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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.
Has he had any chest xrays? Bronchoscopy?
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?
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.
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.If you are happy with the advice offered please don`t forget to rate me as this is the only way the website has of providing me with feedback.If you don`t click the stars, the website does not acknowledge me for the time I spend helping here!Thankyou so much,Richard