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my dog has started hacking ... ??

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  • my dog has started hacking ... ??

    so i have a 1.5 yr old aussie/catahoula who, about 2 weeks ago, started hacking. periodically throughout the day and night, hacking up and only occassionally ever producing spit. it started out sounding like some sort of acid reflux and now is more frequent and a little more aggressive sounding. its not really coughs, more like involuntary hacking up a hairball.

    i first thought maybe it was her food. she had been on iams but she didnt like it so we tried a little bag of beneful when she started doing this. i switched her to blue buffalo wilderness, so higher protein/lower fat and grain free. also added stomach soother twice a day and have broken up meals to more smaller feedings.

    she has no fever, has had normal appetite and activity level. has not been anywhere or in contact with any new dogs. anyone have any ideas? i read about kennel cough and dont think thats it. am hoping it doesnt sound like some sort heart problem ... thx in advance for any advice/suggestions.

  • #2
    If your dog has been hacking for nearly two weeks, and it is only getting worse, I would recommend making an appointment with your Veterinarian.
    If wishes were horses then beggars would ride...
    DLA: Draft Lovers Anonymous
    Originally posted by talkofthetown
    As in, the majikal butterfly-fahting gypsy vanners.


    • #3
      I would visit the vet too. Our old ACD mix was doing that a while ago, along with some funny snuffling noises when breathing in, she sounded like a pig. I was concerned about some foreign body or something. Because of her age (14), our vet thought it was better to give her an anti-inflammatory and some antibiotics for a few days rather than going right to a scope, which would require sedation. We never did know what was wrong with her, but Previcox and Simplicef did clear it up over the course of a week.


      • Original Poster

        i am having her looked at wednesday but am not able to make it sooner. and it has only gotten so worse in the past couple days. i was trying to do some research to help her on my own. ill have her looked at, but didnt know if anyone had any ideas?


        • #5
          I hate to say it, and hopefully it is not an issue, but, heartworm causes hacking/coughing - has she been kept up to date on heartworm meds? Jingles for her and you.


          • #6
            It could be a lot of different things. Some examples, heartworm (yes it does cause a hacking cough sometimes), allergies, sinus infection, collapsible trachea (although usually only happens in the toy breeds), etc. Only a vet can determine the cause and then recommend a treatment. Good luck!


            • #7
              Dogs with infected tonsils will also gag alot...if infection has been ruled out, make sure your vet checks this. I have had two dogs that had to have their tonsils removed. Who woulda thunk it.


              • #8
                So would kennel cough and sounding more aggressive means it might be turning into pneumonia. I would not wait until Wednesday no matter what.
                "We, too, will be remembered not for victories or defeats in battle or in politics, but for our contribution to the human spirit." JFK


                • Original Poster

                  i highly doubt it is kennel cough or pneumonia as her only symptom is hacking. no fever, listlessness, nasal discharge, lack of activity or lessened activity level. she has a bright eye and good coat, no belly disstension or soreness palpating anywhere. the hacking has actually been better today, slightly. i stopped giving her stomach soother.

                  thanks for the advice. unfortunately i am unable to take her anywhere til wednesday. she is not uncomfortable. if she were dragging on the floor oozing snot it would be a different story, but she seems fine in all other respects. but, i am worried about something more serious like heart or lung problems. :/


                  • #10
                    My now 10 year old labrador had kennel cough when she was a puppy and she did not lose her appetite until much later in the process. She developed the snotty nose later, nor did she ooze from her eyes. I would be more worried about some kind of bacterial infection or severe allergies rather than heart or lung problems. If she is bright and active why would you suspect that?
                    "We, too, will be remembered not for victories or defeats in battle or in politics, but for our contribution to the human spirit." JFK


                    • #11
                      I am most definitely not a vet, but could she possibly have something stuck in her throat? I think it is good you are taking her in on Wednesday.


                      • Original Poster

                        i worry that its 'something more serious' because of her lack of outward symptoms. a lot of what i have read said that hacking and coughing can be early signs of heart problems, which i read somewhere that aussies have more incidents of.

                        if there were a foreign body, i kind of think by now i would have seen maybe some blood or sensitivity to touch or maybe trouble swallowing? i guess a possibility still.

                        ive not seen allergies in dogs. but when i had allergies i got weepy eyes and runny nose. could she have allergies just with hacking? i havent noticed anything blooming yet but that could be it, perhaps.


                        • #13
                          In an old dog, I'd be concerned about congestive heart failure. Coughing is a symptom. Definitely see a vet, and make sure they listen to her heart.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by saaskya View Post
                            i worry that its 'something more serious' because of her lack of outward symptoms. a lot of what i have read said that hacking and coughing can be early signs of heart problems, which i read somewhere that aussies have more incidents of.

                            if there were a foreign body, i kind of think by now i would have seen maybe some blood or sensitivity to touch or maybe trouble swallowing? i guess a possibility still.

                            ive not seen allergies in dogs. but when i had allergies i got weepy eyes and runny nose. could she have allergies just with hacking? i havent noticed anything blooming yet but that could be it, perhaps.
                            What made me think of allergies was that she started this after you fed her the Beneful which is just chock full of dyes and preservatives, nevermind the issue of grains that she could or could not be allergic to. One would think that might have resolved but you did say that feeding her less and smaller meals has helped. I hope it does not have to do with any kind of pyloric opening inflammation, but that could be it, and that it was started by the Beneful and just unresolved as of yet. Sometime allergies can do some weird things and they cross react with proteins in some foods and the current seasonal plant that is pollinating.

                            If she had congestive heart failure she would for sure have lost her activity level and brightness.
                            "We, too, will be remembered not for victories or defeats in battle or in politics, but for our contribution to the human spirit." JFK


                            • #15
                              disregard my earlier post...I read the age as 15, not 1.5 yrs.


                              • #16
                                My older JRT got snotty and started hacking after we switched to TOTW, turned out to be a food allergy. It took her a while to develop the symptoms after switching but they were resolved rather quickly when we switched her to a fish based food. She was outwardly the same perky JRT, high energy, played with our younger GSD-x (he's 11x her size so when she plays with him we know she's feeling well), still went for her walk every day and hunted in the backyard, she was just snotty and hacking while she did it (hacking happened mostly at night). There were a few other cues it was a food allergy, she would rub her head on the ground after dinner, and very intermittently chew on her paws but by and large the most apparent symptoms were the hacking and snottiness. Sometimes dogs are allergic to unexpected things, in her case it turned out to be lamb.


                                • #17
                                  Where do you live? I lost my cocker almost two years ago to blastomycosis. She was misdiagnosed with a bronchial infection, the antibiotics allowed the fungal infection to progress rapidly. By the time she was properly diagnosed (x-ray, x-ray, x-ray), it was too late to treat. I could have tried to treat, but the odds were too great against her. We lost her in May 2010.

                                  Don't mess around with whatever it is!


                                  • #18
                                    There are also regional diseases, in the Southwest there is Valley Fever. And allergy season seems to be coming early this year. Plus, I've known animals (and humans) who were allergic to air fresheners, and since many are automatic spray, or plugins that are always on this could be it too.
                                    You can't fix stupid-Ron White


                                    • #19