How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Tammy F. Your Own Question

Tammy F.
Tammy F., Not an active Expert
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 9168
Experience:  Not an active Expert
Type Your Dog Question Here...
Tammy F. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Why does my bichon have a chronic cough

Resolved Question:

My bichon frise is 6 years old and was purchased directly from a breeder in Wisconsin. She is virtually never around other dogs, certainly has never been boarded with other dogs. Her first 4 years were spent in Portland, OR, and since then in the central San Joaquin Valley of California.   She has had a cough for her whole life, which comes on both at rest and after running around, more when inside the house than when outside. It is a hacking cough and sometimes she looks like she's trying to cough something up. It is always dry. She has received all routine vaccinations including Bordatella.

One vet told me it was "collapsing trachea" and it would get worse as she ages. Another said it was kennel cough. Neither has offered suggestions for treatment.

She is otherwise healthy. Eats Little Cesar twice a day and Beneful kibble as snacks.

Is there anything I can to to rid her of this affliction?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Tammy F. replied 7 years ago.

If it's happening when he's excited or active, this is very likely caused by a collapsing trachea. It's VERY common in this breed. I would want to see the vet to confirm this. Most dogs with this condition do not need treatment (aside from anti-tussins) and live a very normal life.

Aside from that, heart conditions can also cause a cough with exertion so I would want to have the vet pay a little close attention to the heart.

This CAN become a habit, particularly if he has been doing it this long. When he starts to cough, be sure to distract him with a toy or even just affection so that he will stop. If it's a habit, this will help.

But I would definitely want to look further at tracheal issues and the heart.

Respiratory illnesses are also a common cause of coughs but if your dog has not been exposed, I would not jump to that first.

You can read more about robitussin and its use dogs, including dosage information and the precautions:

http://www.petplace.com/drug-library/dextromethorphan-robitussin-dm/page1.aspx

Let me know if you need more help.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Reply to Tammy Falkner's Post: Thank you for your reply. Would a cough that occurs most severely when she is active or excited but which also occurs at rest be consistent with collapsing trachea? If so, is your suggestion to give anti-tussins when it is most severe, and when coughing occurs at rest to try to distract her?

A heart disorder is a new thought: Are you suggeting some abnormality which would cause her to have heart failure/hypoxia? She is such an athletic dog that it is hard to imagine a cardiac problem. However, what should I ask for from my vet to rule that out? I've taken her for routine check ups--what more should Rugby have done to evaluate her heart?
Expert:  Tammy F. replied 7 years ago.

Yes. Coughing can become a habit in some dogs. If you distract her, you might be able to break the habit, as opposed to letting it continue.

An excitable cough (one that presents with excitement) is often because of tracheal issues. If this is the case, your vet can prescribe anti-tussins to help. Some dogs require surgery to repair a severely collapsed trachea.

Your vet can listen to the heart to check for a murmur, which would be indicative of a cardiac issue. Worst case scenario, you can get a cardiac ultrasound to rule out heart problems.

Kennel cough is still a concern but time/antibiotics should clear that up for you, if that's truly the cause.

Tammy F., Not an active Expert
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 9168
Experience: Not an active Expert
Tammy F. and 4 other Dog Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • You are a light at the end of scary tunnel when $ are tight, but people need professional help to turn to for help with their dear pets! Linh Charleston, WV
< Last | Next >
  • You are a light at the end of scary tunnel when $ are tight, but people need professional help to turn to for help with their dear pets! Linh Charleston, WV
  • $1,000 spent at his vet, and I finally get the correct diagnosis from Nancy Holmes for $15 Carol Cedar Hill, MO
  • I think this is the greatest web site in the world. Thanks to all! Judy New Haven, CT
  • I have referred several friends to your web site. I'm impressed with how easy it is to use your site, the Experts available and the quickness of answers. Nina USA
  • I am completely pleased with the quick response that I received in our time of need for our dog, Jasmine. I couldn't believe how quick the response was and I thank you. It's good to know you're there!! Jasmine's Mom USA
  • Please let everyone involved with your site know that your Expert, Dr. Lucy, has saved my dog's life. I will recommend your site to all my pet loving friends. Thank you again for simply being there! Sonya G Easley, SC
  • Last night my Expert spent close to 3 hours working with me on my dog's illness. Thank you so much for this opportunity to share in her care and knowledge! Cathie M Pompano Beach, FL
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Dr. Gary

    Dog Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    2534
    DVM, Emergency Veterinarian; BS (Physiology) Michigan State Univ
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RY/rydergar/2012-6-6_192240_IMG0328.64x64.JPG Dr. Gary's Avatar

    Dr. Gary

    Dog Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    2534
    DVM, Emergency Veterinarian; BS (Physiology) Michigan State Univ
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/JA/Jav917/2012-2-20_54059_201221802254JoananddavidArchuleta3.64x64.jpg Joan's Avatar

    Joan

    Vet Tech

    Satisfied Customers:

    4544
    Vet Tech for over 30+ years working w/Dogs/Rescues
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/JA/jadedangel57/2011-11-8_193134_janenewsm.64x64.jpg Jane Lefler's Avatar

    Jane Lefler

    Breeder,Behaviorist, formerVet Asst

    Satisfied Customers:

    13847
    Former vol Vet Assistant.Breeder 16+ years Dog trainer / behaviorist
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/ER/ERPetNurse/2011-11-7_1293_b.64x64.jpg Candy's Avatar

    Candy

    Veterinary Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    7108
    Practicing Veterinary Technician for 26 years.Former Veterinary Practice Owner, Technician Trainer
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BA/babybloo/2011-3-10_62613_DavidandI.64x64.jpg Theresa's Avatar

    Theresa

    A Voice for Your Pet

    Satisfied Customers:

    4704
    19+ years experience in small animal medicine
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/VE/vetforyou/2012-6-20_33122_PearlPhoto.64x64.jpg Dr. Andy's Avatar

    Dr. Andy

    Medical Director

    Satisfied Customers:

    4430
    UC Davis Graduate, Interests: Dermatology, Internal Medicine, Pain Management
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/VE/VetAnswers/2013-4-5_8257_prof10.64x64.jpg Scott Nimmo's Avatar

    Scott Nimmo

    Dog Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    3977
    BVMS, MRCVS.