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Dr Scott Nimmo
Dr Scott Nimmo, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 19800
Experience:  BVMS, MRCVS. { Glasgow UK }
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I have a 4 yr. old chihuahua who has been coughing, then

Customer Question

i have a 4 yr. old chihuahua who has been coughing, then hacking, then trying to expell something from her throat. It is not reverse sneezing and this is the first time she has had it. If it were a cat I would think it was a hair ball. Any suggestions? I've tried feeding her hamburger hoping it would snatch onto whatever is in her throat. No luck.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr Scott Nimmo replied 1 year ago.

Hello and welcome,

This is just a quick note to let you know that I am locked on to your question and am working on it now.

My name is***** and I am a small animal vet with many years experience and rest assured I will do my best to answer your question to your satisfaction today. However before I can start I need a little more information to make things clearer for me so could you please answer the following :

1. How long has this been going on?

You can then expect a written reply sometime within the next fifteen minutes or so.We also have the option to talk things over by telephone or via an internet service such as Skype if this is more convenient for you. Please get back to me if this is more suitable for you. { There is a small extra charge for phone calls }

Regards,

Dr Scott

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
For about 1 1/2 hrs. Intermittently. Probably every 3 or 4 minutes. It's obviously very irritating to her. She had no problem or reluctance eating or drinking. Her temperature is approx 100. She's not helpful in that department.
Expert:  Dr Scott Nimmo replied 1 year ago.

Hello again and thanks for waiting.

I have worked out an answer for you below ...

A dog having something stuck in it's throat and so producing these sorts of symptoms is actually quite rare, however I would not be at all surprised if your dog has not contracted an infectious respiratory disease such as kennel cough. However where a dog is retching like that other diagnosis are certainly possible but from your description it does sound quite like kennel cough.

However as kennel cough would be a front runner I will tell you a little of what I know about it ...

Kennel cough is a common contagious respiratory disease of canines. This disease is usually associated with recently having been in kennels or having been where dogs congregate, { Like the vet's surgery for example! } but dogs living on their own can sometimes catch it as well as it is an airborne disease.

This is a disease which vets will see quite a lot, we often have to explain the symptoms to clients :

1. Most owners whose dog has kennel cough think there might be something stuck in the throat due to the strange cough / retch that these dogs have - a bit like a seal honk!

2. The dog may sneeze a little but the cough is the main symptom, some dogs are quite bright and alert but others can be lethargic during the course of this disease.

3. The dog will cough and retch for a few minutes and in the end it will sometimes be productive, she will bring up some white sputum which sometimes owners take this for vomit. Once she has done this he will settle down for a bit. This however is a repeated cough / retch which just keep happening.

4. It is normally not a serious disease but will run its course given one to two weeks without treatment, however antibiotics will speed up recovery and make your dog feel better very quickly. For this reason my advice would be to have your vet check your dog over at the next opportunity and of course this is a wise move as other diagnosis are possible. Unfortunately there is very little you can do to make her more comfortable on a home remedy basis.

5. There are effective vaccines against some forms of this disease but because there are a number of other forms vaccinated dogs can still contract this disease.

Here is a link for more information on this disease : LINK

I hope I have covered your question fully enough but if you would like further clarification or to talk things over a bit more then I will be on-line for the next hour or so and I will be more than pleased to continue working with you.

Regards,

Dr Scott.
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