Persistent Dog Cough Causes and Treatment Options

by Brian webber
(Newquay, Uk)

My Chihuahua rescue dog is 10 years old. I approximately had him 7+years he has constant bad husky cough.

A vet said a few years ago that he could have a soft esophagus as they are prone to it. Can anything be done? His breathing seems ok and he always coughs worst after drinking. He is a lively little chappy.


Editor Suggestion For a Husky Dog Cough

Hi Brian,

It sounds like your senior rescue Chihuahua has been dealing with a persistent cough for some time. A "husky" cough in small breed dogs can sometimes be related to a condition known as tracheal collapse, which is common in breeds like Chihuahuas. The condition you mentioned, a soft esophagus, is also known as megaesophagus, where the esophagus dilates and loses its ability to move food to the stomach effectively, which can lead to coughing especially after drinking or eating.

Here are some steps you can take to help manage his symptoms:

Elevated Feeding: If megaesophagus is the issue, feeding your dog with his front body elevated can help food move down to the stomach more easily by gravity, reducing the chance of regurgitation and coughing.

Cough Suppressants and Bronchodilators: Your vet might prescribe medications to help control the cough and make your dog more comfortable.

Weight Management: Ensuring your
dog is not overweight can significantly reduce symptoms, as excess weight can exacerbate breathing issues.

Manage Exercise: Keep exercise gentle. Overexertion can trigger coughing, so it's important to find a balance that keeps him active without causing distress.

Regular Veterinary Check-Ups: Regular check-ups are crucial for managing chronic conditions, especially as your dog ages. Your vet may also want to check for heart disease, which can cause coughing and is treatable with medication.

Avoid Collars: Use a harness instead of a collar to avoid pressure on your dog's trachea, which can provoke coughing.

Monitor for Changes: Any changes in your dog's cough, like an increase in frequency, a change in sound, or if he seems to be in distress, should prompt an immediate veterinary visit.

While it's good to hear he's otherwise lively, I would advise revisiting a veterinarian to reassess his condition, especially since it has been a few years since his last evaluation. There may be new treatments or management strategies that can help improve his quality of life.

Warm regards and best wishes to your little Chappy for continued liveliness and good health.

Editor and Publisher
Dog Health Guide

Please note: This information is intended to complement, not replace, the advice of your pet's veterinarian. Always consult a vet for professional medical advice about your pet's health.

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