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Dr. Lajos
Dr. Lajos, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 857
Experience:  DVM for 10 years, Emergency Medicine Experience, Veterinary Pathologist
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Why is my dog coughing and hacking?

Resolved Question:

Hello, my dog keeps hacking and coughing like she has something stuck in her throat. She has still been eating and drinking like normal but I am not sure what to do for her. It sounds like she is trying to vomit but nothing comes up. What should I do?

Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Lajos replied 4 years ago.

Hello and welcome to JustAnswer

I have a few questions that will help me better answer you

Has your dog been exposed to any other dogs at a dog park or in a kennel recently?

Did your dog get a Kennel Cough vaccine lately?

Has your dog be out where there are grass awns or in running in fields with lots of plant growth?

Thanks

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

She was kennelled about three weeks ago, but she did a bordatella vaccine in February of 2009. She hasn't been coughing since we brought her home, the coughing started yesterday. She does however like to chew on plants and grass in our back yard.

Expert:  Dr. Lajos replied 4 years ago.
Thanks for the quick reply.

There are a couple of things that could do this. Kennel cough being one.and inhaling a grass awn, foxtail or some other plant material could be another cause.

Incubation period for kennel cough is as long as 10 days, even up to 2 weeks so this is unlikely the cause, but still remotely possible. 6 months is probably the maximum time for full protection from the vaccine (as an aside, it might be worth it to booster the vaccine 3 weeks or so be fore kenneling again). If in the off chance it is kennel cough, it is a self limiting disease and should resolve in a week or so with no treatment. To provide some relief from the cough you can put your dog in the bathroom with some steam from the shower for 15-20 minutes 2-3 times a day.

If your dog inhaled a grass awn or foxtail it could eventually be coughed up, or it could be lodged there. If it is just a mild irritation it will likely pass in a few days.

There are a few things to watch out for that will require a vet visit as soon as possible: If your dog stops eating, develops difficulty breathing, chest discomfort, unwillingness to eat, severe vomiting, coughing up blood or thick mucus he needs to be seen. If it persists in the mild for and you decide to take your dog to the vet, they may put him on antibiotics, cough supressant, do a chest xray, do blood work or even scope his airways to try to find the source of the problem.

You can try feeding some active culture yogurt, 1-2 tablespoons/day. It can help soothe his throat.

I'm attaching links to a few websites that may be of interest to you

http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=2+2111&aid=2964

http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=2+2102&aid=452

I hope this helps

I'll be on and off-line throughout the day in case you have any follow-on questions
Dr. Lajos, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 857
Experience: DVM for 10 years, Emergency Medicine Experience, Veterinary Pathologist
Dr. Lajos and 2 other Dog Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you

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