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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Breeder,Behaviorist, formerVet Asst
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 18809
Experience:  Former vol Vet Assistant.Breeder 18+ years Dog trainer / behaviorist
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my dog hacks when he barks or somtimes when he is just laying

Resolved Question:

my dog hacks when he barks or somtimes when he is just laying down ,this started yesterday he also spits up a little flem sometimes ,what could it be! thanks
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 5 years ago.

Hi Sir or Madam,


Dogs don't get colds like humans, but they can develop upper respiratory illnesses such as kennel cough and canine influenza as well as bronchitis and inhaled allergies. You can read about bronchitis here:


It's possible that sneezing and nasal congestion if present can be due to an allergic reaction to an inhaled substance. If this is the case, Benadryl can be given to your dog, the dose is up to 2mg per pound every 8 hours.

You can read about these here.


Kennel cough is normally contracted when a dog has been boarded or kenneled or around a large number of dogs such as at a dog show, dog park or pet store. Dog parks would be one place where kennel cough could be spread to your pup. Here is a website with more information on kennel cough.


Canine influenza is now becoming more prevalent and like it sounds it is a canine flu. Here is an excellent site on it.


You will want to monitor your dogs condition looking for colored discharge from the nose or eyes, a productive cough (coughs stuff up), stops eating or lethargy. These are signs of a possible bacterial infection as well and my require antibiotics. If your dog appears to be having a difficult time breathing, you will need to see your Vet as some dogs dog get really sick with canine influenza and need support to recover.


To help your dog breathe easier you can run a NON-medicated humidifier in the room your dog is in, or sit in a steamed up bathroom with your dog to help keep the mucous moving. Robitussin DM at a 1/4 teaspoon per 5 pounds can be used to control the cough if your pup is over 12 weeks of age.. Dosages can be obtained at this website.


If your dog has not had all its vaccinations I urge you to have your dog seen as soon as possible.


There are other reasons for coughs such as heart problems which should be investigated if your dog is not on heartworm preventative or is an older dog. The following site goes over canine coughs.


Your dog could be doing what is called a reverse sneeze or a collapsing trachea. Here is a site on reverse sneezes and one on collapsing tracheas.


I hope you find this information helpful and if you need further clarification, just reply..


Customer: replied 5 years ago.
we have two dogs and our lab is fine they both go to the dog park also the boxwyler may have eaten some palm tree bark or he may have gotten a hard piece of bone stuck some where
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 5 years ago.



Kennel cough is contagious, but one dog can catch it from another and the second dog would then catch it from your dog that has it, so just because one dog doesn't yet display symptoms doesn't rule out kennel cough.


Thank you for the additional information. If a dog scratches the throat through ingestion of a non food item, that can lead to coughing and vomiting small amount of fluid from the coughing. It is probably not something caught in the throat as your dog would likely be more agitated and displaying more symptoms of distress than you indicate.


It is not good to give a dog cooked bones at all. Some raw bones are ok but you still need to monitor your dog while they are eating raw bones to ensure no splintering or swallowing large pieces. Bones can cause intestinal obstructions which you can read about here:


In addition, bones can splinter and puncture the gastrointestinal tract causing peritonitis.


If the dog has had all its vaccination and is only coughing occassionally, it doesn't sound like an emergency. However, if there are any other symptoms or you feel it is a productive cough, I'd have your dog seen..


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