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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16179
Experience:  Hello, I am a small animal veterinarian and am happy to discuss any concerns & questions you have on any species.
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4 year old dog started coughing, or more of s throat clearing

Customer Question

4 year old dog started coughing, or more of s throat clearing whenever she gets exerted or excited. Only started a few days ago
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.
Has Alice ever had any throat or heart based health issues?
When she coughs is it harsh or soft?
Does she have fits of coughing and then retch?
Has she had any vomiting or eaten anything abrasive or odd (ie bones, chews, hard foods, etc)?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
She has never had any health issues, been the picture of health from day one. Its a dry cough, almost like dried phlegm is stuck to her throat. She is up on all of her shots and only around our older dog, but no other exposure to other dogs. She did have a new mobile groomer about 2-3 weeks ago. She takes monthly flea and heartworm pill is only medication.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you,
Based on her signs, we do have a few concerns. Now as this is sudden then chronic issues (ie collapsing trachea) would be less likely. As well, a harsh, dry, throat based cough lessens the concerns regarding possible heart induced coughing. With those aside, our main concerns would be a possible tracheitis, esophagitis (if she ate something that has irritated her throat), or a possible exposure to kennel cough.
And I must warn that the bacteria that causes KC is very robust and can survive away from dogs. So, if the groomer had a dog in that had this, it could have contaminated their facility and thus lead to Alice being exposed. But the same goes for dog parks, communal spaces, and walkways. Anywhere a dog could have coughed in he past few weeks that Alice could have sniffed could potential spread this and thus put her at risk.
Now that aside, since her signs are generally mild, I would just advise some supportive care to soothe her throat at this stage. If this has just been an irritation to her esophagus or if her immune system has any viral or bacterial agent well in hand; then this may be all we need to do.
In regards ***** ***** care, we will want to put her on a soft diet for the next few days to avoid any further irritation. As well, you can sooth her throat by giving her a tablespoon of honey+glycerin cough syrup or even plain honey. Alternatively use Robitussin DM but you must take care not to use one with cold medication added to it. It will take some label reading, but do avoid any syrups with cold medications in (ie acetaminophen, paracetamol, ibuprofen or any human cold medications since many are toxic for dogs), you just want one to lubricate and soothe the throat. When using Robitussin DM, we tend to give 1 milligram per pound of their body weight every 8 hours.
Overall, mild coughing with excitement can be a sign of a range of issues. Still with Alice's situation and mild signs, the above would be our main concerns for her. Since she is otherwise well and this is only with exercise, I would just advise the above for the next few days. As long as she settles, we are happy. But if this cough persists, then we'd want to consider a check up with her vet to confirm our suspicions and potentially have them dispense an antibiotic to help her clear this.
I hope this information is helpful.
If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!
All the best,
Dr. B.
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Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Hi Mary Ann,

I'm just following up on our conversation about Alice. How is everything going?