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Hello, this is Dr. Jess. I am sorry to hear about Ziggy.
How long has the problem been going on for?
Has he been to the vet in the past year? Does he have any history of heart murmur?
Because of his age and his breed, I would strongly recommend a visit to your vet's office.
There are several different things that can cause a hacking like you are describing. We can have something like a mild cold, we can have inflammation in the lungs of older dogs (chronic bronchitis) that is not related to an infection, we can have issues such as collapsing trachea where the windpipe becomes narrowed/irritated that can cause hacking, and in older toy breed dogs it is not uncommon to develop heart disease which can result in coughing. For this reason, in older dogs, it is important to have your vet listen to their heart and lungs when these symptoms arise, because the way that we treat all of these problems is different, so without doing a thorough exam, in an older dog such as yours, we can't truly give recommendations on appropriate treatment because the underlying cause can truly vary.
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