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When my first golden was 13 he began to gag and cough. The first time I heard it I thought a chain smoker had broken into the house--it was horrible. It turned out to be hemangiosarcoma. I'd get to the vet as soon as you can. It could be something easily treatable with time or prescription medication, like kennel cough, or it could be something very serious such as cancer or mega-esophagus.