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CriticalCareVet
CriticalCareVet, ER/ICU Specialist
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 63982
Experience:  Emergency and Critical Care Specialist
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MY DOG, 4 YR OLD CHIWEENIE, KEEPS MAKING COUGHING SOUNDS &

Resolved Question:

MY DOG, 4 YR OLD CHIWEENIE, KEEPS MAKING COUGHING SOUNDS & THEN ACTS LIKE HE IS TRYING TO COUGH SOMETHING UP, BUT NOTHING COMES OUT. WHAT COULD THIS BE?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  CriticalCareVet replied 6 years ago.
Thank you for your post!

Does the episode happen to sound like this?

Expert:  CriticalCareVet replied 6 years ago.
Hi there,

Please use this link rather than a new question :)

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Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I don't see anything here? Is there a link or something? I'm at work & they block a lot of stuff so I'll probably have to wait until I get home tonite. I was hoping for an answer sooner.
Expert:  CriticalCareVet replied 6 years ago.
Hi there,

not a problem - there was a video - but we can just go back and forth with "talking" if you would like - please let me know!

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Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Let's try talking.

He starts like, hacking and trying to cough something up, but nothing comes up.

 

Expert:  CriticalCareVet replied 6 years ago.
Is the hacking very deep, like a goose honking type of cough?

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Customer: replied 6 years ago.

No. Like if you maybe swallowed wrong & were trying to get it up.

He's also very picky on eating, not sure if that's related, or if he's just being picky. He'll eat treats and stuff, but not his food. I even put canned food down lastnite and it took him a while before he finally ate a little bit of it.

 

 

Expert:  CriticalCareVet replied 6 years ago.
Does he have any problem swallowing?

Any history of vomiting?

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Customer: replied 6 years ago.

No problem swallowing.

 

About a month ago, he was sick. Vomitting & not eating. I took him to the vet and he had some kind of infection. He was on anti nausea meds for a few days and anti biotics for about 2 weeks.

He got better and was eating and playing just like normal until this started a few days ago.

Expert:  CriticalCareVet replied 6 years ago.
Excellent...

More on the episodes...

Do they happen at any specific time?

With activity?

During or immediately after eating?

Morning or evening?

While pulling on the leash?

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Customer: replied 6 years ago.

No, they happen at different times of day.

Too much activity (getting too excited) or eating too fast seem to start them as well. But it will happen when he's not doing anything also. But if I calm him, it seems to help a bit.

 

And yes, if he pulls on his leash, it does seem to happen.

Expert:  CriticalCareVet replied 6 years ago.
Here is some information which I hope will help - please let me know!!!

From what you describe, including the age, breed, and signs reported - I would be most interesting in evaluating for a collapsing trachea (mild based on your signs)

Here is a general summary of the trachea and options that you may find helpful.

The trachea is the scientific name for windpipe. It consists of muscle connecting a group of cartilage rings. The rings are actually not complete circles; they form a C shape. The remainder of the trachea that is not cartilage is a tissue called the tracheal membrane.

Tracheas collapse because the C cartilage flattens due to weak cartilage and then the membrane becomes floppy and weak. The tickling sensation of the membrane touching the tracheal lining generates coughing and if the obstruction interrupts breathing, the patient may become distressed.

Panting or rapid breathing for any reason makes the collapse and anxiety worse, which unfortunately tends to generate more rapid breathing and a vicious cycle of distress.

Making things worse still is the inflammation generated in the trachea. The collapse creates increased secretion and inflammation thus promoting yet more coughing which creates yet more inflammation. Ultimately the tissue of the trachea changes and loses its normal characteristics and the condition gets worse and worse.

TREATMENT: (MEDICAL VERSUS SURGICAL)

MEDICAL MANAGEMENT
The following steps are often helpful in long-term management of the tracheal collapse patient:

1) Cough suppressants are used. (torbutrol, hycodan, etc)

2) Corticosteroids such as prednisone can be used, but are best used on a short term basis due to side-effects potential.

SURGICAL MANAGEMENT/INTERVENTIONAL

If medical management does not produce satisfactory results, and the respiratory distress is still present, either a placement of a tracheal stent or surgical rings to widen the trachea should be considered. Surgical therapy of tracheal collapse requires a surgery specialist.

Usually surgery, or tracheal stent placement are not first line treatments, but if medical management fails, tracheal stent placement or surgery can be considered.

Of course, the best is to make sure (with x-rays) there is not another cause such as pneumonia which made the trachea worse - or meaning - had to work harder to breathe and collapse more.

This link may also help: CLICK HERE
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Please click "ACCEPT" if the information I have provided has been of help so I receive credit for my work. Bonuses are always welcome and appreciated. Thank you.

The above is given for information only. Although I am a licensed veterinarian, I cannot legally prescribe medicines or diagnose your pet's condition without performing a physical exam. If you have concerns about your pet I would highly advise contacting your regular veterinarian.
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