How can I prevent dry heaving?
Dry heaving can be caused by a variety of underlying issues so there are a range of preventive measures you can take to avoid the underlying conditions that can cause dry heaving.
To prevent bloat it is helpful to have your dog eat multiple, smaller meals. Food dispensers that slow a dogs eating rate may also be useful. Owners of dogs that are at particularly high risk for GVD may elect to have their dog undergo a surgery called gastropexy that prevents the stomach from being able to twist.
To prevent your dog from getting a foreign object stuck in their throat, watch them closely to ensure they are not chewing on anything inappropriate. Also, be sure to avoid giving your dog bones to chew on as they can often splinter and become stuck in your dogs throat.
Kennel cough can be prevented by avoiding overcrowded dog kennels with poor ventilation and by getting your dog vaccinated against the disease with the bordetella vaccine.
Regular wellness exams for your dog are also important as they allow your vet to exam your pup and catch emerging health issues, such as throat tumors, early while they are still the most treatable.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pets condition, please make an appointment with your vet.
What do I do if my dog is dry heaving?
If your dog is dry heaving you should treat it as an emergency and take your dog to the vet right away. Issues like bloat and foreign objects stuck in the throat can be fatal and require immediate medical assistance.
If your dog is suffering from another medical issue causing dry heaving, such as kennel cough, your vet will be able to diagnose the issue and guide you on the appropriate treatment for your pup.
My dog sounds like he has a hairball but nothing comes up. Is this an emergency?
Non-productive retching, or dry heaving, in any breed dog is always considered an emergency due to the concern for a process called gastric dilation and volvulus (frequently referred to as GDV, or gas bloat). This is a process that occurs in large-breed dogs (Great Danes, German shepherds, Labradors, Dobermans and Rottweilers, for example) but can occur in any breed and any size dog. (It has also been documented in some exotic animals, like ferrets.)
The simplest explanation of GDV is that the stomach has twisted into an abnormal position. In doing so, the stomach becomes distended with gas and causes the dog to exhibit abdominal discomfort and attempt to vomit unproductively. The stomach and the spleen are located very close together in the abdomen and share some blood supply. As the stomach twists, it is possible for some of the blood vessels to the spleen to tear and the spleen itself may also twist and become damaged. As the stomach becomes more distended, or “tympanic,” it may also press against the major blood vessels in the abdomen, causing the heart to also become affected.
Why does my dog keep gagging but not throwing up (Causes, Reasons and What to do) Explained
For the most part, occasional vomiting is not something to worry about. Dogs vomit all the time because they ate too fast or ingested something their stomach didn’t agree with.
Usually, it’s a one-off thing and your pup will feel better after releasing the contents of their stomach.
If you’re a dog owner, you probably already know what to expect when this occurs. Most dogs even learn to ask to go outside, so you can anticipate these occurrences.
Dry heaving is similar to vomiting. Dogs make the same wretching noise and look like they’re trying to push something out of their belly. The difference, however, is that nothing comes out.
It can be an alarming thing to witness. This is especially true if it occurs suddenly and frequently. Heaving can be a sign of something serious. So, it’s important to understand how to identify the signs and what you can do to provide relief.
Here are the most common causes of dry heaving in dogs and what you can do to prevent it from happening.