Why does my dog cough when he gets excited?

asked 2017-01-10 19:38:27 -0500

My dog does this strange thing where he starts coughing whenever he gets excited... does this happen to anyone else's dog? Could this be the early stages of an illness??

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Smaller breeds of dogs have collapsed esophagus that close tight when they become over excited. This also can be attention getting behavior, so don't baby just fine d a distraction and they should come out of coughing

Dee S.'s profile image Dee S.  ( 2017-02-26 08:43:48 -0500 ) edit

Hello Was all ok? My 9 year old whippet started coughing 2 days ago.....seems to be when she's excited. It's getting less as time goes by. Worth a vet visit still? X

Katie L.'s profile image Katie L.  ( 2018-06-19 15:57:02 -0500 ) edit

3 Answers

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answered 2017-02-23 18:25:05 -0500

My dog and another dog that I watch both get "snorty" when you give them a treat or if they get excited about something. The vet told me that it was because he had kennel cough as a puppy, he will probably always have some type of cough. The kennel cough is characterized by a snorty honking type of sound where they cant get air through their nose.
It can also be caused by allergies and having junk draining down their throat. If these are the types of breathing issues you're seeing, then push up on his nose a little, almost so he can't breathe through his nose and then he will breathe through his mouth and stop the coughing till he settles down.

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answered 2017-01-11 08:25:01 -0500

Without seeing your dog have an episode it is hard to tell what it might be for sure. There are several possibilities as to the cause of this behavior or symptom.

If this only happens once in a blue moon and sounds more like your dog is choking or gasping for air there is a chance your dog is subject to reverse sneezing. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U3L4v0W2_Sw (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U3L4v...)). If it happens in the home an Adaptil diffuser may help the dog to be less stressed with strangers and maybe lessen these episodes.

On the other hand, if it sounds more like he is throwing up there is a chance he has ingested something and is trying to throw it up.

If the dog is lethargic, having trouble breathing, etc. it could be a case of heart worms or a heart condition.

If the coughing is accompanied by a runny nose or sneezing it might be a respiratory infection.

My guess is that if it just happens when the dog gets excited it may be pulling on his collar and closing off his trachea so he is having trouble breathing or he is having an episode of reverse sneezing. Let the owner know when this happens, if the dog was pulling on the collar (which is why I don't recommend collars to walk dogs but only to hold their "jewelry"), and what seemed to ease up the coughing.

Remember: A veterinarian is the ONLY person that can diagnose these issues. For the safety of the dog let the owner know when this happens so they can follow up with the symptoms to give their dog relief.

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answered 2017-01-11 00:05:35 -0500

There are several possibilities. The first thing to pop into my head is collapsing trachea. It is a disorder where the cartilage rings in the trachea "go soft" and don't hold the trachea as open as they should. Is your dog a small-breed dog? (Collapsing trachea seems to be more common in them.)

If the coughing came on suddenly and your dog is having coughing fits that sound like he's choking, it could be kennel cough.

Also, sometimes a dog's throat gets dry and causes him to cough when he's more active.

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