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 S. August Abbott, CAS Your Own Question
S. August Abbott, CAS
S. August Abbott, CAS, Own Animal Care/Rescue Org.
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 7532
Experience:  We rescue what others leave behind; Animal Care author; Behavior & Nutrition Consults
Type Your Dog Question Here...
S. August Abbott, CAS is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Hard, hacking cough, Bo and 8 years old, cough is

Customer Question

Hard, hacking cough
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Coughing can be worrying. The Veterinarian will know what you should do. What is the dog's name and age?
Customer: Bo and 8 years old
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Bo?
Customer: cough is intermittent and drooling
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  S. August Abbott, CAS replied 2 months ago.

A dry, hacking cough that sounds like something might be stuck in the
dog’s throat is one of the symptoms of Kennel Cough. Sometimes this cough is so hard that the dog will bring up white phlegm; also, coming in from outdoors (changes in environmental temps) may trigger a coughing outburst.

Bordetella Bronchiseptica has an incubation period of 2 to 14 days. It’s often caught while dogs are boarded in kennels (hence the name) or even in dog obedience classes, dog parks, vet waiting rooms, etc..

Bordetella B. is an airborne infection that’s transferred when dogs sneeze or cough and project droplets into the air in the vicinity of another animal. Direct contact between animals or sharing food/water bowls and in some cases when a dog comes upon an area that an infected dog recently visited may transfer the infection. This bacteria, in normal situations, isn’t especially difficult to treat. There is usually a secondary infection (or more) that needs to be addressed in order to eliminate the problem, so a vet check is warranted. The treatment is an antibiotic medication that may be given with a cough suppressant (a med that is prescribed )

Over the counter cough suppressants are not known to actually work in dogs or humans

In dogs with immune system or other problems, this could be a more serious condition and indicate emergency treatment to insure a better chance of survival.

Other causes for dog coughing are environmental, like cigarette smoke exposure, dust, temperature extremes (too hot, too cold) and even stress. It could be tracheal disease or just allergies.

Even though the cough suppressants aren’t known to really work, some people still recommend Robitussin DM .5 to 1 mg per pound. There are eye dropper/measuring delivery systems available for baby care in most pharmacy aisles of stores. They’re great to have on hand for pets.

Setting up a vaporizer (without medications in it) in the room with the dog may also prove helpful. Offering a heat source such as a heating pad set on low, beneath their bedding may make them more comfortable too; however, I prefer to avoid electric sources an animal may gnaw on. We use rice socks. Fill any clean sock ¾ of the way with uncooked rice and knot the end closed. Microwave this for 1 to 1 ½ minutes, shake it out to distribute the heat and make sure it’s not too hot - tuck it in the dog’s bedding - it stays warm and holds body heat for hours. It’s very important to remember that these are just temporary, possible relief’s - in no way a cure. These will not make the animal ‘better’.

For more dog-cough information:

There are 9 types of vaccines available against Bordetellosis, usually products with whole cell bacterin, extracted cellular antigens or avirulent live culture. Some are intranasal (rather than injectable). An interesting note is that among veterinarians, there is a differing opinion as to the necessity of these vaccinations, as well as how effective they actually are and whether or not the protection lasts.

Columbia Animal Hospital provides more

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
I don't understand your response, it looks like it is copied and paste from the internet. Please look at the first sentence for why I say that. Can he get kennel cough when he has not been exposed to any other dogs and has not been away from his home to any place?
Expert:  S. August Abbott, CAS replied 2 months ago.

Yes, I c&p'd from my word program since we often lose our work typed directly here. That's maddening to say the least when we provide such lengthy, in depth answers.

My answers are always, 100% my own. Info on the internet isn't always reliable or as accurate as it should be and I question everything.

Yes, bordetella can even be brought into the home on your shoes, pant legs, etc.. Not as common as dog to dog or dog to immediate environment, but it happens.

I believe that when one hears hoof beats it's wiser to think horses, not zebras. What you're describing absolutely fits the 'kennel cough' suspicion; however, yes, this could be any number of far more serious things that are symptomatic with extreme coughing. Anything from heart worm, heart disease, heart failure, respiratory disease, infections, tumors, even cancer somewhere, among other possibilities

If you notice pale or discolored gums; ropey or sticky saliva - yellowing of the whites of the eyes and/or extreme lethargy or inability to stand well or for long it's an urgent care situation and your dog needs veterinary intervention immediately, no matter what time or how far you have to go

Only you can see your companion right now and you know what your heart tells you. I believe caring, involved owners are the best judges of how serious things are. No one knows your dog like you do.

Expert:  S. August Abbott, CAS replied 2 months ago.

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?

S. August Abbott, CAS

Related Dog Questions