My French Bulldog Keeps Gagging – What To Do!

My French Bulldog Keeps Gagging: You were just going about your own business when your French Bulldog unexpectedly begins gagging. You could be freaking out since you’re worried that they cannot breathe, or they are trying to vomit, even maybe something more serious.

Find out how to distinguish gagging from many other symptoms, and why your Frenchie gags. And how you can deal with the situation when it occurs. The main culprit of gagging is inflammation of the larynx, Kennel cough or something stuck in their throat.


Why Does Your Frenchie Gag

Your French Bulldog gagging typically occurs in combination with a cough. If your Frenchie is gagging, they will open their mouth wide and produce a kind of retching noise.

Unlike vomiting, nothing really comes out from your Frenchies mouth. When your French Bulldog vomits many times in a row, it can also start gagging. This is because there is no food remaining in their stomach to remove.

It’s not the only cause, nevertheless, gagging in Frenchies is most likely the following:

Inflammation of the larynxKennel cough
Foreign ObjectsGastric torsion
Motion sickness

Should I Be Concerned About Gagging

Just like yourself, your Frenchie may swallow wrong and then has coughing and gagging fit, so it’s not really a huge issue.

If your French Bulldog is lively, responsive, behaving normally, eating or drinking. And seems happy, then you should just watch the issue for 48 hours.

If your Frenchie’s gagging continues longer than this, it could be something more serious than a mild swallowing reflex.

If there are other symptoms, like your French Bulldog looking nervous or anxious, has some difficulty breathing, has increased sound while breathing, or is not behaving well in any way. Then go see your vet as soon as possible.


What Can A Veterinarian Do About Gagging

What your veterinarian will do varies a lot based on the nature of what is happening to your Frenchie. Full physical testing will be required in all situations.

Often, the veterinarian will be able to make an early diagnosis based on these test alone. In some instances, several diagnostic checks might be needed.

The most common initial checks involve blood testing explicitly searching for signs of infection as well as radiographs of the throat and lungs.

In general, if your veterinarian is worried whether laryngeal paralysis is a likelihood or if your Frenchie may have swallowed a foreign object, which is now lodged in the throat. 

Then sedation could also be needed for a full larynx test.


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What Are Some Common Causes Of Gagging

Inflammation of the larynx

Caused by either a bacterial or viral infection, laryngitis may be a symptom of some other underlying problem. It may be associated with disorders such as tracheobronchitis, rabies, cardiovascular disease, injury, or internal tissue problems like larynx paralysis. 

Most of these causes of laryngitis can be managed, and medical care must be sought promptly for any problems for your Frenchie, if their breathing is labored.

Symptoms of Laryngitis in Your Frenchie

Laryngitis is typically caused by a bacterial or viral infection, but may be caused by some other underlying problem.

Gagging or retchingDry, short cough 
Swelled larynxVocal changes
Bad breathDifficult and noisy breathing
Increased heart rateSuffocation
Slowed respirationBluish gums

Diagnosing laryngitis

Laryngitis is typically very easy to diagnose in Frenchies. If you believe that your French Bulldog is struggling with laryngitis, we suggest that you see a veterinarian to be on the safe side.

Your veterinarian will inspect your Frenchie’s larynx using a  small mirror and will then be able to inform you if your concern is warranted

Treatment of laryngitis

The first step your vet will conduct in the care of laryngitis is to stabilize your Frenchie. This can be achieved by eliminating any blocking of the airway, reducing inflammation, and delivering oxygen into the body.

Oxygen therapy, intubation, and respiratory support could be used, and often includes sedation. If an obstacle occurs in the larynx, a tracheostomy tube can be inserted into a hole in the throat to allow your Frenchie to breathe until the issue is resolved.

The underlying reason, as well as associated factors, needs to be treated. Treatment options can include reducing inflammation by using corticosteroids, often alongside non-steroidal inflammation drugs and systemic antibiotics.

Diuretic medications may be prescribed to clear fluids from the larynx and lungs. Cough steroids medication and bronchodilators may help with inflammation.


My French Bulldog Keeps Gagging - What To Do!

Kennel cough

Another explanation of why your Frenchie could be gagging is tracheobronchitis. You might have heard of it by its common title ‘kennel cough.

That’s because its infectiousness which contributes to its high incidence among dogs, particularly those sheltered in public kennels or shelters.

Kennel cough is transmitted by sneezing and coughing, and it can also be spread by fabrics or pets toys. With kennel cough, your Frenchie is more likely to develop several complications, such as white mucus with the cough.

At the end of your Frenchies cough, you will be able to detect the gagging that will enable you to differentiate from other disorders it could be suffering.

Just like chronic bronchitis, it may lead to coughing fits that end up in gagging. Fever, lack of appetite and tiredness can occur in milder cases. Nose and eye mucus discharge, sneezing, breathing difficulty and possibly pneumonia may occur in much more serious cases.

Your Frenchie may just retain their normal mood and appetite, and not show any symptoms and just really display a cough with gagging. It still needs medical care, but prevention is better.

If your French Bulldog is in contact with several other dogs, such as a local park, or if they need to spend time in a vacation kennel. Then it is necessary for you to follow their vaccination schedule religiously.

If you like to know more about Kennel Cough, please read the following articles.


Foreign Objects

Another main reason your French Bulldog might be gagging despite vomiting is the existence of a foreign object. When ingested, these items can be stuck within the mouth, throat, or oesophagus.

Such objects may be anything from bones, fragments, sticks, pins, plastic, toys, bits of cloth, or, basically, everything that can get passed the top of their throats. (Very Frenchie thing)

When these items have sharp corners, they may exacerbate the issue by creating tears in their throat. If your Frenchie begins to exhibit hypersalivation (drooling), vomiting, fear, scratching its mouth across objects or with its own paws as well as gagging, then the presence of a foreign object is likely to be involved.

If the object is still within their mouth, then it is likely to be trapped at the back of the tongue. If that’s the case, it can be reasonably straightforward to remove.

It is much more difficult to extract items lodged in the throat. Their extraction may need to be performed by a veterinarian under anaesthetic. If the item stays within the body for a long time, antibiotics will need to be used to prevent infection.

Items that go through the oesophagus may be spotted by x-rays, and it may need to be extracted by endoscopy or abdominal operation.


Stomach Dilation

This is the most dangerous cause of gagging for your French Bulldog due to the possibility of death. Rapid detection will save the life of your Frenchie. Dilation of the stomach comprises of the following:

Gastric dilation: in this scenario, the stomach is swollen by gas and liquid collecting within it.
Gastric torsion: at this point, the protruding stomach changes direction on its longitudinal direction, preventing it from being drained. The stomach contents then ferment attributable to the stomach acid in which then distension grows.

Blood flow to the region is also compromised and can trigger necrosis of the stomach wall or even ulceration. If this occurs, your Frenchie will have blood poisoning and will probably die.

While this disorder may appear in any dog, bigger breeds are much more likely to develop it. Eating fast, consuming water too quickly, physical activity pre or post eating may all be the underlying cause.

Symptoms Include

GaggingNervousness
HypersalivationNausea
Abdominal Bloat

Your Frenchie is bound to be in discomfort if you touch their stomach, and will sit in strange positions to try and relieve the pain. An x-ray will determine whether or not this is distension and whether torsion has happened. In the latter scenario, an operation will be needed.


My French Bulldog Keeps Gagging

Motion sickness

Motion sickness is yet another explanation of why your French Bulldog can be gagging. It is indeed a fairly common condition that happens when we drive in a vehicle with your Frenchie. In addition to gagging, they can also experience the following:

RestlessnessAnxiety
NauseaDrooling
Vomiting

If your Frenchie travels frequently and suffers from motion sickness, then you should contact your Vet to see if they can prescribe some medication to help. You can then give this medication to you French Bulldog before they get in the car so they can avoid the motion sickness.

Motion sickness is more common in younger dogs and sometimes declines with maturity.


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