We have a beautiful American Cocker Spaniel named "Lulu". She's 11 years old and still very active. She's the sweetest dog ever - she's going a little deaf, has a few eye cataract problems, but what worries me about her most is her hacking cough.
She'll do 6 or 7 hacks, then she'll try to throw up, but there's nothing there - just dry coughs. She also she has a tendency to drink a lot of water. I always give her a full bowl of clean water - she'll go through a gallon each week.
She eats a quality dry kibble, only in the morning, with a little mixed in wet canned dog food. Her stool is good and hard. She seems fine to me, other than her cough.
How do I address the hacking cough? The vet stated enlarged heart, but nothing else showed on the x-ray.
Reply from Pauline (Web Owner)
Sorry to hear you're having problems with your Cocker Spaniel.
First of all, I must point out that I'm not a vet, nor do I have any medical training whatsoever.
That out of the way, let me see if I can try to help.
A dry hacking cough can be the result of Kennel Cough - has your dog been boarded recently?
The cough could also be a symptom of some form of heart murmur or heart disease. If the cough flares up after strenuous exercise or play, or the weather has been particularly hot or cold, it could be a symptom of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).
Hacking coughs could also be caused by heart-worms - is it possible your dog has heart-worms?
Your Cocker could have an irritated throat which is causing the hacking cough.
It's very difficult for me to advise as I don't know your dog and, more importantly, I'm not qualified to make a diagnosis.
I strongly recommend you discuss the symptoms with your vet and ask him if the enlarged heart is causing your dog to cough. He may be able to give your dog something to help and offer you a more detailed explanation of what's happening with your Cocker.