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1- Is he lethargic?
2- Any pre existing medical conditions?
3- How much does he weigh?
4- Any other symptoms?
5- Can you take a look at his gums and see if they are pink or pale?
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Friend, hacking/coughing can be caused by many different medical conditions. Unfortunately, I will not be able to pinpoint the exact underlying cause without a hands-on examination, I am sorry. But, common causes are respiratory infections, a collapsing trachea, heart/lung disease, etc. to name a few causes. If it came on quickly and he is better now it could even be debris/dust in the upper airway that he was clearing. I would keep an eye on him for the night, if the hacking continues I would start him on Robitussin DM (cough) 1/2 teaspoon every 6-8 hours and follow up with your family veterinarian for a hands-on examination in the morning. Symptoms that would require an ER vet visit are lethargy, pale gums, weakness, difficulty breathing, etc.
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You're welcome. :)