Shih Tzu has honking sound and gagging cough
by wildlupie, Apr 20, 2011
My 11 year old Shih Tzu, Bear has been making a honking noise and then gags kind of like something is stuck in his throat.  When he has an episode it starts with the honking sound and then has a little cough and then kind of a little gag.  He is eating great, sleeping good and wants to play all the time even after having an episode.  This is the only thing that seems the least little bit wrong with him.  Has anyone got any ideas of what can ease an episode or how I can help him when this happens.
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Member Comments (8)
by Margot49, Apr 20, 2011
Again, hard to tell and he probably needs a Vet check. Could be allergies, Kennel Cough, etc.
by Orphananny, Apr 20, 2011
I agree with Margot.  You should take him to the vet.  You don't want this to develop into anything else.
by Misfits4MeBlank, Apr 20, 2011
Different Coughs explained:

OK, For starters, for any Senior Dog IMO, you DO need to rule out Heart Problems....The xray will not only show the heart, but also the lungs...This is important....
With Heart Disease, the weak heart cannot pump as well...Fluid builds into the lungs causing the cough..The cough is usually MOIST like they're choking on congestion...Actually, they are...The cough is worse in the mornings & during periods of running, playing & excitement....Fluid will show in an xray.....
Heart Disease is NOT a death sentence.....It's rather common in dogs!  Dogs can live many ,many years on medications just like humans can.....Meds. to improve function of the heart & also lasix to clear fluid from the lungs......An EKG or ECG can detect what part of the heart is having a problem.....They usually run around $100.....Some Vets will suggest this test, some will not...THey will just go ahead and treat...

Next- Kennel Cough- This is a virus and antibiotics will do nothing.....Cough syrup is very necessary to help this run it's course.....Lasts a few weeks & the cough is excessive!!!!

Collapsing Trachea- Common in small breeds- This cough is more like choke-gasp, choke/gasp....It sounds like a goose honking....Meaning like when your sucking through a straw & it collapses. Like it kinda sticks then opens, etc. It is actually doing just that.....The trachea collapses then opens back up...This ailment is treated by weight control & Medications for lung disease....Cough meds, bronchial dilaters, Asthma meds., steroids when necessary, etc.

Respiratory Diseases cause coughing....Asthma & Bronchitis are treated with the same meds as Trachea Collapse. This is more of a dry cough with wheezing at times or both....With this, sometimes the Heart shows enlargement,but it is not a Heart Problem! It's from lack of oxygen through the respiratory system.....Steriods are useful as needed for allergy season that can be a trigger.....Dust mites in the house affect this alot (Especially in the winter when the heat is on and the house is closed up tight).......It seems they breath better outside.....Something else: Dust Mites in DRY dog food alone can trigger this.....This disease can be controled for years once you know what to do.....

There's a common cough called A "Reverse Sneeze"...You can google it to know what it sounds like.....I can't describe it....It kinda sounds like all the above, dammit!!!  ;)  Although it sounds awful, it's really harmless.....Lots of dogs do it their whole life...

Then of course, Heartworm Disease will cause a cough....ALso will show an enlarged heart....Will be seen on an xray....Can be ruled out with a blood test...

Hope this helps.......Karla

by Kimibell, Aug 23, 2011
Did you find out what was causing the honking and coughing?  My dog has been doing this for a while as well and has been to the doctor on multiple occasssions.  He was diagnosed with a level 3 heart murmur and was put on medication.  I see no improvement of these symptoms with the medication and was wondering if something else was going on as well.  The doctors kind of fixated on the murmur.  When I ask about the cough they tell me it will subside with the meds but it hasn't. I'd love to hear what your doctor said.  Thanks.
by vet5, Mar 08, 2012
my dog dose the same thing i have two shih tuzs and they both do that it might be drinking too fast or eating try rubbing there throats.It might help.
by pita626, Aug 24, 2013
my shitzu has a weird cough i dont know what to do
by Margot49, Aug 24, 2013
This is an old thread. You may want to start a new one.

Look above as Karla gave a lot if good information.

If this is is something new, you should consult your Vet

by Lovemywucky, Oct 15, 2013
Hey, my 11 year old male cocker spaniel is going thru the same thing! My vet says it's caused by heart disease and so I'll have to take him to see him tomorrow! Was ur dog diagnosed as heart disease? If so, what was the treatment? And how is ur dog doing now?