|Barked: Sat Apr 28, '12 12:32pm PST |
|Poor Kyah When exactly does it occur for her? When she is being highly active? After she drinks? When she is outside? And how long does each coughing spell last? If it started happening shortly after her spay, Bailey is right and it is very likely that she has some tracheal irritation due to having the tube in her throat for the procedure.
There is a difference between coughing and reverse sneezing, though the two can be easy to confused. With reverse sneezing, the dog will kind of freeze up a bit and it will make inhaling/snorty type noises repeatedly. With coughing, there are different kinds- kennel cough gives off a dry hacking sound, tracheal collapse sounds kind of like a goose honk. Coughing from allergies can sound like either type. When the dogs are coughing though, typically they can still move around and it isn't as repetitive as the reverse sneezing is.
Kip started doing the goose honk/cough/gag thing several months ago pretty much after every time he drank water- he would drink, goose honk like twice, and then hack once. My vet said the same thing... it's either environmental allergies or he could have a mild case of collapsing trachea. However, it started happening to him and to a lesser degree his sister shortly after they were put under to have their retained puppy teeth extracted/Oogie's spay so there is likely a connection there even though the vet didn't point that out.
Regardless of if it's collapsing trachea or not, the things you are doing are good to prevent the condition from happening and/or getting worse. Walking with a harness is awesome. Also, elevating the water dish a bit so the pup doesn't have to bend it's head down so far to get water helps.
Other things that help are feeding your pup a good diet and providing fresh filtered water daily. One thing that I do also, though I don't know if it really helps, is supplementing my pup's food with knox plain gelatin powder- the gelatin is supposed to aid in the development of cartilage strength, and since the trachea is made of cartilage I just thought it might be a good idea. Some chihuahua breeders and german shepherd breeders recommend using it during teething to help the pup's ears (which are made of cartilage) come up, granted I don't know of any studies that prove or disconfirm it. Vitamin E and fish oil are also good to supplement with too.
Anyway, I would give it a bit of time... try not to freak out because it really could be something as simple as irritation from the tubing during spay. I know how you feel though... when Kip started doing it I freeeeeaked out and thought it was a death sentence!! However, I've done all of the things mentioned earlier and he's gotten much better than he was before- though he still does cough after drinking water sometimes. Even if you end up with a dog that does have collapsing trachea, most of the time it won't be severe (though it might get worse with age). Many dogs don't even need treatment if it is mild... if it is moderate, the vet will prescribe cough medicine. If it's pretty bad, they usually prescribe a sedative in addition to the cough medicine... and if it's severe, they may or may not recommend a surgery which has low success rates. Like I said though, don't worry yourself to death... just keep yourself in the moment and work on keeping your little fluff happy and healthy in the present. My guess is she will probably show some improvement as time goes on and her throat recovers from the tubing from the spay
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