and gag after barking.

dog gagging

Reasons Why Dogs Cough and Gag after Barking

1. Dog’s Dry Throat After Howling

If the dog struggles to make enough airflow in the throat for howling, it results in gagging and coughing. Usually, it’s common for vocal cords to dry during howling. A dog tries to clear its throat for howling by blowing air inside but fails. If the vocal cords are too dry, then a coughing noise called gagging will come out.

2. An Ear Infection

Bacterial pathogens and external parasites can cause various infections in the dog’s ear. If your dog is facing certain infections, it’s common that brown, yellow, and green discharge will come out from their ears. These symptoms also lead the dogs to gag when they bark or cough. So, if you notice any ear infections in your dog, you should take them to the veterinarian. Correct medications will help them get rid of the infection and gagging.

3. Reverse Sneezing

Paroxysmal respiration, also known as reverse sneezing, could be another reason behind your dog’s gagging, especially after coughing or barking. Reverse sneezing is a condition in which a dog rapidly opens and closes its mouth or nostrils; simultaneously a honking and snorting sound also appears. It usually happens when a dog’s soft palate (soft tissue in the back part of the mouth) becomes inflamed. This condition irritates the dogs, leading them to gag when they bark and cough.

Reverse sneezing last from a few seconds to a few minutes, especially when a dog is relaxing and lying down. Paroxysmal respiration goes away without any treatment on its own, and you don’t need to worry in this case.

4. Any Foreign Body in Dog’s Throat

The most common and apparent reason for a dog’s gagging is any foreign body in the dog’s throat. If anything is stuck in a dog’s throat like a bone or any big food particle, it will cause irritation. As a result of such irritations, when your dog barks and coughs, it will experience gagging. The foreign body will obstruct a dog’s throat, and the dog will use gagging to get rid of it.

5. Canine Influenza

Canine influenza can be fatal for dogs if not treated. It’s a virus whose symptoms include cough, gagging, high fever, poor appetite, and lethargy. Dogs catch the influenza virus by direct contact with the infected dogs. You must take your dog to the veterinarian if you witness above mentioned symptoms in your dog.

6. Bronchitis

Bronchitis and other respiratory disorders can be the other possible cause of gagging in dogs. In respiratory disorders, a dog cannot cough out the extra mucous from the throat and face difficulty in breathing. Your dog will be more likely to cough in this situation, and the condition also leads your dog to gag. Few medications will cure dogs from bronchitis and other respiratory diseases.

7. Laryngeal Paralysis

Laryngeal paralysis is when your dog’s larynx muscles become paralyzed. The dog will have difficulty in breathing. When your dog struggles with breathing, grunting or honking sound will come out of their throats while coughing. Take your dog to the veterinarian for the treatment of laryngeal paralysis.

8. Kennel Cough

Kennel cough is a disease that can be fatal if not treated at the proper time. In kennel cough, the dog’s vocal cords become very dry, and they face difficulty in breathing. Kennel cough causes your dog to gag while barking. Your dog catches this disease from other infected dogs and animals, especially cats. The symptoms appear between 2 weeks to 6 months after exposure to the infected animal.

Read more: Why Does My Dog Sneeze Before Barking?

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why does my dog wag his tail while barking?

Dog bags their tails while barking to express their emotions. They convey their happiness, anger, nervousness, anxiety, excitement, and fear by wagging their tails alongside barking.

2. Can a dog fake cough?

Your pet dog is like a child to you. To get your attention and to make you realize that they are ill, they fake cough sometimes.

3. Is dog gagging a serious issue?

Dog gagging isn’t an uncommon condition. Although gagging is not a serious issue in dogs, it can be problematic if your dog becomes unresponsive and loses its appetite after gagging. You must take your dog to a veterinarian if the condition prevails for more than 2-3 days.


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