Experienced and professional animal trainer provide their insights in answering this question :
A. Although it’s possible that a very large lipoma in the area of the trachea can press on it and cause coughing, I don’t think it’s very likely. At 11 years old I would be anxious to have him examined by a vet to determine what might be the cause of the coughing – infectious disease like kennel cough, heart disease, or primary disease in the lungs.

How to Identify Common Pet Problems ?

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As dogs age, the cartilage rings that make up the trachea become flattened. This narrows the space inside of the trachea and makes it more difficult for air to pass through. As a result, collapsed trachea in dogs may cause a goose honking cough, gagging, and sometimes even respiratory distress.
The most common clinical sign of congestive heart failure (CHF) is persistent coughing accompanied by difficulty breathing. This is due mainly to pulmonary edema or the accumulation of fluid in the lungs. The enlarged heart will also push against the trachea, causing irritation that can induce a cough.
Congestive heart failure is when a dog has edema of the lungs due to heart disease. Among other symptoms, this results in a wet, phlegmy cough caused by the excess fluid.
In general, chronic cough in dogs can occur secondary to cardiac disease, respiratory disease, or both. Cardiac causes include left-sided congestive heart failure and advanced heartworm disease.
Kennel cough, which is a type of respiratory infection, is a common cause of dog gagging, which results in a harsh, goose-like cough, sometimes followed by a gag. There are other infectious diseases that can also cause gagging, and a more severe disease—pneumonia—can sometimes cause gagging in dogs, as well.
When your dog is in the end stages of congestive heart disease you will notice that your pup has difficulty breathing even while resting, experiences frequent bouts of coughing, develops bluish-grey color gums, possibly faints when standing and will become reluctant to walk.
Classically, the coughing associated with congestive heart failure tends to be worse at night. This is thought to be from increased venous return being exacerbated in the failing heart in pets that are trying to lay down.
Doctors sometimes refer to this as a cardiac cough. A cough that occurs as a symptom of heart failure is usually persistent and produces white or pink blood-tinged mucus. However, if the cough results from a medication for heart failure, it may sound dry.
Viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites can all cause coughing in infected dogs. These infectious agents can target the entire airway from the upper respiratory tract down into the lungs causing several different conditions, such as bronchitis and pneumonia depending on the specific infection.
Dogs should be encouraged to rest, drink, and eat. Cough suppressants can help with especially severe symptoms. Humidifiers or nebulizers can help as well. You can also make environmental changes around the home such as not smoking, not using aerosol cleaners or sprays, not burning incense, and using an air purifier.
An occasional cough may be normal dog behavior and is not a cause for concern. Repetitive coughing, on the other hand, could be a sign of a more serious problem, especially if there are changes in breathing sounds or patterns.
If your dog is hacking or constantly making noises that make it sound like they are choking on something, they may have a case of canine infectious respiratory disease complex (CIRDC), or kennel cough, or sometimes called canine infectious tracheobronchitis.
A cardiac cough is usually the result of our body trying to expel foreign bacteria out of the body. After a comprehensive diagnosis, the doctor may run tests such as blood tests, chest x-ray, echocardiograms, stress tests, etc. to confirm the cough due to cardiac issues.
A potentially fatal disease, TVD is the most common heart defect in Labrador Retrievers, though the disease incidence is not known.
Patients in the end stages of heart failure want to know what to expect. The symptoms of end-stage congestive heart failure include dyspnea, chronic cough or wheezing, edema, nausea or lack of appetite, a high heart rate, and confusion or impaired thinking.
The symptoms of pulmonary edema will vary based upon the underlying cause of the condition, however the most common symptoms in dogs include: Coughing. Difficulty breathing. Crackling noises when taking a breath.
The clinical signs of more advanced kidney failure include loss of appetite, lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, and very bad breath. Occasionally, ulcers will be found in the mouth.
Coughing can be a telltale sign that a dog with a heart murmur is experiencing heart failure. When dogs have a heart murmur, their hearts can become enlarged and lose the ability to pump blood into their lungs and the rest of their body.
The most common clinical sign is a persistent, dry, harsh cough. It is sometimes described as a `goose honk` cough. The cough may worsen at night, with excitement, with pressure on the trachea, such as from a collar, during hot or humid weather, or immediately after eating or drinking.
Dogs with this condition will often cough frequently and might do so when they are laying down more than when they are standing up. The cough will be repetitive and sound dry and short. These dogs often tire easily as well, and they might seem to get short of breath very quickly.
Warning signs and symptoms of heart failure include shortness of breath, chronic coughing or wheezing, swelling, fatigue, loss of appetite, and others. Heart failure means the heart has failed to pump the way it should in order to circulate oxygen-rich blood throughout the body.
If you experience any of the following symptoms with a frequent, wet cough, you could be experiencing cardiac coughing: Dyspnea. If you find yourself getting out of breath while performing a simple activity or while sleeping, you could have dyspnea.
A persistent cough in someone with congestive heart failure may be a sign of a potentially serious health concern. In some cases, a heart failure cough (sometimes referred to as a “cardiac cough”) may be a sign that your condition is worsening or your medications aren`t working as well as they should.
Cough influences heart function either by its effects on intrathoracic pressure resulting in cardiovascular hemodynamic consequences or by influencing heart electrophysiology causing an arrhythmogenic effect.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

Q. Continuous cough with 11 year lab with lipomas all over his body. Wondering if they are in his neck causing disruption. Always burping.
ANSWER : A. Although it’s possible that a very large lipoma in the area of the trachea can press on it and cause coughing, I don’t think it’s very likely. At 11 years old I would be anxious to have him examined by a vet to determine what might be the cause of the coughing – infectious disease like kennel cough, heart disease, or primary disease in the lungs.

Read Full Q/A … : Vetinfo

Q. My C. K. Charles has an asmathic cough. Ok most of the day, but worse in hotter rooms in the evening. What’s wrong?
ANSWER : A. Coughing in dogs can be caused by a number of things including allergies, asthma, illness such as Bordetella (kennel cough) or even lung and heart problems.

Allergies and asthma can cause a dog to have a raspy cough, and they may wheeze, sneeze or have running noses or trouble breathing when active or in an area where the allergen is present. Your vet can determine if an allergy or asthma is present and provide medication as needed to help with symptoms.

Bordetella can also cause a deep hacking cough, and is common in dogs that frequent doggy day cares, kennels or dog parks. The causes can be bacterial or viral, and treatment depends on if any secondary symptoms such as fever or dehydration is present. Treatment involves cough suppressants from your vet, or even antibiotics and fluids to treat secondary illnesses. Other illnesses such as heartworm may cause a chronic cough and exercise intolerance and should be looked for if your dog is not already on a heartworm preventive.

Small dogs are also prone to a condition called collapsing tracheas, and Cavaliers are very prone as a breed to heart and lung issues. Collapsing tracheae often cause a gasping or hacking cough when excited or active, and may require treatment if they become problematic. Heart and lung problems such as heart failure or genetic abnormalities can also cause coughing as a sign of the illness. Your vet can perform a complete exam to check the health of the lungs and heart.

Q. My new puppy is coughing a lot and I think it is Kennel Cough. Could it be?
ANSWER : A. Kennel Cough is similar to the human cold, and it can be caused by three categories of microorganisms.

1. Bordetella Bronchiseptica: A small bacteria which can result in bronchitis and severe cough in dogs.
2. Canine Adenovirus: A serious and contagious virus.
3. Canine Influenza Virus: An extremely contagious virus causing mild to severe respiratory symptoms in dogs.
Kennel Cough has its own course of 1 to 3 weeks and can be managed medically.

Close environments with several dogs can increase the chance of dogs catching the cough. Kennel Cough vaccination is aimed mostly at preventing the Bordetella infection through an inhalant or injection vaccination. Although not 100% effective, it should be recommended in all dogs that spend time around other dogs, even the park is considered one of these social occasions.

Kennels have their own policy with regards to Kennel Cough vaccinations and should always be contacted well ahead to understand and comply with their requirements before the stay of your dog.
If you suspect that your dog has caught Kennel Cough, you should see your veterinarian. Your dog might benefit from certain medications to speed up his recovery. These might include antibiotics, anti-inflammatory drugs, and cough suppressants at your vet’s discretion.

Q. My dog keep hacking like a cough or something in her throat, what can I do?
ANSWER : A. Hacking and coughing can be caused by a number of things ranging from foreign bodies such as twigs stuck in the mouth or throat, to infections or illnesses such as Bordetella or Kennel cough, common in dogs that frequent kennels, dog daycare or dog parks. In older dogs, heart and lung issues can also be indicated by a cough that does not go away.

If you think there may be a foreign object stuck in your dog’s throat, you can sweep a finger gently through the back of the mouth or throat if your dog will let you. If something feels stuck and is not easily moved by the finger, it is best to contact your vet to have the object safely removed. This usually requires sedation so that your dog does not become panicked or move, causing the object to become further stuck or cut the throat.

If your dog is showing other symptoms of illness in addition to the cough such as runny nose or eyes, fever, lethargy or changes in appetite, it may indicate a viral or bacterial illness such as kennel cough. These are usually treated with a cough medication in severe cases, plus rest and treatment of any additional symptoms until the condition improves. In bacterial causes, antibiotics may also be given to help your dog feel better.

If your dog has a constant cough that does not go away, or has had changes in ability to exercise, breathing, or appears to have swelling around the chest or abdomen, in may indicate a lung or heart issue. Your vet can thoroughly examine your dog for any signs of heart or lung problems and can then offer care as needed depending on the cause.

Q. our little dog coughs several times a day… would it be worms causing this? we purchased sentry hc worm x ds worm medicine,but still caughs
ANSWER : A. Coughing can be a sign of many different issues. Worms are usually not at the top of the list except for heartworm which would be diagnosed with a blood test. In a little dog like a Pomeranian, a collapsing trachea would be a common cause. This cough usually sounds like a dry honk and happens especially when they are excited. Kennel cough could be a cause of your dog goes to the groomer, daycare, dog park or has been boarded recently. More serious issues that cause a cough are asthma and heart disease. The bottom line is your dog needs to be examined by a veterinarian and she may need to take an X-ray and do a heartworm test to determine the cause. If you are concerned about other worms, bring a stool sample.

Read Full Q/A … : Ask The Vet

Q. Which common foods are poisonous to pets?
ANSWER : A. That’s a great question. As responsible pet owners we need to be aware of food items that can be harmful to our canine or feline companions. Here are some of the most common foods proven to cause illness in our animals at home:

Chocolate: A favorite and irresistible treat amongst most humans, chocolate is considered toxic to dogs. In very small amounts it is usually not a huge issue, but with larger volumes and with darker chocolates pet owners should be concerned. Chocolate contains methylxanthine theobromine, which is similar to caffeine. Chocolate ingestion can cause vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, issues with normal heartbeats, seizures, and in some severe cases, death. It is best to keep your favorite chocolate treats in a good hiding spot and out of reach of your dog or cat.

Grapes and raisins: Dogs should not consume grapes and raisins because of the risk of acute kidney failure. Most dogs experiencing grape or raisin toxicity will begin to have vomiting and/or diarrhea within 6-12 hours of ingestion. Other abnormal clinical signs include lethargy, abdominal pain, dehydration, and tremors. Kidney failure develops within 24-72 hours of the initial ingestion. There are some dogs that do not experience these devastating side effects. It is best to contact your veterinarian or veterinary emergency facility if you believe your pet has ingested grapes or raisins.

Garlic and onions: We often forget that our meals contain these two popular ingredients and will allow our furry companions a few bites or licks. Onion and garlic both can cause a type of poisoning that results in damage to red blood cells, making them more likely to rupture. They can also cause stomach upset and mouth irritation. Look for pale gums, increased breathing or drooling or any vomiting or diarrhea.

Bread dough: Unbaked bread dough is considered poisonous to our pets. The bread dough, when ingested, expands in the stomach because of the warm and moist environment. This can lead to a bloated or even twisted stomach. In addition yeast is often added to our baking products to help get bread to rise, and when this yeast is fermented it produces both carbon dioxide and alcohol. The alcohol produced can be absorbed into the bloodstream and causes dangerous drops in blood sugar, blood pressure and body temperature. Common clinical signs include vomiting or retching, distension of the stomach, weakness and collapse.

Macadamia nuts: Ingestion of these nuts are not proven to be fatal in dogs but can cause them to experience uncomfortable clinical sings, including fever, joint stiffness, vomiting, tremors and difficulty walking, especially in their hind legs. Often your pet will start to feel better after about 48 hours, but supportive veterinary care (such as pain medication) may help ease their discomfort.

Xylitol: The most common ingredient used in sugar-free gum is xylitol, which is a non-caloric sweetener. It is also found in some oral rinses, toothpastes and vitamins. Xylitol and dogs do not mix – it can cause a dangerous drop in blood sugars levels. Dogs will often display signs of disorientation, black tarry stool, tremors and seizures. If severe enough some dogs have developed liver failure. Keep your gum away from your canine companion.

Avocados: Avocados are not actually poisonous to dogs or cats but as many veterinarians can tell you the avocado pits can cause a foreign body obstruction. Avocados contain persin, which is actually toxic to the majority of pet birds. The abnormal clinical signs associated with avocado ingestion in birds include, respiratory distress, inability to perch, liver and kidney failure and sudden death.

Go forth and enjoy your favorite foods, but keep in mind which foods you should avoid sharing with your furry family members. Whenever in doubt, contact your veterinarian for healthy and safe food suggestions.

Q. Small lump on my dog’s throat, what should I do?
ANSWER : A. Lumps and bumps on the throat or neck can be caused by a wide range of things. Depending on the lumps size, if it is under the skin or appears on the skin itself, and its location on the throat can all indicate different things.

There are a large number of structures in the neck there ranging from thyroid glands, nerves, salivary glands and even lymph nodes. Illness, disease or irritation can all cause swelling or issues there. You may also see additional symptoms such as trouble swallowing, drooling, lethargy or changes in weight and appetite to help narrow down the cause of the lump. Testing via blood work or an X-ray may help to determine the cause and proper treatment.

Lumps and bumps on the skin can also be caused by allergies such as an allergic reaction or sting, or even an abscess under the skin. Allergies are usually treated with an allergy medication to help stop the response and any itching or redness. Abscesses (cuts or scrapes that get infected and swell with fluid) are usually hot or painful to the touch and may ooze debris. These are usually drained at a vet, and then treated with antibiotics.

If the cause of the lump is not known, your vet may also recommend taking a sample of the lump to send to a Lab. This can help to determine what exactly is causing the lump and how to treat it.

Q. We brought 2 new kittens home. One of them is sneezing. We have a Sr cat and an adult who is now coughing. What to do?
ANSWER : A. Commonly respiratory infections (viral -Herpesvirus and Calicivirus- and possibly bacterial) can cause sneezing episodes in kitten especially if not vaccinated yet. If your kitten is affected by respiratory infection could develop or have more signs such as discharge from eyes, more discharge from nose, coughing, being lethargic, depressed and inappetent.

The coughing episodes of the adult cat could be completely unrelated to the cause of sneezing of your new kitten, especially if your adult cat is already vaccinated.

The cause of cough in adult cats are not necessarily related to respiratory problems, heart problems could cause that as well.

Keep the nose and the eyes of your kitten free from discharge, keep your kitten warm and take both of them to your veterinarian as soon as possible to identify the cause and the relationship of the two problems and treat appropriately.