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dog is coughing- vet says heart problem?????
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dog is coughing- vet says heart problem?????

I took my dog to the vet last week.  He had a skin tag and a cough.  The Vet put him on an antibiotic to see if we could clear it up.  We are on day 9 of 10 with his meds and the cough seems worse.  It is a heaving/hacking cough- kind of like he could vomit.  It is not constanct.  He is able to sleep, acting pretty normal and is eating fine.  BUT the Vet said if it has not cleared up- he might have heart issues and will need an x-ray.  In all of the research I have done, that is not mentioned.  Paracites, infection, fungus all get mentioned- but I have not seen any other source mention heart issues.  Anyone else been through this?  Thanks!
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462827_tn?1333172552
OK, For starters, for any Senior Dog IMO, you DO need to rule out Heart Problems....The xray will not only show the heart, but also the lungs...This is important....
With Heart Disease, the weak heart cannot pump as well...Fluid builds into the lungs causing the cough..The cough is usually MOIST like they're choking on congestion...Actually, they are...The cough is worse in the mornings & during periods of running, playing & excitement....Fluid will show in an xray.....
Heart Disease is NOT a death sentence.....It's rather common in dogs!  Dogs can live many ,many years on medications just like humans can.....Meds. to improve function of the heart & also lasix to clear fluid from the lungs......An EKG or ECG can detect what part of the heart is having a problem.....They usually run around $100.....Some Vets will suggest this test, some will not...THey will just go ahead and treat...

Next- Kennel Cough- This is a virus and antibiotics will do nothing.....Cough syrup is very necessary to help this run it's course.....Lasts a few weeks & the cough is excessive!!!!

Collapsing Trachea- Common in small breeds- This cough is more like choke-gasp, choke/gasp....It sounds like a goose honking....Meaning like when your sucking through a straw & it collapses. Like it kinda sticks then opens, etc. It is actually doing just that.....The trachea collapses then opens back up...This ailment is treated by weight control & Medications for lung disease....Cough meds, bronchial dilaters, Asthma meds., steroids when necessary, etc.

Respiratory Diseases cause coughing....Asthma & Bronchitis are treated with the same meds as Trachea Collapse. This is more of a dry cough with wheezing at times or both....With this, sometimes the Heart shows enlargement,but it is not a Heart Problem! It's from lack of oxygen through the respiratory system.....Steriods are useful as needed for allergy season that can be a trigger.....Dust mites in the house affect this alot (Especially in the winter when the heat is on and the house is closed up tight).......It seems they breath better outside.....Something else: Dust Mites in DRY dog food alone can trigger this.....This disease can be controled for years once you know what to do.....

There's a common cough called A "Reverse Sneeze"...You can google it to know what it sounds like.....I can't describe it....It kinda sounds like all the above, dammit!!!  ;)  Although it sounds awful, it's really harmless.....Lots of dogs do it their whole life...

Then of course, Heartworm Disease will cause a cough....ALso will show an enlarged heart....Will be seen on an xray....Can be ruled out with a blood test...

OK, good luck tomorrow...I hope you get it all figured out....Please come back and let us know what happens.....If I think of anything else, I'll let you know....Karla

P.S. I'm still surprised that your Vet did not prescribe Cough Syrup for a dog that was brought in for a cough!!!!!!

Oops.....I just thought of another one...Post Nasal Drip will cause a cough...As the fluid trickles down the back of the throat....It tickles....Thus the cough!  The throat & tonsils will be red and irritated if this is what your dealing with....Can be worse during periods of excitement, also.....This is usually allergy related or can be linked to Stress...I know that sounds impossible, but it can happen......Take care............


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462827_tn?1333172552
Hello & welcome.....Coughing and Heart Problems go Hand in Hand......However, there are many things that can cause a cough....

How old & what breed is your guy?
Has he done this all along or has it just started?
Does any certain thing trigger it?
Has the allergy season started where you live?
Has he been kenneled or around other dogs lately?
Is he running a fever?
Did your Vet give him anything for the cough? Or Just the antibiotics?
Because your in Florida,When was the last time he was checked for heartworms?
ANy other info. would help......Thanks, Karla
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1416390_tn?1333905204
9 year old, bull terrier
been going on maybe a 6 weeks- 4 weeks ago he was in the kennel
When he is excited- like anticipating dinner!  Or right after he eats- or if he rtrots around- mostly he is excited and panting.
It IS allergy season- we use bendryl to help- I was putting it in bread- but I have switched because I was wondering he might have a reaction to wheat/grain
No to the fever
He is only on the antibiotic- he is acting normal- maybe a little less energy than normal.
August he was checked for heartworm


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1416390_tn?1333905204
oh and Thank You!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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1623556_tn?1299157243
I just spent ages writing on here just for it all to be lost"!! right as I just said my dog Tyson died a year and a half ago,he was a staffie x boxer and was 15 yrs old,he had had abit of a cough for a few months but it wasnt bad enough to worry about at first (so I thought) we decided to take him to the vets after it suddenly got much much worse, the vet told us about a illness called Cardiomyopathy(check spelling!) this is something in the heart,it makes the heart double in size inturn making the heart struggle to cope as it hasnt got enough blood going round it,Tyson died 6 mnths later(we had him put to sleep cos he was starting to suffer) but the vet had warned us that with this illness a dog normally only lives for around 2 yrs with it! he went down hill really fast so if I was u Id be straight back to the vets asking for them to test for this illness,it is very common in staffies or terriers and especially at the age ur dog is,sorry this isnt good news but if u catch it early enough the vet can put him on the right meds and give ur dog a better quality of life he still might die of this but at least he will be pain and cough free and able to enjoy the last years of his life,my love and thoughts are with you and your dogxxxx
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1416390_tn?1333905204
Kikidee- I am so sorry for your loss.  Thank you for your post.  Bless Tyson!
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Avatar_f_tn
I have an Afghan Hound rescue about 12 years old. She has had a dry "hairball" sounding cough for several months now. Laterly it has become more frequent. She has bouts where there could be 10 or more coughs per session.  When we mentioned this to our vet, he did not seem so concerned. I am worried that it is becoming to frequent. Could this be the same problem?

Xcessiveny
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1416390_tn?1333905204
we go back tomorrow after 10 days of meds.  I thank you all for posting and please if anyone else has any ideas- let me know!
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462827_tn?1333172552
Please, check back in tonight......I have some ideas that may be helpful before you go to the Vet......I have been out of town today with a sick husband (Drs. appointment)......I have to be somewhere right now,too.....I'm trying every way possible to get back with you.....

Unfortunately, I have excessive knowledge on different coughs.     ;)    Talk to you soon.........Karla
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1416390_tn?1333905204
thanks Karla but I will understand if you can't get back!  I appreciate any info!
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462827_tn?1333172552
OK, For starters, for any Senior Dog IMO, you DO need to rule out Heart Problems....The xray will not only show the heart, but also the lungs...This is important....
With Heart Disease, the weak heart cannot pump as well...Fluid builds into the lungs causing the cough..The cough is usually MOIST like they're choking on congestion...Actually, they are...The cough is worse in the mornings & during periods of running, playing & excitement....Fluid will show in an xray.....
Heart Disease is NOT a death sentence.....It's rather common in dogs!  Dogs can live many ,many years on medications just like humans can.....Meds. to improve function of the heart & also lasix to clear fluid from the lungs......An EKG or ECG can detect what part of the heart is having a problem.....They usually run around $100.....Some Vets will suggest this test, some will not...THey will just go ahead and treat...

Next- Kennel Cough- This is a virus and antibiotics will do nothing.....Cough syrup is very necessary to help this run it's course.....Lasts a few weeks & the cough is excessive!!!!

Collapsing Trachea- Common in small breeds- This cough is more like choke-gasp, choke/gasp....It sounds like a goose honking....Meaning like when your sucking through a straw & it collapses. Like it kinda sticks then opens, etc. It is actually doing just that.....The trachea collapses then opens back up...This ailment is treated by weight control & Medications for lung disease....Cough meds, bronchial dilaters, Asthma meds., steroids when necessary, etc.

Respiratory Diseases cause coughing....Asthma & Bronchitis are treated with the same meds as Trachea Collapse. This is more of a dry cough with wheezing at times or both....With this, sometimes the Heart shows enlargement,but it is not a Heart Problem! It's from lack of oxygen through the respiratory system.....Steriods are useful as needed for allergy season that can be a trigger.....Dust mites in the house affect this alot (Especially in the winter when the heat is on and the house is closed up tight).......It seems they breath better outside.....Something else: Dust Mites in DRY dog food alone can trigger this.....This disease can be controled for years once you know what to do.....

There's a common cough called A "Reverse Sneeze"...You can google it to know what it sounds like.....I can't describe it....It kinda sounds like all the above, dammit!!!  ;)  Although it sounds awful, it's really harmless.....Lots of dogs do it their whole life...

Then of course, Heartworm Disease will cause a cough....ALso will show an enlarged heart....Will be seen on an xray....Can be ruled out with a blood test...

OK, good luck tomorrow...I hope you get it all figured out....Please come back and let us know what happens.....If I think of anything else, I'll let you know....Karla

P.S. I'm still surprised that your Vet did not prescribe Cough Syrup for a dog that was brought in for a cough!!!!!!

Oops.....I just thought of another one...Post Nasal Drip will cause a cough...As the fluid trickles down the back of the throat....It tickles....Thus the cough!  The throat & tonsils will be red and irritated if this is what your dealing with....Can be worse during periods of excitement, also.....This is usually allergy related or can be linked to Stress...I know that sounds impossible, but it can happen......Take care............


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462827_tn?1333172552
Two more cough related tips:

Anyone smoke in the house? This will cause the respiratory cough...Can just be on your clothes or hands to trigger it...

My Vet told me this one.....If you feed your dog in the kitchen by the refrigerator, the dust mites that blow out from under from the fan, are inhaled by the dog while eating...They start coughing after they eat & then off and on the rest of the day....NO, i'm not kidding!!!!!!!!!!
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Avatar_f_tn
I'm sorry to hear about your dogs coughing episodes.  My 12 year old lab has been doing this for over a year.  The first time I heard her gagging, hacking cough was late one night and I rushed her to the emergency care center.  Nothing was found in her throat, but the vet there said her heart and liver were both enlarged.  I took her to my regular vet the following Monday.  He thought she was fine and said her heart seemed normal.  She didn't cough while we were there.....so he didn't find a problem.  The coughing became more frequent.  I boarded her at the vet for about a week and they said they never heard her cough.  So I finally videoed a couple of the episodes.  When the vet saw the videos, he x-rayed her heart and said she had congestive heart failure.  She is now on LASIK for her heart.  About a year before she was diagnosed with cogestive (congestive) heart failure, she was put on rimadyl for her arthritis.  I am beginning to believe the rimadyl might be part of the problem with the fluid around her heart.  Is your dog on rimadyl?

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1416390_tn?1333905204
Update:  Had a chest xray and he has a form of bronchistis (sp?) and is on meds and cough medication.  Also they checked his blood.  I have to take his rx to the pharmacy.  What an expensive day.

Misfits- noone smokes, but that is intersting.  Also The fridge thing- wow.  I never even thought of that.  I will be more aware!

I can not thank you all enough for the info.  Bless you all and your little furry kids!


He is sleeping right next to me and must be having a bad dream because he is growling and barking- I can't believe he does not wake himself up!
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462827_tn?1333172552
I'm glad this has been resolved....Yes, I got your message....I sent you one, back.....Good luck to you & your furkid......Karla
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Avatar_f_tn
My dog won't eat! Walk! And has problems breathing! He's 9 years old and was just fine two days ago. Can someone enlighten me? We took him to the Vet and only gave him a shot, but he keeps breathing really really hard. Help :(
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Avatar_m_tn
I have a 15 yr old Lhaso Apso, he started having this dry hacking cough about a month ago, Im wondering if it is his heart, it is so expensive here to have him go to the vet, should I let nature take its course,, not sure what to do
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Avatar_f_tn
Afghan hounds can develop hairballs, like cats, because of their long fur and self-grooming. My dog horked up a rather large one this AM--after an increasing gagging cough. I've had several afs over the years, but more the desert hound, with less coat.
Heart is not necessarily the cause. How's your hound now?
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Avatar_m_tn
Thank you for your info. Was very helpful
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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks for the info, it was very helpful
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Avatar_f_tn
I have an 8 year old black Lab who hacks and coughs, as well as wheezes, as if he cannot get enough air..the coughing has been both dry and moist, and he has already been to the vet and was diagnosed with heartworms then treated and declared fine..he has been doing this for over a year now, only for it to become worse. His muscles tense and he will open his jaw wide (like he has a hairball or is about to throw up) but nothing hardly ever comes out, and what does is mainly spittle..I hear him every night and it breaks my heart...help??
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Avatar_f_tn
Also- my dad smokes in the house, but he has never seemed to mind it until the past year or so. He was put on antibiotics for a couple lf weeks, in which he did not improve. He has no allergies, either. We have tried cough syrup as well..he eats fine, drinks, lounges inside the house and outside on warm days. (If I think of more I will add..)
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Avatar_f_tn
what sort of cough med do they Rx for dogs? the internist only gave Comet some prednisone and clavamox for his cough.....no cough syrup.... i'd like to know if you know in order to ask the vet for it....seems to me that one needs to SUGGEST and TELL vets about the meds for them to Rx them :(
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462827_tn?1333172552
Welcome....Some Vets prescribe Liquid Syrup, some will give a oral pill for cough....My Holistic Vet recommends Honey to use as cough syrup.....For a small dog, I give 1/2-1 tsp. 3 or 4 times a day...It works beautifully!!! Karla
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Avatar_m_tn
If it is a reverse sneeze you can stop it by covering the nostrils for a couple of seconds.
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5599847_tn?1370670278
My 13 year old six and a half pound Affenpinscher has had some issues with coughing for a few months. We went to the vet last week and he put her on a round of antibiotics and antihistamines. We saw the Collapsing Trachea and a slightly enlarged heart on one side on the first x-ray. The vet was not worried about the heart.

Seven days later the Trachea was open, however, the heart was twice the size (both sides). The vet put her on heart medication and kept her on the antihistamine and says she has congestive heart failure :(

Could the doubled heart be from the stress of the Baytril antibiotic?  They did have her straining to pee with a huge need for water? Today was the first day without the Baytril and she seems to be feeling much better... no straining to pee or the great need for water.

Please let me know of any wisdom you have!
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Avatar_f_tn
good morning  I am having the same issue with my 15 yr old shitzu poodle, he has had a cough like symtoms (symptoms)   dry cough as if he needs to bring some thing out...   It's hard to watch your little puppy cough.. Any suggestions,  
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462827_tn?1333172552
Welcome..In a 15 yr. old, I would first suspect AND rule out Heart Disease.....Next, When was his last Heart Worm Test?

What has your Vet ruled out so far? The above would be the first 2 to check out......Then go from there.....Karla
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi, great info on the coughing situation. I just went through the same situation. I have a 10 1/2 yr old shitz tzu. He has had a cough for quite a long time. Mostly when I pick him up to go up the stairs, or when he rough houses. Long story short, I had him to emergency care at 3 a.m until 6 a.m. Xrays, were performed but no blood test. He said in the xrays his lungs were filled with fluid and there was water around a part of his heart. He suggested an echo with my reg vet. He also gave him an injection of antibiotic, lasix. Took him to my Vet the next morning and a blood test was performed...doctor said his blood was excellent. He saw a slight enlargement of the heart. Tomorrow he will performed an echo. Keeping fingers crossed. Oh, also, he was was throwing up mucous and blood which the emergency dr. attributed to his gagging.
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462827_tn?1333172552
Hello ARY...Please let us know what you find out......My fingers are crossed for you, too!   Karla
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Avatar_f_tn
I have a dog that we found about a year ago. I have no idea what kind of dog she is but she's medium size and old. Usually every once in a while she will cough/hack and then dry heave but in the last day or so she has been doing it a lot more frequently. She eats normal, drinks normal, and uses the bathroom normal, but I'm just concerned because it sounds like its hurting her. Any idea of what it could be?
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Avatar_f_tn
My 8 yr old lab has what they thought was kennel cough- now on our 3rd round of antibiotics and still coughing- 2 xrays show cloudy lungs- just not getting rid of it! Also had antitussive which he just finished, they had suggested the thought of lymphoma , i dont even want to think about it. Not sure what to do! Help!
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Avatar_f_tn
My 8 yr old lab has what they thought was kennel cough- now on our 3rd round of antibiotics and still coughing- 2 xrays show cloudy lungs- just not getting rid of it! Also had antitussive which he just finished, they had suggested the thought of lymphoma , i dont even want to think about it. Not sure what to do! Help!
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Avatar_f_tn
My dog, a Maltese (5yo), has been dry hacking, which sounds exactly like kennel cough, for over a month. Especially when she's excited. I've already brought her to the vet twice, finished her course of medication for phlegm and cough. And finished the antibiotics but she's still coughing. The vet initially guessed that it could be that she has distemper but after so long, the only symptoms that showed was her flat paw pad which my vet said that it's hard pad. Should I suggest for my vet to do an X-ray or blood test? I also saw that feeding them near the fridge was a bad idea. I've always been feeding her beside the fridge. Maybe I should try changing her dining area. Thanks everyone for the tip!!
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Avatar_m_tn
My Danny an 8 yr terrier just went 2 wks ago to the vet for a normal check up and yearly shots.  He was very healthy. Woke up Thursday morning coughed like a dry cough and wet on the floor. He never did this. I took him out and he walked ok. That night he layed down and wet and did not want to go out. He loves walking normally. Friday morning I took him out but not long and that night he did not want to go out at all and laid down and wet. He had also threw up. I was taking him to the vet the next day but he died that night. I am so confused he was so healthy and loved taking his walks. I just don't understand? Was he poisoned? He was always trying to sniff and eat anything in the grass as we walked. My heart is broken he was my little buddy...don't wait to take your dog to the vet take them when anything changes.
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Avatar_f_tn
I am concerned that my Corgi/mix might have had heartworms for awhile now because this dry cough that he gets every now and then and I mean sometimes he don't get it for months but I just thought it was like excitement or like when you walk them and their collar chokes them, he gets these what I call fits and it sounds like a cough but yet like he's trying to spit something up cuz his heads hanging down while he's doing it and it seems like when I pat his sides and talk to him to soothe him it stops but now my sister in law heard it and said it could be heart worms and now I'm scared for him cuz like i said its been years he's had this, like 7 and its only every now and then so my concern is if heart worm is he going to be able to get rid of them?  
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462827_tn?1333172552
Karen, If you suspect HW Disease (Or anything else) then you need to see your Vet.....HW disease CAN be treated, but the longer you wait, the harder it is to treat.....The HW test is a simple bloodtest done at your Vet's office.....

If you get a negative result, you need to talk to them about a HW preventative....It's a monthly pill to give orally.....It will prevent HW to begin with...

You must have the test first before any Vet will prescribe the tablets.....Good luck and get your guy seen ASAP......Let us know what you find out.....Karla
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Avatar_n_tn
I have an 8 year old German Sheppard X Gray Wolf mix Rescue dog who lives outside, She just started coughing/wheezing yesterday... I heard her do it two times yesterday and already a few times this morning. It has been quite rainy here and the last two nights we have had heavy coyote activity, so she has been running/chasing them most of the night. She had a HW test in july and is current on HW medication. She has not been boarded or around any dogs besides my other outdoor dog. Just wondering if there are any "at home" tests, or other symptoms of heart disease or heart failure that I may be able to look for? She has hip displaysia, arthritis, incontinence, and a brain tumor, along with extreme small animal aggression and food aggression.. What I'm saying here is I do not want to spend 250 $ on ex-rays and an ekg to find out she has a heart condition, because with that on top of her other issues, our humane choice will be to have her put down. (I do get regular vet care and emergency care for my pets, but she has so many issues, on top of posing a SERIOUS danger to my other pets/farm animals that it may just be her time?) Advise?
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Avatar_f_tn
I have a 16 year old picapoo and she has been coughing and sounds like she has a hairball but she cant get it up but she only does it during the morning and in the evening Can you give me some pointer to what it might be
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Avatar_f_tn
Dogs will also cough if they have mitral valve prolapse (MVP)
it is caused by sloppy valves that do not shut soon enough,
valves can be replaced but I would think it would be expensive and call for a specialty vet.  

People also have it, I have it, and since its a stage 2, they are not doing anything, just watching it.  It does not cause me any discomfort, it just causes my heart to "skip a beat" now and then
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