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Chihuahua cough
An_221154 posted:
I have a 6 mo.old, almost 4 lb. male Chihuahua. He has had what I think is a cough but it is at times almost as though he is going to be sick. Someone saw him do it and says it looks like a cat trying to cough up a hairball. Any suggestions as to what it could be and is it something that needs immediate attention with my vet? Thanks.
Home2strays responded:
sounds like he has whats called a collapsing trachea- not fatal. usually happens after they get excited or if you rub on thier necks. really common in small breeds.
seconddwarf responded:
I have an 11 yr. old Lab who does the same thing. My vet told me he has a partially paralyzed larynx. When he gets excited, he starts breathing heavier and the air aggravates the larynx which causes him to cough. It's not serious, and there are some things that can be done to help it--i.e. surgery. It is worse in the summer. In fact, my lab will actually start wheezing and kind of gasping if he gets to overally excited. Basically, you just have to watch that any rough play doesn't get to rough. And, yes, my lab can just be laying, doing nothing and have a cough attack. I should note, I also give him an acid reducer for acid reflux, but there are so many different kinds out there with different key ingredients, so talk to the vet first before trying any.
Hope that helps....
Katherine Scott, DVM, DACVIM replied to seconddwarf's response:
I think you should visit your veterinarian. There are lots of things it could be including some things that might need treatment like a lung infection or heart disease.

It's true that collapsing trachea is very common in small breeds as a cause of coughing. What I don't like about that idea for your dog is that it is most commonly something we see in older dogs, not 6 month olds.

And it's also true that laryngeal paralysis is possible, but that's also a larger breed, older dog problem or something that was caused by previous trauma to the neck region.

There are too many possibilities to make solid recommendations. Your vet should examine your dog and maybe take X-rays to have the best chance of coming up with the right answer.

Good luck!


William Draper, DVM, better known as "Dr. Will," is a well-known small animal practitioner in the Atlanta, GA area. He grew up in Inglewood,...More

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