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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Breeder,Behaviorist, formerVet Asst
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 19376
Experience:  Former vol Vet Assistant.Breeder 18+ years Dog trainer / behaviorist
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My dog got a cough that sounds like whooping cough. she is

Customer Question

my dog got a cough that sounds like whooping cough. she is 11 and a yellow lab. she sometimes throws up a white foam. been to vet, they think its seasonal allergies but i'm not so sure.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 year ago.
Hi Sir or Madam,
My name is ***** ***** I’ve been involved professionally with dogs in the health and behavioral fields for over 18 years. It will be my pleasure to work with you today.
Coughs can be caused by a large number of things including allergies. In most cases with allergies you will see other symptoms like red or watery eye, and even a little nasal discharge to go along with the cough. If allergies is to blame, benadryl at a dosage of 1-2mg per pound can be given every 8 hours.
You can read about these here.
http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=2+2096&aid=479
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. However, all it takes is her coming into contact with a dog that has kennel cough. Here is a website with more information on kennel cough. It is often described as a goose like or hairball type cough. In most cases, this resolves on its own in about 3 weeks unless the dog has a compromised immune system. Most vets will give antibiotics to puppies or elderly dogs to help prevent a secondary bacterial infection.
http://www.thepetcenter.com/gen/kenc.html
Canine influenza is now becoming more prevalent and like it sounds it is a canine flu. Here is an excellent site on it.
http://www.petplace.com/dogs/canine-influenza-virus-dog-flu/page1.aspx
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. I know you mentioned she is vomiting up white foam which is likely being triggered from the coughing. If she wasn't doing this when you went to the vet, go ahead and call him to be sure he is aware of it.
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. It should only contain dextromethorphan and Guaifenisen. and should NOT contain pseudoephedrine. Dosages can be obtained at this website.
http://www.petplace.com/drug-library/dextromethorphan-robitussin-dm/page1.aspx
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. I am hoping that your vet ruled out heart issues when you were in. The following site goes over canine coughs.
http://www.canismajor.com/dog/cough.html
http://www.gopetsamerica.com/dog-health/chest-lung-conditions.aspx
I wished I could tell you definitely but all I can do is give you the possibilities and things that might help you narrow down the cause. Go ahead and try the benadryl if the vet did not give you medication for her. The humidifier should help with her breathing as well.
I hope you found my reply helpful. If you need further clarification or more information, please reply and I'll get back to you as soon as I can.