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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 23757
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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My dog has a hard caugh. She caughs numerous times a day. I

Customer Question

My dog has a hard caugh. She caughs numerous times a day. I don't think she swallowed anything. She eats and drinks OK, and goes to the bathroom OK and plays with other dogs. The weather here is hot and often humid. I had a previous dog that had these symptoms and passed away. I thought this one died of old age. Do you think this caugh had to do with his death. Is there anything I can do for the current dog besides take her to a vet? I live in north eastern Arizona.
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 3 months ago.

Ken, human cough suppressants - usually containing dextromethorphan - shouldn't be given to dogs. That drug's efficacy is poor and the products contining it are alcohol tinctures poorly tolerated by dogs. You'll see a better response to honey administered at a tablespoon every few hours as need be.

Most important, however, is a young dog coughing to that extent in Arizona strongly suggests a fungal infection called coccidioidomycosis. Heartworm disease (if you have a problem with mosquitoes where you live) and a sterile bronchitis (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease/COPD) are other important considerations. Heart disease isn't an important differential diagnosis in such a young dog but certainly is a consideration.

I understand that you'd like to avoid a vet visit but this type of presentation begs for careful auscultation (listening to) of Lila chest and then X-raying it. There's no other manner in which to clarify why she coughs in that manner. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

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