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Dr. Christian K.
Dr. Christian K., Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 10146
Experience:  12 year of veterinary experience in surgery, medicine and behavior
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My dog has been coughing and hacking for a few weeks now.

Customer Question

My dog has been coughing and hacking for a few weeks now. He has always coughed after drinking water, but now he coughs for no reason several times. He is a mixed breed, and is 9 years old. Other than the cough, he seems fine.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Christian K. replied 3 years ago.

Dr. Christian K. :

Hello. This is Dr. Christian. I'd like to help Buck.

Dr. Christian K. :

Does he cough anything up?

Dr. Christian K. :

Is he on heartworm preventive?

Expert:  Dr. Christian K. replied 3 years ago.

I've switched away from the chat function to this format. Were you able to see my questions?

Expert:  Dr. Christian K. replied 3 years ago.
Coughing at this age can be caused by several different things. It is good news that he is otherwise normal. Here are the most likely possibilities:
- Infection- Kennel cough is the most common infection seen but there are other infections that are also possible.
- Heartworms- Heartworms are spread to dogs by mosquitoes and then infect the heart and lungs causing coughing. It is preventable with a monthly heartworm preventive.
- Heart disease- As dogs get older they are prone to developing heart problems such as murmurs and congestive heart failure. One of the earliest symptoms seen in these situations is coughing. As the disease progresses then difficult breathing and lethargy are also coughing. A cure is not possible but treatments can be done to help improve the function of the heart, control the cough and prevent fluid building up in the lungs.
- Lung disease- Cancer is a common cause for this in dogs. Cancer can spread to the lungs from other parts of the body or start in the lungs. In most cases there are other symptoms such as lethargy and weight loss but not always.

Buck should be seen by a veterinarian so that his heart and lungs can be listened too. This could give clues as to what is going on with him. If Buck is not on heartworm preventive then your vet will recommend a blood test for heartworms. X-rays may also be recommended to check out his heart and lungs. If you have more questions or need clarification on any of this please reply back.
Expert:  Dr. Christian K. replied 3 years ago.
Hi Lorena,

I'm just following up on our conversation about Buck. How is everything going?

Dr. Christian K.