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Dr. Hunt
Dr. Hunt, Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 382
Experience:  Small animal & equine vet with special interest in ER/critical care, advanced medicine, and surgery.
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my dog has a cough that almost sounds like an asthma attack.

Resolved Question:

my dog has a cough that almost sounds like an asthma attack. He looks fine, eats well but is not drinking a lot. The cough tends to happen when he exerts himself or during climate change ie going from hot to cold
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Hunt replied 5 years ago.
Hi, I hope to provide some assistance to you and your dog.

There are a few things that can cause a cough in a dog. As you have noticed, most coughs do get worse with an increase in activity or excitement, or during temperature changes.

In a young dog like yours, bacterial infection is a common cause of a cough. This can be diagnosed by your veterinarian and treated with antibiotics. The other common cause is inflammation in the airways, sort of like bronchitis, which is treated with steroids. Other less common causes of coughing include tracheal collapse, where the tracheal rings are not as strong as they should be (this is usually a chronic cough in a small-breed dog), or congestive heart failure (usually older dogs). Cough suppressants are also sometimes used.

Your veterinarian can listen to your dog's heart and lungs for abnormal sounds. Based on what the vet hears and finds on the exam, they may want to do chest x-rays to get a further idea of what's going on in the lungs so that they can treat it properly. I do not recommend using cough suppressants on your dog at home unless directed to by a vet because if there is an infection, cough suppressants can make that worse because the dog then isn't clearing his airways.

I hope that this has been helpful. Let me know if you have follow-up questions, and best of luck with your dog.
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