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Richard Rawling
Richard Rawling,
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 510
Experience:  Veterinary Surgeon at Tameside Veterinary Clinic
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My dogs exhale is forced. often with a cough/dry heave.

Customer Question

my dogs exhale is forced. often with a cough/dry heave. makes a honkng (goose) sort of sound at times. been going on a few years but worse the last couple. our vet coulndt make a diagnosis
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Coughing can be worrying. The Veterinarian will know what you should do. Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about exhale?
Customer: it happens in morning, or during play/exercise mostly. but wakes me up when he does it. 10 yo male pom
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Richard Rawling replied 2 months ago.

Hi, i`m Richard,a Veterinarian from the UK. Hopefully I can help today.

Forced exhalation, along with a dry type cough can be associated with heart disease. if this has been going on for some time then acute infections such as kennel cough are much less likely. Has he had any treatment for the cough?

I would be keen to rule out a heart problem in situations like this, based on the fact that he coughs at night and during exercise. Does he have any signs of exercise intolerance? Need to take a break during a walk or reluctance to go out on adventures?

Chronic bronchitis could also be associated with these signs and generally, I feel some investigations may be required to get to the bottom of the problem.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
He has been checked for heart problems. We do not live where heart worms are present. He isn't hesitant to exercise at all. Loves to play, Chase, etc but when he does he coughs a lot. Our get before has said a spasmadic larynx was her thought, but nothing has been able to treat it. It sounds like he is trying to cough up a foreign body when he does it, but nothing ever comes up. His whole body tenses when exhaling when this hsppens. Sounds a little wheezy as he's calming down out of it.
Expert:  Richard Rawling replied 2 months ago.

Has he had any chest xrays? Bronchoscopy?

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
I don't believe so. It was a few years back when it started. I could ask the vets office. An xray may have been done
Expert:  Richard Rawling replied 2 months ago.

My initial approach to a chronic cough would be chest xrays with a view to performing bronchoscopy (a camera in her airways). This allows us to asssess for any fluid build up on her cehst, it also allows for an assessment of heart size. Bronchocopy allows direct visualisation of the airways and can be useful in diagnosing tracheal collapse, bronchitis, polyps etc. It also allows a tchaeal wash/broncho-alveolar lavage to be done to send fluid for culture. This can identify any chronic bacterail infection which may be treated with relevant antibiotics (ther may be resistant bacteria for example that may not have responded to previous treatments).

If this has been ongoing for several years, there is a likelihood of chronic scarring to the airways which may benefit from medication to help open up the airways and reduce spasm.

Does she every appear to be struggling to breathe? Dogs with laryngeal spasm or laryngeal paralysis often present with episodes where they appear very distressed, physically struggling to breathe. This often eases when they are calmed down.

What breed is your dog?

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
He never Seems to struggle breathing. Seems to only struggle to exhale during these coughs. A Pomeranian. 10 years old. He's a larger ppm however. 17 lbs and many ask if he's a mini husky or other variety. Not overweight, but not super trim and fit. I am reluctant to exercise him too much because of his coughs , so he is given a limit on food to keep his weight from going crazy.
Expert:  Richard Rawling replied 2 months ago.

Poms can be prone to tracheal collapse which is a weakness of the muscle responsible for keeping the tracheal rings of the windpipe taut. On excitement the trachea can collapse on itself resulting in a dry honking cough. If this is happening often, these dogs often benefit from anti-inflammatory medication long term.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Ok. Thank you
Expert:  Richard Rawling replied 2 months ago.

You are very welcome. Hopefully i`ve given you some insight in possible ways to investigate the problem and hopefully make some progress for you both.

I hope you have found this advice useful and please don`t hesitate to ask if you have any further questions.
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Thankyou so much,

Expert:  Richard Rawling replied 2 months ago.
Hi Trevor,

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?

Richard Rawling