Dog ate chocolate?

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Lab with a cough.

Species: Dog
Breed: Chocolate Lab.
Age: 1-2 years
Two days ago, my chocolate lab starting coughing and dry heaving occasionally when she barked or got excited. Now she is coughing and heaving every time she barks or gets excited. And she sometimes will cough up a clear and white foamy liquid. This does not happen when she is active and running, only when she barks or whines.


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Sorry to hear that Hershey is having problems with coughing. While I can't give you a diagnosis over the internet, I can give you my thoughts.

The most common reason for a young dog to cough like this is Kennel Cough. You may find this article I wrote interesting: Kennel Cough in Dogs.

Often, the type of cough that dogs have with kennel cough cause the dog to sound like there is something stuck in her throat. I often will get clients bring me in dogs that they think are vomiting, but are actually coughing so much that they are bringing up phlegm due to the cough.

A dog doesn't have to have been to a kennel to get kennel cough. It is a virus that is spread very easily through the air.

If this is kennel cough then most dogs do get over it on their own within a few days. Sometimes it takes a few weeks to completely get over it. If the cough is getting worse, then your vet can prescribe a cough suppressant. We usually don't have to prescribe antibiotics.

There are lots of other things that can cause a cough in dogs, but if a cough comes on all of a sudden like this then a virus such as kennel cough is most likely. Other possibilities are aspiration pneumonia (i.e. if the dog inhaled something into her lungs, a fungal infection, asthma and more.

Heart problems such as heartworm or other heart diseases can cause a cough but they usually come on very slowly.

If Hershey seems bright and alert it may be ok to wait a few days before deciding if she needs to see the vet. But, here are some criteria that would make me want to take her in:

-If she's really lethargic.
-If she doesn't want to eat.
-If the cough seems very bothersome (to her or to you)
-If you see a green discharge from her eyes or nose (as this can mean infection.)

It's also a good idea to keep her away from other dogs until she is no longer coughing as kennel cough is very contagious.

I hope she's feeling better soon!

Dr. Marie.


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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.