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Dog coughing.

Species: Dog
Breed: Black Lab Mix
Age: 2-5 years
We let our dog do her business in the backyard. However, we are currently in the process of moving and are therefore staying in a hotel that allows pets. Needless to say, this means that we walk her which is not something she's used to. The dog is always hyper, running all over and choking herself by pulling hard when we're walking her. Today, she started vomiting. It's mainly white and milky (a couple were clear and foamy) She's thrown up at least 10 times today and is constantly coughing and heaving. My wife thinks this was caused be her getting a real bad choke this morning during her walk. Is this the case, or could she have caught something? Should we be concerned to the point that she needs a vet tonight or will this pass? Again, we are moving so we don't really know the area but don't want to drive tomorrow if this is still going on. Thank you for your help.
Trevor


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Ah, sorry to hear that you are going through this. Moving is stressful to start with and having a potentially sick dog doesn't help.

While I can't say for sure without seeing Gracie, what you have described really sounds like she has picked up kennel cough. Dogs with kennel cough often have a cough that sounds like something is stuck in their throat. (I often have a hard time convincing owners that there really isn't something stuck in their dog's throat.)

What you have described with the white, milky "vomit" is typical as well. Sometimes dogs can cough so much that they cough out phlegm, or they can cough to the point of vomiting.

If she did pick up kennel cough she got it from virus particles in the air. While it is most common for dogs to get it when they are in a kennel, really any dog can get it.

The good news is that it is usually more annoying than life threatening. It usually goes away on its own within a few days, but sometimes takes a couple of weeks.

When dogs have kennel cough they are very irritated in their trachea (windpipe). This is likely why there seems to be a connection between pulling the leash and her coughing. The leash will irritate the trachea.

There really isn't anything over the counter you can do for the cough. If it is really severe you can see a vet tomorrow for a prescription of cough suppressant. If you are seeing a green or yellow discharge from her nose or eyes then she may need antibiotics, but most dogs with kennel cough don't need antibiotics.


From what you have described it seems unlikely that she needs an emergency visit tonight. However, if she is really uncomfortable, then it may be necessary.

Please keep in mind that I can't diagnose your dog over the internet, so if she seems like she is really unwell then a vet visit is the best idea.

I hope she feels better soon!

Unfortunately I will be heading offline now. (Your question came in just as I was turning off my online status, so I could go to bed!) If you wish to reply, I will get back to you in the morning.

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.