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Dr. Peter
Dr. Peter, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 30347
Experience:  16 years of internal medicine, surgery, and preventive care.
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My 9 year old Boston Terrier has been coughing for three

Customer Question

My 9 year old Boston Terrier has been coughing for three days. Every time she gets up and moves around, she coughs and gags. She swallows when she's done her fit. She has not had contact with other dogs, and doesn't cough when she is sleeping or at rest.
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Peter replied 8 months ago.

Hi, I'm Dr. Peter. Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm reviewing your question now, and will post back with your reply ASAP.

Expert:  Dr. Peter replied 8 months ago.

I am sorry to learn your dog is coughing. My name is***** will do my best to help you today. First I need to ask you a few questions so that I can be well informed and give you the best advice.

1- Is she lethargic?

2- Any pre existing medical conditions?

3- Is she eating and drinking?

4- Any other symptoms?

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
1. Not lethargic
2. Has some mild seasonal allergies. Is a bit overweight.
3. Eating well, drinking more than usual.
4. No other symptoms.
Expert:  Dr. Peter replied 8 months ago.

1- Is she spayed?

2- Is she losing weight?

3- Is she on any medications?

4- How long has she been drinking more than usual?

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
1. Yes, spayed
2. Not losing weight
3. No meds
4. Just since she's been coughing
Expert:  Dr. Peter replied 8 months ago.

Thank you for answering my questions. Please give me 5-10 minutes to type your answer.

Expert:  Dr. Peter replied 8 months ago.

Stacey, I am sorry that you are having this problem with your dog. In response to your question, coughing can be caused by many different medical conditions. It will be difficult for me to determine the exact underlying cause without a hands-on examination and some testing. But, common causes are infections, airway disorders like a collapsing trachea, heart or lung disease, tumors, etc. to name a few causes. Her drinking more than usual further supports things like infections, tumors, etc. However, it is also important to rule out diabetes, kidney disease, etc. In this case, unfortunately, we are very limited as to what you can do at home, I am sorry. Treatment for your dog will be based on knowing exactly which of the above is the underlying cause. She will need a hands-on examination by a veterinarian and some testing like blood work and x-rays as an initial screening test. Treatment will be based on exam and test results. If cost is a concerned look into your local ASPCA or Shelter where they often offer veterinary services at a lower cost. In the meantime, you can start her on Robitussin DM (cough) 1/2 teaspoon every 6 hours. You can buy Robitussin over the counter in any pharmacy, do not buy sugar-free.

My goal is to provide you with excellent service - I hope I've provided the information you were seeking, if you feel you have received anything less, please reply back as I am happy to address follow-up questions. Kindly rate me when you are done.

Dr. Peter

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Does the fact that it started suddenly support one theory more than another? It also seems to lessen as the day goes on.
Expert:  Dr. Peter replied 8 months ago.

Very often any of the above-mentioned diseases may appear as if they came on quickly but in reality, they may have been ongoing for weeks to months. In response to your question, no, in this case, I would not favor any one more than other as far as timing.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Can kennel cough be a possibility without exposure to other dogs?
Expert:  Dr. Peter replied 8 months ago.

Not likely, they would need to pick up the virus or bacteria from another dog.