Q. I’m worried that my dog may have aspirated some vomit when she was throwing up last week. My sister noticed that she was making a knocking sound when breathing in during sleep. Her breathing seemed to sound a little funky for a couple days as well.

Wed, Sep 13, 2023

She is eating and drinking fine and is no longer vomiting (the vomiting was only for one day and it was after being dewormed). She’s also having normal output as far as urine and bowel movements. She also has a normal level of energy. I may be overthinking this and hearing just typical puppy noises and automatically assuming the worst. I think I’m being a little overprotective with this dog as my last dog had a lot of chronic health issues that led to us putting her to sleep at only 5 years old.
Should I make a vet appt?

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Dr. Mason

I truly understand how concerning it is to witness your pet experiencing health issues. I'm here to help.

The knocking sound during sleep and funky breathing could be indicative of a respiratory issue. There are several possible causes for these symptoms, including:

• If your puppy did indeed aspirate vomit, it could lead to irritation or inflammation in the respiratory tract, causing abnormal breathing sounds.
• Puppies are susceptible to respiratory infections, which can cause symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, nasal discharge, and difficulty breathing.
• Just like humans, dogs can develop allergies that may affect their respiratory system, leading to coughing, wheezing, and difficulty breathing.

Considering the additional information you provided, such as your puppy's normal eating, drinking, output, and energy levels, it's possible that her symptoms are not severe. However, it's always better to err on the side of caution when it comes to your pet's health. I think your attention is contributing to her health.

Keep an eye on her until she's completely fine. Keep a close eye on her breathing patterns, looking for any signs of distress or worsening symptoms.

If her symptoms worsen or she continues to have any of the following symptoms, consider taking her to the vet:

- Difficulty breathing or rapid breathing
- Bluish discoloration of the gums or tongue
- Persistent coughing or gagging
- Lethargy or weakness
- Loss of appetite or refusal to eat
- Nasal discharge that is thick, colored, or foul-smelling

These signs may indicate a more serious underlying condition that requires immediate veterinary attention.

If you have any additional questions, please don't hesitate to come back to us! Thank you.