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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Breeder,Behaviorist, formerVet Asst
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 19590
Experience:  Former vol Vet Assistant.Breeder 18+ years Dog trainer / behaviorist
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Coughing and hacking for a time, but getting worse at night,

Customer Question

coughing and hacking for a long time, but getting worse at night
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Coughing can be worrying. The veterinarian will know what you should do. What is the dog's name and age?
Customer: Missy 12yrs
JA: Is there anything else the veterinarian should be aware of about Missy?
Customer: allergies food special diet
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 8 months ago.

Hi JaCustomer,

My name is ***** ***** I’ve been involved professionally with dogs in the health and behavioral fields for over 18 years. It will be my pleasure to work with you today.

In order to supply you with an informed answer, it is necessary for me to collect some additional information from you. When I receive your response or reply, it will likely take me between 30-45 minutes to type up my reply if I am still online when I receive notice that you replied. I hope you can be patient.

What type of allergies does Missy have?

Has she had an elderly checkup done recently?

Did they find any heart issues?

Is she on heartworm preventative?

Does she tire easily?

What breed is Missy?

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Food allergies he thinks corn wheat ? Oatmeal. Yearly check up. At that time with a minimal check up no heart issue talking to her recently she said could be heart failure. She does tire easily. And she's a bichon friese
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 8 months ago.

Thanks for the additional information. It is helpful.

Coughs can occur for a large number of reasons. They can develop upper respiratory illnesses such as kennel cough and canine influenza as well as bronchitis and inhaled allergies. I don't think those are the problem but I want to touch on these. You can read about bronchitis here:

If you are seeing any nasal congestion and sneezing then she may have developed an allergic reaction to an inhaled substance. If this is the case, Benadryl can be given to your dog, the dose is up to 2mg per pound every 8 hours. You likely know this if she has allergies already.

You can read about these here.

Kennel cough is normally contracted when a dog has been boarded or kenneled or around a large number of dogs such as at a dog show, dog park or pet store. Here is a website with more information on kennel cough.

Canine influenza is now becoming more prevalent and like it sounds it is a canine flu. Here is an excellent site on it.

You will want to monitor your dogs condition looking for colored discharge from the nose or eyes, a productive cough (coughs stuff up), stops eating or lethargy. These are signs of a possible bacterial infection as well and my require antibiotics. If your dog appears to be having a difficult time breathing, you will need to see your Vet as some dogs dog get really sick with canine influenza and need support to recover.

There are other reasons for coughs such as heart problems which should be investigated if your dog is not on heartworm preventative or is an older dog. Since she does tire easily and it is happening when she lays down and pressure is on the chest area, I think the heart is a likely culprit. If it is congestive heart failure a fluid reducing medication might help with the cough. The following site goes over canine coughs.

To help your dog breathe easier you can run a NON-medicated humidifier in the room your dog is in, or sit in a steamed up bathroom with your dog to help keep the mucous moving if you do suspect an upper respiratory illness. Robitussin DM at a 1/4 teaspoon per 5 pounds can be used to control the cough. It should only contain dextromethorphan and Guaifenisen. and should NOT contain pseudoephedrine. it can be used with a heart issue but the condition should be diagnosed first and then your vet can determine if it is necessary and what interactions might be with any medication she prescribes for the heart issue. Dosages can be obtained at this website.

Collapsing tracheas often et worse with age as well and often the position of the neck when laying down might lead to collapse. I'd go ahead and get her in again for testing to see if she is starting with congestive heart failure. Read about it here: I hope this information is helpful to you. If you would like any additional information or have more questions please don’t hesitate to press the reply to expert or continue conversation button so I can address any issues you still have . If you do find this helpful, please take this opportunity to rate my answer positively so I am compensated for my time.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
I believe heart as well. She has a dry nose and is very different from past allergies when she is excited or laying down or drinking are the worse is there any natural diuretics I can give ?
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 8 months ago.

I don't specialize in homeopathic medicine but this site has some natural diuretics.

Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 7 months ago.

Just a quick followup to see how things are going? Was my answer helpful to you?