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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 25527
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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My black lab has been swimming and jumping in our chlorine

Customer Question

My black lab has been swimming and jumping in our chlorine pool for the past three days. She has developed a hacking cough and keeps hacking/vomitting up mucus. Should I be worried?
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 6 months ago.

I'm sorry to hear of this with your Lab. Our studies have shown that the concentration of chlorine in pool water isn't toxic to dogs. It is, however, irritating to the mucous membranes of the oropharynx (back of the throat) and nasopharynx and I can only imagine how much pool water she's inhaled and swallowed over the past three days. The tincture of time should suffice in normalizing her if that were the case.

There's always the possibility that her behavior isn't related to the chlorine at all. I would consider infectious tracheobronchitis ("kennel cough") and other causes of cough such as a sterile chronic bronchitis, heartworm disease, and cardiopulmonary diseases if she's an older Lab. I would have her vet take a look at her and X-ray her heart and lungs if this hacking cough/gagging persisted for more than a week. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

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