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Posted: 11/4/2010 11:15:31 AM EST
I have a 10-year-old boxer. Today he has been making an awful hacking coughing sound and gagging off and on throughout the day. What would cause something like this? He does it a few times and stops and then after a while does it again. I looked in his mouth and throat and couldn't see anything. Just seeing if anyone has been through this before and what it might possibly be. The vet is not an option right at this moment due to $.
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Link Posted: 11/4/2010 11:15:53 AM EST
Kennel cough?
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Link Posted: 11/4/2010 11:17:44 AM EST
[Last Edit: 11/4/2010 11:20:07 AM EST by ihatespngbob]
Originally Posted By luv_the_huskers:
Kennel cough?


Never been around any other dogs in the almost 2 years we have had him, is this still possible? He went from fine to coughing. No other symptoms.
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Link Posted: 11/4/2010 11:18:14 AM EST
Stop using crunchy peanut butter.


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Link Posted: 11/4/2010 11:19:52 AM EST
[Last Edit: 11/4/2010 11:22:07 AM EST by ihatespngbob]
He does consume cat litter and cat poop when no one is looking. It is not the clumping kind of litter, but clay litter. This is nothing new though and the cough started out of the blue so I don't think this has anything to do with it.
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Link Posted: 11/4/2010 11:20:25 AM EST

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Link Posted: 11/4/2010 11:20:47 AM EST
Originally Posted By ScoutOut:
Stop using crunchy peanut butter.



This

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Link Posted: 11/4/2010 11:21:19 AM EST
Has he been outside eating grass?

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Link Posted: 11/4/2010 11:21:24 AM EST
Has he been sneezing any? Maybe its a cold.

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Link Posted: 11/4/2010 11:21:26 AM EST
Chicken bones?

Could be something small lodged in his throat.

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Link Posted: 11/4/2010 11:21:44 AM EST
Originally Posted By IIRC:
Could be a million things, but I would wonder about something lodged in his throat. That's deffinetly not normal.
What does he normally chew on, rawhides, sticks, etc? Could he have been in the trash?
I would reach in and feel around with my fingers in his throat if it were my dog, then to the vet if nothing could be found.

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Usually he does not chew on anything other than food. He has no bones or toys. He doesn't chew on sticks or anything. He does occasionally get in the trash, but hasn't today. I reached as far back in his throat as I could and felt nothing.
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Link Posted: 11/4/2010 11:22:46 AM EST
Loosen the collar if there is one on it.

Is there a possibility he ran and choked himself while attached to a chain or lead?

Maybe food or somrhting else caught in the back of throat or wind pipe.


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Link Posted: 11/4/2010 11:23:17 AM EST
Originally Posted By VBC:
Has he been outside eating grass?


Nope. We have no grass in our yard. He has had no symptoms whatsoever. He has been eating and pottying normally. No runny nose, sneezing, or anything like that. Went from fine to hacking.
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Link Posted: 11/4/2010 11:24:15 AM EST
Originally Posted By 40xb-shooter:
Loosen the collar if there is one on it.

Is there a possibility he ran and choked himself while attached to a chain or lead?

Maybe food or somrhting else caught in the back of throat or wind pipe.




Collar has been off all morning. He has never been chained up. He has not been into anything out of the ordinary and that is why this is baffling to me.
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Link Posted: 11/4/2010 11:24:27 AM EST
Any spongebob toys missing from around the house? Hope your dog gets better soon

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Link Posted: 11/4/2010 11:24:37 AM EST
have it checked for heartworms.
Seriously. One of the symptoms of heartworms is a cough because the dogs go into congestive heart failure when the worms clog up the vessels. The fluid backs up into the lungs, causing a cough.

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Link Posted: 11/4/2010 11:25:34 AM EST
Originally Posted By pato:
have it checked for heartworms.
Seriously. One of the symptoms of heartworms is a cough because the dogs go into congestive heart failure when the worms clog up the vessels. The fluid backs up into the lungs, causing a cough.

pato


God no. That would be awful. Is this expensive to treat if it is something like that?
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Link Posted: 11/4/2010 11:26:31 AM EST
Cat shit lodged in his throat - give him the Heimlich and Alpha Male beat down at the same time.
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Link Posted: 11/4/2010 11:29:27 AM EST
Originally Posted By ihatespngbob:
Originally Posted By pato:
have it checked for heartworms.
Seriously. One of the symptoms of heartworms is a cough because the dogs go into congestive heart failure when the worms clog up the vessels. The fluid backs up into the lungs, causing a cough.

pato


God no. That would be awful. Is this expensive to treat if it is something like that?


It can be.
The injections are very expensive––around $900 or so around here, and they are very painful to the dog––and can have some very adverse effects––including killing the dog. Plus, the dog has to be essentially kenneled after the injections because too much activity can cause a worm "embolus" that could kill the dog.

Or, you can go the conservative route––long term antibiotics and heartgard. The antibiotics kill the bacteria that allow the worms to reproduce and the heartgard kills the micro––worms. Hopefully the worms already there can reach the end of their life cycle, not be replaced or replenished, and your dog will be ok.

I have a GSD undergoing tx right now.

pato

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Link Posted: 11/4/2010 11:33:15 AM EST
[Last Edit: 11/4/2010 11:36:10 AM EST by ihatespngbob]
Originally Posted By pato:
Originally Posted By ihatespngbob:
Originally Posted By pato:
have it checked for heartworms.
Seriously. One of the symptoms of heartworms is a cough because the dogs go into congestive heart failure when the worms clog up the vessels. The fluid backs up into the lungs, causing a cough.

pato


God no. That would be awful. Is this expensive to treat if it is something like that?


It can be.
The injections are very expensive––around $900 or so around here, and they are very painful to the dog––and can have some very adverse effects––including killing the dog. Plus, the dog has to be essentially kenneled after the injections because too much activity can cause a worm "embolus" that could kill the dog.

Or, you can go the conservative route––long term antibiotics and heartgard. The antibiotics kill the bacteria that allow the worms to reproduce and the heartgard kills the micro––worms. Hopefully the worms already there can reach the end of their life cycle, not be replaced or replenished, and your dog will be ok.

I have a GSD undergoing tx right now.

pato



He is at least 10-years-old and heavy duty treatment would probably be rough too on him if not kill him. He has had heart worm preventatives in the past. Right now money is EXTREMELY tight and I don't know that I will be able to do much for him so I am hoping it is nothing major and it goes away quickly. He is a boxer and he does have a couple of bumps on his skin. I am hoping he does not have cancer and that this is not his time.








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Link Posted: 11/4/2010 11:34:50 AM EST
First guess would be Worms.

Has he been on Heartguard.

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Link Posted: 11/4/2010 11:36:43 AM EST
Originally Posted By mmajunkie:
First guess would be Worms.

Has he been on Heartguard.


He has been in the past, but it has been a few months.
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Link Posted: 11/4/2010 11:37:09 AM EST
I was going to mention congestive heart failure as well, but I didn't want to be a downer.

I've had three dogs that grew into old age start hacking and gagging like that when they started to have congestive heart failure, like said above. Fluid/blood backs up into the lungs because the heart is inefficient.

They will also swell up when it starts getting really bad. If you let it go too long without euthanization they really agonize because their skin will eventually start breaking open to drain the fluid. It's horrible.


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Link Posted: 11/4/2010 11:37:40 AM EST
paging planovet.
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Link Posted: 11/4/2010 11:37:55 AM EST
Originally Posted By VBC:
I was going to mention congestive heart failure as well, but I didn't want to be a downer.

I've had three dogs that grew into old age start hacking and gagging like that when they started to have congestive heart failure, like said above. Fluid/blood backs up into the lungs because the heart is inefficient.

They will also swell up when it starts getting really bad. If you let it go too long without euthanization they really agonize because their skin will eventually start breaking open to drain the fluid. It's horrible.



If he starts getting to the point where he is suffering, then we will only do what is best for him and let him go.
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Link Posted: 11/4/2010 11:52:20 AM EST
My dog has had weird coughing hacking thing before and she is just a pup. It could be anything from allergies, to a sinus infection of some sort. Last time the vet gave me basically dog cough medicine and allergy meds she was better a few days later. If you record on a camera or soemthing next time the dog does it and show that to a vet it will really help with them diagnosing it. Good luck hope its nothing bad.

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Link Posted: 11/4/2010 11:54:26 AM EST

Originally Posted By ttushooter:
paging planovet.

Someone page me??

It can be many things...

Kennel cough? Not likely if she has not been around other dogs. Still possible but will usually run it's course in 2-3 weeks and go away.

Something caught in the throat? Not likely, they usually are coughing non-stop or pawing at their throat.

Heartworms? Possible if you have not been on prevention regularly. Usually coughs after exercise or exertion.

Other possibilities (esp. in a 10 year old dog):

Congestive heart failure. Usually coughs after exercise or exertion.

Chronic Tracheobronchitis. Some dogs get a chronic cough as they get older, not much you can do about it other than cough suppressants.

Cancer. Boxers are tumor factories and this is a possibility in any older Boxer.

Bottom line, your dog needs a thorough exam by a vet. I know money is tight but it needs to be done. A simple exam doesn't cost much but the other diagnostics (x-rays, heartworm test, etc.) can add up. Hopefully they can give you an idea after the initial exam.

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Link Posted: 11/4/2010 11:56:50 AM EST

Originally Posted By ihatespngbob:
He does consume cat litter and cat poop when no one is looking. It is not the clumping kind of litter, but clay litter. This is nothing new though and the cough started out of the blue so I don't think this has anything to do with it.

Could be Toxocara. You might need to have him de-wormed.

The worm larvae migrate into the lungs and are coughed up and swallowed.
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Link Posted: 11/4/2010 12:04:34 PM EST
Originally Posted By planovet:

Originally Posted By ttushooter:
paging planovet.

Someone page me??

It can be many things...

Kennel cough? Not likely if she has not been around other dogs. Still possible but will usually run it's course in 2-3 weeks and go away.

Something caught in the throat? Not likely, they usually are coughing non-stop or pawing at their throat.

Heartworms? Possible if you have not been on prevention regularly. Usually coughs after exercise or exertion.

Other possibilities (esp. in a 10 year old dog):

Congestive heart failure. Usually coughs after exercise or exertion.

Chronic Tracheobronchitis. Some dogs get a chronic cough as they get older, not much you can do about it other than cough suppressants.

Cancer. Boxers are tumor factories and this is a possibility in any older Boxer.

Bottom line, your dog needs a thorough exam by a vet. I know money is tight but it needs to be done. A simple exam doesn't cost much but the other diagnostics (x-rays, heartworm test, etc.) can add up. Hopefully they can give you an idea after the initial exam.


I am going to give him a couple of days to see how he does and if it doesn't clear up then I will try to find a vet that I can afford. He is sleeping and gets up and starts hacking and it sounds really rattly/barky, then he gags, and hacks, then stops and lays back down for a while and it starts over. He is eating and drinking fine. Not pawing at throat or anything like that. I know this is a funny question, but can dogs take breathing treatments? I have a nebulizer and some albuterol, would it help him if he had bronchitis or something upper respiratory?
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Link Posted: 11/4/2010 12:21:44 PM EST
Do his eyes glow?

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Link Posted: 11/4/2010 12:35:38 PM EST
Originally Posted By VBC:
Has he been outside eating grass?


Our Boxer hacks when she eats grass...

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Link Posted: 11/4/2010 12:56:03 PM EST
Do you have Valley Fever in your area? Here in AZ we do and that was the sympton my boxer had.
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Link Posted: 11/4/2010 12:56:57 PM EST

Originally Posted By ihatespngbob:

I am going to give him a couple of days to see how he does and if it doesn't clear up then I will try to find a vet that I can afford. He is sleeping and gets up and starts hacking and it sounds really rattly/barky, then he gags, and hacks, then stops and lays back down for a while and it starts over. He is eating and drinking fine. Not pawing at throat or anything like that. I know this is a funny question, but can dogs take breathing treatments? I have a nebulizer and some albuterol, would it help him if he had bronchitis or something upper respiratory?

You can try albuterol, it may or may not help depending on what's causing the cough. If it's something like COPD then it could help. If it's something like heartworm disease or congestive heart failure (CHF) then it won't help much.

If the dog is coughing (dry cough) when he is resting or just getting up, then heartworm or CHF is high on the list.

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Link Posted: 11/4/2010 12:58:47 PM EST
My got kennel cough, 2 days on meds and he was fine but had 8 more days of meds to go. Cost me $100 and I didn't mind it at all.
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Link Posted: 11/4/2010 1:37:45 PM EST
It is most likely a virol caugh,antibiotics from vet...................NEEDED.......

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Link Posted: 11/4/2010 1:39:38 PM EST
Originally Posted By LDES:
It is most likely a virol caugh,antibiotics from vet...................NEEDED.......


Well if it is a viral cough antibiotics will not work, since antibiotics only work on bacterial infections. For some reason though, I don't think your post is serious.
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Link Posted: 11/4/2010 1:40:40 PM EST
My first guess was heartworms as above. Went through the same thing 7 years ago. Get him tested to find out.

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Link Posted: 11/4/2010 1:49:48 PM EST
Tell your dog to switch to light cigarettes.
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Link Posted: 11/4/2010 2:02:42 PM EST
I had a Border Collie about 1 yr old doing this for a while, it got worse, took him to the vet to get him checked out and it turned out to be a cold or something...it went away after a while and it's never returned. The vet said he came back clean, and it was either a cold, or he could have injured his trachea on a walk (he liked to pull a lot when my son walked him, he's learned since then).

We keep our 4 Border Collies on a wellness plan with the vet, so office visits are free, etc. The vet keeps a running total of all you've saved over the years which shows on the invoices, and to date, with 4 dogs, we've saved over $11,000. It's much cheaper to pay for a wellness plan if you can afford it.

If you have to take your dog to the vet and really truly can't afford it (not "But I'll have to give up my Glenlivet/Budweiser/McDonalds/Steaks for a month"), PM me and I'll donate some money to the cause via PayPal or something, maybe a few others here can chip in and do the same, and you can get the dog to the vet. It's not fair to your dog to do anything less. Seriously.


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Link Posted: 11/4/2010 2:06:08 PM EST
Originally Posted By para_frame:
Tell your dog to switch to light cigarettes.


I already smoke mild and this sound like me every morning.


I am going to give him a couple of days to see how he does and if it doesn't clear up then I will try to find a vet that I can afford. He is sleeping and gets up and starts hacking and it sounds really rattly/barky, then he gags, and hacks, then stops and lays back down for a while and it starts over
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Link Posted: 11/4/2010 2:08:34 PM EST
Originally Posted By MustardTiger:
I had a Border Collie about 1 yr old doing this for a while, it got worse, took him to the vet to get him checked out and it turned out to be a cold or something...it went away after a while and it's never returned. The vet said he came back clean, and it was either a cold, or he could have injured his trachea on a walk (he liked to pull a lot when my son walked him, he's learned since then).

We keep our 4 Border Collies on a wellness plan with the vet, so office visits are free, etc. The vet keeps a running total of all you've saved over the years which shows on the invoices, and to date, with 4 dogs, we've saved over $11,000. It's much cheaper to pay for a wellness plan if you can afford it.

If you have to take your dog to the vet and really truly can't afford it (not "But I'll have to give up my Glenlivet/Budweiser/McDonalds/Steaks for a month"), PM me and I'll donate some money to the cause via PayPal or something, maybe a few others here can chip in and do the same, and you can get the dog to the vet. It's not fair to your dog to do anything less. Seriously.



If you have to take your dog to the vet and really truly can't afford it (not "But I'll have to give up my Glenlivet/Budweiser/McDonalds/Steaks for a month"), PM me and I'll donate some money to the cause via PayPal or something, maybe a few others here can chip in and do the same, and you can get the dog to the vet. It's not fair to your dog to do anything less. Seriously.


IM me if you are in this situation. money is tight for me also but your dog should not have to suffer.
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Link Posted: 11/4/2010 2:19:18 PM EST
[Last Edit: 11/4/2010 2:28:28 PM EST by ihatespngbob]
Originally Posted By MustardTiger:
I had a Border Collie about 1 yr old doing this for a while, it got worse, took him to the vet to get him checked out and it turned out to be a cold or something...it went away after a while and it's never returned. The vet said he came back clean, and it was either a cold, or he could have injured his trachea on a walk (he liked to pull a lot when my son walked him, he's learned since then).

We keep our 4 Border Collies on a wellness plan with the vet, so office visits are free, etc. The vet keeps a running total of all you've saved over the years which shows on the invoices, and to date, with 4 dogs, we've saved over $11,000. It's much cheaper to pay for a wellness plan if you can afford it.

If you have to take your dog to the vet and really truly can't afford it (not "But I'll have to give up my Glenlivet/Budweiser/McDonalds/Steaks for a month"), PM me and I'll donate some money to the cause via PayPal or something, maybe a few others here can chip in and do the same, and you can get the dog to the vet. It's not fair to your dog to do anything less. Seriously.



I really truly cannot afford it. I wish it were as simple as giving up something to be able to afford things, but that is not the case. We live as simple as it gets. The only reason I have internet is so I can work. The coughing bouts have slowed down some and although they are still there, it seems further between episodes. He is not acting like he feels bad and is doing everything like usual, just has the cough. I am going to see how he does for at least another day unless things turn for the worst.
I appreciate the offer to help out. If it turned out to be something major I would not let him suffer, but would opt to have him put down.

ETA: He is not having labored breathing. He is not acting like he is in any pain or suffering. He is eating, drinking, peeing, and pooping normally. He is not panting or anything. He has a normal temperature. This is why I want to watch and wait a bit before deciding what to do.
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Link Posted: 11/4/2010 11:54:31 PM EST
It could indeed be a million things.

I recently went through the same with my 10-year-old Chocolate Lab, but it was accompanied by excessive panting. Turned out she had somehow fractured her larynx and needed surgery....two thousand dollars worth of surgery. She's now doing just fine.

Best wishes to you and your pup.
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Link Posted: 11/4/2010 11:59:44 PM EST
[Last Edit: 11/5/2010 12:02:09 AM EST by hungrymonkey]
worms traveling from the lungs to the esophagus. They cause the animal to cough, then the dog swallows them.

At least, that is what my vet said about my dog.

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Link Posted: 11/5/2010 12:56:22 AM EST
Have him checked for fluid on the lungs. Boxer cardiomyopathy which is prevalent in this bread causes an enlarged heart, kidneys then begin to shut down. My oldest died from this. The first vet missed it. An irregular heart beat follow by an xray showed the enlarged heart. Good luck.

http://www.americanboxerclub.org/purina2.html

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Link Posted: 11/5/2010 1:33:54 AM EST
My cat used to get this and usually it would be some type of upper resporatory infection and she would need an antibotic. Hope your dog gets better.

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Link Posted: 11/5/2010 1:39:20 AM EST
I have no advice but hoping & praying for a good out come for your dog.

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Link Posted: 11/5/2010 1:50:00 AM EST
Heart failure...
Enlarged heart causing fluid to build up in lungs or actually compressing the trachea.
An X-ray will confirm.

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