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Doc Evan
Doc Evan, Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 1066
Experience:  Vet since 1985. Board-Certified in Vet Cancer Medicine. Private and University Practice
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My dog has a cough. It sounds liking a gagging cough like

Customer Question

My dog has a cough. It sounds liking a gagging cough like he is trying to bring something up. In my readings it sounds mostly like an allergic cough. He is a yellow lab and does have some problems with allergies but they aren't out of control, but lately he has been doing alot of shedding and licking of his paws. Can you give any suggestions.
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Doc Evan replied 8 years ago.
Can you answer some questions so I can help answer you please?

1. How old is your dog?
2. Has he been to a kennel recently or around a lot of other dogs?
3. Is he outside or mostly inside. Is it dusty where he spends most of his time?
4. Does he seem ok otherwise? Eating, drinking, etc.
5. Has he had his teeth cleaned by a vet? If so, when was the last time.
Evan Keller
Customer: replied 8 years ago.



He is 7.5 years will turn 8 in December.

Does not get kenneled

Stays inside 95% of the time. Only goes out to relieve himself.

It is a little dusty..Both of my dogs are shedding like crazy. Him more so than my 11 year old golden retriever.

He eats and drinks fine. He plays like he normally does.

No he hasn't had his teeth cleaned recently. He doesn't have an awful lot of build up. I check them regularly and brush them twice a week.

I don't know if this helps, but I used to be a LVT and now I am a RN



Expert:  Doc Evan replied 8 years ago.
Oh, we need more nurses in this country..such a shortage..thats great you are one!
And you brush his teeth..kudos to you, many people dont do that!

A dry cough like that could mean many different things, so of course I can't tell you what it is, but can give some thoughts for you to consider.

As you indicated, it could be an allergy-related cough. This is a llittle unusual in dogs, as their allergies are mostly skin-related and dont bother the respiratory tract, but they can get allergy-related coughs.

We always need to be concerned in a dog of that age of other problems that can occur.

1. Chronic bronchitis does happen and can present as a chronic dry cough.

2. Heart disease, including that due to heartworm, but also non heartworm disease. In dogs as they age they can get other disease of the heart.

3. We would have to consider a mass of some kind that could be pressing on his trachea inside his thorax.

At this point I would suggest a trial with benadryl for allergies. (Generic is ok too) Typically it is used at 1mg/lb every 8 hours. You just need to get the dose close based on the pill size availablity, it does not need to be exact. It is very safe but may cause some drowsiness.

However, if he seems to be getting worse, and this does not provide some improvement within 10 days, then I would suggest he go to your vet for a checkup to see if they can sort out what is going on.

I hope this answers your concerns. If you have any more questions on this, please let me know!

Evan Keller
As always, feedback is appreciated!
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Customer: replied 8 years ago.



Thank you for you information. It gives me reassurance that my thinking was on the right track. If he doesn't improve he will be off to his vet.