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Lisa
Lisa, Certified Vet Tech
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 16168
Experience:  AAS Vet Tech. Bully breed rehab & Behavior modification
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My dog has a runny nose, sneezing and is having a hard time

Customer Question

My dog has a runny nose, sneezing and is having a hard time getting up on the bed
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Lisa replied 10 months ago.

Hi there. My name is ***** ***** I'm happy to help you with your question today. Just like an in person consult, I have a few questions of my own to help ensure I give you the best advice possible....

Has Lilo been around other dogs at all?

Any vomiting or having diarrhea?

Is she eating/drinking/urinating/defecating normally?

DOes she seem painful at all?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
we were dog sitting for 2 weeks.
No vomiting or diarrhea
Yes she's eating and drinking and going to the bathroom fine
No pain just weak
Expert:  Lisa replied 10 months ago.

Is she up to date on vaccines?

How long ago did the other dogs go home?

Were either of the other dogs coughing?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Saturday it all started Friday
No coughing from the other dog just dry skin that I noticed.
Expert:  Lisa replied 10 months ago.

And do you notice if her tongue/gums have a blue tinge during these episodes?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
No blue
Expert:  Lisa replied 10 months ago.

Great. Thanks for the additional information. I really appreciate it.

As with most things, in this forum it's hard to give you a 'for sure' answer about what could be going on with your dog and the cough. There are actually quite a few possibilities that range from the simple to the complex. Some of the biggest offenders are:

**Some sort of heart condition, such as congestive heart failure (also known as CHF):
http://www.petplace.com/dogs/a-matter-of-the-heart-congestive-heart-failure/page1.aspx

**Upper respiratory illnesses such as bronchitis: http://www.petplace.com/dogs/chronic-bronchitis-in-dogs/page1.aspx

**Allergic reactions to inhaled substances such as pollen or dust: http://www.sniksnak.com/doghealth/inhalants.html

**Kennel cough, which is most likely if your dog has been boarded or kenneled recently, or if your pup has been around a large number of dogs in a place such as a dog park. http://www.thepetcenter.com/gen/kenc.html

**Canine influenza is not well known currently but is slowly working its way into the mainstream with more and more dogs coming down with it. http://www.petplace.com/dogs/canine-influenza-virus-dog-flu/page1.aspx

**Having a dog that is older or that isn't covered by a heartworm preventative can also develop coughs: http://www.gopetsamerica.com/dog-health/chest-lung-conditions.aspx , http://www.canismajor.com/dog/cough.html

**Some breeds and some dogs are prone to collapsing trachea. This can be a chronic, degenerative issue that could impact the health of the dog. You can find more information on this particular issue here( and although this is an article about small breeds, there are large breeds with this issue as well): http://www.toybreeds.com/health.htm

**Finally, it could be that your dog is having what is known as 'reverse sneezing', which is pretty common in some dogs: http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&A=2335

The easiest way to know for sure which of these problems is affecting your dog is to schedule an appointment with your regular vet. They'll do all the necessary work-ups (which may or may not include blood work and radiographs) to diagnose which problem your pup is having and the best course of treatment for you to follow.

Of course, it goes without saying that if your dog is having difficulty breathing, experiences lethargy or you notice a bluish tinge to the lips, gums or tongue, you need to seek medical attention for your dog at once as this is a sign that your dog is not getting enough oxygen for some reason and needs to be seen by a vet as soon as possible.

I hope this helps!