Ask Dr Claire

Our 2 year old cavoodle X poodle is doing a weird breathing, gagging thing. The vet said there didn’t seem anything to worry about. She is doing it more again tonight and I’m wondering if I should go back to the vet tomorrow for an x ray. She breathes in and out really fast for 4/5 breaths and sometimes this is followed by a big gag but no vomit. She’s eating, drinking, toileting ok but does get a bit distraught when the problem occurs. Thanks for your advice.

Without seeing the episode it’s very hard to get an understanding of what is happening here. If you can record the episode on your phone that would be really helpful, for either an online consult, or to show your bricks and mortar vet at revisit. 

It’s great you had a hands on check by your vet today, and if this is an intermittent occurrence and your pup is otherwise well this could be what we call a “reverse sneeze”. Any irritation of the nose, back of the mouth and sinus can result in a reverse sneeze which is characterised by raid inspirations or snorting through the nose. It’s the body’s attempt to rid of something. 

It should not last longer than a few minutes. 

If the problem is persists or is frequent, treatment is directed at the underlying cause. This could include allergies, an irritant, a foreign body, sometimes we don’t know why. This would include a repeat visit to your vet. 

If you’d like to chat in person, you can get a vet on a live video call or start a chat to discuss in more detail now.

We’re here to help!

Chat soon, 

Dr Claire