dog is coughing- vet says heart problem?????
by globetrot, Mar 02, 2011
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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Member Comments (39)
by Misfits4MeBlank, Mar 02, 2011
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
by globetrot, Mar 02, 2011
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

by globetrot, Mar 02, 2011
oh and Thank You!!!!!!!!!!!!!
by kikideetyson, Mar 03, 2011
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
by globetrot, Mar 03, 2011
Kikidee- I am so sorry for your loss.  Thank you for your post.  Bless Tyson!
by Xcessiveny, Mar 03, 2011
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?

by globetrot, Mar 03, 2011
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!
by Misfits4MeBlank, Mar 03, 2011
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
by Misfits4MeBlank, Mar 03, 2011
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............