Experienced and professional animal trainer provide their insights in answering this question :
A. If your dog is not in heart failure then there is not much more than could be helpful, maybe anti-cough medication would be a good idea ?

How to Identify Common Pet Problems ?

Our sources include academic articles, blog posts, and personal essays from experienced pet care professionals :

Previous studies have shown that the ACE inhibitors imidapril and enalapril improve clinical symptoms, especially cough, in dogs with MVD and dilated cardiomyopathy [5, 14, 15]. Our results also showed that cough completely or partially resolved in 55.6% of dogs treated with alacepril.
How Long Can Dogs Live with Congestive Heart Failure? In general, dogs that are diagnosed with congestive heart failure can live anywhere from 6 months to 1 1/2 to 2 years.
Pimobendan (brand name: Vetmedin®) is a heart medication used to treat dogs with congestive heart failure (CHF), usually caused by either dilated cardiomyopathy or valvular insufficiency.
Diuretics, like furosemide or spironolactone, which help to remove fluid from the lungs to make breathing easier for dogs with congestive heart disease. Inotropic drugs, which change the force of the heart`s contractions. Medication like pimobendan is commonly prescribed and works to improve heart muscle strength.
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.
The most common side effects of enalapril usage are gastrointestinal symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, and loss of appetite. Less common side effects include tiredness (a lethargic dog), fever, skin rash, and weakness. Other ACE inhibitors like benazepril may cause fewer gastrointestinal effects.
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.
Once heart failure has been confirmed and medication has been started, a fair goal is a one year life expectancy. Escalating doses of furosemide will most likely be needed. About 50% of heart failure patients will have died within 6 months of diagnosis. About 80% will have died by 1.5-2 years.
Unless your dog is continually and severely affected by this condition, long-term hospitalization is usually not required. Dilated cardiomyopathy is often a progressive condition and there is no cure. Treatment is aimed at lengthening your treasured companion`s life and making your pet as comfortable as possible.
The three most common causes of an enlarged heart in dogs are pericardial effusion, dilated cardiomyopathy, and valvular heart disease. Each of these conditions can lead to an enlarged heart and should be taken seriously. An enlarged heart can be a sign of serious health conditions in dogs and should not be ignored.
Some balanced diets include Royal Canin® Veterinary Diet Canine Cardiac, Rayne Clinical Nutrition™ Restrict-CKD™, or Hill`s® Prescription Diet® h/d®. Your veterinarian will help you determine the most appropriate nutrient profile at each stage of your dog`s heart disease progression.
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.
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.
Increased pressure within the vessels results in small amounts of fluid leaking out of the capillaries and eventually into the air passageways. This fluid collection in the lungs produces coughing and/or gagging, the most obvious sign of heart failure. Dogs in heart failure also tire very easily from minimal exercise.
More concerning, a wet rattling, whistling, or wheezing cough can be a sign of heartworm or canine distemper. A cough that sounds like a goose honking may indicate tracheal collapse especially if combined with bluish gums, intolerance to exercise, and sensitivity to touch around the throat.
Enalapril for dogs is most commonly used to treat hypertension (high blood pressure) and congestive heart failure. Like other ACE inhibitors, enalapril works by blocking the enzyme that constricts blood vessels. This results in reduced blood pressure and allows the heart to function more efficiently.
Do not stop this medication abruptly unless instructed by your veterinarian. This medication should take effect within 1 to 2 hours; however, effects may not be visibly noticeable and therefore laboratory tests may need to be done to evaluate this medication`s effectiveness.
Is congestive heart failure in dogs painful? Dogs in congestive heart failure typically do not display obvious signs of pain. However, humans in congestive heart failure have described chest pain as a factor, so it`s possible dogs also experience some discomfort. Seek veterinary care if you feel your pet is in pain.
Congestive heart failure in dogs can cause discomfort and difficulty breathing, but it is not typically a painful death. With proper treatment and management, dogs with congestive heart failure can maintain a good quality of life for a period of time.
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.
Congestive Heart Disease in Dogs

Heart disease may lead to congestive heart failure. That`s when your dog`s heart has trouble pumping blood to the rest of its body. Heart disease can affect one side of the heart or sometimes both sides. It can progress slowly and may take years to spot.

The dog`s heart can`t pump blood through the body very well. It leads to coughing, exhaustion, a swollen belly — and eventually, the dog`s lungs will fill with fluid, and she will essentially feel as if she is drowning in her own body. We didn`t want Barky to experience a terrifying, painful death.
An enlarged heart in your dog is a serious medical condition that describes the expansion of the lower chambers of their heart or, less commonly, its upper chambers. A dog`s heart will expand when it is unable to properly contract and push blood out to the rest of the body.
Many disease processes can cause the heart to dilate due to problems with the underlying heart muscle. In these cases, despite the heart being bigger, its function actually worsens. The most common cause of an enlarged heart is coronary artery disease (which can lead to a heart attack).

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

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 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. I have a 10 year old mutt who is hyper but doesn’t like hyper dogs. Getting another dog from a shelter soon any ideas on calm breeds?
ANSWER : A. If your dog is uncomfortable with other dogs (of any sort), it is important that you bring your current dog to the shelter so he can meet the dog you plan to adopt. You should check out your local shelter, and walk around looking at all of the dogs. Mixed breeds have mixed amounts of energy and it’s tough to recommend a breed. I suppose I would say calm breeds would be the Great Pyrenees, the Newfoundland, the Bernese Mountain dog CAN be a calm breed.. really with any breed you will have mixed litters. Many breeders breed specifically the “calm” Newfies, or the “hyper” Bernese. If you are going to adopt from a shelter however, it’s impossible to expect that level of breeding.

As I said, just be sure you bring your dog along so you can slowly introduce the dogs. If your dog is uncomfortable, immediately separate them, and try again in a couple of minutes. You don’t want to force them to get along, and you don’t want to move too quickly when introducing them.

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. How do I determine how much my overweight pet should weigh?
ANSWER : A. There are many tools to determine overweight and obesity levels in pets. A new tool, morphometric measurements and body fat index, are available to accurately determine a pet’s ideal weight; this will allow an accurate determination of the amount of food a pet should receive to achieve weight loss. Feeding the correct amount will lead to greater weight loss success.

There are many weight loss food options to help pets reach their ideal weight. Your veterinarian can help make a ideal weight recommendation. Here are some tips to help your dog lose weight in a healthy and safe way:

1. Diet: Providing a healthy and well balanced diet is essential to your pet’s overall health. Finding the right food for your dog can be a challenging process. For those overweight animals many commercial dog companies offer weight loss diets, but it is important to evaluate food labels for adequate nutritional content.

You want to ensure you are not missing other essential vitamin or mineral content. Volume of food is also important and the amount of food that works for one breed of dog may not be the same for another breed of dog. Portion control as opposed to free-choice feeding can help your dog to drop a few unnecessary pounds.

There are also prescription weight loss foods designed by veterinary nutritionists, such as Hill’s r/d (http://bit.ly/1AoENSd). Some pet owners find that home cooking is the best option for helping to provide a well-balanced and realistic diet plan. There are websites such as balanceit.com that offers recipes to fit your dog’s specific needs. Consulting with your veterinarian or a veterinary nutritionist to find the appropriate diet is a great way to help your dog be as healthy as possible.

2. Exercise: Another great tactic for weight loss for your dog is exercise. Whether this is through running, walking or playing with a favorite toy all of these are wonderful types of exercise to help keep your dog at a lean and healthy weight.

For those pet owners with busy schedules utilizing professional dog walking services or playtime through dog daycare services is another option. It has been shown that those pet owners that exercise regularly with their pets generally live a healthier lifestyle.

3. Physical therapy: As animals age pet owners offer encounter their favorite canine having more difficulty walking and have a dwindling desire to play with toys. Physical therapy, specifically hydrotherapy is a wonderful way to help older and arthritic animals gain more mobility and lose weight. Hydrotherapy has been proven to have several therapeutic effects on the body including, muscle strengthening, relief of swelling, decreased joint pain, less stiffness in limbs, improved circulation, weight loss, and increased tissue healing to name a few. For more information on the benefits of hydrotherapy:
http://bit.ly/1w1qqoy

4. Veterinary visit and blood work: Weight gain can also be related to underlying health concerns such as hypothyroidism or other endocrine disorders. Scheduling a veterinary evaluation and routine blood work can be another important component in increasing the longevity of your dog’s life. Conditions such as hypothyroidism that predispose dogs to gain weight can be treated with a daily medication to improve hormonal balance. If feel that your dog is unnecessarily overweight there can be an underlying health condition that needs to be addressed.

5. Healthy treats: Pet owners love the chance to reward their favorite canine companion with treats and most dogs jump at the chance to consume these delicious products. The problem is many treats, which can include commercial dog treats or table scrapes can add many unnecessary calories to your dog’s daily intake. Reading labels and making note of the calories in these treats is an important component of understanding your dog’s overall health. Treats should not exceed more than 10 percent of your pet’s daily calories. There are healthier treats that can be offered to your pet to keep calories lower yet provide a fuller sensation. A pet owner can add steamed or pureed vegetables, such as carrots, green beans or sweet potato to add more fiber and thus a fuller feeling for your dog.

Q. Whenever I take my dog on walks he always barks at people and others dogs in my neighborhood. What should I do to resolve the problem
ANSWER : A. The very first thing to do is to make sure your dog is getting sufficient physical and mental exercise every day. A tired dog is a good, happy dog and one who is less likely to bark from boredom or frustration. Depending on his breed, age, and health, your dog may require several long walks as well as a good game of chasing the ball and playing with some interactive toys.

Figure out what he gets out of barking and remove it. Don’t give your dog the opportunity to continue the barking behavior.

Ignore your dog’s barking for as long as it takes him to stop. That means don’t give him attention at all while he’s barking. Your attention only rewards him for being noisy. Don’t talk to, don’t touch, or even look at him. When he finally quiets, even to take a breath, reward him with a treat. To be successful with this method, you must wait as long as it takes for him to stop barking. Yelling at him is the equivalent of barking with him.

Get your dog accustomed to whatever causes him to bark. Start with whatever makes him bark at a distance. It must be far enough away that he doesn’t bark when he sees it. Feed him lots of good treats. Move the stimulus a little closer (perhaps as little as a few inches or a few feet to start) and feed treats. If the stimulus moves out of sight, stop giving your dog treats. You want your dog to learn that the appearance of the stimulus leads to good things.

Teach your dog the ‘quiet’ command. Oddly, the first step is to teach your dog to bark on command. Give your dog the command to “speak,” wait for him to bark two or three times, and then stick a tasty treat in front of his nose. When he stops barking to sniff the treat, praise him and give him the treat. Repeat until he starts barking as soon as you say “speak.” Once your dog can reliably bark on command, teach him the “quiet” command. In a calm environment with no distractions, tell him to “speak.” When he starts barking, say “quiet” and stick a treat in front of his nose. Praise him for being quiet and give him the treat.

As in all training, always end training on a good note, even if it is just for obeying something very simple, like the ‘sit’ command. If you dog regresses in training, go back to the last thing he did successfully and reinforce that before moving on again. Keep sessions short, 15-20 minutes max, and do this several times a day.

Q. Small breed dog 13 years old. Vet diagnosed oversized heart. Coughing at night/day. Wht treatment is available. Currently on enalapriel.
ANSWER : A. If your dog is not in heart failure then there is not much more than could be helpful, maybe anti-cough medication would be a good idea ?

Q. Looking to get a second dog to go along with my 10 year old dog. He doesn’t like other hyper dogs, are there any specific “calm” dog breeds?
ANSWER : A. Stay away from puppies then. No matter what breed u get, they will be hyper. Calmer breeds can include something like a climber spaniel (dog that the cartoon droopy was modeled after) Basset hounds (although you give up hyper and they are very loud) it’s hard to say on a lot of breeds due to the fact that not all dogs are the same even in the same breed. Research almost any breed that appeals to you if your going to buy a pure breed dog, if going to rescue or adopt from a pound then go look around and see the attitude of the different dogs and see how they do with your pet.