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This is a discussion on Need Heartworm Info/Advice within the Dog Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; Several things can cause persistent coughing in a dog-- my dog had similar issues last year and it turned out to be pneumonia. Is your ...

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Old 04-19-2017, 03:56 PM
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Several things can cause persistent coughing in a dog-- my dog had similar issues last year and it turned out to be pneumonia. Is your dog exhibiting any other symptoms?
Additionally, different conditions cause different sounding coughs. Something I actually found helpful was going on Youtube and searching for videos of dogs coughing-- some vets have posted videos of the different coughing sounds and explaining what conditions cause each different cough. This made it easier for me to pinpoint what my dog actually had.

As was previously mentioned, depending on your credit score, you may be able to apply for CareCredit, which is basically a credit card for solely medical expenses (including veterinary bills). If you're approved, you use it like any credit card, where they will pay the vet upfront, and you pay them back in monthly increments. (I think it's also interest-free, so long as you pay them back within a certain time-frame, though don't quote me on that!) If you choose to go this route, you can either use the card to pay your vet bill and get help for Taco there, or you can go to the emergency vet and have them see him. Just call in advance first to ensure that they take CareCredit (though in my experience, most vets do).

In the meantime, if I were you I'd check Youtube to see if you can pinpoint the cough, as some here may have better suggestions if you're able to identify the condition he has.

Wishing Taco a speedy recovery!
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Old 04-19-2017, 04:01 PM
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I actually live on 40 acres and have a lake on the property, so I don't use leashes or anything like that to walk any of my pups. We all just pour out of the house and just walk around together. As far as I know, he has never had a collar or been on a leash in his life.

He is a really funny and really cute little boy. He is extremely vocal about things! Most dogs ive had will just walk up to you and jump in your lap or maybe sit there and whine until you pick them up, but Mr Taco growls and sometimes barks. And you can tell it isn't an aggressive sort of growl, it's just the way he is communicating to me. He will growl and moan at me if I refuse to pet him, he will eventually start barking if I ignore him long enough. But I laugh at him because it's cute and encourage him. Sometimes we'll get into growling contests with each other, but he is very polite about it because he knows when not to mess with me like when i'm asleep or working on something on the computer. He always sort of growls to ask permission before he jumps up on me. That seems to be the only time he growls is when he wants me to look at him or speak to him.

He gets super excited about food, i've never seen a dog go as bonkers as he does when I bring out some food. Eyes as big as saucers and totally fixed on it. I wish I could stop him from "gobbling" everything he eats. He just swallows it all whole as fast as he possibly can. Guess out in the wild he had to do that to survive but there isn't a reason for it anymore.

It's kind of nice to be able to just talk about him to someone, everyone I know hates him and wants him gone.

The cough mostly sounds really dry, but he acts like he's trying to hack something up, like he is choking on something. Sometimes when he coughs for a little while it sounds slightly wet, but it may just be the saliva in his mouth making those sounds. He has never coughed up anything, I always watch and expect to see something, especially when it sounds wettish but he never gets anything up. Most of the time it sounds and he acts just like he is choking, like some food went down the wrong pipe or something.

It can happen randomly, but it is pretty rare. 9 times out of 10 when it happens it is because he is excited or really active. When I come home from class he bounces around like a bunny and that always sends him into coughing fits, when I get up to take them on a walk and he's running around excited to go outside he goes into coughing fits, etc. As long as he is laying still or sleeping, it does still happen sometimes but its very few and far between. Activity makes him cough 100% of the time.

Last edited by SaveTaco; 04-19-2017 at 04:06 PM.
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Old 04-20-2017, 12:07 AM
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As mentioned by others several times now, there are LOTs of things that cause coughing, and for the most part, most cannot be distinguished without radiographs, an exam, and sometimes bloodwork (and sometimes the cause is extremely hard to diagnose no matter what testing is done). Coughs due to heart worms are absolutely identical to coughs due to heart failure... and for good reason... heartwoms only cause a cough because they create heart failure. No way on earth to tell the cause of a heart failure in a dog short of radiographs, blood work and/or ultrasound. Otherwise heart failure is just heart failure and will require heart failure medications (AND heart worm treatment if your pet is also positive for heart worms).

On the other hand, pneumonia, kennel cough, collapsing trachea, allergic or infectious bronchitis, cancers, distemper, pleural effusion, foreign bodies, lung worms, smoke inhalation, collapsed lungs, swallowing disorders etc. can all cause coughing and most of these coughs can sound a lot alike.

Whatever the cause, taking it easy is super important, so try to minimize excitement... when you come home from school, it might be best to ignore your new pet for about 10-20 minutes, pretending he's not even there, and the excitement associated with you coming home might be minimized, as might the associated coughing. Coughing usually brings more coughing, so avoiding behaviors that cause coughing would be a good idea.

Good luck with your new dog and we all hope you can get something done soon with minimum expenditure. But sometimes it can take some time and quite a bit of $$ to work some of these problems out.
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