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Dr Scott Nimmo
Dr Scott Nimmo, Small Animal Veterinarian.
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 20723
Experience:  BVMS, MRCVS. { Glasgow UK }
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My male chihuahua has started having a hacking cough, started

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My male chihuahua has started having a hacking cough, started Friday but today May 4th has been coughing atleast 5 times today for atleast 5 minutes each time but quits after I give him water.
Thanks for the questionCustomer

I will be very pleased to try and answer your question but to enable me to do so with accuracy I need to know a little bit more information, so first can you tell me :

1. Is he eating and drinking OK?

2. Does he otherwise seem fit and healthy?

This is just a information request for which you have not been charged, I am online at present. I will answer your question shortly after receiving your reply.

Scott Nimmo BVMS MRCVS
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Yes he is eatting good and for his size look really healthy. He is eatting good also other than the hacking cough he acts like something is stuck in his throat but I have checked and can not feel anything unusaul. Could he have a cold and sore throat from the very hot weather we are having during the day and keeping a fan on at night he likes to sleep under the box fan I have in my room.
Thanks for the quick reply.

While I cannot diagnose this over the internet it would come as no surprise to me if your Chihuahua has some form of upper respiratory disease such as kennel cough. Since kennel cough is a strong possibility from your description I will tell you what I know about it ...

Kennel cough is a common contagious respiratory disease of canines. This disease is usually associated with recently having been in kennels or having been where dogs congregate, but dogs living on their own can sometimes catch it as well as it is an airborne disease.

This is a disease which vets will see quite a lot, we often have to explain the symptoms to clients :

1. Most owners whose dog has kennel cough think there might be something stuck in the throat due to the strange retch that these dogs have - a bit like a seal honk!

2. The dog may sneeze a little but the cough is the main symptom, these dogs are usually otherwise quite bright and alert.

3. The dog will retch for a few minutes and in the end it will be productive, he will bring up some white sputum, some owners take this for vomit. Once he has done this he will settle down for a bit.

4. It is normally not a serious disease but will run its course given one to two weeks without treatment, however antibiotics will speed up recovery and make your dogs feel better very quickly.

Here is a link for more information on this disease : LINK

My advice to you is to have your vet check your dog out sooner rather than later as antibiotics may well get him better more quickly and there is not really much you can do on a home treatment basis.

If I have not answered your question fully enough or if you would like to ask more I will be on line for the next hour or so and I will be pleased to discuss your question further.

Scott Nimmo BVMS MRCVS
Customer: replied 8 years ago.

Charlie has not spit up anything from the times he has been coughing I check every time he quits can it still be kennel cough I have him and a pregnant 3 yr old female she does not have it


Hello again,

Yes it can still be kennel cough if he does not spit up anything, this is quite a variable disease as it caused by a number of different things, some viral and some bacterial. While it is an infectious disease it does not always follow that the other dog may get the disease, she may have been exposed to it and has some natural immunity or she could be incubating the disease now.

An upper respiratory tract disease would be the most common cause of your dog's symptoms and antibiotics often help. The advantage of a vet visit is that the vet will check your dog over thoroughly and confirm the diagnosis, this is the safest way to go ...


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