Why does my 10 year old Border Collie mix cough & dry heave when she gets excited?

Question: 

My 10 year old border collie mix has a deep dry cough. She coughs then retches then dry heaves. She only does this when she gets excited. What could it be?

Answer: 

We do see coughing/gagging commonly in dogs as they get a little older. It is often difficult to determine, just by listening to the noise, if the problem is with the throat, the larynx, the airways or the lungs. Your veterinarian can help narrow down the options with a set of chest radiographs. If the chest radiographs don't give them an answer, they may want to refer you to an internal medicine specialist to consider more advanced diagnostics such as a sedated airway examination and bronchoscopy.