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Dog Constantly Coughing

by Sheena Walker
(Scotland)

My little dog is constantly coughing. He is a Yorkshire terrier and he's 17 years old. I took him to the vet and he was given steroids and antibiotics. He has had two courses of these and is still coughing badly.

My other little Yorkie is coughing as well but not as bad and I didn't think to mention when at the vet that we lived in a small sitting room with two cockatoos. It has just occurred to me... could the powder that comes off their feathers be affecting the dogs lungs and causing constant coughing? If so, what do you recommend as treatment to ease this cough besides removing the birds or do you think its something else?

Comments for Dog Constantly Coughing

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Jul 04, 2012
My Online Vet Response for: Dog Constantly Coughing
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Hi Sheena,
With the history you gave of your 17 year old Yorkshire Terrier constantly coughing and not responding to antibiotics or steroids, I would suspect your dog has either a heart condition or a collapsing trachea. A chest x-ray will be able to diagnose both conditions.

You mentioned that your other Yorkie is also coughing. Is this one related to the first one? Collapsing trachea is a condition that can be inherited, and is rather common in toy breed dogs.

If this condition was due to some sort of 'allergic' reaction to the cockatoos, then the steroids would have helped the coughing. Actually, I do not think there is any relation between the coughing and the birds. But a complete blood panel including a heartworm test might be a good idea, as it would check for any internal conditions and possibly show up any allergic problems/or parasites in the CBC (eosionophil).

Therefore, I suggest having a blood panel and a chest x-ray done. If there is heart enlargement, then you need to supplement with CoEnzyme Q-10, 10 mg two times daily in the food. Start them on a LOW salt/sodium diet. NO DRY DOG FOOD. A homemade diet would be best. Also see our page on 10 Best Dog Food Options.

If the trachea is collapsing, then I would advise all of the above, PLUS the addition of glucosamine/chondroitin sulfate, 250 mg two-three times daily. Sea Jerky is a good supplement.

A holistic veterinarian would also be able to advise on more specific treatment, depending on the diagnosis. Click here to find a holistic veterinarian in your area. Another resource for vets knowledgeable in homeopathy is AVH.org.

Take care,
Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

DISCLAIMER: This educational advice is based on the depth of your question and the picture you submitted. The above should never replace the advice of your local veterinarian, as they have the ability to evaluate your dog in person.



Jul 04, 2012
dog coughing
by: sheena walker

Hi, I will get Tyke a chest x-ray and check his blood and see what we find. I will let you know the outcome. Thank you.

Jul 05, 2012
My Online Vet Response for: Dog Constantly coughing
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Hi Sheena,

Sounds like a plan!

Please do keep us posted by coming back to this page and clicking the 'click here to add your own comments' link below.

Take care,
Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

P.S. If you've found this service or our web site helpful, please "Like" us by clicking the like button at the top of the left margin. Thank you!

DISCLAIMER: This educational advice is based on the depth of your question and the picture you submitted. The above should never replace the advice of your local veterinarian, as they have the ability to evaluate your dog in person.

Related Pages:
- Dog Cough Diagnoses & Treatments,
- Ask a Vet Online Library - Dog Coughing Problems Section


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