My dog has been coughing for a few days. I jacking, kind of honking cough that ends with gagging like he’s coughing up

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Customer: My dog has been coughing for a few days. I jacking, kind of honking cough that ends with gagging like he’s coughing up something, but nothing comes up. This is the second time he’s had this kind of cough. A year ago he had this and the vet gave doxycycline which finished off the cough. He’s in on doxycycline again now. But it’s been 3-4 days since we started the medication and he coughs mostly early morning, once or twice during the day and then once has an episode in the middle of the night. Why does he keep getting this cough? In the 6 years we have had him he never used to get any coughs. He’s a 7 year old chiuavah/pug mix.
JA: I'll do all I can to help. Coughing can be worrying. The Expert will know what you should do. What is the dog's name?
Customer: Encio
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Encio?
Customer: Not really. There have been no appetite changes. He’s eating, playing, everything else is normal.
Answered by tomasicvet in 5 mins 2 years ago
30+ years of experience

65,998 satisfied customers

Specialities include: Dog Veterinary, Dog Medicine, Dog Diseases, Small Animal Veterinary

Hi, is anybody going to answer my question?

Thank you for using Just Answer. My name is Rebecca; I am a veterinarian with over 30 years experience. I will do my best to help.

I just gave my dogs history, have you seen that?

I am sorry Encio is coughing. You can try giving him some Robitussin DM for coughing.

Dogs cough for many reasons: infections, fluid in the lungs, allergies.

But the cough always ends with gagging and he will go hours without coughing, but always coughs when he wakes up in the morning and sometimes during the day.
No loss of appetite and is very active and playful

He could have a collapsing trachea, since he is a small breed. Gagging at the end of the cough does not tell me what is causing the cough. I would need to listen to him with a stethscope, and possibly get a chest Xray to tell you why he coughs.

If it is an allergy, Benadryl may help. What does he weigh?

The vet gave me doxycycline 10 day course. 1 tablet 2 times a day. Last time he had this exact cough the doxy did wonders and cough finished. Now he is on another course of doxycycline. This is twice now in 7 years that he has had this cough.
Customer attachment 7/1/2020 12:42:27 PM
This is when he had a cough the first time.

Doxycycline will help if this is an infection called kennel cough. It is possible to catch kennel cough more than once.

Weight is around 8 kg.

This report lists the many possible causes of the cough, kennel cough among them. Further testing was recommended to find the underlying cause if the cough did not improve.

He can take 1/4th teaspoon Robitussin DM for coughing up to 4 times daily. Only the DM formula.

If it is his trachea , which I have noticed that when we take him on a walk and if he runs and we pull him back he coughs like this. So we changed his harness to one that does not effect his neck area when we pull him back. But if this cough is due to his trachea how can it be treated?

From the Xray report, it does not sound like he has a collapsing trachea.

What would be the key indication of a collapsed trachea?

He does not have this condition; that would have been noted on the Xray report. Certain dogs, usually small breed dogs, have this condition from birth due to the windpipe/trachea being too soft. The key indication is a persistent honking cough that gets worse with time.

I mentioned collapsing trachea as a possibility before I knew an Xray was taken and apparently rules that out.

most probably this would be a kennel cough?

If it improves with doxycycline, that is the most likely cause.

if it doesn't what should be the next step for our vet to take? I'm asking because I would like second opinion
Anything we can do to prevent kennel cough in the future? My dog only goes on walks with me and is never around other dogs in parks or other places.

I would first listen to him with a stethscope and examine him. Depending on what I found I may repeat the chest xray and/or do the further testing recommended on the report you posted.

There is a vaccination for kennel cough. It has to be repeated every 6 months to be effective.

But he does sniff a lot around bushes or trees etc.
How can I prevent this?

With vaccination.

The kennel cough ! I don't want to stop his walks.
Oh ok!

The only preventative would be regular vaccination. I took my dog to work with me, so she was at risk, so I vaccinated her every 6 months.

the cough has been 4 days now. Doxycycline is for 10 days. I'm assuming I should do the full 10 days and then if it's still there take further action?
this kind of cough cannot be allergies?

It could be allergies. The cough would sound the same if it were allergies, but doxycycline would not help.

You can try 12.5 mg of Benadryl/diphenhydramine for allergies, up to 3 times daily.

if the cough was because of allergies and doxycycline doesn't help how long do allergic coughs last?
Is this the regular Benedetto that people take?
I thought dogs cannot be given any medication that people take.

As long as what ever he is allergic to is around, just like people who have respiratory allergies.

Benadryl is sold over the counter for people. Do not get Benadryl D.

It depends on the medication. There are many medications for people that dogs can't take and many that are the same for dogs and for people, doxycycline for instance.

Sorry I'm confused about the Benedryl. What is Benedryl D ?

Benadryl is diphenhydramine, an anti histamine, safe to give dogs. Benadryl D has a decongestant added, pseudoephedrine, that is not safe for dogs.

Are there different types of Benedryl? The one I should give him would be found over the counter in a regular pharmacy?
Oh ok

Just check the label that it is diphenhydramine only.

It's over the counter?

It is in the US! I am not in Canada.

I found this: Benadryl and Children's Benadryl are available in pharmacies and stores without a prescription and marketed in Canada for many different symptoms including sneezing, runny nose, itchy eyes, insect bites, hives and other rashes.Nov 13, 2019

One thing I should mention is when he coughs he has a hard time stopping. Is that typical also? And when he stood it's always with a fag like he's coughing up something but nothing comes out.

That is not specific for a particular condition. That is how dogs cough, but the cause of the cough can be many things.

Ok! Thank you for your help. Do you recommend finishing the whole 10 day course of doxycycline or leaving it midway and trying Benedryl?

I would not stop the doxycycline. Give as directed. You can try the Benadryl or the Robitussin DM if the cough is not getting better. Best to finish one drug, then try another.

You are welcome. Please let me know how he is doing and if you have other questions.

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You should see stars, or smiley faces, or a box that says "rate your expert".

but where? On the website? Can you give me the link?

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I as steady rated you. Thanks.

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I went on the website and rated you. 5 ��
I will update. Thank you

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