She used to be crazy about food, but now it's like I have to feed her so she eats. Only occasionally she'll eat on her own, but very slowly.
This has been going on for about 2-3 weeks now, but she doesn't seem to be ill with anything. She's still very active and doesn't show any signs of weakness. Owner Jenny, Pomeranian Xella.
Let's start first with the cough or this gasping as you describe it. While it may seem that Xella is in perfect health, without a vet checkup you cannot be absolutely sure. We do suggest a vet exam. However, most respiratory diseases would cause coughing much more often than 1 or 2 times per day.
It sounds as if Xella may be having spasms, commonly known as "Reverse Sneezes". In a regular sneeze, your dog pushes air out through the nose; however, in a reverse sneeze, air is pulled rapidly in through the nose producing a noisy sound that one may think is coughing or "choking
on a hairball' noise. It does not appear to be from inhaling any powder of the vitamin, as this would not be lasting for so many days.
During a reverse sneeze, your dog will make fast noises, stand still with her elbows spread apart, extend her head, and her eyes may bulge. she'll make a loud snorting sound, which might make you think he has something caught in his throat. Many dog owners think their pet is suffocating during a reverse sneeze episode. Each reverse sneezing occurrence generally lasts for less than a minute up to two minutes.
If this sounds like what is happening to Xella, do know that "Reverse Sneezing" is not generally harmful. But if this begins to happen a lot, testing for nasal mites,and nasal cancer should be done. You can help your Pom during "Reverse Sneezing by massaging her throat very gently.
In addition, what appears to be "Reverse Sneezing" can be a sign of something much more serious. If a Pom has any of the following symptoms, this is a reason to bring the dog to the vet:
- Blood coming from the nose
- Sneezing (regular sneezing)
- Abnormal facial deformity over the dog's nose area
As you say, Xella has a decreased appetite. By itself, it is not reason for concern unless your Pom is losing weight. However, since she has 2 symptoms, we do strongly suggest bringing her to the vet, as this suggests this may
be more than just expected gasping that comes from reverse sneezing and it's always better to be safe than sorry.
Other issues could be collapsed trachea or similar injury to the windpipe. Unfortunately, this is a common health issue for this breed; though the type of gasping with collapsed trachea is typically a honking type cough. This may be accompanied with wheezing, as if the dog is struggling to take in enough air.
Another possible cause could be a hairball. Since the coat is so thick, some Pomeranians can develop hair balls. This is another issue that the vet can help you with. Cat hairball solution can be given in some cases, but dosing needs to be exact since it can cause upset stomach issues.