Dog Cough With Vomiting and White Flem

by Ann

View of Inside Dog's Small Intensine Using an Endoscopy

View of Inside Dog's Small Intensine Using an Endoscopy

Reader Question on Dog Cough, Vomiting and Flem Symptoms

I have a 4 year old Boston Terrier. A few weeks ago, he vomited white flem and bright red blood from his mouth and right nostril. He stayed in the emergency hospital for three days.

Blood work, X-rays and flushing from the nostrils came out with negative results. There was no diagnosis. Every evening or during the wee hours in the morning, he will have a coughing and breathing attack.

Within an hour of giving him 10 mg. of acid reducer (Pepsin) he returns to himself.


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Aug 18, 2014
Vet Suggestion on Dog Vomiting and Cough
by: Dr. Jennifer Coates, DVM

Hi Ann,

I can’t determine what is going on with your dog based off the symptoms and diagnostic work up you described, but it sounds like a reasonable next step might be endoscopy of his upper gastrointestinal tract and a thorough examination of his nasal passages. General anesthesia would be required, but the procedures are non-invasive, meaning no incisions need to be made into the body.

During an endoscopic exam, the veterinarian will pass a long tube with a light source and camera at the end through your dog’s mouth, up into the nasopharynx (the area behind the nasal passages), and through the esophagus, stomach and first part of the small intestines all the while looking for any abnormalities such as foreign material, masses, ulcers, etc. If a sample needs to be taken or small foreign bodies removed, the doctor can pass instruments through the tube to do this.

Ask your veterinarian whether he or she thinks endoscopy is called for in your dog’s case. Some primary care doctors have the expertise and necessary equipment in their clinics. If not, your veterinarian can refer you to a specialist who can perform the procedure.

Best of luck,

Jennifer Coates, DVM

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