Help, My Dog Is Coughing!

by Quentin
(United States)

Cocker Spaniel Coughing Worries Owner

Cocker Spaniel Coughing Worries Owner

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.

Thanks, Quentin

Reply from Pauline (Web Owner)

Hi Quentin!

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.

I sincerely hope your dog is better soon.

Give him a hug from me!

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Only 1 gallon of water a week?
by: Anonymous

I'm concerned about how little water your dog is going through in a week. We have 4 dogs and use a 2 gallon water dispenser that we fill up at least once a day if not twice (depending on how active they are on any given day).

Also, you might want to seek another vet if the one you are using isn't giving you any help or information.

My Dog Is Coughing
by: Anonymous

If I were you, I'd be asking your vet lots of questions - you've paid for his time but it doesn't sound like you came away with anything of real value.

Did he say that the enlarged heart was the cause of Lulu's coughing? If this is the case, then surely he could offer something to help ease or stop the coughing?

Did he say it would go away in time?

Will her heart go back to the normal size?

What has caused the enlarged heart? Was she born that way?

What are the consequences of an enlarged heart?

Questions, questions, questions!

Good luck and I hope Lulu is better soon.

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