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Lisa, Certified Vet Tech
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 16475
Experience:  AAS Vet Tech. Bully breed rehab & Behavior modification
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My older dog seems to have a dry hacking cough. He has not

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My older dog seems to have a dry hacking cough. He has not been boarded or around other dogs. Now he also wants to lick the carpeting. He is still able to eat and drink.
Hello! My name is XXXXX XXXXX it will be my pleasure to help you with your dog today. Just like an in-person consult, I'd like to ask a few questions, just to get a picture of what's going on with Zack.

How long has he had this cough?

Do you notice if he has a blue tinge to his gums/tongue during these episodes?

Does it look anything like either one of these:
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

He has had the cough on and off for several months-in that I mean he may cough 3-5 times a day and then not cough for several days. Then 1-2 times the next week. Then nothing. Tonight he started coughing after ingesting a fabric string from a blanket but he is coughing at 2-3 minute intervals. In between that he is constantly licking the carpet and we cannot get him to stop the licking. He is walking around. He has eaten and drank water without trouble. The coughing is happening every 2-3 min.


No blue tinge around gums or tongue

Thanks for the additional informatioin Frances...I really appreciate it.

As with most things, in this forum it's hard to give you a 'for sure' answer about what could be going on with your dog and the cough. There are actually quite a few possibilities that range from the simple to the complex. Some of the biggest offenders are:

**Some sort of heart condition, such as congestive heart failure (also known as CHF):

**Upper respiratory illnesses such as bronchitis:

**Allergic reactions to inhaled substances such as pollen or dust:

**Kennel cough, which is most likely if your dog has been boarded or kenneled recently, or if your pup has been around a large number of dogs in a place such as a dog park.

**Canine influenza is not well known currently but is slowly working its way into the mainstream with more and more dogs coming down with it.

**Having a dog that is older or that isn't covered by a heartworm preventative can also develop coughs: ,

**Some breeds and some dogs are prone to collapsing trachea. This can be a chronic, degenerative issue that could impact the health of the dog. You can find more information on this particular issue here( and although this is an article about small breeds, there are large breeds with this issue as well):

**Finally, it could be that your dog is having what is known as 'reverse sneezing', which is pretty common in some dogs:

The easiest way to know for sure which of these problems is affecting your dog is to schedule an appointment with your regular vet. They'll do all the necessary work-ups (which may or may not include blood work and radiographs) to diagnose which problem your pup is having and the best course of treatment for you to follow.

Of course, it goes without saying that if your dog is having difficulty breathing, experiences lethargy or you notice a bluish tinge to the lips, gums or tongue, you need to seek medical attention for your dog at once as this is a sign that your dog is not getting enough oxygen for some reason and needs to be seen by a vet as soon as possible.

I hope this helps!
Lisa and 3 other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I do not have any more ?'s at this time.


Thank you Frances. Have a great day!!