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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 20924
Experience:  Hello, I am a small animal veterinarian and am happy to discuss any concerns & questions you have on any species.
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My 2 year old border collie has a dry cough.. She has been

Customer Question

My 2 year old border collie has a dry cough.. She has been coughing for almost two weeks. She hasn't been cough anything up but once in while when she's coughing,she gags. She is eating well and is still playful. She's been is the house in the air conditioning. Shes been getting heartworm medicine every month since I've had her. She doesn't seem to cough at any particular time of the day and she only cough for a little bit but it sounds harsh and it is in her throat,not her lungs
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.

Now if Chloe has a harsh, dry cough then we do have a few concerns. Throat irritation from the dry A/C air or even allergies could cause this. That said, this is the season for upper airway infections (ie bacteria like Bordetella or viruses like Parainfluenza). Of course, though thankfully less common, we’d also have to be wary of possible tracheitis, parasitic infections (ie heartworm, lungworm), bronchitis, pneumonia, and even heart issues (where we can see a cough if the heart is enlarged and pressing on the trachea).

With this all in mind and since this cough has been around for a few weeks, we need to tread with care. Since this raises concerns of an infection she cannot clear, we'd be best to have her checked by the local vet at this stage. That way we can confirm infection if it is present and get her onto treatment to quickly clear it. Otherwise, to counter benign irritation you can consider trying a mild cough suppressant. First, you can try plain over the counter glycerin/honey cough syrup (with no drugs in it) or even plain honey. Both can be very soothing to the irritated and tickly throat. Typically we will give a 1-2 milliliter (~1/4-1/2 teaspoon) as needed. Alternatively, you can try Robitussin DM with him. I would just say to make sure to use this preparation and avoid any similar syrups that may contain other medications like Paracetamol, Acetaminophen, Pseudoephedrine, Phenylephrine or caffeine (since these can be toxic). If it also contains Guaifenesin that is okay. Dose-wise, we tend to give this as 1/2 (half) teaspoon per 10lbs of the dog's body weight every 8-12 hours. Again, this can reduce the irritation that is triggering these coughing fits and hopefully get her settled.

Overall, your lass’s signs and history raise a few concerns. If this is benign but persisting inflammation/irritation of the throat, the above may be all she needs here. Otherwise since this is most suspicious of a bacterial or viral upper respiratory infection, we'd want to consider a check up for antibiotics to nip that in the bud.

All the best,

Dr. B.


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Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Hi Kathryn,
I'm just following up on our conversation about Chloe. How is everything going?
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Hello again,

How is everything going with your wee one?

Warm regards,

Dr. B.