How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dr. Deb Your Own Question
Dr. Deb
Dr. Deb, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 10922
Experience:  I have been a practicing veterinarian for over 30 years.
Type Your Dog Question Here...
Dr. Deb is online now

my dog keeps cougheing really bad think shes got something

This answer was rated:

my dog keeps cougheing really bad think shes got something stuck in her throat how can I help her shes becoming distressed

Hello Pauline, I'm Dr. Deb and will do my best to help you today.

I'm sorry for this concern for Sadie. I do have a few additional questions to ask about her first, if you don't mind:

1. How long has she been coughing?
2. Is there a nasal discharge?
3. Is she lethargic? Still eating and drinking?

There may be a slight delay after I receive your answers since I have to type up a response to you. Thanks for your patience. Deb

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

she was all right this morning till she had her breakfast no nasal discharge shes breathing heavy but still eating and drinking

Thanks for the answers to my questions.

Several thoughts come to mind as to why she might be coughing since it's been such a short period of time and she doesn't appear to be otherwise ill.

1. Kennel cough or tracheobronchitis is probably the most common cause for coughing in an otherwise healthy dog. This condition is either secondary to a viral or bacterial infection and can be contagious between dogs . If a bacterial infection, then these dogs respond to oral antibiotics pretty quickly.
But if this is a virus , then it will have to run it's course....which is usually between 10-14 days. Kennel cough gets worse before it gets better and gradually improves rather than abruptly stopping unless this is a bacterial infection and antibiotics are started.

2.Ingestion of objects such as sticks or rawhide, grass, or anything that could cause damage to the back of the throat when ingested can cause coughing.If this is the problem, then it should resolve pretty quickly…usually within just a few days once the offending material is no longer ingested.

I recommend a diet of soft or moistened food (avoid dry kibble) so that further damage/irritation is avoided.

3. There are a number of other possible causes including problems with the heart/lungs or Canine Influenza or bronchitis or pneumonia which I'll include to be complete but aren't as likely since she's not showing other signs (such as a nasal discharge) and she's not been coughing for a while.

As to over the counter treatment options, cough suppressants can be given although I'm often hesitant to use them if kennel cough is the problem. I want those secretions removed from the upper airways and I rarely want to inhibit this reflex.

But acceptable ones to use include Dextromethorphan (LINK).

The dose would be 0.25 to 1 mg/lb 2-3 times a day. You just want to double check labels and ensure that the formulations only contain this ingredient although inclusion of Guaifensin is fine.

Anti-histamines are also safe to give which can help dry up secretions similar to a human. The dose of Benadryl, for example, would be 1 mg/lb twice a day with sedation a common side effect.

I hope this helps and that she's feeling better soon. Deb

Dr. Deb and other Dog Specialists are ready to help you

Thanks for the rating; it's greatly appreciated.

I'd like to check back with you in a few days to see how Sadie is doing.

Even though you've rated, we can still continue to communicate at no additional charge to you.

Best of luck with her. Regards, Deb

Kindly ignore the request for additional information.

I’m just following up on our conversation about Sadie. How is she doing? Deb