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Doc Sara
Doc Sara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 952
Experience:  I am a dog and cat veterinarian with a lifetime of experience in our family veterinary hospital.
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We have a miniature beagle we adopted 2 years ago, She is

Customer Question

Customer: We have a miniature beagle we adopted 2 years ago, She is about 10 years old. She has always had a condition where she huffs two or three times then lets out s sharp sound a little like a seal's bark. This happenes sometimes several times a day and even at night. Some days more than others. She has had xrays of her throat and they showed no obstructions. We are thinking tracheal collapse. Do you have any other ideas? She is vaccinated for kennel cough. ***** *****
JA: Thanks. Can you give me any more details about your issue?
Customer: I think I have told you everything. She seems otherwise well, except she pees much more often than any other dog we've ever had. and has been treated a couple of times a year for bladder infections. But I don't think the two are related She had also been wormed regularly . ***** *****
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Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Doc Sara replied 11 months ago.

Hi there, I'm Dr. Sara. I'm a licensed veterinarian who works exclusively with dogs and cats. I'm also owned by a lovely 11 year old beagle boy named Toby. I definitely have a soft spot for beagles!!

Beagles are notorious for reverse sneezing, which is sometimes difficult for us to identify as vets from descriptions from owners. I find it easiest to describe reverse sneezing with video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U3L4v0W2_Sw

If it's not reverse sneezing, then it sounds more likely to be a cough. Sometimes a random cough can be normal - we all do it sometimes. When it's a sudden onset and is very frequent but goes away in a couple of weeks on its own, that's when we suspect an infectious cough (like saying they caught a cold). For coughs that linger, we consider heart disease, bronchitis, or collapsing tracheas. Unfortunately all can have the same pattern of worsening with exercise, excitement, or drinking. The cough with a tracheal collapse has a more characteristic sound that I can identify in most cases just by hearing it. It's more of a honk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vUrsqXqA_fk (It's worth noting that it took me a long time to find a youtube video of a dog doing the tracheal collapse sound - the first five I saw were actually dogs that were reverse sneezing, not having tracheal issues, even though the description said it was tracheal collapse - so you can't believe everything you read on YouTube, haha).

If they didn't check chest X-rays, that'd be the next step here. If a cough is a random occurrence and is infrequent, often times we take a wait and see approach. If there's any laboring or blue-ish color to the gums, that's when we get a bit more concerned.

You are right that the urinary issues aren't likely related to the breathing issues - if she's having recurrent urinary issues your vet may suggest an X-ray of the bladder to look for a stone and/or an ultrasound of the bladder to check for polyps or masses. Increased thirst and recurrent bladder infections can be a sign of other diseases like diabetes or cushings disease- but neither of these would affect her breathing.

Please let me know what other questions I can answer for you.

~Dr. Sara

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